“Simple” is often defined as “not complex or complicated”; almost childlike. In our fast-paced world, the return of simplicity is appealing. When you turn off the Blackberry or iPod and ditch the laptop, it’s possible to rejoice in some simple pleasures while in Lake Tahoe. Start the day with a simple sunrise over Lake Tahoe. Find a beach, a boulder or a bench, and absorb the colors of the day. It’s a quiet time, a time of reflection, of thought, of planning for the day. It’s a time of discovery: a bird’s squawk, the drip of an icicle, the soft ripple across the water. It’s the delight of a child at finding a goose nesting in the bushes, or the track of a raccoon across the sand. It’s a new beginning—a Lake Tahoe morning. Sometimes happiness is as simple as wind in your hair. Whether you’re racing down the slopes or careening down a single track, the wind in your hair ignites the sensation of freedom—of letting loose and letting go. Lake Tahoe abounds with “wind-in-your-hair” escapes: a sailing trip across the lake, a bungee flight into the sky, skiing or snowboarding on a groomed piste, tumultuous tubing or sledding, a slide across an outdoor ice rink, a road bike ride around the lake, even a hike along the Rim Trail. The simple pleasures of a simple day at Lake Tahoe are too many to list. Sharing a meal with a friend or a hot tub under the stars, finding the perfect gift, taking an afternoon float along the river, catching a crawdad with a hot dog, listening to music float across the water, having a giggle or two with friends—it’s a simple day at the lake. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. With a shoreline stretching 72 miles around the lake, it graces two states—California and Nevada. The average depth of the lake is 989 feet, with the deepest part at 1,645 feet. If you were to empty the lake, its waters would cover the state of California to 14 inches with more than 39 trillion gallons of water. Providing a color palette that mimics the sky, Lake Tahoe’s clarity varies but can reach a depth of more than 75 feet. At an elevation of 6,225 feet, this high altitude lake ranks number two among the highest major lakes in the world. Nightlife Whether you want to spend some time under the stars or want star treatment, Tahoe will satisfy. From a dip in the hot tub to a dip on the dance floor, Tahoe’s varied nightlife suits all tastes. Tahoe’s abundant sports activities may take the skip out of your stride. What better way to rejuvenate and re-energize than a relaxing late-night dip in the resort’s year-round heated swimming pool or jet spa? Enjoy a cocktail under the stars, cuddle up next to the outdoor fire pit or just take a deep breath of the intoxicating mountain air. If nighttime activity is in your stars, Tahoe’s got the action. Roll the dice at the resort’s 20,000-square-foot Grand Lodge Casino. From blackjack and roulette to a pull on a slot machine, you can try your luck 24 hours a day. Live entertainment in Cutthroat’s Saloon can range from a folk guitarist to a bluesy trio. Or head over to the lakeside Lone Eagle Grille for some appetizers and exciting live music on weekends. You’ll find countless nightlife choices. From a quiet après-ski cocktail next to a stone fireplace to a laughter-filled party over margaritas, entertainment abounds. In Nevada, the party goes on all night long! With more than 100 restaurants, bars and clubs around the lake, choices are unlimited. Après-ski, once a reward for a hard-earned day on the slopes, has morphed to mean happy hour cocktails and appetizers for all snow revelers. Don’t stop there, as there are plenty of unique dining venues for all tastes. Gourmet or casual, ethnic or American, at the bar or in a booth, you can sample a variety of fare. Afterwards, you can dance the night away at one of the numerous dance clubs with live entertainment or an inspired DJ. Want something a little less strenuous? Try your hand at darts or pool, or join the fun at a karaoke bar. For something a little less ordinary, try an evening cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II, a colorful paddle wheel replica. Or hit the South Shore for a Vegas-style show, complete with sequined chorus girls and comedic entertainment, or a headline concert. Local musicians mingle with headline entertainers. Shopping Shopping, once an afternoon diversion, now ranks as a prime activity in the Tahoe area. Browsing for sports equipment, unique gifts or mountain décor is possible within a short distance of the hotel. Several shops, malls and outlets dot the Tahoe region. For Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe guests, a stop at the lobby Sports Shop is a must. It houses a wide selection of sports equipment and accessories, plus souvenir items. Forgot something? Check out the Lobby Gift and Sundry Shop to replenish your supply of toothpaste and magazines, or pick up a quick snack or souvenir. For sports enthusiasts, Tahoe’s selection of high-end sports equipment is unmatched. From ski to bike shops, there’s a specialty store for every adventure. Tahoe has the highest concentration of top-ranked ski shops in the nation; several have consistently earned Ski magazine’s Gold Medal, indicating superb service and training. Looking for a quick buying trip close to the hotel? Check out Incline’s Christmas Tree Village Shopping Center for a collection of artsy artifacts and, of course, Christmas décor. An Incline Village landmark, the village houses a gallery with local artists’ work on display, a souvenir store offering Tahoe memorabilia and a jewelry store, plus holiday collectibles. Other Incline shopping includes craft shops and galleries. West of Incline Village, Tahoe City presents the largest selection of shopping venues. Boatworks Mall, adjacent to the lake, features a selection of art, games, books, jewelry, footwear and sunglasses. Over at the Cobblestone Center, you’ll find fine linens, cookware, rustic home décor and sumptuous chocolates. The Tahoe City Marina mall features a large selection of marine supplies, high-end sportswear and fine galleries. At Squaw Valley, the Village introduces a wide collection of boutiques and international brands. For the hottest fashions or body beauty, discovering the Village is a shopper’s dream. Handmade candles grace the panoramic windows alongside a doggie bakery. Children’s stuffed animals come in various Lake Tahoe hues. Handmade Tahoe Crafts, designer sunglasses and a wide selection of California wines will satisfy choosy shoppers. Enjoy the Village’s frequent entertainment in the courtyard overlooking Squaw Valley’s slopes. Not far from the resort is the historic town of Truckee. With its Old West architecture dating back to the late 1800s, discovering the wide variety of eclectic shops and restaurants makes for an interesting excursion. On Truckee’s main street you’ll find Commercial Row, a collection of trendy shops, art galleries and small bistros. Find that hard-to-locate copper pot or a handmade dream catcher. Browse through a collection of stained glass or designer pet wear. Check out the variety store’s shelves for a toy car, greeting card or even some penny candy. How about an antique train set, an Alpaca rug or the perfect shade of yarn for Grandma’s sweater? Ideal for holiday or gift giving, Truckee’s Commercial Row has a selection of unusual items that you won’t find at the mall. If bargains are what you’re after, check out the Tahoe Truckee Factory Stores. Just down the road from Commercial Row, at Citizen’s Bank Plaza, you’ll find brand-name merchandise at considerable discounts. Buy some lingerie, stock up on footwear or get the perfect tie for Father’s Day. On the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, you’ll find Factory Stores at the Y, offering factory-direct, first-quality buys on men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, gifts, housewares, jewelry and more. Savings are huge on many brand-name items. Northstar-at-Tahoe’s new village offers yet another shopping diversion. Edgy and chic, the village’s trendy boutiques offer upscale and unique apparel, sportswear, outdoor wear, children’s styles and even pet wear. From funky glasses to self-made bead jewelry, there’s a style for every shopper. In summer, Tahoe is abuzz with craft fairs and art festivals. Cruise the outdoor booths for unique handmade crafts and baubles or catch an art show for local artists’ works depicting Lake Tahoe or the Sierra Nevada. Real Estate Who hasn’t dreamed of making Tahoe their home? You spend a week and start browsing real estate magazines, and then before you know it you’re convinced you have to make the leap to full- or parttime residency. You aren’t alone. More and more visitors are spending at least part of their time in the Tahoe region. For good reason: Besides the unparalleled beauty of the lake and mountains, Tahoe offers up a tantalizing variety of desirable amenities. Fine dining, cultural events, gaming, shopping and nonstop nightlife are but a few. Factor in Tahoe’s sunshine and change of seasons, and you’ve got an enviable playground. Paradise doesn’t come cheap, but there’s a property for everyone. Whether it’s a rustic cabin or panoramic lakefront, a palatial mansion or a small condo, there are plenty of properties to choose from. Development around the lake is limited. There are only so many allotted areas for new construction in the lake’s basin, but additional development is scheduled for outlying areas, including the Northstar and Truckee regions. Expect to see more expanded resort villages, vacation and golf developments, as well as condo and shared ownership offerings. Property in the Tahoe Basin is in limited supply. The TRPA (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency) has set limits on new development. Limited supply means demand continues to rise, even in uncertain economic times. Homeowners have experienced significant yield on Tahoe properties, even when surrounding regions’ sales have remained flat. With a solid real estate appreciation market, Lake Tahoe’s average and median home prices remain solid. Another trend that has created new demand is an increase in remodeled and upgraded properties. Summer cabins are getting new facades, increased square footage and updated kitchens and baths, transforming them into year-round vacation getaways. Vacation rental ownership is also on the rise. Young families, baby boomers and even young singles see the benefit of owning a piece of paradise in the mountains. With year-round recreational and entertainment activities, the lake is a playground for any age. Factor in more golf courses, updated ski amenities, upscale shopping villages and fine dining, and the region gets more attractive by the day. Potential buyers have many options, anywhere from one-week time-shares to shared ownership opportunities. On the rise, shared ownership gives buyers the value of owning vacation real estate, without the huge investment of buying a highend property outright. The trend is for more properties to come to market as shared ownership opportunities (most are from one-twelfth to one-fourth shares). Should you decide you just have to own a piece of paradise, there are several real estate offices available to help you find the perfect property. Ask your broker to discuss the advantages of the California and Nevada sides of the lake, with their differing tax laws. Dining Whether you are looking for a quick meal or a dining adventure, Tahoe’s broad selection of experiences will please any palate and budget. Lake Tahoe’s dining venues—from lakefront patios to restaurants at 8,000 feet—offer as much variety as the food itself. Take a cable car up the mountain for an incredible look at Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountain peaks. Dine alfresco under the stars. Grab a bagel sandwich and sit under a pine tree. Dine by candlelight at an Old Tahoe cabin. Savor some wild game next to the raging Truckee River. Catch the sunset over light appetizers. Devour homemade pasta next to a rock fireplace. Take a break from snow sliding to enjoy a barbecue next to the slopes. Exciting dining experiences are around every corner. Factor in the fine food, and your adventure really begins. Transplanted and visiting chefs land in the enviable Tahoe area, attracted by its beauty, abundant sports activities and growing cosmopolitan clientele. It’s not unusual to encounter a chef on sabbatical from France or the Napa Valley, honing his or her skills at a small bistro next to the slopes. Fine restaurants are sprouting up around the lake at a fast pace, while established locales are receiving facelifts. Pairing the finest seasonal ingredients with the freshest fish and game, local chefs have taken Tahoe’s eclectic cuisine a step higher. No dining experience is complete without the marriage of fine wine with sumptuous cuisine. Tahoe’s access to California’s extensive wineries adds a special dimension to fine dining. Feel like staying close to the resort? Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe’s restaurants offer a variety of options, ranging from a quick cup of soup and a burger at the Sierra Café to an elegantly prepared prime rib at the award-winning Lone Eagle Grille. Getting Around Local transportation via shuttle bus accesses the major points around the lake, and connects to various ski resorts and regional shuttles. But if you want to venture off the beaten path, to really see all that the Tahoe region has to offer, you’ll appreciate having a car at your disposal. A Hertz car rental office is available in the resort’s lobby to assist guests with auto rental needs. Several automobile options are available for daily or weekly rental. Choose an SUV or four-wheel drive to combat winter obstacles, or opt for a classic convertible for summertime cruising. If you’re looking for someone else to pilot your adventure, limousines, taxis and, in winter, ski shuttles, are available. In summer, try a trolley excursion with on/off privileges. Airport shuttles are also available. In addition, the resort’s concierge can easily arrange tours around the lake and to nearby attractions such as the California Gold Country, the old silver mining town of Virginia City and Nevada’s historic capital, Carson City. Tammie Thompson’s ideal day involves a morning paddle on Lake Tahoe, an afternoon lounge chair on the sand and an evening cocktail at the pier to watch the moon rise over the mountains. A freelance writer and publisher of the Kidz ‘n’ Fun family of online publications, Tammie lives in Truckee, California with her husband, two children, Lola, a Bernese Mountain Dog, and Elvis, a mountain mutt.
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