Girls’ Getaway in South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe was the perfect location for a friend’s recent bachelorette party. Granted, I think it would also be the perfect location for a romantic couples retreat, a family vacation, or any other reason to get away—if what you’re looking for is a mountain hideout with a variety of outdoor activities and dining options. My group of eight 20-something women wanted a day by the beach and a night out on the town—and of course ways to celebrate our beautiful bride-to-be along the way.
My trip began with a one-hour flight from Los Angeles to the Mineta San Jose International Airport, where I joined my girls for the four-hour drive to Tahoe. Though it was a fairly easy trip to the mountains, there’s quite the windy road leading up the Sierra Nevadas so I recommend making the drive during daylight hours if possible.
Our lodging for the weekend was a cabin off State Route 89, which was owned by the family of one of the members of our party. The house was set on a quiet street, away from traffic noise and disruptive neighbors. We made a grocery store run and cooked most of our meals while in town, which I enjoyed since it meant we spent more quality time together and less money in the process. Tahoe South has vacation rentals available if you’re looking for that cabin experience, and visitors can also stay anywhere from campgrounds to bed and breakfasts to casino resorts.
When we weren’t eating at the cabin, we were able to find some great local restaurants to enjoy. Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza was perfect for lunch, with a menu of pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. There are two locations in Tahoe—one at Raley’s Village Center and the other at Sierra Boulevard and Highway 50—that host happy hour and other specials throughout the week.
For dinner, we needed a place with good food, a great setting, and a mid-range price. We found it at Brooks’ Bar & Deck at Edgewood Tahoe, which has a gorgeous view overlooking the golf course and the lake beyond. My Fire Cracker salad was delicious with mixed greens and cabbage, chicken satay, toasted cashews, crunchy noodles, and sesame soy dressing. Others at my table enjoyed the Taco Truck Tacos filled with grilled chicken or mahi mahi, cotija cheese, guacamole, fire-roasted salsa, and corn tortilla chips and the Mezze Platter, which included hummus, tapenade, tzatziki, roasted vegetables, and grilled flatbread.
One of our top priorities during our mid-September visit was to soak up some sun at the beach. We had a few options, starting with Pope Beach, the first one you’ll come across on Highway 89. If some good natural shade and a place to barbecue or picnic is what you’re looking for, this is the place to be.
The next spot you’ll come across is Camp Richardson, which is a full-service marina during the summer months with daily cruises to Emerald Bay and a lakefront restaurant called The Beacon Bar & Grill. This is where the activity is, and it’s a great place to spend the afternoon.
We decided to drive past Pope and Camp Richardson and pull into the parking lot for Baldwin Beach. While there were quite a few people out at the beach that day, we still found a picnic table and a spot to lay our towels away from the crowds. It was the ideal perch from which to enjoy the picture-perfect surroundings and watch the boaters, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders go by (kayak and SUP rentals are available at this beach, too).
We had a few tempting options when it came to nightlife in Tahoe. It was about 10 miles from our cabin on the California side to Stateline, where the casinos sit just across the Nevada border. There are three: Harvey’s, MontBleu, and Harrah’s. We contemplated heading to MontBleu for its HQ Bar and Opal Ultra Lounge but ultimately chose instead to head to Harrah’s and PEEK Nightclub, where we danced the night away.
One beautiful day at the beach, a few delicious meals, and a night of dancing—it was exactly what we were looking for in a girls’ weekend, and we found it all in South Lake Tahoe.