Looking to get out of the city for the weekend? The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is a trip EVERY San Francisco resident must experience… at least twice, but hopefully a few times a year. 

You can book your stay at local hotels like Sunnyside or the renovated PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. Another option is to check out rentals on VRBO or AirBnB well in advance of your trip. Regardless of where you stay, you’re sure to make amazing memories at some of these hot spots. Here are my suggestions: 
 
Pro tip: Your drive is part of your vacation, so make it enjoyable! Do all you can to leave on Thursday or Friday mid-day to make the most of your weekend and avoid traffic (even though during Covid the traffic is far less intimidating than before!) You should make it to the West Shore in 3-4 hours, but leave time to stop for tacos at Maria’s and pick up a pie or two at Ikedas
 
Whether you plan to pull in late at night or by lunchtime, get your reservations at these West Shore hotspots BEFORE you cross the bridge. Have a designated driver before you arrive at Jakes on the Lake, where you are sure to enjoy amazing views and pitchers of their signature rum cocktail, The Wet Woody.  Chambers Landing is only open during the summer, but you must “keep Tahoe orange” by enjoying a Chambers Punch and their amazing tacos. (ALERT- Punches with Rum Floats on the rocks are only for the experienced Chambers devotee!) They have a public beach at Chambers, so get there early and claim your sand. Making your way west during the winter? Don’t despair- the owners of Chambers recently took over Fire Sign Cafe, the perfect place for a warm breakfast before you hit the slopes.  Want to kick it up a notch? West Shore Cafe is the perfect lakeside dining venue and a bit more formal than the other spots. River Ranch Lodge is a great place to stay or stop by for apres-ski.   No trip to Lake Tahoe is complete without time spent (or nights stayed) at PlumpJack- which has its roots in San Francisco. PlumpJack Cafe in Squaw Valley is the ultimate apres scene.  A classic West Shore stop is Obexer’s Boat Shop, the perfect place to plan your water activities. But don’t miss the General Store there for their breakfast sandwiches, and Tahoe House for their baked goods to bring home. West Shore Market is a good place to grab morning coffees and provisions for cooking at home.  For all of these spots, pick up your schwag before you close out.  Sunnyside long sleeve shirts and visors, anything from Chambers, and Obexer’s t-shirts will make you part of the “in crowd” when you are back in the Bay. 
 
Jake’s on the Lake
 
Chambers Landing
 

Okay well, that was a lot about eating and drinking.. But what should you actually DO in Lake Tahoe? 

During the summer it’s all about being on or near the water. My fingers are crossed that the dock at Chambers Landing will be open in 2021- a major hot spot for those single and spoken for. Float down the Truckee River, picnic at the beach, hike Eagle Rock, or rent bikes for a ride from West Shore into Squaw Valley.  If you visit during the winter, make the most of Tahoe’s snow.  Ski spots include Homewood, North Star, and Squaw Valley.  Get the kids involved by registering them for ski school- and make sure to get your spot before you leave for the trip.  Enjoy every moment of this special vacation spot that many SF ex-pats now call home.  
 
Interested in buying in Tahoe? My team has all of the inside knowledge on the West Shore. Contact me and I will put you in touch! 
 
 

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