How to Spend a Wonderful Winter Weekend in Lake Tahoe

Oh, how I love Lake Tahoe! Brad and I usually visit a few times a year – once in the summer, once in the winter and if we’re lucky, once in the fall, but I dream about it year round. About a three and a half  hour drive from Oakland, Tahoe is a gorgeous destination for a long weekend. Our favorite place to stay is South Lake Tahoe, at the Lakeshore Lodge and Spa. We love the deck, fireplace, hot tub, pool, and perfect lakefront views. This trip we stayed at The Hard Rock Hotel as a free holiday through the Kars 4 Kids program, so we mainly stayed around Heavenly Village.

Here are some of our favorite things to do for a fabulous winter holiday:

Go for a hike and breathe in the breathtaking views:

Lake Tahoe Hike
Beautiful views, beautiful Tahoe

Hikes are gorgeous and plentiful in Lake Tahoe! We drove straight to Heavenly and chose a trail at Van Sickle National Park. We used the All Trails app.

Hiking Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Hike

Have some lunch at Heavenly Village: we like California Burger Company. Grab a place by the outdoor fire pits, order a happy hour boozy slushie (I highly recommend the Cherry Limeade),  a gourmet burger with onion rings, and if you’re lucky soak up the sun! Enjoy the live music and views of the surrounding snow topped mountains. The bustling, joyous atmosphere can’t be beat.

Outdoor Fire Pits Heavenly Village
Enjoying the sunshine and vibes at the outdoor fire pits at Heavenly

Go snowshoeing! Rent your gear from Rip N Willies, Choose one of the many gorgeous trails, marvel at the sprawling cabins along the road on the drive up, and enjoy sweeping views with almost no people! Hiking through the glittering snow, the scent of pine in the air, fresh stag prints in the snow, and the panoramic views was incredibly peaceful. We had glorious weather – sunny and about 50 degrees in January. Aside: snowshoeing really takes it out of you. Brad swears our trip was only 3 miles, but it felt like at least 6! Tip: The earlier, the better for a hike.

Gorgeous hiking views south Tahoe
Breaktime! Taking in the gorgeous views, while dreaming about breakfast at the Driftwood Cafe!

Brie Tahoe Snowshoeing

We've got this! Snowshoeing with Brad
We’re going on an adventure!
Stag prints in snow south Tahoe
Fresh stag prints ❤

Sweeping views south Tahoe Winter

Grab  a fantastic breakfast at The Driftwood Cafe. Homey, cozy cafe with super friendly staff at Heavenly Village. Serves brekkie until 3pm. We woke up early, went snowshoeing and then for pancakes. It was a perfect day!

Breakfast time Driftwood Cafe

Nightlife: Lounge by the fire pits, enjoy some live music at Basecamp Pizza and check out one of the bustling eateries at Heavenly Village. We like Azul for the vibrant scene and shrimp fajita bowls. We also really like McDuff’s – a rustic scottish pub in South Lake serving comfort pub food with a chill vibe.

Wine by the fire Tahoe
Flickering flames, bubbles and perfect winter vibes. How’s that for a wine pour?!

Alpine Union – Bar outside of Hard Rock cafe with patio and expansive fire pits. We swear we saw Fitz & The Tantrums performing here one year, before they were famous!

Fire Pits at Alpine Union Lake Tahoe
Alpine Union’s expansive fire pits ❤

Check out the listings for cabins for sale and drive around dreaming about living in Tahoe year round!

Final notes: Winter trips to Tahoe are a completely different experience to summer. Summer holidays all about enjoying the glittering, cerulean lake, swimming in the refreshingly frigid, take your breath away water, hiking one of the many glorious trails, picnics, and lounging on a deck sipping your drink of choice while the sun sets magenta and fire orange over the mountains. I plan to write about a summer Tahoe getaway in an upcoming post.

More Tahoe Pics:

 

How to Spend a Weekend Getaway in Gualala

Oh, St. Orres in Gualala! We have been visiting this Russian themed Inn with rustic cabins on the northern California coast for seven years. Good friend’s told us about this place, and we haven’t looked back since. We recently spent a long weekend at the Rose Cottage in December for my birthday. St. Orres is impossibly romantic and relaxing.

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Glorious AF

We usually stay at the Rose cottage, a beautiful cabin with fire place, deck, a view of the sea and unbelievably comfy beds. Breakfast is delivered to your door each morning, to be enjoyed in bed. Rosemary, the on site chef usually serves fresh fruit and homemade coconut granola, ginger bread and a creamy veggie quiche. Nibbling breakfast and sipping hot coffee in the plush bed, while listening to the crackling fire and taking in the sea views is the most relaxing and luxurious experience.

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View from the cottage

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Sweeping views about 10 minute walk from the cottage
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B ❤ B. Gualala styles!
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View from the living room

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Homemade brekkie

They also have a beautiful secluded beach about a ten minute walk down the road, with sweeping sea views along the hike, and a hot tub. We like to jump in the hot tub around sun set for a leisurely soak with views of the sea.

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I am such a sucker for a sun setting over the water

Gualala has a four start restaurant in their atrium, which is lovely, but we like meals at the bar best of all. Surrounded by wood paneling and stained glass windows the bar is gorgeous. St. Orres serves the world’s best basil martinis, you can smell the muddled mint on the air as the bartender strides by, and they serve yummy bar bites, such as coconut shrimp, chili relleno, shrimp quesadillas, mussels in wine, great fries and aioli.

 

We have also stayed at the Wildflower lodge – a smaller cabin with a literal deck in the redwoods and Sequoia, a gorgeous expansive cabin with deck, sea views and a sunk in Japanese tub.

More Gualala Pics:

 

*Note: In the spirit of honesty, I will say we had a few disappointments this time around. The fireplace in the Rose Cottage was out of order, and lounging in front of the crackling fireplace reading books and listening to the sound of the ocean crashing against the shores is one of the main draws of the cabin. We spoke to Rosemary the owner about it, hoping that she would comp us a night or at least a meal because we have been visiting this place for the past seven years, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries but instead she was aggressive and quite off putting. Then, the last evening I got food poisoning. I think, sadly enough, this will be our last trip to Gualala. But, we do have some gorgeous, magical memories!