When I came back from my recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I had numerous conversations with people outside of California who told me that my pictures from Tahoe made them want to visit the beautiful destination soon. In fact, one of my friends said she was adding “Tahoe in the Summer” to her must-see travel spots in the next year. I love that!
Before I went to Lake Tahoe in the warmer months, I had no idea how incredibly gorgeous, peaceful and enjoyable it would be. Dave and I went to Tahoe during our very first year living in San Francisco, and we tried snowboarding at the tail-end of ski season. While I loved the apres-ski, snowboarding was tough (even with a short lesson), and quite frankly, I hadn’t been all that interested in going back to try again (which is unheard of in the Bay Area, where many people love to get away every weekend to hit the powder in Tahoe). I hadn’t ever thought that much about going to the area when it wasn’t cold, and clearly I was missing out. The summer activities are endless, and the sunny skies are perfect.
The biggest problem with going to Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area is admittedly the traffic. If you try to go there on Friday afternoon and come back on Sunday afternoon, you’re likely to encounter tons of other cars doing the same thing. However, when I went to Tahoe a couple of weeks ago, it was the weekend after Labor Day, and by choosing the right times to travel, we hardly encountered a slow-down. (But if you do plan on going, make sure you carpool and get the appropriate four-wheel drive car if you’re heading up the mountains in snow.)
Let’s get into the trip …
I was invited on the “Wellness on the Water” press trip by the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe a couple months before it was scheduled to take place and instantly knew I was going to do it. I found a sub for my Saturday BODYPUMP class, cleared my agenda and found a driving buddy, Jessica, who was kind enough to shuttle me to Tahoe and back in an awesome fancy Lexus car she borrowed from the brand.
We took the long route to Tahoe to stop and check out Emerald Bay, and it was absolutely breathtaking. You can see there is a little beach below and lots of people cruising around on boats. These scenes were immediate notifications to me that Lake Tahoe in the summer is spectacular and not to be missed.
Staying at Hyatt Lake Regency Tahoe
We arrived at the Hyatt Lake Regency Tahoe on Friday afternoon just after the standard 4 p.m. check-in time and were greeted by a complimentary glass of champagne (offered to all guests). Then we checked out our rooms. I had a sweet room on the second floor with a king bed and balcony overlooking the pool. My room had everything I needed to be comfortable, including a nice bed, decent size bathroom, complimentary toiletries and even the coolest feature in which the night-stands have little night-lights that turn on when you get up in the middle of the night in a dark room to guide your way. So cool!
A few great features of the Hyatt?
- Complimentary champagne at check-in (a treat when you arrive after a long drive)
- Fun pool area with an adults-only hot tub (spent quite a bit of time in there)
- Water-filling station in the lobby and refillable water bottles for purchase in the room
- Awesome location just across the street from Lake Tahoe beach
- Super convenient Tahoe Provisions breakfast/snack/coffee spot open all the time offering Starbucks products, and the things I need most — stevia and almond milk for my morning tea
- A woodland wonder lobby, perfectly suited for a ski lodge or summer cabin
- Casual Lakeside Beach Bar and Grill, Sierra Cafe and totally cool Lone Eagle Grille for dining on property
- Two fire-pits for grilling s’mores (you can buy a s’mores kit at Tahoe Provisions)
- A private catamaran for lake cruising
- Full-service fancy spa for all your pampering needs
- A casino, which I didn’t use, but is there and waiting for those who want to visit
The “Wellness on the Water” press trip
The Wellness on the Water press trip was focused on showing us bloggers in attendance how to have a great adventure outdoors in Lake Tahoe in the summer, so of course, we spent much of our time outside.
Day one — Arrival and welcome dinner
The first night we had dinner at Sierra Cafe, which is right in the hotel. We sat outside on the deck, enjoyed the stars and had some tasty food. My smoked salmon dish was excellent. That night we all got to know each other, chatted about the weekend ahead and then changed into some sweat pants before we walked across the street to make s’mores around the fire-pit (and enjoy a glass of wine).
Day two — Kayaking, hiking and a fancy dinner
The second day was action-packed. Our group met in the hotel lobby before 9 a.m., and we were suited up in kayaks launching off Lake Tahoe beach in no time. We enjoyed a three-hour kayaking adventure with Go Move Mountains and Action Water Sports, two fabulous organizations based in Tahoe.
And side note about the lake in Tahoe — there are no predators in it. You can see to the bottom, the water is incredibly clear and often quite calm. Growing up in Florida, I was never a big fan of lakes, because they were always mucky, filled with alligators, snakes, etc. But in Tahoe, the super-deep lake (it gets 1,600 feet deep at some points) is totally inviting. I would not be scared to swim in it anywhere.
Back to the tour …. the owner of Move Mountains, Charlie, was our kayaking tour guide, and he added an element to the tour I’ve never experienced before — mindfulness. He asked us to think about things we were grateful for. He asked us to take a moment of silence. He also told us all about Lake Tahoe, taught us how to properly use our kayaks and took us across the lake, through some little channels and after plenty of down-time floating and reflecting, he guided us safely back to the beach. It was so quiet out there on the water, and was my favorite part of the entire trip.
Our and Charlie had us do this cool drill where we all pulled our kayaks up next to each other, and secured them by holding each other’s paddles — then some of us stood up and switched spots. So I ended in transferring seats and kayaks during the journey in the water. What fun!
Seriously, go check out Move Mountains and take a tour with Charlie on your next visit. He’ll have you relaxed, in touch with your senses and in touch with nature in no time. (And he’s really good about bringing snacks and water so that you stay very hydrated during your activity. Love that!)
After kayaking, we had a tasty lunch at the outdoor Lakeside Beach Bar and Grill on the beach, which is a super convenient spot for fueling up while you’re still in the sun.
Then, we switched outfits and headed off on a hike on the Flume Trail. The weather was moderate, there was plenty of sun and the Move Mountain team told us about the terrain and birds as we walked around a fairly easy path for about two hours. At this point, most of us were getting a little bit tired — the altitude and activity was a lot, so we were ready for the hike to end when it did. And yes, we worked up an appetite! (Side note: You totally get out of breath more easily when hiking at 8,000 feet above sea level.)
Good thing my hands weren’t dry when I found this tiny pinecone for a close-up photo, right?
That afternoon, we had some free time, so a few of us headed to float in the pool before returning to our rooms to get ready for an early dinner. I definitely would have spent more time at the pool if I could, and look forward to going back for that again one day. (Looked like they had fruity beverages available via a cocktail waitress, but I didn’t try any of those out this trip.)
The final event for the day was dinner. Although I loved the serene moments on the water while kayaking, dinner at Lone Eagle Grill was almost a show-stealer — it was fantastic. The restaurant overlooks the lake, and there are outdoor and indoor dining tables. You enter the restaurant and look down at big windows, a bar and the perfect scene. Our group had a nice table in the dining room, and we were there for a couple of hours dining and sipping and chatting. And we even had a moment for a sunset photo-shoot …
Perhaps the best conversation of the trip happened around that dinner table, and our sommelier kept some tasty white and red wines flowing. In addition to multiple appetizers, I ordered (go figure) the salmon for dinner, and it was one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever had. We finished up with the most amazing Baked Tahoe for dessert, which was completely mouth-watering and just my kind of decadent treat.
The rest of the night included a group dip in the hot tub for some girl talk and some more s’mores (say that five times fast). We also dropped into the hotel’s bar, the Cutthroat’s Saloon, where we encountered a hilarious bartender. I went to bed super full, super pleased and ready for a good night’s sleep after a long day.
Day three — Catamaran cruise, massages and departure
The final day of our press trip was absolutely perfect. We met in the lobby to walk together over to the lake and board a private boat for a mimosa cruise aboard the Sierra Cloud Catamaran. Our group found a spot on the netting right at the front of the boat. The cruise was slow and calm, and we were served mimosas, breakfast pastries, fresh fruit and cheese and crackers right from our spots. We didn’t even have to get up one time other than to take a picture, which made it even more relaxing.
We followed the cruise up by massages in the fancy Stillwater Spa and Salon, which was just lovely. I had an aromatherapy (or Stillwater) massage, and nearly fell asleep while I was rubbed down with essential oils. So good that I could have stayed there all day.
Sadly, that was the end of the trip — but it was a good ending. I had decided to pack all my things up before the cruise, so that after my pampering, all I had to do was go back to my room and pick up my suitcases. From there, check-out was a breeze, because we dropped our keys in the box and got in the car to head home.
My takeaways from Lake Tahoe
I really can’t say enough about how gorgeous Lake Tahoe is in the summer. The hotel was perfect, the experiences were great, and I really enjoyed getting to know some new-to-me bloggers who I had never met before the trip. It was a small and intimate group with just five total, which meant we all got to spend a lot of time together, and time with our awesome Hyatt hostesses Suzie and Bethany. While we all have different followings, genres and viewpoints — we sure got along well and had a great time experiencing “Wellness on the Water” as a fun blogger group.
Be sure to check out the other ladies from the trip …
- Jenna from This is My Happiness
- Jessica from Hej Doll (my photographer and driving buddy)
- Kara from The Whimsy Soul
- Whitney Powell from Britt + Whit
Jessica and I made pretty good time back to the Bay Area from Tahoe on that Sunday, and I was at home, unpacked and in my pajamas by 7 p.m. Not too shabby!
I already told Dave that we’re going back to the Hyatt for a little getaway, and yes, we can bring Rudy, because the hotel does have some dog-friendly rooms. Oh, and we’re going to eat dinner at Lone Eagle Grille for sure … and buy a s’mores kit from Tahoe Provisions and sit around the fire. No doubt.
As far as what I learned on this trip? Some blogging tips, some photography tips, a huge appreciation for Lake Tahoe and the fact that it’s great to get out on my own and hang out with new people. While my weekends are typically full of group fitness, hanging out with my husband and immediate friends — it was refreshing to be off with people that I didn’t really know and talk about entirely new subjects and connect on many levels. New environment, new viewpoints = good stuff.
And ladies and gentlemen, that’s my take on Lake Tahoe in the summer and the fabulous press trip I was lucky enough to be invited to earlier this month. If you haven’t yet, add Tahoe to your list. You won’t be disappointed.Been to #LakeTahoe in the summer? Here's how to have an awesome time outdoors. #WellnessontheWater Click To Tweet
*Thanks so much to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe team for arranging this awesome trip and inviting me. I received a complimentary stay, food and activities in exchange for sharing my experience. But of course, all opinions are my own. And thanks to Jessica for sharing a few of her professional shots with me for this post. I think you can tell which ones!
Questions of the day
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
When was the last time you went somewhere new?