Saturday, June 27, 2009

Things to do in South Tahoe this summer

South Lake Tahoe summer savings meet family budgeTS day in, night out

“Priceless” Memories Await Families Visiting Nation’s No. 1 Destination
(South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev.) – Lake Tahoe, the nation’s No. 1 travel destination (Orbitz, 2008) and “backyard destination” to several nearby metro areas is within reach for value-conscious Americans this summer.

South Lake Tahoe’s ( one-of-a-kind attractions create “priceless” memories, particularly when paired with free activities available throughout the area. And travel savings are helping families experience trips beyond “staycations”. Gas prices are anticipated to be 41 percent lower than last season’s national average and air fares into Reno/Tahoe International Airport are as low as $49 from Oakland, San Jose and Las Vegas, and $79 from Los Angeles on Southwest Airlines (

Here are several ideas for pairing priceless Tahoe experiences with free – or next to free – activities to create an ideal Day In, Night Out:

Priceless Experience #1: Zipping with Value
Whether it’s by air, land or water, South Lake Tahoe has a plethora of activities for recreational to extreme outdoor enthusiasts. This summer, visitors can experience a 525 foot drop, on an elevated zip line ride that propels riders at 50 mph over tree tops with an eagle’s view of Lake Tahoe on the Heavenly Flyer. The zipline is the longest in the continental U.S. at 3,300 feet.

When you need to get your feet back on the ground, try a scenic hike. There are more than 300 miles of trails to choose from featuring the pristine natural beauty of Tahoe’s mountain and meadow terrain. Easy, moderate and difficult excursions are available throughout the basin. Popular trails include Tahoe Rim Trail, Mt. Tallac/Glen Alpine Trail, Cascade Falls, Heavenly Gondola or Angora Lake.

Priceless Experience #2: Rockin’ Deals
South Lake Tahoe’s six casinos – MontBleu, Harveys, Harrah’s, Horizon, Bill’s and Lakeside Inn are the ideal venue for new-found vim and vigor, with the latest in 24-hour gaming, cabaret shows, live music, night clubs and headline entertainment. And most offer restaurants and entertainment discounts as members of free players’ club. Harveys Outdoor Concert Series venue combined with comfortable mountain temperatures and fresh air make for a memorable concert experience and a perfect opportunity to rock out under the stars. The summer line-up includes Wilco, June 28; San Francisco Blues Festival presents “Blues at The Lake”, July 11; REO/Styx, July 17; Kenny Chesney, July 29; Earth Wind & Fire with Chicago, Aug. 1; Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Aug. 16; Toby Keith, Aug. 30 and Chickenfoot: Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith and Michael Anthony, Sept. 5. Details: 1-800-HARRAHS, or
Headliner entertainment sounds even better when combined with free or discounted live music at favorite nightlife hotspots, including music on the beach at The Beacon Bar & Grill at Camp Richardson Resort & Marina, Riva Grill and Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa; reggae, rock and hip hop shows at Whiskey Dicks Saloon along with an eclectic mix of reggae, rap, funk and blue grass at The Divided Sky and Mo’s Place. Mc P’s Pub Tahoe features live local bands, a line-up of draft beers (including seasonal local brews from the Mt. Tallac Brewing Company) and no cover charge. Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Harveys also has live music and dancing without a cover charge. The Tudor Pub and Rojo’s offer great ambiance, live music, DJs and karaoke.

Priceless Experience #3: Fish Out of Water
When visiting Lake Tahoe it’s hard to resist its tempting blue waters. Round Hill Pines Beach & Marina-H2O Sports, Camp Richardson Resort & Marina, Zephyr Cove Marina, Ski Run Boat Company, Action Watersports and Tahoe Keys Boat & Charter Rentals offer various boating activities including water skis, wave runners, kayaks and pedal boats, as well as fishing tours, charters on yachts, sailboats, parasails and sternwheeler sightseeing cruises on the Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II.

To create an even more memorable day on the water, travelers can combine boating activities with family-friendly fishing. The Tahoe Trout Farm does not require a license and the owners will even provide bait and tackle as well as clean the fish you catch. Areas within the Tahoe Basin offer a license for just $15. In addition, the Taylor Creek Visitor Center is the hub for many interactive self-guided tours with hiking trails surrounding the area providing opportunities to view and learn about wildlife. The Stream Profile Chamber has served as the primary attraction at the Forest Service Visitor Center complex at Taylor Creek since it was constructed in 1968.

Priceless Experience #4: Tee It UpVisitors looking to tee it up will find 45 courses within a 90-minute drive of South Lake Tahoe. The 6,300-foot elevation gives golfers an extra boost – about 10 percent – on each shot.

South Lake Tahoe courses include Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, the site of the American Century Championship, recognized in years past in Golf Digest’s Top 100. Located in a mountain meadow surrounded by the High Sierra, the championship18-hole Lake Tahoe Golf Course is centrally located while Bijou Municipal Golf Course offers a beginner-friendly 9-hole, par 33 course with pro shop and rentals.

A build-your-own picnic from local grocery stores and delis, such as Sprouts Natural Café, Grass Roots Natural Foods, The Cork & More and The Pizzeria can be paired with a day of golf. After a picnic visitors can stroll around any of South Shore’s famous beaches, or four major shopping areas, The Shops at Heavenly Village, The Village Center, Ski Run Marina and The Factory Stores at the Y.

Priceless Experience #5: Pamper and Pedal
Relax and decompress with massage therapies, reflexology, aromatherapy, holistic skin treatments and hair and nail care. The area has several day spas and fitness centers for a day of indulging and replenishing, including the new Integrated Wellness Center and Spa, Onsen, Body Essentials, Elements, Waters and A Massage at Tahoe. For a complete list visit

Pair the pampering with adventurous scenic bike rides. Shoreline Ski & Sports, Sierra Ski & Cycle Works, Camp Richardson Mountain Sports Center or Anderson’s Bike Rentals can provide recommendations based on riders’ abilities and have deals on wheels for the entire family. Two paved bike paths offer a leisurely ride well suited to families. The Pope-Baldwin Bike Path is relatively smooth and flat and meanders around Historic Camp Richardson, the Tallac Historic Site, and Fallen Leaf Lake. The South Lake Tahoe Bike Path runs through town, beginning at El Dorado Beach and crossing both Trout Creek and the Upper Truckee River.

Priceless Experience #6: Dining on the Lake
No trip to South Lake Tahoe is complete without checking out the stunning lake views accompanied with the local fare. Popular places to soak in views of South Shore and enjoy haute cuisine include 19 Kitchen • Bar atop Harveys, Beacon Bar & Grill, Blue Water Bistro, Chart House, Edgewood Restaurant, Fresh Ketch, Freshies, Riva Grill and Zephyr Cove Lodge. Grab your camera and take in a free breathtaking sunset at any of the lakefront view restaurants or along the beaches.

Priceless Experience #7: Saddle Up, Settle Down
Families can connect with nature by saddling up at Zephyr Cove Stables or Camp Richardson Corral for a horseback riding tour through varied terrain, offering different vantage points of Lake Tahoe. Also, the ultimate way to reconnect to nature is camping. Lake Tahoe has a variety of offerings from cabins and lodges, to RV parks, campgrounds and state parks. Among visitors favorites are Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove RV Park and Campground, Tahoe Valley Campground and Campground by the Lake. Pair the great outdoors with the Valhalla Arts and Music Festival, film nights, classical chamber music concerts, theatre productions and art galleries inside the Valhalla Boathouse Theater or Valhalla Estates starting at $5. For a complete summer schedule visit

For information about lodging packages, headliner entertainment, summer activities and events, visit The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is on Twitter:, for real time updates on events, promotions, conditions and what’s happening in South Lake Tahoe.

For information about South Shore Lake Tahoe, contact the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority at 1-800-AT-TAHOE (1-800-288-2463) or

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