I recently had the opportunity to take Frontier Airline's new non-stop service from Austin to Reno for a quick getaway trip to North Lake Tahoe and Reno. If you're based in Austin, the new flight runs a few times a week, and is a fantastic cheap way to hop directly over to Reno. From Reno, it's an easy hour drive to Lake Tahoe, or you can stay and check out all that Reno has to offer. It's not difficult to do both locations in one quick trip. We flew in on a Tuesday in mid-April, drove straight to Tahoe, spent two nights there, and then came back to Reno for one night at Circus Circus, and finished by flying back to Austin late on Friday. With that said, here's my quick guide to what to do if you find yourself in North Tahoe and Reno in the spring.
North Lake Tahoe
What To Do
- Ski at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Even if you don't ski, you can take a scenic aerial tram ride up to the lodge at the top of the mountain, and while you're up there you can take a soak in their mountaintop hot tubs.
- Take a Scenic Cruise to Emerald Bay on the M.S. Dixie II. Cruises depart daily from Zephyr Cove on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.
- Explore Sand Harbor. Its turquoise waters are beautiful no matter the season, but in the summer they have a great beach for swimming.
- Rent a Glass Bottom Kayak to explore the waters of Lake Tahoe. Clearly Tahoe offers rentals as well as scenic tour options around the lake.
- Climb up the short Hike at Eagle Rock for a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe's west shore. Lake Tahoe has many great hiking trails for all skill levels nearby.
- Stand Up Paddle Board on the lake. Tahoe Adventure Company also offers guided tours and lessons as well.
- Drive the full loop of the lake and search for photo spots, like Secret Cove and Emerald Bay.
Where to Eat
- Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge; 1850 W Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145
- Jake's On The Lake; 780 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145
- Gar Woods Grill & Pier; 5000 N Lake Blvd, Carnelian Bay, CA 96140
- The Log Cabin Cafe & Ice Cream; 8692 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA 96143
- Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique Restaurant; 640 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Where to Stay
Our two nights in Lake Tahoe were spent at the Cedar Crest Cottages overlooking the lake's West Shore. Our cottage was two floors, with the entry way leading into a kitchen and living room area, and downstairs had two bedrooms and a bathroom. My favorite features were the heated flooring throughout the cottage and the beautiful interior decor. While the outside might look like more old-fashioned, don't let that fool you as the insides of each building are newly renovated and very modern. The cottages are family-owned, and they have one, two, and three bedroom vacation home options for short or long term stays. While you're there, don't forget to also make use of the outdoor shared fire pit and make some s'mores!
What To Do
- Find Burning Man Art around the city, including the Playa Art Park, BELIEVE sign, and the Space Whale
- Explore the Riverwalk District
- Spend an afternoon at the Nevada Museum of Art
- Wander the Midtown District for its eclectic boutique shops, breweries, and eateries
- Catch a show at a casino, like Cirque Paris at Eldorado Resort Casino
- See over 220 antique and vintage cars at the National Automobile Museum
- For a more family friendly option than gambling, play arcade and carnival games at Circus Circus
- Get a cocktail at 1864 Tavern, a Nevada-themed bar
Where to Stay
During our one night in Reno, we stayed at Circus Circus in their newly renovated rooms. I'm usually not one to gamble, but Circus Circus is a fun, family-friendly casino option in Reno, with plenty of restaurant options, close vicinity to Reno attractions, and a large kid's arcade.
On arrival, we had dinner at El Jefe's, which is connected to Kanpai. Since the restaurants are really the same, we were able to order off both menus, so why not have a feast of Mexican food and sushi? I sure enjoyed it. After our meal, we headed over to the Eldorado Showroom to check out the casino's new vaudeville show, Cirque Paris. The show featured lots of acrobatics, juggling, comedy, and aerialists. We had front row champagne seating for the show, and it was a blast! A great way to spent your night beyond the poker tables. Before we left, we finished off our stay with breakfast at Madame Butterworks, and then lunch at Brew Brothers.
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Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with North Lake Tahoe Tourism. As always, all opinions are my own. For more information on planning your own trip to North Tahoe and Reno, visit https://www.gotahoenorth.com/. This post also contains affiliate links. By making a purchase through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.