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Ultimate inspirational destination: North Lake Tahoe

Written by guest blogger: Aimee Claire

Situated on the beautiful California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is spoken of with bated breath by vacationers, and is a stunning testimonial to the United States’ classic Big Country. It’s a diverse location, with four main shores each with a different character; all with azure waters, lovely beaches and snow-capped mountains in the background.

Hoff_H LakeTahoe 02_3456x5184

Where is North Lake Tahoe?

The North Lake Tahoe coast on the Nevada side is a relatively quiet, upmarket affair.  It is part of the Nevada State Park, and it is very well looked after. The area can be identified via the southwards meandering of Highway 28 until it reaches Spooner Lake and US Route 50. Highway 28 takes the traveler through heavily wooded pine forests with blue skies overhead, and with plenty of wildlife to be seen.

Obviously, this type of backdrop lends itself to outdoors pursuits of all kinds, and the choice of holiday amusement is dependent on the places where travelers stay. The choices are many, even in the relatively unsullied North Lake Tahoe area, and there is something for every desire, guaranteed.

The best places to be

Three of the best places to visit for first time travelers to the area are Incline Village, Crystal Bay, and Sand Harbor; all three are great activity bases and there are differing types of accommodations available.

Incline Village

For a relaxing game of golf in the summer months, hiking, mountain biking, or horse riding, Incline Village (named for the Great Incline Tramway, built by loggers back in 1878) is the place to stay. During the winter, and early spring, diehard skiers and snowboarders can plunge through the annual average 10 feet of snow to their hearts’ content, although the less sporting visitor can still enjoy it with the yearly North Lake Tahoe SnowFest, involving parades, competitions, parties and theater.

The Hyatt High Sierra Lodge condos can be rented on a nightly basis, or savvy regulars can buy timeshares in that location, making it a good value, comfort-driven stay. For travelers who prefer hotel set ups, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino provides 4.5* accommodation with all the trappings, but if a cheap hotel with bed and breakfast is required, the Parkside Inn offers lovely big rooms and a continental breakfast; it is recommended to book with them direct, rather than through an affiliate travel site.

Crystal Bay

For those that prefer to play in the casinos of Nevada, Crystal Bay offers four of these buzzing establishments, which include hotels and restaurants, allowing game play, water sports, live entertainment and excellent food for the duration of any stay. The Cal-Neva Casino Resort has a swimming pool that crosses the state line, and the staff service there is impeccable.

Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor is the real North Lake Tahoe home of water sports, with Jet Ski rentals that allow visitors to explore the entire coastline of the area if they wish. There’s also scuba diving and kayaking for a couple of quieter ways to investigate the beautiful clear crystal waters. The beach at Sand Harbor is renowned for the cleanest standards and even in the summer months is unlikely to be overcrowded.

Sand Harbor itself has no accommodations, so the nearest places to stay are based at Incline Village, and slightly further away at Crystal Bay.

Next Stop: Reno/Tahoe

next stopNext Stop TV Show, powered by Alaska Airlines, recently ventured to Reno Tahoe to get an insiders guide to an epic Reno Tahoe vacation.  Their adventure leads them to mountaintop panoramic views with Lake Tahoe Snowmobile, an “over-the-top crazy” event at SnowFest, bluebird skiing at Diamond Peak, Tahoe-style luxury at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Casino and Spa, great eats at Campo Reno, the mixology behind EDGE Nightspot, and a taste of local music with former NBC “The Voice” contestant Whitney Myer. Check it out:

GHOST TOWNS & RV TOURS AROUND RENO TAHOE

3546490090_d08face92c_zAny RV trip to the Reno Tahoe area is exciting, but you can take the adrenalin up another notch by touring the many ghost towns within a few hours’ drive. Thanks to gold and silver for which this mountainous region is famous, hundreds of boomtowns came and went. Here’s the rundown on the ways RVers can enjoy Reno Tahoe ghost towns on their next camping trip.

Ghost Towns to Visit Near Reno Tahoe2369624154_36a759410e_z

Within half a day’s drive of the Reno Tahoe area is a nice collection of ghost towns, restored mining towns and state parks that contain the remains of cities that flourished thanks to gold and silver fever. One tip: a few of these towns can be reached on developed roads, but if you plan to go off the beaten path to photograph and explore ruins, it’s a good idea to use your towed vehicle rather than your RV.

Before moving on to ghost town descriptions, it’s also good to know an exciting selection of RV campgrounds awaits the Reno Tahoe ghost town tourist. Check the listing on our website for helpful information on area RV parks.

Gold Canyon Ghost Towns

Less than thirty miles from Reno, RV travelers will find a wealth of ghost towns to explore in Gold Canyon. Given its name for the rich veins that crisscrossed it, this canyon is home to both developed and abandoned ghost towns. Here are some of the places you’ll want to visit:

2369629086_ab5a9b3325_zVirginia City, the queen of the Comstock Lode silver mining towns, flourished in the

19th century and now draws millions of visitors each year to its federally designated historic district. More tourist oriented than the other towns mentioned, you’ll find plenty to see and experience in the form of restored saloons, shops and wooden sidewalks. There are also plenty of places around Virginia City where gold panning can be done.

Silver City, south of Virginia City off NV-341 promises plenty of mining town ruins to discover. Plan to get out and explore the buildings and artifacts left to remind visitors of Nevada’s rich mining history.

Gold Hill, tucked between Virginia City and Silver City on NV-342, boasts an elegant hotel, restaurant and saloon in the midst of the mining camp ruins. An added attraction is Bowers Mansion County Park, where visitors can tour the 1864 mansion built by Eilley Orrum to celebrate the wealth of her miner husband, Sandy Bowers.

For a more extensive list of Ghost Towns and RV parks throughout the region, please look through the Ghost Trail Driving Guide below  and  visit www.elmonterv.com.

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals, which conveniently has a Reno RV rental location. For you college football tailgaters, be sure to check out the new RV Tailgating page for a list of games and tailgating information.

El Monte RV: http://www.elmonterv.com

Reno RV Rental Locations: http://www.elmonterv.com/rv-rentals-reno/rl-26.aspx

RV Tailgating: http://www.elmonterv.com/RV-tailgating-football/ca-207.aspx

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.

Nevada’s Tourism Ad Campaign is a Record-Breaker

NevadaA year-long advertising campaign that strategically focused on the most lucrative travel markets delivered record-breaking results, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) chair, announced.

“Our ad campaign reached a carefully targeted group of consumers with the means and desire to travel and convinced them to visit us,” Krolicki said.  “In the face of a national economic downturn, NCOT’s winter and summer ads attracted visitors who spent money in Nevada that generated $110 million in tax revenue directly attributed to the ad campaign, a greater return on our investment than ever before.”

Every $1 that NCOT invested in the ads generated $31 in tax revenue.

“We ran a thrifty campaign aimed at our most responsive and proven markets and got our message to the right people,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said. “We also integrated the media to include television, Google In-stream video, Internet advertising and national travel magazines, a combination that helped increase our return on investment. It was a prescription for success and we’re gratified to get such good-news results for Nevada tourism.”

The percentage of consumers who saw or heard the ads in markets where they ran jumped from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 42.9 percent in fiscal 2010, which ended June 30. 

Winter ads featured skiing at Lake Tahoe for TV, and the engaging “Capture Your Heart” ad, which showed two hands forming a heart that framed a Lake Tahoe scene, for Internet and print.  Summer ads focused on outdoor recreation for TV, Internet and print. The ads ran in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.

Key to the campaign’s remarkable achievement was using new technology and strategies to pinpoint only specific markets where consumers were most likely to respond to travel ads, rather than advertising across entire regions, Lewis said, noting that NCOT invested $3.5 million for the entire year’s campaign, 30.6 percent less than in 2009 because of budget reductions.

If you have any questions regarding this campaign, please contact Jolyn Laney, deputy director of marketing and advertising, Nevada Commission on Tourism.

-Content courtesy of  Nevada Commission on Tourism

Google Chooses Nevada Commission on Tourism as Golden Child of Ad Campaigns

LovelockGoogle has chosen the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s (NCOT) online winter ski commercial as a success-story case study after it attracted 8 million viewers in seven targeted markets, said NCOT chair Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki.

NCOT was among the first tourism entities in the country to use Google’s new technology, in-stream video, which places video ads into online video programs, including television segments, in a commercial break format as on regular television. Viewers who were exposed to the ad in markets where it appeared were 33 percent more likely to consider Nevada as a vacation destination than were those who saw other NCOT online ads that did not use Google’s technology, NCOT’s research showed.

“We seek innovative, cost-conscious ways to maximize the return on investment of each tourism dollar, and Google’s video advertising program achieved this for us,” Krolicki said. “The ads captured the attention of the consumers we sought and stimulated their interest in visiting Nevada. They got our message.”

Tracking technology showed that 45 percent of the viewers watched the entire 30-second commercial that appeared on in-stream video. The lively ad showed skiers on snowy Sierra Nevada mountain slopes overlooking blue Lake Tahoe. Travel Nevada: winter commercial.

“We have advertised Nevada’s tourism attractions in many ways, including traditional television, outdoor advertising, online display ads and mobile ads, and we found the exposure and maneuverability of Google’s in-stream video really got results,” NCOT Director Dann Lewis said.

Google used a process called geo-targeting to show the NCOT ad in designated marketing areas that offer convenient travel to Nevada and are home to skiers and snowboarders aged 25 to 54 with high-level household income: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago and Phoenix.

River FestNCOT’s research company, TNS Custom Research, and its Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study enables the tourism agency to track the effectiveness of its advertising campaigns and measure the return on investment, which last winter, when the ads ran, was $22 for each $1 invested. NCOT is funded by hotel room tax revenue that visitors pay, not by the state General Fund.

Google’s NCOT case study is available online Google TV Ads Microsite: success stories.

For more information or news from Travel Nevada, click here!

Play Ball! The Reno Aces’ Season Opener is Tonight!

BallparkAces hat? Check.

Aces foam finger? Check.

Hotdog and Cracker Jack? Che… Cracker Jack?!

Whatever gets your heart pumping for Aceball, we won’t judge you. We will point fingers and laugh, though, if you don’t make it out to Aces Ballpark tonight at 6:05 p.m. for the second season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies. As expected, the Aces are rolling out the red carpet to welcome back all of the anxious fans with pre-game fireworks and the much-anticipated debut of the Freight House District. Have you seen that place?! It’s the newest downtown development with year-round dining and entertainment. Duffy’s Ale House and Bugsy’s Sports Bar and Grill will open for business at 2 p.m. today.

Why not revolve your entire weekend around Aceball? After all, the weather is perfect and you know you’ve been waiting for this moment all year. Friday night, the Aces will give away 2,500 magnet schedules so you’ll never miss a game. On Saturday, 3,000 fans will get an Aces fleece blanket, to keep you warm in those nail-biter extra innings.

Don’t forget, after every Friday, Saturday and Sunday game, all children 12 and under are invited to run the bases on the Aces Ballpark infield.

The weekend games start at 7:05 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 1:05 p.m.

Single-game tickets for all games start at just $7, while ticket plans for the 2010 season start at just $220. Call (775) 334-7000 for ticket info, visit the Aces Ballpark box office or head to www.RenoAces.com.

Video: ‘Cruz’-ing Lake Tahoe under wind power

cruzsuperimposegiantThere are few guarantees in life, but when it comes to Lake Tahoe summers, you can pretty much count on 1) consist sun 2) warm, moderate temperatures 3) and breezy afternoons. And there may be no better way to capture the essence of Tahoe than aboard a sailboat.

Several charter companies throughout the lake offer sailboat rides, complete with cocktails and bonus sunsets. So get on board and experience Tahoe under wind power. Check out this “Reno Tahoe Experience” aboard the Tahoe Cruz, a boat that sails out of Tahoe City on the lake’s North Shore for a taste of what you’ll experience.

Reno Tahoe Tweetaway: A contest for the digirati

twitter-contestIn our neverending effort to promote the virtues (and sometimes fun vices) of Reno Tahoe, we give away a lot of stuff — and we do a lot of giveaways online. And now we are stepping up the giveaways to our ‘Tweeps’ on Twitter.

If you’re a Twitter user, but you aren’t following @renotahoe, take a moment and do so here – you won’t regret it. Once you are following, check out our contest: We’re giving away a 3-day, 2-night stay in Reno Tahoe to a random Twitter user on Aug. 3. All you have to do to enter is add 10 characters to any tweet – #renotahoe – between now and Aug. 2 and that constitutes an entry. Enter early and enter often for your chance to win.

Contest details:

  • The prize is a three-day, two-night getaway to a Reno Tahoe hotel casino
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from tweets containing the phrase “#renotahoe
  • Multiple #renotahoe tweets constitutes multiple entries (through Aug. 2)
  • Winner will be announced on Twitter and on our contest page Aug. 3

Rules:

  • Contest runs July 15 – Aug. 2.
  • Participants are encouraged to enter multiple times.
  • To enter, follow us on Twitter and include the #renotahoe hashtag in your tweets. Each tweet sent with the #renotahoe hashtag constitutes one entry.
  • A winner will be chose at random Aug. 3, and the winner will be announced on the @renotahoe Twitter account and on the this contest page.
  • Winner will be contacted via direct message on Twitter and must respond within 5 days via e-mail. A redeemable voucher will be sent to the winner via U.S. Mail within 10 days of receipt of mail details.
  • No purchase is necessary to enter.

Read more

Check out other Twitter users’ hashtags of #renotahoe here

Valentine’s Day itinerary for Reno-Tahoe

pantailuar_treatmentReno-Tahoe offers the perfect romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day. Here are some options …

  • Spas abound

Dozens of Reno-Tahoe spas cater to every taste, from massage to healing mud baths. Two new additions in Reno offer world-class spa experiences: The Tuscan-theme Peppermill Resort Casino Spa Toscana offers customers an old-world experience with modern amenities, while the Spa Atlantis at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa provides indulgent luxury with unique services found nowhere else.

  • Dinner for two

Reno-Tahoe is known as an adventure, gaming and nightlife destination, but there are numerous options for the culinary curious. Try Sezmu, LuLou’s or 4th Street Bistro for high-end fair, or how about an Italian experience at La Strada, one of the fine dining options inside the Eldorado Hotel Casino. And don’t forget your red meat fix at Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino or The Steakhouse Grill at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. Check out all of Reno-Tahoe’s great restaurants online.

  • Vacation Packages

Travel deals are abundant right now in Reno-Tahoe, with getaway packages including lodging with skiing, spas and everything in between.

  • Take your love to a ‘higher level’ at Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Diamond Peak Ski Resort, located high above Incline Village on Tahoe’s sunny North Shore, is inviting couples to “Take your love to a higher level” this Valentine’s day.
For $285 – two people, all inclusive – lovers young and “mature” will be treated to an incredible five-course dinner paired with fine wines at the fabulous Snowflake Lodge at the top of the Lakeview Chair. There may be no better sunset view in all of Tahoe (and maybe the world).

Diamond Peak is located at 1210 Ski Way in Incline Village, Nev., just 45 minutes from Reno. To make reservations go online or call 775-832-1177