North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe is the kind of place that truly has something for everyone. A place where your soul can wander and your spirits can soar higher. With 12 unique towns and ski resorts, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, dozens of beaches, exciting gaming, 120+ eateries, and the largest alpine lake in North America, this all-season destination is great for all ages and all members of the family. Recently my family and I got to experience the enchantment, beauty and adventure of North Lake Tahoe for ourselves, and here were some of our favorite spots…


Stay

Granlibakken – Located in a peaceful 74 acre wooded valley, Granlibakken offers cozy cabins in a secluded mountain escape with direct access to hiking and biking trails. Additional amenities include yoga classes in the Soul Shelter yoga and meditation space and the onsite Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park. Granlibakken’s Sled Hill is also a great allure, being on site – the historic ski and sled area is split between a beginner and intermediate ski hill and a 300-foot long sled hill, perfect for any family adventure. 

Play

Ski at Alpine Meadows – Tucked between Truckee and Tahoe City, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is a picturesque playground for off-the-radar thrill-seekers. At Alpine Meadows, skiing and riding experiences always come first. From easy-riding progression parks to wide-open bowls, Alpine Meadows brings an exciting challenge to any level of skier or snowboarder and breathtaking views from every chair lift. Not too big and not too small, it’s a great one day or multi day ski stop.


Bridgetender Tavern and Grill – Located at the historic Fanny Bridge, is a great apres-ski scene offering riverfront drinking and dining in a relaxed, rustic tavern. A great spot to grab a Sierra Nevada and pull up a stool after a long day on the slopes.

Chickadee Ridge – This three mile, family-friendly trail offers a great snowshoeing adventure for visitors of all skill levels. But ‘Chickadee’ isn’t just part of the trail’s name – adventurers can say hello to these friendly little birds by offering them birdseed. Keep an eye out for them, specifically the black-capped chickadee (also known as “Cheeseburger birds”), which are some of the most human-friendly birds around.

Commons Beach – Hot or cold out, don’t miss your opportunity to touch the lake at Commons Beach and relax by the water.This four-acre family-friendly beach and park located lakefront on Tahoe’s North Shore. Great for swimming, sunbathing and hosting picnics/BBQs….as well as just walking the docks and enjoying the crystal waters and mountain views.

Tahoe East Shore Trail –  Once a dangerous and difficult area of the shoreline to access, the newly-paved multi-use East Shore trail hugs the shoreline and expands for nearly 3 miles down to Sand Harbor. The trail offers some of the most stunning views of the lake. Make sure to take lots of footage!


Dine

Sunnyside Reatsuarant and Lodge – Located in Tahoe City, this award-winning restaurant with an expansive dining room, serves a menu full of mouthwatering appetizers and refreshing cocktails, and boasts a stunning outside deck overlooking the West Shore. Be sure to arrive by sunset over the lake, and order up some fried zucchini to start your meal.


Jakes on the Lake in Tahoe City – A lakeside restaurant serving California cuisine and priding itself on treating guests with “mountain aloha” hospitality, this family-owned restaurant features an abundance of fresh seafood, high-quality meats, and seasonal produce. The menu is inspired by Californian & Hawaiian flavors so be sure to try their Ahi Poke Roll or Fish Tacos for a coastal feeling lunch on the lake. 


West Shore Cafe & Inn in Homewood,
 – A next level cuisine stop with with chef-inspired menus that change with the seasons, with the opportunity to sit on the restaurant’s stunning lakefront balcony. Dedicated to sourcing their food from local and organic farms the West Shore Cafe’s menus change with the season and doesn’t disappoint. Every dish here is exceptional and unique – full of flavor. If they are still making it, be sure to order up the House Burrata with grilled seasonal fruit, lavender truffle honey and focaccia. 


The Lone Eagle Grille – Enjoy sunset cocktails and light eats by the water at the Lone Eagle Grille lounge. Here you can sit outside by fire pits and and enjoy views of their private beach, while savoring a a warm craft dessert cocktail as you take in the stunning Tahoe sunset. Try the “Almond Joy” – a hot chocolate with coconut rum, amaretto and whipped cream, or the “Grounded Eagle” – Starbucks coffee with Godiva chocolate liqueur, Baileys and Grand Marnier.

Travel Trends 2020

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1. LOW AIRFARE PRICES

2019 WAS A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR FOR AIRFARE – AVERAGE ROUND TRIP PRICES DROPPED TO THEIR LOWEST LEVELS IN THE PAST 4 YEARS. THE FLIGHT TRACKING APP, HOPPER (WHICH TRACKS YOUR FLIGHTS AND LETS YOU KNOW WHEN THEY GO UP/DOWN IN PRICE) PREDICTS THAT AIRFARE WILL CONTINUE TO GO DOWN IN 2020, WITH JANUARY PRICES PROJECTED TO BE THE LOWEST SINCE 2013, AVERAGING $196 ROUND-TRIP IN THE US. THIS IS DRIVEN BY A FEW KEY FACTORS, INCLUDING COMPETITION IN THE MARKET AND THE ENTRY OF LOW COST CARRIERS.

2. UNDER SOLD DESTINATIONS AND ALTERNATIVE AIRPORTS

DESTINATIONS AND AIRPORTS THAT AREN’T AS TYPICALLY POPULAR WILL BE ON THE RISE AN EFFORT TO COMBAT THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF OVER-TOURISM AND BRING THE JOY OF TRAVEL BACK. A GREAT EXAMPLES OF THIS IS SEEN IN ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. IT’S THE FASTEST GROWING AIRPORT IN THE ENTIRE U.S. FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, AND ACTS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO OTHER MAJOR SOCAL AIRPORTS TO SAVER TRAVELERS STRESS, TIME AND TRAFFIC.

3. SOLO TRAVEL AN CITY BREAKS

A RECENT EXPEDIA SURVEY FOUND THAT OVER 50% OF SOLO TRAVELERS ENJOY GOING ON TRIPS TO EXPLORE NEW CITIES AND MEET NEW PEOPLE. CITY’S LIKE LOS ANGELES ARE A GREAT DESTINATION FOR THE SOLO TRAVELER WITH  BEAUTIFUL BEACHES, HIKING TRAILS AND GREAT WEATHER MOST OF THE YEAR. LOS ANGELES ACTUALLY HAS A PRETTY EXCITING DINING SCENE TOO – DINEL.A., WHICH OCCURS TWICE A YEAR, PROVIDES A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR TRAVELERS TO EXPLORE THE CITY’S VIBRANT DINING SCENE IN A BUDGET-FRIENDLY WAY.

4. CULTURE AND HISTORY

THE IDEA OF VISITING SOMEWHERE THAT ENGAGES THE MINDS IS CERTAINLY GROWING, PARTICULARLY IN THE US.  DESTINATIONS LIKE NANTUCKET IN THE NE ARE RICH IN CULTURE AND HISTORY AND PROVIDE A TONNE FOR EVERYONE TO EXPERIENCE – FROM THEIR HISTORICAL WHALING MUSEUM TO THE CISCO BREWERY, COBBLED STREETS AND ARTISAN SHOPS. A SHORT DISTANCE FROM MA, IT’S ACCESSIBLE VIA SEASTREAK FERRY OR PUBLIC CHARTER FLIGHT.

5. MICRO-CATION

TINY TRIPS ARE ALSO SET TO BECOME MORE POPULAR AS FEWER PEOPLE HAVE TIME FOR LONG TRIPS. IT HAS BEEN  FOUND THAT MORE AMERICANS ARE USING THEIR VACATION TIME TO DO A “MICRO-CATION.”  IT’S THOUGHT THAT THESE ARE MORE BENEFICIAL TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, YOU CAN BE MORE SPONTANEOUS, AND CAN EVEN AVOID JET LAG. GREAT MICRO-CATION OPTIONS LIKE NYC AND MIAMI WILL BE ON THE RISE COME 2020.

Where to stay cool this summer

No doubt that summer heat has sunk in… and for those of us living in spots around the country with hot hot temps (like NYC) so where can we go to cool off this summer both near and far?

NYC
Central Park, N.Y – Who says you can’t keep cool in the city? Park yourself alongside the Bethesda Fountain in Central park or take to the Lake in a rented rowboat from Loeb’s boathouse.
Rockaway Beach – Take the subway, a beach shuttle bus or the ferry to the free, Queens beach that is filled with plenty of affordable food trucks as well as great bars and shops.
Robert H. Treman State Park- Take a dip in the stream-fed pool beneath the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, at Robert H. Treman State Park in the Finger Lakes

Missouri – Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park – Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River or shoot through “Mother Nature’s hydraulics” in the natural swimming holes at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Middle Brook, Missouri.

Pennsylvania – Ohiopyle State Park – Cool off on the natural waterslides, courtesy of Mother Nature, the Youghiogheny River Gorge and thousands of years of erosion.

CT – Brownstone Park – This adventure center in Portland, Connecticut, provides an adrenaline-pumping plunge into the water from a zip line. Spend the rest of the day rock climbing, cliff jumping, swimming, kayaking and more

Texas – Blue Hole Regional Park – Picture yourself plunging into Blue Hole from a rope swing… This good ol’ fashioned Texas swimming hole became a 126-acre regional park in 2005.

NJ – Delaware River – Flowing for 330 miles from New York through Pennsylvania, families typically float down the Delaware River from Frenchtown, N.J., where they rent tubes, canoes, kayaks or rafts.

California Coast – The entire coastline is booming in the summer months as temps reach a nice high in the day but cool off at night. Consider SD which has a combination of breezy beaches like La Jolla Shores and buzzing nightlife. Or stay in west LA and checkout Malibu’s cliff-side beaches like Point Dune, known for it’s gorgeous tide pools.

Hawaii – From Maui to Kauai to O’ahu, Hawaii boasts plenty of beautiful beaches but there are also hiking trails to explore. Once you reach the end of the trail, take a dip in one of the cool, refreshing swimming holes before heading back down the mountain.

Brokenspoke, NC

Charlotte is a Southern jewel whose one-of-a-kind attractions and unique beauty shine brightly. Home to a friendly, diverse and creative class of people, and constantly developing areas, tastes, sites and sounds, make this thriving city a place to visit. On this trip I visited the “Southend’ area. The Charlotte Rail Trail is popular with runners and cyclists and a walk along it will bring you to an array of entertainment options – a vibrant nightlife, craft breweries and laid-back pubs, plus buzzy restaurants serving elevated American and global cuisines.

Brokenspoke is a warm hearted distillery and brewery, serving up great light bites and beverages to spark the soul in you. Handcrafted spirits and premium beers pair well with their Charcuterie Board – (the wonderful in house) Chef Shiki’s Choice of Hand Sliced Artisanal Meats and Cheeses, Served with our House-pickled Cauliflower, Mild Cherry Peppers, House-made Rúa Whiskey Mustard, One of our House-made Salamander Vodka Jams, House-made Organic Granola, Figs, Dried Cranberries, and Toasted French Baguette Points.

Another favorite? Their Crab Cakes – Three Scratch-made Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Cooked to a Perfect Golden Brown in Fresh Organic Lemon Juice and our Old Bay Infused Oil Served with our Wonderful House-made Cajun Remoulade. Try any cocktail with their RUA Whiskey or BAN Vodka to finish off you’re evening- and you’re set!