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Lake Tahoe – America’s Best Lake

USA TODAY declared Lake Tahoe the Best Lake in America!

USA TODAY asked their readers to vote for their favorite lake, and Lake Tahoe took home the gold.

Lake TahoeTahoe was one of 15 finalists nominated by regional magazine editors. Sunset Magazine editor, Peter Fish, nominated Lake Tahoe. Fish described Tahoe as “too stunning not to be experienced” and “draws a gazillion – that’s what it feels like on a weekend, anyway— tourists who use it as a summer escape hatch.”

USA TODAY also asked readers to comment on what they would recommend to Lake Tahoe visitors. We have gathered a few of our favorite responses:

“Here’s a day in the life on the North Shore. You can watch the sunrise with my dogs and I hiking in the Tahoe meadows, then go for an early morning kayak or SUP ride on the Lake, breakfast at any number of great spots, then take the tram up to the top of Squaw for Lunch, come back to Incline and take a Sunset cruise on the Sierra Cloud, and finish up with a fabulous French dining experience at Le Bistro.” – Geno M.

“You’ll definitely want to take a cruise aboard the Sierra Cloud, docked at the Hyatt Regency Incline Village, or charter a sailboat from one of the teams launching from behind Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City. Getting out on the lake via one of these boats is so peaceful and beautiful you’ll never forget it.” – Kristen P.

“As a Tahoe local, come during the week when there are less tourists, hike our beautiful trails and make sure to get out on the lake, whether it is on a boat, SUP, or kayak…that is the best way to experience the beauty that is Tahoe.” – Jesse S. H.

“Take a super quick drive to the base of Mt Rose and visit the PGA TOUR at the Reno-Tahoe Open, Thurs-Sunday. Stop at T’s Rotisserie in Incline to grab a chicken burrito on the way!” – Betsy M.

Be sure to read the article for more recommendations.

Mark Twain once described Tahoe as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Real Tahoe Experience

By Guest Blogger,
Logan Baker

Lake Tahoe is one of the most picturesque places in America. In the summer, the sun rises over the calm lake and creates the perfect setting for a dip in the cool water or an exciting Jet Ski adventure. In the winter however, the lake and the Tahoe National Forest take on a serene and peaceful quality that you must see to believe. Whether you’re traveling by car or air charter, once you get to Reno, Tahoe or one of the surrounding areas, you need to stop by the lake. To really get the full Tahoe experience, you should consider taking a trip through the forest and around the lake on a horse-drawn sleigh or a sled led by a team of Huskies.

2358411405_70cd3cfa8a_zDottie Dennis has been carving trails though the Hope Valley, about half an hour south of the lake, for more than 30 years. She and her team of dogs are familiar with every twist and turn of the valley has remained largely untouched over the last 160 years. If you’ve ever wanted to vacation in the Alaskan wilderness but weren’t willing to travel so far, the Hope Valley is probably the most Alaskan landscape south of the Canadian border. Dennis’ Husky Express is $240 for a 375 lb. weight limit and box lunches can be provided for an extra $10 per person.

Borges Family Sleigh Rides offer excursions around the lake and through the forest on a variety of old-fashioned sleighs. The sleighs are entirely handmade by the Borges family and are pulled by two blonde Belgian draft horses. The trip takes travelers all over the beautiful snow-covered landscape and will conclude at the top of a scenic lookout over Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re bringing the whole family or just that special someone, a Borges Family sleigh trip might be the perfect thing to spice up your vacation. The trip costs $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 11.

If you’re vacationing in Reno or one of the surrounding areas, make it a point to head to Lake Tahoe. The lake takes on a spectral kind of beauty in the winter that is simply unparalleled.

Nevada Magazine: Reno-Tahoe Territory Special Edition

The newest issue of Nevada Magazine features the one and only, Reno Tahoe! We couldn’t help but share these breath-taking images and well written articles on our favorite destination. Features in the magazine include the area’s top ski resorts (including the largest ski resort in the US!), the Black Rock Desert beyond Burning Man (their photos will wow you), lakes, parks, towns, venues…. everything you’d want to know!

Want your own copy? Take advantage of Groupon’s 50% off deal through 10/22! http://www.groupon.com/deals/nevada-magazine-2 .

For all those who simply want to read the articles without flipping through the virtual magazine, you can check them out here http://www.nevadamagazine.com/issues/.

Reno Ranks in Bloomberg Businessweek’s: America’s 50 Best Cities

5328077702_03e0c824ae_zReno places 44th on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of “America’s 50 Best Cities.”

With Lake Tahoe just over the hill, allowing city-goers a chance to escape into the wilderness with 18 world-class ski resorts and countless hiking/biking trails all within a 90 minutes’ drive, the endless variety of activities for vacationers raises Reno to the top.

Businessweek.com and Bloomberg Rankings evaluated the 100 largest cities in America based on 16 criteria; including, percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree, park acres per 1,000 residents, air quality and number of bars, restaurants and museums.

“Reno is a good city for the outdoorsman and gambler alike. Home to the National Bowling Stadium, as well as a host of casinos, bars, and restaurants, Reno pretty much rocks. It got knocked down a few notches on this list due to a high foreclosure rate paired with high unemployment.”

The top three cities, according to the list, are Raleigh, NC, Arlington, VA. and Honolulu, HI.

Get Away to Reno Tahoe with these Amazing Deals

4685907036_cd6bcde543Whether you’re planning your next vacation to Reno Tahoe, or you’re a local in need of a stay-cation, you will love these incredible deals.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Coming for a Special Event? Save with one of the many hotels who offer event packages! To name a few, John Ascuaga’s Nugget has packages for Street Vibrations and the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has packages for Thunder From Down Under.

ROMANTIC GETAWAY02-Couples-Dining-Romanza-Peppermill

Maybe a romantic stay in the Biggest Little City with that significant other is more what you’re looking for? If so, these generous offers from the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino will sweep you off your feet. Take advantage of these dueling discounts on everything you need for a sizzling stay; including, your room, dinner, chocolate covered strawberries and couples massage.

FAMILY FIRST2761382466_b2b74550f2_z

Recover from a brain freeze after scarfing down a waffle cone, play in the arcades, or hit the slopes with these unique packages designed for families.

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino We are Family Package

Circus Circus Vacation Ski and Midway Package

SHOW ME SOME LOVE

Eldorado Hotel Casino is offering room packages for those looking to see one of their hit shows Peter Pan or Hairspray!

LAKE TAHOE

Lake Tahoe is a pristine vacation destination where you can enjoy your favorite summer or winter activities among the beautiful surroundings of crystal clear water, towering pine trees and the often snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. From kayaking and paddle boarding to skiing and spa treatments, there are endless savings in Tahoe.

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With an abundance of world-class ski resorts and unsurpassed conditions, Reno Tahoe is one of the most sought-after winter sports destinations on the globe. Now combine our excellent skiing/snowboarding with the pleasure of staying at the luxurious Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and you’re in for a getaway you’ll never forget.  Experience it for yourself with these great ski packages that will get you on the slopes without breaking the bank.

Peppermill Calderium - SpaFrom weekend getaways to week-long retreats, the possibilities for a great time are endless in Reno-Tahoe. Here are few more deals to make your trip even better:

Grand Sierra Resort Golf Packages

Eldorado Hotel Casino Extended Stay Packages

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Wine and Dine Package

Written by, Cody Haener

LET THE GOOD TIMES, AND RAPIDS, ROLL

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Grab some Buds because the dam gates are open and the river is rolling. After a long winter with near-record snowfall, the Truckee River has finally opened for safe summer river rafting.

We are going to bypass attempting to explain the unimaginable beauty the Truckee River holds. You’ll need to get your toes wet in order to absorb the true breath-taking scenery and experience the refreshing chill of the Truckee yourself. Two, of many, self-guided rafting companies are Truckee River Rafting and Truckee River Raft Company; both offer five mile floats down the Truckee River.

Most trips are leisurely and take two to three hours to complete, but don’t assume you have to stay in your raft the whole time, jump in and go for a swim! And, if you get hungry, row off to the side and enjoy a picnic lunch on a sandy shore.

When your trip has come to an end, a free shuttle will take you back to your vehicle in Tahoe City any time before 6:00 p.m. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily (weather permitting) and footwear is mandatory. Trips include parking, shuttle, paddles, life jackets and commercial rafts for 2-20 people.

We know a long day on the river will brew up an appetite and there is no better way to satisfy your hunger than dining alfresco at one of North Lake Tahoe’s premier restaurants. River Ranch Lodge is always a favorite, especially with its outdoor patio that gives guests a front row seat to rafters exiting the Truckee River. Locals rave about the pulled pork sandwich served on ciabatta with bleu cheese coleslaw and southern barbeque sauce. River Grill in Tahoe City is also a hotspot and has one of Lake Tahoe’s best happy hours. Definitely try the macaroni and cheese with applewood smoked bacon, tomato and New York sharp white cheddar. And for some of the best margaritas in town, head to the historic Blue Agave in Tahoe City and take a load off where Baby Face Nelson hid out from the authorities back in Tahoe’s heyday.

For more information about rafting and raft companies go to www.GoTahoeNorth.com or www.VisitRenoTahoe.com.

FIVE FUN WAYS TO DISCOVER RENO

For some, Reno, Nevada is known for the same vibrant nightlife and gambling outlets as Las Vegas – but on a smaller and more intimate scale. Obvious tourist attractions include shopping, restaurants, singers, comedians and magic shows. But beyond the slot machines and flashing lights, there is a plethora of family-fun activities available.

Go just a short distance out of town though and you will find a treasure trove of non-gambling alternatives that are great for all ages. Here are five family-friendly activities you may want to consider for your next vacation to Reno, Nevada.

Lake Activitieslake tahoe

Anglers prize the Reno area for some of the best fly-fishing territory around. You can visit one of the many tackle shops in the area for maps of private and public lakes and river access areas. If you are interested in having a true fisherman’s experience, consider taking a class or attending one of the fly tying clinics and tie your own. There is nothing like catching that two-pound trout on a bumblebee you created with your own two hands.

Only 40 miles from Reno is famous Lake Tahoe, which offers spectacular views, clear mountain air and ample fishing holes for privacy or group activities. Guides are available, or you can pack a picnic basket, quilt and fishing gear and head off on your own for an adventurous day on the water. If you have always wanted “to land that BIG one,” consider visiting Pyramid Lake. This lake proudly boasts they have the largest Cutthroat Trout.

Whether you choose Pyramid Lake, Truckee River, Lake Tahoe or one of the other streams, lakes and rivers near Reno, prepare yourself for a day filled with awesome scenery and relaxing outdoor fun.

Hiking and Trailsclimbing

Many people think you have to go to Lake Tahoe to enjoy hiking trails that offer hikers challenging terrain. Not true! There are numerous trails in Reno parks and just on the outskirts of the city.  Hikers and trail watchers can find easy, moderate and challenging trails to test their skills and that will suit a variety of levels of physical fitness. You will find short trails that start at about 600 feet and have a gentle slope and more challenging trails that test your endurance.

About eight miles out of town in the gorgeous Sierra Mountains that surround Reno, Nevada, you will find the Tahoe Rim Trail in Galena Regional Park. This trail offers a loop that is just over 9 miles of moderate to mostly steep climbing. Hikers can expect to see desert terrain covered with sage, pine, juniper bushes and the occasional waterfall. Bring lots of film or extra chips for the camera. The views are breathtaking. And remember to pack plenty of water and a few energy bars or a lunch.

Golfgolf

If golf is your game–Reno, Nevada is your destination. There are over 50 golf courses within 90 miles of Reno proper. The PGA stops in Reno for the Reno-Tahoe Open, so you know the greens are great. No matter what your level of expertise, you will be able to find a course to fit your skill. Private lessons are available at most of the courses through resident pros and through guest pass arrangements. Since the high altitude gives golfers a natural advantage, you can expect to hit the ball further with every stroke. Get ready to play the lowest score of your life. If you’re a family with younger kids that aren’t ready for the big green yet, check out the many mini-golf options in the area.

Explore the Pastmuseum

For a relaxing day with some educational benefits, consider visiting one of the numerous museums in Reno. You can find museums dedicated to a variety of topics. An automobile museum, a museum dedicated to Disney and many others call Reno home. The Wilbur D. May museum is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. The artifacts and collectibles gleaned from years of traveling the world offer an exciting, eclectic blend. The indoor waterfall you’ll find there is always a big hit with kids and adults alike. Remember to check days and hours the museum is opened before planning your day. Some museums have limited hours.

Read, Paint, Write

Many artists enjoy the inspiration they absorb from the desert climate and surrounding rivers and mountains. Writers claim to feel the spirit of the nomadic American Indians. Artist carrying pallet and canvas attempt to capture the delicate yellow flower of the desert cactus in the early morning. Students from the college can be seen relaxing near the river as they search for answers to questions posed by Aristotle.

Visiting Reno is an opportunity to enjoy nature with your family, while having fun and learning, too. Enjoy.

This post was written by freelance writer Martha Keagan who is a full time mother, writer and part time real estate agent. Keagan has assisted hundreds of college students find housing and apartments in Reno for years. Reno is a great city, if you are looking to visit or even relocate to Reno, find a short term apartment to stay in before you decide to purchase a house.

WHERE ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR 4TH OF JULY?

Sparks Fireworks tower crowdThis year Reno Tahoe USA is hosting some of the top Independence Day events and pyrotechnic displays in the nation. It’s a tough call deciding which of these parties to crash but we’ve tried to make it easy for you to see what each event has to offer.

LAKE TAHOE

July 1-4, the fifth annual Red, White and Tahoe Blue celebration in Incline Village offers the perfect getaway for families. They’ve got a patriotic chalk drawing contest, beer tastings, firecracker trail trek, and even a doggie dress up contest for your pup. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a jam-packed weekend with the fam, look no further – after you finish reading this post, of course.

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We can’t forget about the 70 feet of snowfall last winter quite yet. Both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA are reopening for the weekend offering discounted tickets and wrapping up the season with huge 4th of July parties. Squaw will also host the famed 21st annual Lake Cushing Crossing on July 3. No one does pond-skimming quite like Squaw Valley. Perhaps it is because men and women in Reno Tahoe are a little more daring, a little more agile and a little better on sticks. Or maybe, it’s because the Cushing Crossing is held on a real pond, rather than a tarp-lined ditch or kiddie pool. We don’t really need a reason; we do it the way we want.

Other local Lake Tahoe events include Tahoe City celebrating 65 years of fireworks at Commons Beach, July 4, and Kings Beach hosting their annual firework display and deck party at the North Tahoe Event Center on July 3.

SPARKS

Experience the biggest 4th of July party in the region, Star Spangled Sparks, at the Sparks Marina. Join thousands to celebrate our freedom at this FREE all day event. Rise bright and early for free hot air balloon rides at 6am and a three dollar all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The excitement continues during the day with a fun-run around the Sparks Marina, bounce houses and a ride area for the kids. Later that evening, witness a military flyover moments before the longest and most spectacular pyrotechnic display in the region, you won’t want to miss this 11th annual celebration.

VIRGINIA CITY

Virginia City made the list for the “Top 10 Fourth of July Fireworks 2011.” For us this comes as no surprise as every year thousands journey to the famous, historical city. The event begins with a parade downtown around noon and ends with the Comstock Cowboys performing at dusk along with an extensive fireworks show. The last time Virginia City had this many explosives was back when the city was first discovered as a gold mining jackpot.

PYRAMID LAKE

Do you want to be the party planner? The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe welcomes all those who want to throw their own 4th of July party. Summer season fireworks are now on sale for use on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in designated areas. Create your own fireworks show over North America’s most beautiful desert lake!

WALKING ON WATER… SORT OF

paddleboardHot summer weekends are finally here and you can jump into the summer season by enjoying Tahoe’s “coolest” attraction. Lake Tahoe is renowned for its cobalt blue waters, providing a clear view of depths up to 75 feet. And hey, what better way to explore its depths than to skim its surface via paddle? Here’s something unexpected: Lake Tahoe is the largest stand up flat-water paddleboard venue in the country!

“Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most scenic and green ways to take in Lake Tahoe,” said Ernie Brassard, president of the 2011 Quiksilver Ta-Hoe Nalu Stand-Up Paddle Classic, August 13-14 in Kings Beach. “You get a completely different perspective of the lake and the surrounding mountains from the water than you do from the trail.”

The sport continues to skyrocket in popularity, as evidenced by a recent increase in Tahoe rental shops and outfitters, as well as festivals taking center stage during the summer and fall months.

A popular event you won’t want to miss is the Jam from the Dam, July 9, which has participants racing six miles from Commons Beach in Tahoe City to the Waterman’s Landing – a new restaurant and stand up paddleboard shop. Like the Ta-Hoe Nalu, it’s a great opportunity for spectators to demo equipment in a fun and festive environment.

Need equipment? Tahoe Paddle & Oar caters to the canoe and kayak audience with rentals available, including wetsuits and life vests, along with on-water lessons. If it’s a lazy Sunday and you want your paddleboards and beaches all in one place, rentals are available at one of Tahoe’s most well-known beaches, Sand Harbor State Park, located outside of Incline Village. Kayaks and paddleboards are a must to explore San Harbor’s hidden coves, cathedral of massive white boulders and lively beach activities. The infamous white sand is also a great picnic spot!

Click here to watch a video!

Reno Tahoe Flash Mob at Alpine Meadows

In the midst of a blizzard that brought 54 inches of snow to Alpine Meadows, Microsoft Licensing, GP and Microsoft Student partnered with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Moment Skis and Sentury Snowboards on Saturday, March 19, creating the biggest flash mob this area has ever seen in an effort to promote Reno Tahoe and the products of local companies.  

“It was touch and go that we’d even be able to pull this off, but with employees and videographers that flew in for the weekend, we forged onward,” said Amy Strande, director of Microsoft Student Outreach.

On Saturday, more than 125 people braved the blizzard conditions to gather at the Alpine Meadows Take the Lake Rail Jam Competition, kicking off the event with a surprise flash mob. 

“We went with an 80’s theme, because we were looking to go big and relate to everyone,” said Max Lanman, creative director of the flash mob. “We wanted it to be over the top and fun to watch.”

The goal of the flash mob was to create a viral video to showcase Reno Tahoe and Alpine Meadows, and to promote Microsoft products and locally produced Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis. The event brought together a community of people; including, Microsoft employees, interns, vendors and family; UNR Dance Co-Op members; dance students from Reno to South Lake Tahoe; and Alpine Meadows’ ski team skiers, families and coaches.  The flash mob video can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/flashmob.

The idea stemmed from a challenge issued by Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft, when he visited the Reno office in 2010. Holland’s challenge was to think of creative ways to grow awareness and market share of Microsoft products in the community.

“I started thinking that we could partner with local tourism officials and our existing partners at Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis to showcase the area and local products using each partners’ social networks,” said Lynnette Bellin, instigator of the flash mob. “The blizzard made this a herculean feat!”

 “The flash mob was a fun addition to the existing college spring break week at Alpine,” according to Deanna Gescheider, executive director of marketing for JMA Ventures, which manages Alpine Meadows and Homewood resorts. Unfortunately, the competition was cancelled due to weather conditions, but the rail jam proceeded as planned.  Take The Lake Jump Line Competition draws college students from the San Francisco Bay area during spring break.

Over the past year, Sentury Snowboards has created Bing and Windows Live branded snowboards for Microsoft.  Microsoft also partnered with Moment Skis to create a Windows-branded ski.  “The branded equipment  is mainly sold to Microsoft employees, serving as a conversation starter with people on the mountain, so that we can evangelize Microsoft products,” said Ken Skogerson, project manager of the MSLI Marketing and PR committee.

-Lynette Bellin