Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States. “Alpine,” meaning it is nestled high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is surrounded by thousands of miles of forests, wildlife and fresh mountain air. This unique fresh-water lake is also one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country, and every view of the lake is nothing less than breathtaking. Sitting directly on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is best known for its world-class ski resorts and casinos, but also offers a multitude of exciting, fun and relaxing things to experience, and unlimited places to explore during any time of the year. Youtuber Here Be Barr (Jon Barr) recently stayed at a Wander Lake Tahoe vacation rental during an October trip to Lake Tahoe. He and his wife share about their stay at the Wander vacation rental at Lake Tahoe and highlight some of the best things to do and their favorite places to eat.
Jon Barr and his wife, Adriana, stayed at Wander’s Slopes House for their Lake Tahoe vacation. This Wander property is situated on a mountain resort with panoramic views of the lake, where during the winter you can ski right down to the ski lifts. Its ultra-modern rustic style boasts super high-tech amenities, not the least of which is its very own Tesla electric car for your convenience. The house is roomy enough to accommodate two families comfortably and includes a hot tub, games, huge seating and dining areas, large TVs and pre-stocked complimentary drinks. Temperatures, lights and doors can be controlled from the Wander app., not to mention very fast WiFi. The Barr’s Wander home is conveniently located and allowed them to get an authentic feel for Lake Tahoe and its beautiful sights during their visit.
One must-do activity very accessible from the Wander Lake Tahoe vacation home is to hike along the Rubicon Trail, walking through the forest along the shore of Tahoe. Barr claims that it is one of the most scenic hikes in the state of California, providing a continuous stream of vistas of the clear-blue high-mountain lake. It is an easy hike and a great start to the day.
A favorite and unique place to grab breakfast in South Lake Tahoe is Glazed and Confused Tahoe Donut, offering coffee, fun donuts and a variety of other breakfast selections. But what really makes Glazed and Confused memorable is their array of unexpectedly delicious donut pairings, such as a fried chicken sandwich with glazed donuts as the bun.
To get a real feel for Lake Tahoe, the Barrs recommend getting out on the lake itself. Many options are available, including kayaking and paddle-boarding. But Jon and Adriana chose a chartered boat tour with Captain Bryan from Tahoe By Design. Boating on Lake Tahoe provides a completely different perspective of the lake than from viewing the lake from the shore. It also allows you to gain an appreciation for the sheer size and depth of the freshwater lake.
Emerald Bay State Park, arguably the most popular place to visit in Lake Tahoe, has a beautiful overlook of Emerald Bay and of Fannette Island right in the middle of the bay. This spot allows for some of the best views Lake Tahoe has to offer. From Emerald Bay State Park, a short one-mile hike down to the lakeshore leads to Vikingsholm, a unique home built in 1929 that serves as one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the region. During Lake Tahoe’s peak season, Vikingsholm is open for tours, but it is also a neat place to explore in general, especially if you’re interested in architecture.
Near Emerald Bay State Park, Himmel Haus offers authentic German dishes and a selection of beer in an alpine-style environment, complete with a fireplace. Barr described Himmel Haus as “German beer hall meets classic Lake Tahoe restaurant.” The menu includes selections like Elk Curry Wurst and Chicken Schnitzel, great for a hearty dinner after a day of exploring.
Sand Harbor is located on the eastern, Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. It’s a popular place for warmer-weather recreational activities, such as swimming, kayaking, fishing and scuba diving. But the harbor offers stunning views of the lake with a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains during any season.
Farther north is the mountain town of Truckee, established in 1863 with historic, pioneering roots. Truckee offers many opportunities for shopping, exploring and dining in some of its many eateries. Two classic Truckee restaurants are Jax At The Tracks, an old-school diner well-known for its delicious breakfast, and Burger Me!, with burgers that have been rated one of the best in the United States. Both have been featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. The Bars say their meals lived up to the restaurants’ reputation. Also in Truckee is the Truckee River Legacy Trail, a 10.6-mile, paved biking path along the Truckee River. Traditional and e-bikes can be rented from Bike Truckee for an easy bike tour with scenic views and fresh mountain air on what Barr calls one of the best biking trails in the entire Tahoe area.
Village at Palisades Tahoe is located in North Tahoe at the foot of the Palisades Tahoe ski resort (previously Squaw Valley), where the 1960 Winter Olympics were held. The village has many shops and restaurants to explore, along with a huge Aerial Tram, a ski tram that offers rides during most seasons with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountain forests. Dinner at Auld Dubliner, an Irish pub and restaurant, is perfect for capping off a long day outside in chillier weather. The pub features traditional Irish fare, like Shepard’s Pie and Beef stew.
Jon and Adriana finished their trip with a hike on the Stateline Fire Lookout Trail, a hidden gem of North Lake Tahoe. The trail crosses into Nevada and ends in California at a look out high above the lake. It’s a paved trail with a steeper incline, and is a great hike if you’re looking for a little bit of a workout. It’s also a trail with a lot of history, as the Fire Lookout Station operated from the trail from 1936 to 2002.
Jon and Adriana of Here Be Barr explored just a few of the many opportunities at Lake Tahoe, ate at a variety of classic restaurants and took in breathtaking views hiking, boating and just relaxing at their vacation rental house by Wander. They described their Wander experience as top-notch, and were able to enjoy a fun and memorable trip to beautiful Lake Tahoe.