Introducing South Lake Tahoe & Stateline
With retro motels and eateries lining busy Hwy 50, South Lake Tahoe gets crowded. Gambling at Stateline's casino hotels, just across the Nevada border, attracts thousands, as does the world-class ski resort of Heavenly. In summer, a trip up Heavenly's gondola (adult/child $32/20) guarantees fabulous views of the lake and Desolation Wilderness. This starkly beautiful landscape of raw granite peaks, glacier-carved valleys and alpine lakes is a favorite with hikers. Get maps, information and overnight wilderness permits from the USFS Taylor Creek Visitor Center It's 3 miles north of the 'Y' intersection of Hwys 50/89, at Tallac Historic Site, which preserves early 20th-century vacation estates. Lake Tahoe Cruises ply the 'Big Blue' year-round. Back on shore, vegetarian-friendly Sprouts is a delish natural-foods cafe.
Hwy 89 threads northwest along the thickly forested west shore to Emerald Bay State Park, where granite cliffs and pine trees frame a fjordlike inlet, truly sparkling green. A steep 1-mile trail leads down to Vikingsholm Castle. From this 1920s Scandinavian-style mansion, the 4.5-mile Rubicon Trail ribbons north along the lakeshore past an old lighthouse and petite coves to DL Bliss State Park, offering sandy beaches. Further north, Tahoma Meadows B&B Cottages rents darling country cabins (pet fee $20).
South Lake Tahoe & Stateline destination guides
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
Take a 2-hour sightseeing cruise on the M.S. Dixie II around magnificent Lake Tahoe to savor the wonders of this picturesque area. Discover breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Emerald Bay, charming Fannette Island and Vikingsholm Castle.
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour
Never been up in a helicopter before? Well, this is the perfect introduction! Your 10 minute flight takes you up and over the beautiful Emerald Bay, high over Vikingsholm Castle and by Fallen Leaf Lake before descending back to earth.