Hotels in South Lake Tahoe, USA
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South Lake Tahoe, playground of the High Sierra
Famously described by Mark Twain as “the fairest picture the whole world affords,” the turquoise waters and emerald bays of Lake Tahoe are encircled by the Sierra Nevada mountain range and split down the middle by a state border. South Lake Tahoe, which falls on the Californian side, is a beloved year-round vacation destination. Skiers, snowboarders, boaters, and beachgoers alike enjoy a fantastic array of places to sleep after their various adventures: with luxurious four-star hotels, rustic cabins, historic resort properties, and woodsy campgrounds, South Lake Tahoe accommodates every travel style and budget.
Hit the slopes
With over 400 inches of annual snowfall and 18 world-class ski and snowboarding resorts to choose from, South Lake Tahoe is a very popular choice for winter holidays. The most advanced skiers and snowboarders flock to Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, for its challenging trails, bowls, and chutes, though it (like most Lake Tahoe resorts) also caters to beginners of all ages with bunny hills and professional instructors. Though lessons are widely available throughout the season, shy types might wish to book their first date with the slopes in January, also known as “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” in the United States. Snow-loving travellers at all levels of experience can also follow the locals to the Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and book into a luxurious hotel condominium. About 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood’s unique position atop the Sierra Crest offers some of the lightest and driest snow in the region, as well as an eye-watering 2,000 feet of vertical drop.
Make a big splash
Lake Tahoe is one of the largest and most beautiful alpine lakes in North America, and offers a stunning array of sandy beaches as well as just about every imaginable form of water sport: jet skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, water skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and parasailing are just a few of the most popular. However, even travellers who don’t care to get their hair wet will find lots to do in South Lake Tahoe over the summer, from hiking its incredible backcountry trails in search of hidden waterfalls to teeing off like the celebrities do at Edgewood Golf Course or careening down Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (also known as the Saxon Creek Trail, a magnet for mountain bikers from around the world). And very few tourists can resist the pull of the Heavenly Mountain Gondola: its state-of-the-art cable cars ferry eight passengers at a time over 9,100 feet up to a massive observation platform with awe-inspiring views of Lake Tahoe, Desolation Wilderness, and Carson Valley.
Roll the dice, or dance the night away
Travellers who aren’t totally tired out from a day on the slopes or in the water will find an exciting mix of nightlife options in South Lake Tahoe, including several world-class casinos. Gamblers can take a chance on the newest player on the scene, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, or go with a “sure thing” in Harrah’s Lake Tahoe or Harvey’s, which has graced the South Shore since 1944. Risk-averse travellers will be relieved to find, however, that the casinos are not the only game in town: South Lake Tahoe also offers a wide array of restaurants, bars, pubs, and a lively night club scene complete with fire dancers, go-go girls, and a mobile DJ booth set up on a snow cat.
Travel back in time…and stay as long as you like
History buffs, particularly those with a taste for the finer things in life, will find many delights in and around South Lake Tahoe, erstwhile playground for the fabulously rich. Vikingsholm, an elegant summer home constructed in 1920, is one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States, and still features many of its original furnishings. Travellers can also take a day trip to Genoa, Nevada’s oldest city, or to the Valhalla Historic Site to experience life as it was lived way back when, or they might simply choose to stay in one of the hotels in Lake Tahoe with a rich history. Standouts include Camp Richardson, which has welcomed holiday makers since 1924, and the Zephyr Cove Resort, a pristine, family friendly place in a quieter part of town. Its cabins, which date back to the 1900’s, retain their original architectural charm, yet are equipped with all the modern conveniences and are open year-round.