Get up early, grab a power bar and a coffee and take off for the day. Hike about 2 miles roundtrip at Cascade Falls to get killer views of Cascade Lake from the top. Be aware of the elevation change — it’s not a race, and make sure to pack water and a snack (but don’t bring beef jerky, because bears). Don’t forget your selfie stick to prove to social media that you are in Lake Tahoe and overlooking the lake to make the rest of us jealous.
After your hike, make the hour or so drive over to Sand Harbor and prepare yourself for awesome. Take the path around so you can check out all the boulders that are in the water. After walking by foot, rent a paddle board (most places are cash only) and head out into the crystal clear and chilly waters.
Time to head up to Squaw Valley. Go straight to the Resort at Squaw Creek where you will get a Swedish massage at the spa, then hit Sandy’s Pub for a brew and some ale-battered onion rings and a waffle bacon burger. After lunch, take a swim in their fantastic heated pool which has great views of Squaw Valley.
You smell like a combination of chlorine, sultry oils, lake water, and beer, so back to your hotel to take a shower and freshen up for the evening.
You’re eating at Christy Hill — make a reservation in advance, try to look presentable, ask to sit with a view of the lake, and prepare your taste buds to explode. Try a variety of dishes, but if you have to pick just one, go with the sweet corn and fromage blanc ravioli. Make sure to get the English sticky toffee cake — it has bacon in it.
After dinner sit down by the lake to watch the sunset. If you are lucky, the sky will light up with reds and oranges over the mountains.
Post sunset, head for drinks. Walk over to the Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company and try on their beers. You are going to hurt tomorrow from exercise, elevation, and alcohol, so drink plenty of water.
Top 8 Tips for Lake Tahoe:
1. Wear sunscreen even if it isn’t hot.
2. Don’t feed the bears.
3. Watch for signs of elevation sickness — lightheaded, dehydrated, etc.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Take at least one hike.
6. Make friends with someone who has a boat so you can play on the lake.
7. Chat with locals — they are friendly and happy to help you.
8. Have some patience because the speed limits aren’t high and you have to drive up and down to get around.