One of our favorite California spots for log home living is Lake Tahoe. The Lake straddles the border between Nevada and California. It’s the largest alpine (high altitude) lake in North America and the sixth largest in total volume, behind the five Great Lakes in Minnesota. Surrounded by vast pine forests, glacial blue waters, and stunning unspoiled vistas, everywhere you look there are spectacular views of the Lake and the Sierra Nevada’s no matter what time of year you visit.
For history buffs, there are many sites to visit that have been well-maintained and offer a peek into the past. Zephyr Cove Resort, built in 1900 in response to the Comstock silver mining boom, Camp Richardson Resort offering city-folk a lake front retreat since 1924, and Vikingsholm Castle, a grand estate of the 1920’s, all tell a story of life at the Lake during yesteryear.
Today, though, Tahoe is home to ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and a wide variety of tourist attractions.
Some of the major ski areas in Tahoe include:
- Heavenly Mountain Resort: the largest ski area in California and Nevada
- Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows: known for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics
- Northstar at Tahoe
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort
- Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
Many ski areas around Tahoe also offer snow tubing, such as Squaw Valley, as well as cross-country skiing, snowmobile riding and snowshoeing.
Spring, Summer and Fall
From late Spring to early Fall, the Tahoe area is also popular for water sports and beach activities. The two cities most identified with the Lake Tahoe tourist area are South Lake Tahoe, California and the smaller Stateline; smaller centers on the northern shoreline include Tahoe City and Kings Beach.
Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the limitless possibilities for outdoor fun in a beautiful setting, with parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking and SUP (stand up paddle boarding) favored. Scuba diving is popular at Lake Tahoe, with some dive sites offering dramatic drop-offs or wall dives. Boating is a primary activity throughout all three seasons, with Lake Tahoe home to one of the most prestigious wooden boat shows in the country, the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance, held every August. There are lakefront restaurants lining the shores, most equipped with docks and buoys, and boating events, such as sailboat racing, firework shows over the lake, guided cruises, and more, all season long.
When you’re not on the lake, there are numerous hiking and mountain biking trails in the area that range widely in length and difficulty. For mountain bikers, the Flume Trail of the east shore, named one of Mountain Biking Magazine’s Top 10 Trails in the U.S., is a popular choice. For hiking, there’s the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile trail with sweeping vistas that circles the lake. Directly to the west of the lake is the Granite Chief Wilderness, which provides great hiking and wilderness camping. Also, to the southwest is the Desolation Wilderness.
Night life is a main attraction here as well with nightclubs, restaurants, events and celebrations year round. Gambling is legal on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and casinos are located on the South Shore in Stateline, and on the North Shore in Crystal Bay and Incline Village.
A Touch of Hollywood
And here’s something fun: The Ponderosa Ranch of the TV series Bonanza was formerly located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, with the opening sequence of the TV series filmed at McFaul Creek Meadow with Mount Tallac in the background.
The 1974 film The Godfather Part II also prominently featured Tahoe, using the lakeside estate Fleur de Lac as the location of several scenes, including the elaborate First Communion celebration, the Senator’s shakedown attempt of Michael, the assassination attempt on Michael, Michael disowning Fredo, Carmela Corleone’s funeral, Fredo’s death while fishing, and the closing scene of Michael sitting alone outside.
Our favorite part of the Lake Tahoe area, of course, is the great variety of log homes in the area. The community is filled with beautiful log homes and friendly residents, some who live there year-round while others enjoy vacation homes as often as they can.
California has a lot of great communities filled with every shape, style and size of log homes. We’re lucky to have clients throughout the state who trust us for restoring, repairing and building the log homes and structures they love. From great lodges in the north to cozy weekend getaways in the south, we get to see it all. In addition to this article about Truckee, we’ve also shared insights into other log home-friendly communities including Mammoth, Pine Mountain Club & Frazier Park, Truckee, and Santa Cruz. Just click on their names to read more.
For travel planners, maps, and more information about life in Tahoe, visit www.tahoechamber.org, www.visitinglaketahoe.com, or www.tahoesouth.com.
We hope this inspires you to visit this beautiful mountain community. If you decide to purchase a log home in the Lake Tahoe, California area, or already own one and would like an appraisal, tips for maintenance, or general advice for keeping your home in good condition, please call our California log home experts at 877-477-6564, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.