Tourists Fall for Tahoe

Bringing friends and family members to Lake Tahoe in the fall gives new, positive meaning to the phrase “giving someone the cold shoulder.”

With the return of school and other obligations such as homework and youth sports, many families find it hard to vacation in September. Others just don’t think about the mountains this time of year because they are waiting for the snows of winter so they can go skiing and snowboarding.

Yet, those who do manage to get away – if just for a weekend – are finding it pleasantly surprisingly.

For one, the same temperatures that come with summer have yet to abate and because of that, the cold waters of Lake Tahoe continue to warm up. This makes early fall the ideal time to go swimming, boating, waterskiing, kayaking, and canoeing.

Throw in the fact that most fellow tourists decide to spend a little R&R closer to home, means the crowds are pretty much non-existent. It is this fact that actually makes the shoulder season – the time between the peak tourist seasons of winter and summer – a favorite time of year for most locals. (And one many want to keep secret.)

This means that while the nice weather continues, the trails of the Sierra Nevada are free of people. Mountain bikers and hikers, for example, can do the well-known Flume Trail or Spooner Lake loop without bumping into others or having to wait to pass.

There are no lines at boat launches and beachgoers can set up camp pretty much anywhere they want – which to anyone who has been to the north shore on the Fourth of July knows may be reason enough to plan a visit.

The rates at all area golf courses drop and the lack of foursomes playing means a round won’t take up most of the day. Basically, a four-hour round will actually mean just that. Even going out to eat is much easier and quicker. Reservations are usually not needed and dinner doesn’t have to be at odd times to avoid any mad tourist rush.

Fall is generally associated with cooling temperatures, but, while the weather fluctuates each year, September generally remains very warm. The truth of the matter is it offers all the luxuries of summer, except for the one potential negative: crowds.

Thus, while it may require a little rearranging of the busy schedule, now is the ideal time to head to Lake Tahoe and give someone the not-so-cold shoulder season treatment.

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