Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe, California Overview
Splitting Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is known for its incredible scenery and tons to see and do year-round. The California side of Lake Tahoe, also known as South Lake Tahoe, is one of the state’s most popular honeymoon destinations, and it’s easy to see why – not only is the crystal lake an absolute heaven for romance, but the mountains all around it provide a breathtaking backdrop for everything you do.
Incredible honeymoon activities abound in all seasons, like skiing in the winter and waterskiing, swimming and boating in the summer. You can explore gorgeous hiking trails, bike along mountain paths or soar over the lake dangling from the thrilling hotseat of a hang glider or parasail. If outdoor sports aren’t so much your thing, don’t worry – the scenery is perfect for good old-fashioned honeymoon relaxation. No matter what you’re into, the California side of Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for a romantic getaway unlike any other.
On any honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, California, you’ll want to visit the hip little towns that surround the lake with all their intimate restaurants, funky shops and hotels and resorts with romantic lake and mountain views. Escape to Lake Tahoe, California, and prepare yourselves for the honeymoon of a lifetime.
- THE SNOW MEETS THE SUN: Become enraptured by the beauty of sparkling waters and snow-covered Sierra mountain peaks. Here, the snow-bound fun is limitless! Cruise through mountains on a snowmobile, or hold your lover’s hand and skate across a frozen lake. Ski through snowy hillsides or zoom down them on a snow tube. The Heavenly Ski Resort, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood Mountain are just a few of the local options for fun in the snow.
- HIKE N' BIKE: Lake Tahoe, California is a nature lover’s paradise with enough hiking and biking trails to satisfy even the biggest nature maniacs. But don't worry - there are trails of every skill level, and couples who prefer the indoors still get unspoiled views of Lake Tahoe and the mountains all around it. When the snow melts and spring arrives, there's an array of lakeside state parks and forests to visit. There are miles of scenic trails throughout the area where experts and novices alike can explore alpine forests, wild meadows and hidden waterfalls. Push yourselves to the limit with a climb to the summit of Mount Tallac, then be rewarded with a stunning view of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. If you’re feeling ambitious, backpack through Desolation Wilderness or do an epic couple's run in the Lake Tahoe Marathon which takes place each September. If you’re looking for a more laid back kind of outdoor fun, take a short hike and reward yourselves with a refreshing swim in Angora Lake followed by a romantic picnic.
- SHOPPING AND SPORTING: So you didn’t come prepared with gear for all the sports activities Lake Tahoe has to offer? No worries! There tons of fun shops and locally owned boutiques where you can purchase quality sportswear as well as designer fashions.
- SWEET SPAS: After a day of shopping and sporting, what better way to indulge than with a spa treatment? Lake Tahoe has an array of resorts offering full-service luxury spas.
- ART AND CULTURE: The beauty of Lake Tahoe inspires the locals, and it shows. South Lake Tahoe has become a favorite stomping ground for artists, so peruse the countless studios and galleries until you’ve found the perfect piece to commemorate your Lake Tahoe honeymoon. You’ll find an array of stunning art at local festivals. Perhaps the biggest festival on South Lake Tahoe is the annual Valhalla Arts, Music and Theatre Festival. It features live theatre and musical performances, and takes place June through August.
- ESTATES ON THE LAKE: And of course, a trip to Lake Tahoe is incomplete without a visit to one of the lakefront estates. Experience the full beauty of the lake’s amazing vistas while discovering the rich history of the area’s former residents. A number of these historic palatial homes have been made into museums. Visit Ehrman Mansion in Sugar Pine Point State Park to learn how the wealthy inhabitants of Lake Tahoe lived during the early 1900s through the wild, anything-goes roaring 20’s.
- THE NIGHT COMES ALIVE: Don’t get so tired that your days end on the slopes! After a day of outdoor adventure, shopping and spas, enjoy an evening of after-dark entertainment and a few light vices. Whether you'd rather to be in the midst of the hot club scene or just want to chill out and down some drinks at a cool local dive, Lake Tahoe nightlife has a little something waiting for everyone. Pubs, dance clubs, lounges and bars abound in Lake Tahoe South.
Tips and Advice
- GETTING THERE: Whether by plane, bus, train or car, South Lake Tahoe is easily accessible. The best method of transportation depends on how far you are from the destination, as well as your personal preferences. The nearest airports are Reno-Tahoe International Airport (50 miles from Lake Tahoe, Nevada) and Sacramento International Airport (112 miles from South Lake Tahoe, California). Amtrak offers coastal train routes as well. Before traveling, be sure to check weather and road conditions, especially during the winter months when snowfall can reach high levels.
- GETTING AROUND: Once you’re here, rental cars are a convenient option. If you plan to venture to the Nevada side of The Lake, prepare for a long, scenic route along the shore. In the winter months, free shuttle services are offered from resorts to prime locations around the lake.
- TIME ZONE: California’s Lake Tahoe is in the Pacific Time Zone.
- AREA CODE: The area code is 530.
- WEATHER: Lake Tahoe has a snowy highland climate. The winters are cold and the summer months are mild to warm. Visitors can expect snow from September through June. Despite the cool weather, Lake Tahoe has an average of 250-300 sunny days a year, with low humidity (perfect hair weather!)
- ELECTRICITY: Voltage is standard US, 120V/60Hz
- LANGUAGE: The official language of California is English
- CURRENCY: South Lake Tahoe uses the U.S. dollar. Exchange common currencies for US notes at an exchange window at the airport, or at certain banks. Check ahead of time with your hotel for the most convenient and cost-effective place to exchange your money.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- MONEY SAVER: If snow isn’t your thing or you're just honeymooning on a tight budget, the best times to visit Lake Tahoe are late spring and September through October. The Lake Tahoe area is less crowded at those times and prices are off-peak, reducing the cost of your honeymoon.
- ONE WITH NATURE: A trip to a nature lover's wonderland like South Lake Tahoe almost certainly involves a number of outdoor activities. Wear long pants and sturdy boots when hiking. Also bring (and don't forget to drink) plenty of water to prevent dehydration and an energy bar or some trail mix for snacking. Don’t rely too heavily on technology! Signals get lost easily in the mountains, so if you're doing serious hiking in wilderness areas, come prepared with at least the basics: a compass, knife or multitool, and an emergency whistle, and make sure you know how to use them! Also, tell a close friend or family member where you'll be before leaving for a hike through remote areas. Fun is big, but safety is bigger.
- SLOPE SAFETY: Before hitting the slopes, check local websites or news channels for the weather and skiing conditions. Have chains for your car in anticipation of snow and know where and how to put them on. If you're renting a car, get one with four or all-wheel drive.
- BEAR AWARE: Bears are a reality in Lake Tahoe. Though they generally want nothing to do with humans, bring a bear spray, know how to handle your food and trash if hiking/camping, and know what to do if you encounter one of these fuzzy beasts. They're beautiful and cute, but messing with wild animals is no-no numero uno in the great outdoors.