Extending your stay on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore: Part One

by SierraMerril

07 24, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When a conference at Stanford Sierra Conference Center ends, I always hear people say “I wish I could spend more time in  Tahoe!” While some people may have no choice but to get back to work, school, family or other commitments, I recommend adding an extra two days to your trip and spending some time on Tahoe’s South Shore if you can.

Tahoe’s South Shore has an abundance of hikes, restaurants, lodging options, scenic spots and entertainment for adults and families. I love having visitors in town so I can show them my favorite spots. Stay tuned for ‘Part Two’ of this blog post with suggestions for family activities and scenic spots!

South Shore hikes are a short drive away from Fallen Leaf Lake.

Even with a storm rolling in, the views from Van Sickle Bi-State Park are beautiful.

Hiking on Tahoe’s South Shore

Van Sickle Bi-State Park: Straddling California and Nevada, Van Sickle Bi-State Park has great hiking right in town. You’ll find the entrance to the park behind the casinos and just beneath the Heavenly Gondola. Almost any hike from Van Sickle gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to views. From the parking lot, walking just 10-15 minutes gives you a view of town and the lake. The trail gets steep on the way to a waterfall, which is about 30 minutes in, but the trail is well-maintained with plenty of places to pull over for a water break. It is just over 3.5 miles to the  junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail. Adventurous hikers can continue on this trail.

Kahle Meadow Walk: If you’d like to get outside for an easy walk, or if you’ve got kids in tow, walking through the Kahle Meadow to Nevada Beach might be a great spot for you! Park at the corner of Highway 50 and Kahle Drive in Stateline, NV. Walk through a beautiful meadow on a paved trail until you reach the campground or Elks Point Drive. To get to the beach, turn left and loop through Nevada Beach and back to the meadow.

The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The Tahoe Rim Trail (leaving from Kingsbury Grade toward Spooner Summit): Looking for a longer hike? This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) starts at almost 8,000 ft. but doesn’t gain much more elevation in the 14.2-mile stretch between Kingsbury Grade and Spooner Summit. The trail is wooded for the first part, then opens up with amazing lake views. You can venture as far as you’d like down the trail before turning around, or you can park a car at Spooner Summit and drive back to Kingsbury if you’re feeling up to hiking the whole section! To get to the TRT, turn left off of Kingsbury Grade on to North Benjamin Drive and continue to Andria Drive through a residential area until you reach a parking lot on your left and the trailhead for the TRT.

Restaurants on Tahoe’s South Shore

There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the South Shore. My favorite lunch spot is Tahoe Keys Cafà ƒ © near the Y intersection. The sweet potato sandwich is awesome! The portions are generous and you can take it to go, or eat it outside at one of their tables. This is also a great breakfast spot with coffee, smoothies, breakfast burritos and sandwiches. Thai One On is a small Thai restaurant on the other side of town off of Kingsbury Grade. The food is tasty, affordable and comes out quickly! They even have outdoor seating if it’s a warm summer night. MacDuff’s is a great spot to meet friends for a drink and pub fare in South Lake Tahoe. Right off of Highway 50 by the bowling alley, MacDuff’s has an extensive beer menu and their truffle macaroni and cheese is amazing. Looking for dinner with a view? Try Riva Grill or the Beacon Bar and Grill. Both have waterfront dining, great drinks and snacks, and full dinner menus.

These hikes should keep you busy while in town and the restaurants should leave you feeling satisfied! Check back later for a list of scenic spots and fun family activities!


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