Weekend Getaways: Tahoe SouthSep 28, 2017 06:18PM ● By Pam Kessler
South Lake Tahoe is stepping up its game. For years, despite its casino and big name entertainment attractions, South Lake has played second fiddle to the rustic charm of North Shore. But a recent $500+ million revitalization and refurbishment effort of old hotel properties, retail spaces, and restaurants is elevating South Lake’s profile. The overall aesthetic is a bit more refined, and a bit more welcoming than in year’s past, and at the center is ridiculously beautiful scenery and a glistening blue lake.
The Landing Resort & Spa
Discerning travelers will appreciate this five-star boutique lakeside resort. Its 77 guest rooms were constructed in 2013 on the old Royal Valahalla hotel site. Its thoughtful amenities include marble bathrooms with heated floors, plush terry robes, Keurig coffee service, and European furnishings. Most rooms view the lake and come equipped with gas fireplaces, private decks, and plush down comforters. Across the street, Lakeside Marina’s beach is the place to soak up the sun, or grab a water taxi to South Shore’s dining, shopping, and gambling scene. At Jimmy’s, be sure to check out the award-winning wine cellar featuring 250 labels. Grab a bottle and sip with a savory rack of lamb or filet. 4104 Lakeshore Boulevard, thelandingtahoe.com.
Baby boomers may remember the Coachman as the Green Lantern Motel. A major remodel retains the motel-style, but hip and sleek rooms now feature luxury linens, fully stocked mini bars, and even complimentary lip balm. The check-in desk doubles as a bar and opens onto a cozy lobby seating area with an outdoor fire pit where guests can enjoy complimentary s'mores. A pool and Jacuzzi soothe sore muscles after hiking or skiing. Morning yoga is offered on the outdoor deck, followed by a complimentary breakfast of make-your-own Belgian waffles and Stumptown Coffee. The hotel is centrally located, just a few blocks from the “strip,” the lake, and nearby Edgewood golf course. 4100 Pine Boulevard, coachmantahoe.com.
Beach Retreat & Lodge
If being on a sandy beach is your thing, you can’t beat the lakeside location of this comfortable property with breathtaking views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains. Rooms have a nautical vibe, be sure to snag one on the lake so you can to watch the sun rise or set, or catch a sneak peek at a beach wedding. Perched on a 1,000 foot pier, the Boathouse restaurant is a favorite among locals for its fresh seafood and craft cocktails. After dinner, grab a seat by a glowing fire pit or take a dip in the heated, outdoor pool. If it’s a business trip, the new $2.7 million conference center sits adjacent to the hotel and marina. 3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, tahoebeachretreat.com.
Adventure Park Take the Gondola up Heavenly Mountain Resort for a thrilling experience on zip lines, ropes, and tubing courses at Epic Discovery. Set in the forest, about halfway up the mountain, Epic Discovery is an adventure seekers paradise with individual alpine and mountain coaster rides on winding tracks that wind ride through rock formations at speeds up to 55mph. 4080 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, skiheavenly.com.
Balloon Ride This one-of-a-kind experience on a hot air balloon launches and lands on a boat. A light continental breakfast is served during the boat ride enroute to the mid-lake launch site. Once the balloon launches, it glides around the lake. When it’s time to land, the balloon drifts down, the boat slips under it, and you toast with glass of champagne. laketahoeballoonscom.
Boat Rent a boat or take a tour with Lake Tahoe Cruises. It’s a 30 minute jaunt by water from South Shore to Emerald Bay; one of the most photographed places in the world. From the bay it’s easy to see Vikingsholm, a grand estate constructed in the 1860s as the first summer home on Lake Tahoe. Come ashore and relish in the splendor of its Scandinavian architecture. zephyrcove.com.
Evan’s American Gourmet Café Call ahead if you want to snag one of the 11 tables at South Tahoe’s most celebrated restaurant. Continental cuisine is served in a vintage cabin surrounded by towering pines. 536 Emerald Bay Road, evanstahoe.com.
Verde Mexican Rotisserie Delicious food that’s flavorful and clean in burritos, bowls, tacos, and salads. Famous for their free-range rotisserie meats. 2012 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, restaurantmeyersca.com.
Sprouts Natural Foods Café This is the place for a morning detox of fresh fruit smoothies and veggie-packed breakfast specials. 3123 Harrison Avenue, sproutscafetahoe.com.
Beacon Bar & Grill Order a signature Rum Runner on the big, outdoor wooden wrap around deck. Located right on the beach at historic Camp Richardson, this is the place for a good time and deep-fried calamari. 1900 Jameson Beach Road, camprichardson.com.
Lakeside Beach House Grill Cool and casual, the menu is simple—burgers, fish n chips, and salads—but you can’t beat their location right on the sandy beach. 4081 Lakeshore Boulevard, tahoesouth.com.
Zephyr Cove Resort First built in 1900, this Tahoe classic offers lodging in rustic cabins, but attracts most visitors for its mile of sandy beach and cocktails at the Sunset Bar and Grille.
760 Hwy. 50, Zephyr Cove, zephyrcove.com.