For Shaun’s 26th birthday, I bought my first Living Social deal: a weekend getaway in South Lake Tahoe. I had never been to Tahoe and figured that we could enjoy a nice weekend in a winter wonderland at some point in November or December. Well, November & December came and went – with no snow in the mountains.
After not taking any time off during the holidays, we decided to just go for it and spend the weekend of January 6-8 in Tahoe. The drive was unbelievably easy across Highway 50 on Friday afternoon – barely any snow even at the top of Echo pass. We got into South Lake Tahoe just before sunset and snapped a quick iPhone picture after pulling into the inn.
The Inn by the Lake is right alongside HWY 50 with lake views in many of their rooms. The Living Social deal included 2 nights here, 2 breakfasts at their adjoining cafe, and a game of bowling for two at the lanes next door. Luckily for us, right before booking our room we saw that Inn by the Lake is dog-friendly, which meant Rosco was definitely joining us for the weekend.
We ate dinner at MacDuff’s Pub, which happened to be right across the street from the inn. This place was super cozy and laid-back. For starters, we split their roasted beet salad (which was humongous). I had the Truffled Mac & Cheese and Shaun had the Kona Pork Sliders. And a few beers. We ended up chatting with two local ski patrol who really wanted to help us get into the nightclubs at Stateline. Too bad we had eaten wayyyy too much and just felt like staying in for the night. Not to mention how cold it was!
The next morning, after taking Rosco for a walk around Tahoe Keys, we headed to Stateline for some shopping. We hit all the big name outdoor clothing stores and some of the smaller specialty shops too. We ate lunch at Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe – a vegetarian type place. I had a Couscous Hummus Burrito & Soup, Shaun had a Turkey Bagel Sandwich, and we split a Spinach/Apple/Carrot juice.
After lunch we got geared up for a short hike to Vikingsholm – known as one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the US. It’s a large mansion on the edge of Lake Tahoe within the Emerald Bay State Park. Dogs aren’t allowed here, so Rosco stayed in the car. We drove on HWY 89 and parked in the Vikingsholm parking lot. Since it was winter, tours of Vikingsholm were closed, but the trail was still open so we hiked the steep 1-mile down. Many of the windows and doors were boarded up, but we still clicked away nearly 2 whole rolls of film on the castle.
On our way back, we stopped at a few vista points for Emerald Bay and took some more pictures.
We ate at Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe for dinner. They served complimentary foie gras butter with bread – a first for both of us. Shaun ordered veal medallions and I had the special fresh fish of the day. Very nice place for a romantic dinner.
After Evans, we called a taxi and went over to Stateline for some gambling & drinks. Definitely had a fun night, but we should keep the opportunity to gamble to a minimum for our own good.
The next day we packed up from the inn and headed over to Camp Richardson, where we let Rosco run wild at the beach.
Then we started our drive back home. We ate a late lunch in historic downtown Placerville at a cute little place called Hey Day Cafe. Shaun said the weekend was strange – like an eerily quiet summer in Tahoe but with near-freezing temperatures. Even though we missed out on the snow, I had a great time just relaxing and sight seeing around town.