I’m freshly back from a relaxing, rejuvenating New Years Trip to Lake Tahoe. I haven’t ever really done a mountain vacation, so jumped at the chance to spend a few days in this naturally stunning destination. If you are curious about making the trek, here are a few things to keep in mind!
If you are flying from the East Coast it will feel like a never ending journey.
To get there from New York, you have to fly into Reno then either drive or take a shuttle bus, which adds another hour to an hour and a half to the travel time. Plus consider that direct flights into Reno are pretty few and far between. I’m pretty used to long flights, but for some reason this felt like a totally different ball game.
But once you get here, the trip is so worth it
Lake Tahoe is a massive body of water, spanning the border between Nevada and California. The sight of the crystal clear blue water meeting snow-capped mountains, surrounded by a forest of sky-high pine trees is a sight I will never forget. Winter usually gets really heavy snowfall, so it’s a great destination for skiing and other winter sports. However this year was unseasonably warm, so while we didn’t get the amazing white fluffy snow I was hoping for, it was nice enough to wander around outside enjoying the views and crisp, clean mountain air. Plus the highlight was getting out on the lake on Viator's Emerald Bay Cruise. The ship is stunning, bar well-stocked, and views are incredible. Plus you get the chance to learn all about the lake's history since the tour is narrated.
Just plan carefully, because it ain’t cheap!
I love travel and try to find deals as much as possible, but I have to saw I did not find Lake Tahoe to be a very budget friendly destination. Ski and snowboarding can cost a pretty penny, and even other tours like scenic lake cruises and guided hikes were super pricey. I will say that it’s worth planning to splurge a little when you plan your trip. There is so much beauty to be seen, but unfortunately it will cost you. We balanced the budget by cooking most meals since our lodge had a full kitchen, and that added a really nice cozy, homey vibe to the trip. Depending on where you are staying, there are plenty of grocery stores and markets that you can shop at, but the best discovery ever was Express Lane Delivery. Just place an order online, send them a grocery list, and you’ll arrive with a perfectly stocked fridge! Because let’s be real, do you really want to have to grocery shop on vacay?
A car is nice to have, but not necessary
Driving is pretty much the bane of my existence, and my travel buddy wasn’t a big fan either. Luckily our location was walking distance from a main stripe of bars, shops and an adorable holiday village. Plus between reliable taxis and Uber and Lyft service we didn’t even miss having one when it came to venturing to other parts of town! It would have been cool to randomly drive around the lake and explore more on our own, but we were able to get to all our main stops seamlessly. A lot of the ski resorts are far out of the way, but most offer free shuttle service so you can easily get there and back. All in all we spent about $110 total on the round trip shuttle from the airport and getting around , so way less than it would cost for a rental, gas and parking.
Its great for big groups or a small one!
I was with one buddy and we had a blast, but Lake Tahoe would be just as awesome with your whole squad or even your significant other. Most of the activities are pretty outdoorsy, so as long as you are with a group that can get into that kind of stuff you are sure to have a blast!
Let me know if you’ve been to Lake Tahoe and what you thought. And shoot me any questions if you are starting to plan a trip!