Feast Your Eyes on Tahoe This Thanksgiving

November 16, 2011

While there isn’t enough snow on the ground for most ski resorts to be open, the cool temperatures, crisp mountain air, and scenic beauty of Lake Tahoe still make it the ideal place for visitors to gobble up a nice vacation rental for Thanksgiving.

Just like a savory gravy poured all over the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, the fact that the area won’t be crowded makes the idea of taking a trip to Tahoe even more enticing.

Over the extended four-day weekend, most people will stay at home or travel to a family member’s house because they prefer a familiar, comfortable setting. Having a kitchen one knows very well and room enough for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves as the eat, drink, play games, and watch football is very important.

Although the holiday is one to honor all those that deserve thanks for making our lives better – as the Native Americans did so long ago when the first European settlers came to the New World – it is perfectly designed to bring family and friends together for a few hours of relaxing and bonding.

With very affordable rates and spacious accommodations, renting a condominium or house in beautiful Lake Tahoe is also ideally designed for Thanksgiving. There are a plethora of cozy options that come with all the comforts of home – including oversized kitchens for memorable turkey (or tofurkey) feasts and large HD televisions for top-notch football viewing.

The fact that it all takes place amid huge pine trees, towering Sierra peaks, and a crystal clear blue backdrop only makes it that much more special.

While the lack of snow this November may be disappointing to skiers and snowboarders, Lake Tahoe still remains an ideal place to gobble down a fantastic Thanksgiving feast – along with a memorable family vacation.

Lake Tahoe a Winter Resort Wonderland

October 19, 2011

All those searching for the perfect ski destination this winter might want to take a look in the direction of Lake Tahoe.

There are fabulous locations throughout the United States that provide superb alpine terrain for skiers and snowboarders, such as Vail, Park City, Jackson Hole, Stowe, and Aspen. While each area is a superb winter getaway in and of itself, the number of other ski resort options in the general vicinity are usually very limited.

All travelers hope their next family vacation goes as perfectly as possible. After all, because of work and other obligations most people are only able to vacation once or twice a year. Throw in the cost of travel, room and board, and lift tickets, and the pressure for the time away to go as well as it can grows intense.

Then there is the issue of snow. If a specific resort doesn’t get any precipitation for an extended period of time or is hit by unseasonably warm temperatures, levels may get extremely low and conditions very slushy and even rocky. This may be enough to put a rather large dent in one’s vacation – and his or her ski or snowboard.

Then there’s Lake Tahoe.

With a slew of major, top-notch ski resorts all within an hour’s drive of each other, the options for winter-bound vacationers are near endless. Considering they are all ideally situated at different locations in and around the lake and all at various elevations greatly increases the chances that several resorts will have the perfect snow conditions.

The list of world-renown ski resorts all within a quick morning drive of each other is quite impressive: Kirkwood, Heavenly Valley, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows. Squaw Valley, Mt. Rose, and Sugar Bowl. Then there are other fantastic resorts designed ideally for families that also have black diamond slopes ready to challenge any novice or expert: Homewood, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Donner Ski Ranch, Diamond Peak, and Boreal to name a few.

With so many resorts to choose from all within or next to the Tahoe Basin, it’s no wonder many expert ski officials are pushing for the Winter Olympics to return to the area.

Vacation time is limited, especially when it comes to skiing and snowboarding as the there are only a few months to choose from out of the year. That is why anybody planning a winter getaway might want to select a destination that hosts multiple superb ski resorts.

Not only will it increase the chances that the snow conditions will be optimal, but skiers and snowboarders get to try a variety of different runs instead of the same old terrain every day.

In the end, it’s a pretty popular viewpoint: when it comes to selecting the best place to spend a winter vacation, Lake Tahoe may be a vision of perfection.

It’s a Fact – Lake Tahoe Pretty Cool

October 10, 2011

Anybody who has ever been to Lake Tahoe knows what a unique place it is. While the natural alpine beauty is remarkable, there are a few other cool facts that make it such a hot vacation destination.

For one, Lake Tahoe is known in the scientific world as oligotrophic. That means that it is still relatively free of the nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, that lead to algae growth and a decline in water clarity. The increase in erosion and pollution runoff as a result of the ever-expanding human population have resulted in most lakes around the country – and the world – becoming eutrophic.

Despite the year-round population surrounding it, Lake Tahoe remains classified as oligotrophic. While the clarity of the lake is, unfortunately, decreasing each year, that is pretty darn cool. Other facts that make Lake Tahoe even cooler:

* It is the largest alpine lake in North America.

* With a depth of 1,645 feet, it’s the second deepest lake in the USA (Crater Lake, Ore., is #1)

* It is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. The shoreline is 71 miles long (42 miles in California, 29 in Nevada).

*If completely drained, the amount of water in the lake would cover the entire state of California 14 inches deep (it roughly contains 39 trillion gallons of water).

* The amount of water lost to evaporation each day (if it were able to be recovered), is enough to supply the daily water needs of most large cities.

* While there are an estimated 63 streams that flow into the lake, there is only one outlet: The Truckee River.

* Most bodies of water eventually lead to the ocean, but the Truckee River travels eastward into the Nevada desert and flows into Pyramid Lake.

* The lake was formed about 2 to 3 million years ago by normal geological faulting (block faulting). A fracture in the earth’s crust caused blocks of land to move up (Carson range on the east and Sierra Nevada on west) and down (Tahoe Basin).

* The Lake was first named “Lake Bigler” after John Bigler, the third governor of California. While the US Department of Interior did introduce the name Lake Tahoe in 1862, it didn’t formally receive it until 1945.

* The first documented European ever to see Lake Tahoe was explorer and surveyor John C. Fremont.

* The original native inhabitants of the region were the Washoe tribe. The name Tahoe (DaOwAga) translates to “edge of the lake.”

* Despite being at an elevation of 6,225, Lake Tahoe never freezes.

* While some winter days can bring lots of snow, in more than 50 years of weather history, 80% of the days have been classified as sunny.

* The Tahoe Basin averages 8.3 inches of rain and 216 (18 feet) of snow every year.

While there are many interesting facts about Lake Tahoe, the beautiful alpine setting may be the primary one that keeps bringing people back each and every year. All the fantastic winter and summer outdoor activities help too.

Whatever the reasons, Lake Tahoe is a clearly a cool place to visit.

According to Twain, Tahoe one ‘Bigler’ Lake

September 28, 2011

When one hears the name Lake Tahoe, thoughts of stunning natural beauty come to mind. Supposedly when Mark Twain heard it, he got “disgustingly sick.”

Born Samuel Clemens in 1835, Twain was an avid traveler. He left his Missouri home at a fairly young age and crisscrossed the countryside working as a printer, typesetter, and master riverboat captain on the Mississippi River.

The gold rush brought him west to Nevada in 1861, where he tried to make it as a miner. He failed as a prospector, but soon struck gold as a reporter for the Virginia City newspaper. That is where he first used his pen name, “Mark Twain” in a series of articles.

About that time, in a small cabin in Tuolumne County, he also finished his work “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which garnered him nation-wide success.

The beauty of the Sierra Nevada – particularly Lake Tahoe – immediately captivated Twain. In his book, Roughing It, he stated:

“We plodded on, two or three hours longer, and at last the Lake burst upon us — a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! It was a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

He ended up not only hiking down to the shoreline, but staying there for quite some time. “Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor,” Twain wrote.

While the alpine scenery of Lake Tahoe overwhelmed him, apparently the name itself had quite the opposite effect. He did believe that most natural wonders and locations should bear Native American-related names, but ‘Tahoe’ was not one of them. To him, it sounded awful to the ear and Lake Bigler was the more appropriate title.

“I hope some bird will catch this grub the next time he calls Lake Bigler by so disgustingly sick and silly a name as Lake Tahoe…They say it means ‘Fallen Leaf’ – well suppose it meant Fallen Devil or Fallen Angel, would that make its hideous, discordant syllables more endurable?” he wrote.

It is true that Mark Twain is one of the most prolific, talented American writers. Just about every child remembers reading Adventures of Huck Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in school. When it comes to his writing about changing Lake Tahoe to Lake Bigler, however, that may be one read better left on the shelf.

To think that the word “Tahoe” makes someone sick to his stomach is just downright comical. But, as one famous American writer once stated — “humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

Perhaps that’s the big point.

Plan A Trip to Lake Tahoe – The Economical Way

September 20, 2011

Dinner $100. Bike rental $75. Gambling $150. Shopping $200. Overnight accommodations $300. Vacation in Lake Tahoe priceless.

To steal a popular slogan from a credit card company, there really is no price tag one can put on a trip to Lake Tahoe. The expansive shimmering blue lake set amid the towering pine trees and dwarfed by Sierra peaks on all sides is one of the most gorgeous, soul-soothing sites in all the world. Still, if one can save a few dollars on the next trip to the lake, that’s just what he or she will do.

Tahoe Rim Trail Above Incline Village

To help do just that, there are a few tips to keep in mind when heading to the big sapphire of the Sierra Nevada.

Plan an Offseason Trip – While it may not coincide with the summer or winter holiday breaks, heading to Lake Tahoe in the fall or spring will save a lot of money on accommodations alone. Discounts are a plenty, too, when it comes to trips out on the lake, dinner, shopping, and rentals.

Take a Hike – Many tourists feel they have to engage in activities that cost money – shopping, boat rentals, bike rentals, tram rides, MS. Dixie or Sierra Cloud trips out on the lake. While all those are fantastic ideas, think about mixing it up with a simple hike. The area is filled with trails – like the Flume, Spooner Loop, and Tahoe Rim – and range from easy to hard in terms of distance and steepness.

Plan Ahead – If booked early, not only could there be big savings in terms of accommodations, but the savings in airfare may be enough to offset all other vacation expenses. Southwest Airlines, for example, has great deals into the Reno Airport.

Alternative Transportation – Despite the high gas prices, for those that live nearby, piling the family into the car and driving is the most economical way to get to Tahoe. For those that want to try something new – consider taking the bus or the train. Not only is it eco-friendly, but both are economic ways to get to the town of Truckee. It may be a bit slower, but the train as it rumbles through the Sierra into the Tahoe Basin has been known to be quite a scenic, wonderful trip.

Condo over Hotel – When it comes to planning a vacation, most automatically start searching for hotels. Since the number of hotels, especially on the north shore, are limited, the prices get fairly expensive fairly fast. With a plethora of beautiful townhouses, condominiums, and full-size homes to choose from, the prices remain relatively low. They also sleep more than one hotel room does, so the bill can be split if need be between family and friends. Also, by renting a home or condo, vacationers can purchase food at the local grocery store and eat in, which also saves precious ducats.

Best Bet is No Bet – Since nearly half of the Tahoe area is located in the state of Nevada, there are many locations to spend a little money gambling. Although it can be a very nice social night out, it’s important to remember all odds on every game is stacked in favor of the “house.” Thus, it may be wise to simply stay in for a nice quite evening at home.

There are many ways to save money when vacationing in Lake Tahoe. The beauty of it all is – it’s free. Most go to Lake Tahoe to get closer to Mother Nature and since it’s all around – and free to soak in and enjoy – means the trip will be way more economical than most others.

Taking a stroll along the shore, going to the beach, taking a hike, or simply sitting on the back porch sipping coffee or a margarita under a giant sugar pine tree is all gratis.

While the scenic beauty of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area is simply priceless, there are ways to enjoy it at prices less than others.

For more information on Lake Tahoe – including popular activities, trail and rental locations, or accommodations, please contact Goldfish Properties at (800) 948-7311 or info@goldfishproperties.com. Feel free to visit us at http://www.goldfishproperties.com as well. 

Vacationers Still Flocking to Tahoe

September 13, 2011

Despite no summer break or snow on the ground, visitors are still flocking to Lake Tahoe in greater numbers than Canada geese.

View of Lake Tahoe from high above Incline Village

While afternoon thunderstorms seem to be more frequent, all the amenities that greeted vacationers during the summer are still open and just as fun. And judging by the rather large amount of visitors in and around the area over the weekend, it appears many are still managing to get away for the weekend.

Despite that nice I-80 construction.

Perhaps fall is no longer the quiet time for locals to finally enjoy the Tahoe Basin by themselves. Since it’s still extremely hot throughout most of the country – especially in the West – Tahoe is still the perfect escape. Boating, golf, canoeing, rafting, hiking, biking, and just sipping an afternoon beverage under the towering pines are still fantastic options.

For the rest of September the high daily temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s. What that basically means is there is still plenty of time to join all the locals and tourists who are taking advantage of the great weather and all the activities Tahoe has to offer.

In case the busy schedule impeded a summer visit to the Sierra, or the views and laid-back attitude are drawing that mountain-man (and woman) soul back, it’s not too late to squeeze in another vacation before the temperatures drop and the interest switches to skiing and snowboarding.

And the Canada geese again flock to the vacant beaches and golf courses.

For fantastic accommodations and great weekend activities, feel free to visit http://www.goldfishproperties.com

When it Comes to Great Things To Do – Tahoe Rocks

July 11, 2011

It is no secret that the Lake Tahoe area is a very unique and beautiful alpine setting. So much so, that many visitors are content simply relaxing on a back deck under the towering pine trees or taking a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores that border the crystal clear water. For those that harbor a little more sense of adventure, though, there are some great outdoor activities and places to see while vacationing on the north shore.

The Flume Trail

The Flume Trail – Considered one of the finest mountain bike trail rides in all the world. This east shore, “rim” trail offers incredible views of Marlette Lake, Spooner Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Most start at Spooner Lake and work northward back toward Incline Village. There is a fairly steep climb to start, roughly 4 miles long, but riders can take their time. Once to the top at Marlette Lake,  it’s a fairly level ride until the descent into the Incline area. It does get very narrow at times and riders are encouraged to take caution. While it will take a bit longer, hikers can also walk the first part to Marlette Lake and to the Lake Tahoe view portion of this incredible trail. There are mountain biking outfits, too, for riders to use if they want to rent bikes and get dropped off.

Sand Harbor and East Shore Rocks – While the entire Lake Tahoe shoreline is absolutely stunning, some say the eastern portion is the best to spend a sunny afternoon. The huge granite boulders lying on top of one another and adjacent to each other not only create a natural wonder of their own, but the results are some of the best swimming holes known on the planet. While the rock jumping and underwater exploring are unbelievable, caution is advised. Water does obscure depth perception, so be careful. The parking along the east shore can be tough, too, as there is not much room on the shoulder of Highway 28 (a National Scenic Byway). Sand Harbor State Park offers an easy place to pull in and park the car. The sandy beaches also provide a nice place to set up camp for the day and from there the family can explore the nearby area. A day use fee is required and it does get crowded, so go early if possible – especially on a weekend. (Also, of interest might be the Shakespeare Festival that is held at Sand Harbor during specific summer evenings. It is definitely one of the best outdoor venues in the country.)

Truckee River

Truckee River Rafting – While not technically on the north shore, the beauty of the Truckee River and the slow-moving current make it ideal for a great family outing. Plus, Tahoe City is just an easy 30 minute drive away, which qualifies it still as a perfect north shore activity. The trip goes from Tahoe City to River Ranch at the entrance to Alpine Meadows. Visitors can take their own raft or rent through one the many rafting companies set up at the “Y” in Tahoe City (just down from Fanny Bridge). The easy-going river is excellent for families of all ages and there are plenty of spots along the way  to swim and stop for lunch. Most swim as they float down river. A nice little rapid at the end provides the perfect little excitement to wake rafters back up for a nice cold beverage and appetizer at River Ranch.

Northstar-at-Tahoe – Many don’t realize that this popular ski resort in fact is open during the summer. Several lifts and the gondola actually run during the day to take mountain bike riders to the top so they can use the steep terrain for a little two-wheel, off-road fun. Hikers are also encouraged to come out and enjoy the many trails the 2400-acre resort has the offer. There is also horse-back riding at Northstar and a very quaint village at the base of the ski slope that offers the perfect lunch and shopping venue.

Spooner Lake

Spooner Lake Loop Trail – Situated at the junction of Highway 28 and US Highway 50, this little alpine lake is sort of a little secret beauty. While the place may look crowded upon arrival, most are heading up to Marlette Lake and the Flume Trail to hike and mountain bike (another good idea by the way!). There is a day use fee as Spooner sits inside the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, but it’s well worth it as the easy 2-mile hike around the lake is a perfect morning or  afternoon activity. It is also a popular birdwatching area as it is frequented by osprey, woodpeckers, owls, and other avian wildlife.

Mt. Rose Meadows – Most simply pass right on by the Mt. Rose Meadows on their way to Incline Village or Reno on Highway 431. This high-alpine meadow and surrounding hills, however, provide quite an exhilarating hiking and biking experience. While there is an official Mt. Rose Trail that connects with the Tahoe Rim Trail, there are a plethora of hiking trails that criss-cross the entire area offering vistas that take in the entire Tahoe Basin or Washoe Valley. Visitors can park at the snowpark area or along the highway itself. Cars – and street cyclists – do move fast on the highway, though, so if parking along the road watch those car doors, your young kids, and pets.

Burnt Cedar Beach

Ski, Incline, Burnt Cedar Beaches – These are the three spots that make up the Incline Village General Improvement beaches. Visitors need a valid IVGID Recreation pass, so they are not technically open to the public. Passes to all the beaches, however, are included in rental properties in Incline Village, so entry is allowed with a daily use fee. Ski Beach contains a boat launching facility and a volleyball court. Incline Beach has a nice play area for the kids, a snack bar, and a roped off swimming area. Burnt Cedar has a roped off swimming area, sandy cove, and a jetty to walk out on. It also contains a heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. A playground and a snack bar are also at Burnt Cedar. All beaches have picnic facilities, places to barbecue, and nice grassy areas to relax on.

The picturesque Sierra Nevada topography is reason enough to spend a vacation in Lake Tahoe. Anything else that is done while basking in the region’s natural allure is simply added bonus. But, the truth is, there are many great places to see and fantastic things to do if one does just happen to get a little burnt out on the other less adventurous activities.

There are plenty of other activities and places to go while on the north shore of Lake Tahoe (casinos, golf courses, mini golf, sailboat rides, paddle boats, mackinaw fishing). Please consult your Goldfish Properties @ Lake Tahoe welcome packet for more ideas and information. Or give us a call at (800) 948-7311.