Sunday, July 21, 2013

What Is Tahoe's Most Charming Town?

Around Lake Tahoe are several towns, all of which have many qualities worth attention, and all of which have many proud residents who simply “know” that their section of the lake is the best!
Tahoe's major towns (going clockwise) are Kings Beach and Crystal Bay, which are both at “noon” on the dial, Incline Village at one o'clock, Stateline and South Lake Tahoe, which stretch from five to six o'clock, and Tahoe City at ten o'clock. There are several other smaller communities that have names, such as Glenbrook at three o'clock, Cave Rock at three-thirty, Zephyr Cove and Round Hill at four o'clock, Tahoma and Homewood at nine o'clock, and Carnelian Bay at eleven o'clock, and Tahoe Vista near Kings Beach.
Of all these, Tahoe City stands out for its picturesque charm.

Of our six largest towns, only Tahoe City and Kings Beach are right on the lake. (Yes, South Lake Tahoe has a section directly on the water, but most of SLT is not on the shore.)
Unlike Kings Beach, Tahoe City sits up above the water a bit, giving it great views looking down on the lake and the boats in the marina as well as at the mountains stretching all the way past the South Shore.

Tahoe City has several great restaurants, such as Wolfdales and Christy Hill and Jake's. All three of them overlook the lake.
Wolfdales is famous for their fine food.

Christy Hill has a great food and a great deck.
Jake's is very popular and has indoor and outdoor dining.

 Tahoe City has a great “Commons Beach” shoreline and promenade on the water. Up on the boulevard are many cute shops.
The "Commons" Beach

Tahoe City is also where the Truckee River spills out of Lake Tahoe and heads down to Truckee and on to Reno.
The Truckee River Dam. The top 6 feet of Tahoe is used as
a reservoir for the cities of Truckee and Reno and other points downstream.

Another great feature of Tahoe City is that it is the epicenter of a fantastic stretch of bike trails that go from the West Shore to the North Shore and also miles down the Truckee River to Squaw Valley. Many of these trails are directly on Lake Tahoe or on the Truckee River. There are few trips more enjoyable than spending the day biking the area, and then stopping for lunch at one of Tahoe City's restaurants.
Many of the area's bike paths go right along the water.
Here is the link to the Tahoe City area bike map. Note, it is a large file and takes a bit to load, but it has a ton of information and is worth it.

Try the Paddleboard Pale Ale at Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.

If you prefer to hike, there are of course many choices, as in all of Tahoe.
Tahoe City also offers Tahoe's only river rafting, with companies such as Truckee River Raft Co
Photo from Truckee River Raft Co.

and Truckee River Rafting. The gentle ride from Tahoe City down to Alpine Meadows is a great way to escape the heat of California's Central Valley and Western Nevada's valleys.

If there is a downside to Tahoe City, it is that it doesn't offer a great many hotel and motel lodgings, although there are lots of vacation rental homes. The surrounding area from Truckee to Squaw Valley and Northstar provide lodging opportunities. And don't forget that Reno is only a one-hour drive from Tahoe City.
Come on up the mountain and play!

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