Life got a little busy for me and I had not been able to finish the recap of my Reno/Tahoe trip! Reno was great, but Tahoe was next level! I have never considered myself much of an outdoorsy person so I did not know what to expect from Tahoe. I mean there is a lake and mountains, so I expected my visit to be all about the outdoors. Once again our guides curated experiences for us that fit our needs. For me, that meant a trip to North Tahoe where I got to experience great food, views and experiences. Check out my Guide to North Tahoe.
Where to Stay
So to start, we drove from Reno to Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is huge and spans two states. The ride from the Reno airport varies depending on where you are staying, but several people kept telling us on average it is about a 40 minute ride. As a Houstonian, a 40 minute ride is nothing. In fact, I drove 40 minutes from my home to IAH just to head to Reno!
For this leg of the trip we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. As we arrived to the hotel, we drove through a neighborhood full of beautiful mansions. The kind of mansions that I only see in movies, but imagine that rich folks enjoy on the regular. Sighs, one day. I will say we got a taste of that luxury at our hotel though! We were greeted at check-in with a glass of champagne and upgraded to rooms with patios and poolside views.
There was just so much to love about the Hyatt Regency. Guests, can enjoy easy access to a private Lake Tahoe beach across the street from hotel. On property, there is a spa, hot tubs, beautiful pools and large fire pits. They even sell s’mores roasting kits in the provisions store inside. Then the rooms are just amazing! There is a mud room inside of the hotel room for those who travel during ski season. In short, I loved this hotel and would definitely go back.
Where to Eat
Crystal Bay Steak and Lobster House
On our first night in Tahoe we headed to the Crystal Bay Steak and Lobster House. Now… I will not lie I kind of turned my nose up to this stop based on their website. During my visit though someone shared that many of the Tahoe establishments are low-key and locally known. As such, they do not have the snazzy websites I have come to expect from nicer restaurants. Anywho, one step inside and I got why we were there.
The Crystal Bay Casino is a hold over from the Sinatra/ Rat Pack era. In fact, Sinatra owned the hotel next door, the CalNeva which is currently being renovated. It is rumored that the likes of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and JFK hung out at this steakhouse. Now that lure is enough to get someone like me in the door, but then the food?! Some of the best dishes I’ve had in awhile including a table side caesar salad, bananas foster and lobster mac and cheese. All of it was SO good.
Ritz Carlton Tahoe Manzanita
The next morning I headed to the Ritz Carlton for brunch. Let me say that again, I went to THE Ritz Carlton FOR BRUNCH. If you know me, you know this was the highlight of my whole trip and boy was it worth it. While I was super impressed with the Hyatt, the Ritz was just beyond stunning. From the lobby, to the outdoor space. All of it was amazing. My next visit must include a stay at the Ritz Carlton.
Oh and the brunch! Manzanita is a beautiful restaurant with great views of the mountain. The rep who ate with me shared that it is a popular restaurant for special occasions like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. For my meal I dined on a crunchy french toast, mimosas and bacon. My typical brunch order, but with a view so it was better!
What to Do
We made our trip during late summer/early fall so skiing was out. Plus, I am not an outdoorsy person like I said before soooo I worried that would limit the activities for me. Honestly, it did not and I actually did up enjoying things outside. Shocking I know!
For our first day in Tahoe, we hopped on the MS Dixie at Zephyr Cove. Now, I do not know why a boat in this part of the country is named “dixie”, but I went with and had a good time! Zephyr Cove is closer to South Tahoe, but there are other boat tours in North Tahoe including catamarans. The MS Dixie tour was great primarily because it really got you out on the water (without getting in it) so you can see how pretty it is! We also got close to Emerald Bay where the water shifts from a blue to a green color.
My final day in Tahoe was a bit more relaxed. I took some time to walk around the Hyatt and enjoyed the amenities there. Then I walked over to the private beach across the street. Note that most of the beaches here are private, so when you pick a place to stay be sure to pick one that gives you access to a beach. There are also some cool trails including the East Shore Trail. It as a bit cold and rainy so I did not go along the full trail, but it is a great option for those who like those instagrammable views.
I absolutely loved Tahoe. I thought it was stunning and had more to do than I expected. The hotels I visited (Hyatt and the Ritz) had quite a bit to do on property which is perfect for someone like me. Then, the few “outdoor” activities I did were also cool. But my favorite aspect of Tahoe, the elements of luxury! I honestly cannot wait to go back, so I can add more to my Guide to Lake Tahoe!
A few things to note
- Taxis and Uber are not really that big here. I would recommend renting a car while there if you plan on maneuvering between different areas or be sure that your accommodations offers transportation.
- The other ladies who stayed in South Tahoe and did more water activities including a really cool clear kayak. Be sure to check out their posts too! (It’s Not Hou It’s Me, On the B.L., Journeying Jas)
Have you been to Tahoe? If so, share your favorite things!