It’s been a minute since we’ve taken a vacation. Actually it’s been exactly one year since I took a road trip to Key West. At that time nobody was flying and the world was pretty much shut down because of Covid. Flash forward one year later, the Covid situation still sucks however I’ve been vaccinated so I feel comfortable flying.
That said, my friend and I decided to head out west to Southlake Tahoe. We both love to hike, bike, and of course try new restaurants.
We stayed at the Station House Inn which is centrally located to just about everything. In fact, most of what you'll want to see is within blocks of the hotel, so the walkability is great. The hotel has a modern cabin vibe with a fire pit for making s’mores (I suggest buying everything at the nearby Ralph’s Grocery store ahead of time instead of purchasing at the hotel).
When it comes to restaurants, Heidi’s Pancake House was a hit! So much so we ate there two days in a row, the pancakes are amazing.
Riva Grill not only offers amazing views of the marina but I highly recommend the Dungeness crab sandwich with a Wet Woody to wash it down! It’s also the best place to watch the sunset after dinner.
Also for dinner, Scusa's Italian Restaurant was good, however a bit pricey. Although I did enjoy the lobster ravioli and experience of eating in a real authentic Italian garden.
California Burger offers an amazing array of, well, burgers. I would have to say one of the best burgers I’ve ever had! And a tip... get the sweet potato tots.
Finally, Base Camp Pizza Co. was worth the hour and a half wait! I’ve never seen so many people clamoring for pizza and beer in my life. I ordered the smoky barbecue chicken pizza and WOW!
As for outdoor adventures, Emerald Bay State park spans 1,533 acres. It's home to many landmarks, but most famously, the park is home to the Vikingsholm Castle, a 38-room mansion that is long considered as one of the finest and most incredible examples of Scandinavian architecture built in 1929. You can also rent paddle boards and kayaks, which we did. It’s definitely worth the price to kayak in the crisp water surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Heavenly Ski Resort is another must do. The gondolas and roller coaster that sit high atop the mountain are a little pricey but again worth the money. It’s the highest point of Southlake Tahoe. After taking the ski lift to the top, we decided to hike halfway down the mountain, which was definitely a work out.
Also, make sure you see balancing rock in D. L Bliss State Park. It’s a massive boulder that appears to sit precariously atop a smaller rock beneath. It's believed to have been there since the late 1800's. The lighthouse meanwhile has the 2nd highest elevation of any American lighthouse; it stands 6,300 feet above sea level.
Between all the outdoor activities and great food, there is no shortage of things to do in Southlake Tahoe. I recommend hopping a flight out to the West Coast and getting lost in the woods.