As one of the top places in the United States to get married, Lake Tahoe has always been one of the most romantic places in the country. This is the place to pop the question or just have a romantic weekend away…especially if you love the outdoors. Whether you live in Tahoe, or are just up for the weekend, check out these ten Lake Tahoe date ideas for the next time you want to do something a little special with that special someone.
10. Hang Gliding Tahoe offers flight lessons and rides in an FAA approved light-sport aircraft that features a modern hang gliding wing, very much like a traditional hang glider, but powered by a reliable Rotax aircraft engine. The flights are a safe and fun way to get a great view of the Reno and Lake Tahoe area. Additional costs include camera services and wing mounted video capture of your flight. If you are looking to experience flying over Tahoe with another person, you can do a Fly Together package where two people can go up and fly together each with a separate trike and separate flight instructor.
9. Sierra Hot Springs is located about 40 minutes north of Truckee in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This non-profit retreat and workshop center has several options for clothing optional bathing including a large warm swimming pool, a hot pool inside the Temple Dome and a few forest pools scattered among the pine and aspen forest. The center also offers spa services and a sauna. The main lodge is open for guests to relax during the day or as a hotel during the night. The lodge has a community kitchen where guests can cook meals and the Philosophy Cafe offers dinner on certain nights (please check with the hotel). The cozy lobby has a large wood stove, a library and large soft couches for lounging around after your soak in the hot water. The pools are also open 24 hours for both guests and the public.
8. Your date doesn’t have to be complicated. Head to Fanny Bridge at the crux of Hwy. 89 in Tahoe City. How did it get its name? I’ll let you decide as you hang over the side to check out all the big fish and rushing water. Then, get a table at The Bridgetender (65 West Lake Blvd.) and enjoy one of Tahoe’s best burgers while taking in great apres-ski /rafting people watching.
7. Historic Truckee can be the perfect afternoon escape. Go early enough to peruse the quaint shops and old-town sights. Then, stay for dinner and a drink at Pianeta Restaurant, a stellar Italian restaurant that offers delectable food and a great wine list.
6. It might be obvious, but the Gondola at Heavenly is still one of Tahoe’s gems. Going without the kids can feel like a true escape. Start at the base, where you can shop in Heavenly Village and grab a coffee or lunch before getting on the gondola. Revel in the pure quiet as you climb up and up and take in the view. You can get out half-way up to take photos, and once you get to the very top, enjoy a moment of serenity when you realize just why that long drive to Tahoe is worth it. It’s truly breathtaking.
5. Every summer for over 30 years, Tahoe residents and visitors have been entranced by the timeless words of William Shakespeare, set against the dramatic backdrop of Lake Tahoe and a starry sky. Comedies, tragedies, and even a special performance featuring Shakespeare’s complete condensed works delight patrons who settle into Adirondack chairs and munch on gourmet fare from the “food court” — actually, several booths set up by local restaurants inside the gates. Perfect for a first date or a family outing. Many visitors bring their own picnic baskets and wine to enjoy during the performance. The event offers several ticket prices and seating areas including VIP seating. Basic seating still gives you a great view of the stage and the water and you can stick your feet in the sand. Head to the event early during the day for good parking and maybe even come up in the morning and spend the day at the beach and in the water.
4. For some real fun, go someplace where you’re guaranteed not to see anybody under 21 — a casino. The Hyatt Regency in Incline Village has a great restaurant, the Lone Eagle Grill, where you can dine and enjoy the lake view before heading in to give your luck a try. The casino is actually pretty classy if you can handle the wafts of cigarette smoke and desperation. Craps or slots, you’re guaranteed to leave with at least a good story, if not a windfall.
3. If you’re the active type, rent bicycles at one of the many rental shops dotted along the lake (Olympic, Tahoe Bike & Ski, etc.) and head out for an adventure. You can ride around the whole lake — most likely a 4-6 hour ride for most non-pros. Or, keep it local and ride along West Lake Blvd. or South Shore. Be sure to end with a hearty lunch or picnic in order to connect and bond over your awesome physical achievement.
2. Dinner at Christy Hill is some of Tahoe’s finest. Located in Tahoe City, Christy Hill is a small restaurant (note: make reservations), which makes for a very customized, romantic experience. Recently written up by The New York Times and Bon Appetit, it’s sure to meet (or exceed) your standards. And a traditional date can sometimes be the best kind.
1. George Whittell’s dramatic, steeply-gabled stone was built in 1939 amid 40,000 acres of forested terrain. It was the wealthy San Francisco resident’s vacation home, and it was visited regularly by showgirls, baseball stars, celebrities, and even Bill, his lion, and Mingo, his elephant. The fascinating, 6000-square-foot main home sits amid a boat house, card house, and an underground tunnel that joins the structures and incorporates a “dungeon” room intended for rowdy guests. Today, visitors can view the home and hear the story of its eccentric owner, who saved much of Nevada’s shoreline from development, thanks to his appetite for real estate. Special dinners, weddings and receptions and private tours are available. Visitors to the mansion can approach by land or water, and the site also hosts meetings, event rentals, and wine dinners. Children 5 and under aren’t permitted. The Thunderbird Lodge also has its own romantic yacht that is available for romantic dinners, and tours of the lakeshore.