Day Trip, South Lake Tahoe
For those of you leaving California on the way to fabulous Lake Tahoe, I would suggest taking the highway 50 route as apposed to the 80. The 80 is more of the major 4 lane freeway to get you up and over the hills quickly to your destination, but you will pass a few good spots to stop and site see, mainly rest stops.
If you take the 50 route, it is only a two lane freeway for most of the trip through the mountains, but you will have plenty more sights to see, and more smaller shops and restaurants along the way, seeing more small towns where EVERYONE is nice along the way. If you would like to stop for lunch somehwere, I suggest (wouldnt think of it normally) stopping at a small sushi spot, "Sheila Sushi" in a town called "Camino". Better than any sushi I have had in the city, and you wont find it if you dont know its there. Its nesseled between the towns of Folsom and Placerville.
Once you have passed all these little towns with all the good sites, you are in for a good 45 minutes of perfect beautiful landscapes until you get over the last hill and see the lake right in front of you.
While we were driving around a bit, we came upon many trails that provided some of the best scenery during our trip.
The trail heads were not marked so I can't really say where exactly they were located, but you will come across them just by simply driving around the lake.
You just have to drive a few miles in any direction to see a incredible sight.
Nevada Beach is a pebble beach with great views. We stayed here a bit longer that expected just to take in the sights.
This beach is located a few miles east of S. Lake Tahoe on HW50.
A short drive away and a world apart. Leave all the commercial sprawl behind and visit the north shore. Plenty of skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, far less crowds and beautiful views unspolied by fast food restaurants and high rise casinos blocking the view of the lake.
The north shore is about an hour's drive from South Lake Tahoe. Take the west side route and allow plenty of time to visit Emerald Bay and to enjoy the state parks along the way.
Before the Nugget Casino in Reno went for the mega-casino-highrise look that is popular these days, this figure was one of 5 that were atop of the old casino. The owner of the neighboring Chocolate Factory bought this guy and moved him to their property. He's in bad shape: holes from purposeful damage and fading from many years in the sun. He's over 2 stories tall and really stands out among the lower buildings along this rural stretch of road.
Of course, we readily noted an .... um ... anatomical anomaly of this gent. But we still lke him (or her).
Of course, since you are there anyways - stopping in to the Chocolate Factory for a little munchie is also in order ;) Their hand dipped chocolate covered icecream is divine .......huge and divine .... *sigh*
Location:611 US Hwy 395 N., Washoe Valley, NV
Outside the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory. Southbound side of US 395, near the north end of Washoe Lake, midway between Reno and Carson City.
These natural hot springs are a favorite getaway. Less than an hour from South Lake Tahoe, these springs a great for just soaking. There are good hiking trails as well.
Located in an alpine meadow just outside the town of Markleeville. Follow Highway 89 to Markleeville, then follow the signs.
A STRENUOUS and MAGNIFCENT summer or winter hike up 9,770 foot Mt.. Tallac famous for the "cross" formation below its tip. (Base is at 6,225 feet). In winter the cross fills with snow and extremely twisted people launch skis off the summit and ski the cross into the bowls below. A good 6 hour round trip trek in the summer. Look up more detail in a Lake Tahoe guidebook or adventure website. See the big blue from way up above.
But I can only find one picture of Sacramento where we stopped on the way back to San Jose. So I thought I'd put it here. It was really hot that day and most people in the old town were moving quickly from store to store to keep cool.
One interesting town to visit, while in this area, is Virginia city, in the state of Nevada. Aproximately 30 miles (48 kms) east of Lake Tahoe. This was a bustling mining town of 30,000 people in the 1860's and 1870's. This will give you an insight into what a real NorthAmerican western town, looked like and it is not the 'Hollywood version'.
Snowboarding in the Freshies!! Make sure that you hit the Mott canyon chutes on a fresh powder day :) Will leave you smiling all day!!!