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 and the coronavirus – staying safe…

Coronavirus cases have now jumped by more than 2 dozen – bringing us to 89 cases and two deaths. Internationally speaking, travelers will face new restrictions and cancellations focused on more recent high risk destinations including Iran, Italy and South Korea. American Airlines, Delta and United amongst others have all announced the suspension of certain flights in and out of the US to highly impacted countries. Most are waiving cancellation fees and are issuing refunds for affected flights.

But what about domestic travel? Public health experts say that the biggest risk for domestic travel is actually still the flu and that nationally speaking travelers in the US are a low risk. However that doesn’t mean don’t take precautions. So, if you’re planning a trip in or outside the U.S. here area few ways to protect yourself!

— Reconsider traveling to affected areas, and realize you may not be able to return home if quarantined. There are still a safer options where you can have a fantastic spring break. If you really want to be careful – drive, train or look at destinations you can get to on shorter flights. Also destinations that promote being outside is a plus, like an open beach or the mountains, rather than a busy theme park or cruise ship.  There are some logical ways to make an informed choice about travel – use the CDC’s three level warning system to judge your travel plans.

— Get a flu shot and necessary vaccinations, rest, stay hydrated, eat well, exercise and stay healthy before traveling. Also make sure you talk with doctors and pediatricians regarding any pre-existing conditions you may have that would make you or your children more susceptible to the virus.  Also don’t travel sick – if you have a fever – even if it isn’t related to the virus, you may be subject to quarantine anyway to determine that you are not affected. Also get a flu shot and necessary vaccinations, rest, stay hydrated, eat well, exercise and stay healthy before traveling.

— Consider refundable rates whenever possible when making reservations at hotels and for rental cars. They may be more expensive, but worth it if your plans change. Read the fine print. And note the cancellation window on your hotel booking.Travel insurance policies are no longer covering the coronavirus…just like cannot buy fire insurance as wildfires approach your house. So it’s up to you to make an informed decision about travel.

— While flights themselves are not considered high risk, the proximity of people in a confined space does make a difference…wipe down tray tables, seat-belts etc use hand sanitizer and note that paper masks do not stop you from catching the virus. 

Spring Breaks and Spring Cleaning….for the family!

Yup it’s that time of year again….we are around the corner from the season of SPRING CLEANING and SPRING TRAVEL – both daunting tasks for any parent. Mom, Lifestyle and Travel Expert, Francesca Page, breaks down how to make both of these a little less stressful, and why they go hand in hand!
Spring Travel Hacks 

– Make a packing list for each person. Have a separate list for everyone in your family. Cross off the items that I you have packed and high-light or put a star next to the items that will need to be packed last minute (the kid’s favorite blanket or lovey, monitor, snacks.)

– Pack your kids clothes by day in plastic zip-lock bags.Take a zip-lock bag for each outfit. Put everything that you need for that outfit into that zip-lock bag. Example: Shorts, top, socks, underwear, headband, bracelet. You are all set.


 – Traveling does’t need to be messy or a reason to lose the little things – post earrings on a square of shelf liner to keep them organized and cushioned in your travel bag, prevent necklaces from getting into a knotted jumble by feeding them through a straw and clasping it, or keep earbuds safe by putting them into a glasses case.

–   Let the kids have their own bag of clothes, instead of sharing. This can be tempting, but try to avoid sharing bags if possible- it just makes things a little more confusing if you decide to share.  When you have 3 sets of hands in one bag, it makes things disorganized YET do share a toiletries bag (when you can)  – since everyone will be getting ready in the bathroom, it does make sense to have all “bathroom things” in one bag.

– Buy and toss or buy when you get there. Go disposable (think a big 6 pack of toothbrushes for the family) or pack just a few of something eg) diapers to get you through a few days, if you know there are trusted supermarkets where you are going.

– And finally, clean your house before you leave. Coming home to a messy house is not a good way to end a vacation! Which brings us onto spring cleaning!

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Hacks

– Have a cleaning command party once a week. Set an alarm for 1 hour and have everyone do as much as they can during that time. You could also pop on a home improvement show and use the commercial breaks to clean – when it’s over go out and do something fun

– Paint inside a cabinet door with dry erase paint and keep a running shopping list there..if someone uses the last of something in the house, they can go make a note of it. You can also give older kids dry erase markers to write their own daily schedules on bathroom mirrors so as a parent you know who needs what uniform/permission slip and more and when!

– Keep a large basket by the door for giveaways which can be taken to the local thrift weekly.

– Use technology to get the family involved –  an App like Cozi can help you with everything from calendars to shopping lists.

– Get EVERYONE involved in a big clean. Bring three sturdy trash bags into each room (one for trash, one for donations and one for items that could be better stored elsewhere) and designate room accordingly. 

–  Break it up. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so schedule hour blocks or a two hour stretch on the weekend. Then pop them in the family calendar – and be sure to make sure everyone else does too!