Looking to spend a weekend in South Lake Tahoe? That’s totally doable! These are my favorite places to dine, travel, and stay in Tahoe South – just in time for a romantic weekend getaway this winter.
I would be lying if I told you I don’t travel often. A couple of weeks ago, the hubs and I had a chance to have a mini getaway where we liked one restaurant so much that we went there twice. If you live in the Bay Area, you have probably visited Lake Tahoe at least once for the snow experience. In my humble opinion, Lake Tahoe is an excellent place to visit any time of the year, whether it is warm weather in summer where you can hire a boathouse or have an exciting parasailing experience or cold weather in winter for fun snow activities.
Visiting Tahoe South in Early November
So there we were in early November when the snow had yet to come, but the weather was cold enough that you want hot cocoa while strolling around the heavenly downtown area in the early evening. We stayed at The Ridge Tahoe Resort, where we could explore their unique and newly renovated areas. Check out the room.
The Ridge Tahoe staff made sure we felt comfortable and welcome. Each room has a living room, kitchen, dining table, washer and dryer! They had thought of every luxury. The view is simply stunning, and I couldn’t stop admiring the gorgeous sunrise vistas from our room. It’s very spacious and perfect for a family with little kiddos.
So Much to Do On Property – Lake Tahoe Resort
What’s even more fun about staying here is that the property provides fantastic facilities for the whole family. They have everything you need: an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, spa and fitness center, movie theater, kid’s corner, games room, arcades, miniature golf, hiking, and a sky lift. This is a perfect spot for your weekend getaway where everything is within range, and you don’t even need to drive if you don’t want to.
I will go through some of the highlights and try not to write 800 paragraphs about each of these experiences – because I easily can… and it may happen anyway. #wordlover
Our weekend itinerary in South Lake Tahoe
On the menu, you will find seafood, steak, pasta, and other favorites that the whole family can enjoy. We ordered the salmon salad, which was fresh, mouthwatering, and absolutely delicious. It was so good that we ended up ordering more to take home.
We started the day with a hike and got the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise. The weather was so fantastic – a bit crispy yet light and refreshing – the perfect morning weather.
Just before noon, we had a chance to experience the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe, M.S. Dixie II – a local favorite. The boat can fit 500 passengers and has great dining options available. The 2-hour tour was totally worth every penny. It’s the best of both worlds: the beauty of a pristine mountain lake setting combined with the thrill of a new adventure.
After our boat tour, we explored the area further and went to Tallac Historic Site. This beautiful area comprises a series of buildings encompassing the area’s history in remarkable detail. The Pope Estate, Baldwin Estate, and Valhalla give you a glimpse into the lavish way of life of the rich and famous that spent their summers at Lake Tahoe. Sadly, we did not get to explore the inside since they were closed for the season and only open in the summer. However, you can still bike, stroll along the gardens, and take pictures.
Since we did not get a chance to explore Tallac, we decided to stop by Heavenly Village. Anyone who has visited Lake Tahoe will know Heavenly Village, which has made quite a name for itself. This fun area is not just for tourists who enjoy shopping and eating out but also for locals who enjoy outdoor ice skating or watching a movie.
For dinner, we went to Jimmy’s Restaurant based on some recommendations… and I fell in love with everything they put on the table, especially their grilled octopus. It really blew my mind! It was served with roast potatoes, taramasalata, and haricot verts – absolute heaven on a plate!
After spending two days with the spectacular view, I was not ready to go home, so we decided to go for another hike in the morning for fresh air and some fun activities.
I had enjoyed Jimmy’s so much the night before that I wanted to return for lunch before we headed home. Thankfully, the hubs agreed, and off to Jimmy’s we went for another dose of delicious. The restaurant, located at the rear of the Landing Resort & Spa, faces gorgeous Lake Tahoe and lures you in with a friendly and casual vibe. We ordered the same grilled octopus because it was so damn good! And I’m still dreaming about it now as I write this post. It is a definite must-try.
Lake Tahoe Weekend Getaway
- Emerald Bay State Park: Visit this iconic bay to enjoy its stunning views, hike the surrounding trails, or explore the historic Vikingsholm Castle.
- Heavenly Mountain Resort: Experience world-class skiing and snowboarding during winter, or take a scenic gondola ride and enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the summer.
- Zephyr Cove: Relax on the sandy beach, rent a boat, or cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II paddle-wheeler to explore the beautiful Lake Tahoe shoreline.
- Tallac Historic Site: Discover the rich history of Tahoe South by exploring the well-preserved Baldwin Estate, Pope Estate, and Valhalla Estate.
- Van Sickle Bi-State Park: Hike, bike, or horseback ride through the park’s picturesque trails that offer panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.
- Taylor Creek Visitor Center: Learn about the area’s ecology and wildlife through interactive exhibits, guided walks, and the famous Stream Profile Chamber.
- Magic Fusion at The Loft Theatre: Enjoy an unforgettable night of magic, comedy, and illusions at this intimate theater in Heavenly Village.
- Camp Richardson: Experience the great outdoors by camping, hiking, or renting bikes and paddleboards at this historic resort.
- Lake Tahoe Water Trail: Paddle around the 72-mile shoreline on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, stopping at designated water trail sites for picnics and relaxation.
- South Lake Tahoe Nightlife: Unwind after a day of adventure at one of the many bars, clubs, and live music venues in the area, such as Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Of course, there are always Lake Tahoe getaway packages that you can check out! What’s your favorite part of visiting Tahoe South?