When you visit Lake Tahoe, the outdoor splendor is enough take your breath away. The crystalline blue of the icy waters, are rivaled only by the bluebird California skies. The towering Sugar and Jeffrey pines lining the shorelines, simultaneously contrasting and complementing the bulging granite rocks, reaching and stretching toward to rim of mountains that encompass the magnificent lake. And just beyond all of the natural wonder, are our not-so-sleepy mountain towns, tucked into the northern banks of “Big Blue”, offering a different sort of appeal that mother nature cannot.
Located in Tahoe City, directly across from the Lake Tahoe dam lies the Bridgetender. The Bridgetender was built in 1977 and is a longstanding local hot spot. Home to a great tap lineup, an expansive menu. Seating is plentiful including a summertime patio tucked away from the swaths of tourists that this funky little town attracts.
Next Tahoe hot spot is Kings Beach, an up and coming lakeside town. Just a 15-minute drive down beautiful North Lake Boulevard and you will find yourself in the midts of Kings Beach.
Kings Beach has under gone a transformation in recent years. The construction and chaos do not mean that the town is closed for business. Park your car at the public beach and have a stroll through town with a perfect breeze blowing off the northern shore of the lake. A 5 minute walk to your east will lead you to the smell of flame-broiled goodness that is Char-Pit, a classic burger dive with a great vibe and fantastic flavors. Make sure you go early as it is normal to see long, snaking lines forming within the first couple hours open.
The last stop to complete the North Tahoe triangle would be a quick 10-minute journey up over Brockway summit, just north of Kings Beach, which drops you into the historic railroad town of Truckee, California. Truckee hosts a plethora of good eats, fun dives, and plenty of recreation including Donner Lake State Park as well as miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. Along the newly renovated downtown strip, Old Town Tap boasts 20+ tap beers, 12 wines on tap (yes, you read that right!) and a very creative menu offering up some seriously tasty treats. Old Town Tap holds one of only a few pizza ovens in the world capable of cranking out pies in just a matter of 3 minutes give or take. Come hungry because you will want to grab one of everything on their share menu, a sort of tapas-inspired method of food meant to pass around the table, family style. This place lacks no vibe with lots of locals and tourists bellied up to their exceptionally long bar and good music bumping in the background.
This is just a tiny little taste of what this wonderland has to offer. Come see for yourself and I think you’ll agree: they really know how to do it in California!