South Lake Tahoe proved to be the perfect place for our babymoon. As much as I love to explore exotic locations, I had already traveled a lot in 2019 including trip our to Morocco and a family reunion in Italy, so I wanted something easy. Lake Tahoe came to mind because it was a relatively short flight and offered both outdoor activities and beautiful scenery. Plus, neither Kam nor I had ever visited. It turned out to be a fantastic destination to celebrate our baby-on-the-way and spend some quality time together — just the two of us.
When to Go
Many people go to Lake Tahoe during the winter to ski, but the summer is also incredibly beautiful with plenty to do. We booked a five night stay the last week of August. The weather was ideal for us in the 70s to low 80s. We were surprised at how few boats were on the lake. Perhaps because school was already back in session the area wasn’t crowded except for one night when Luke Bryant was playing a concert near our hotel. The timing made for a perfectly peaceful babymoon. (You can read about our pregnancy announcement here.)
Where to Stay
Edgewood Tahoe made for an incredible visit to Tahoe South! The resort opened in 2017 and was already voted #1 Resort Hotel in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure readers.
The lodge and rooms are luxurious but what makes the resort so great is the expansive lakefront property. I loved cozying up with my book, Where the Crawdad Sings, (thanks to so many of you for recommending it) in a lawn chair overlooking the crystal clear lake and snow-capped mountains.
With five days in Tahoe, Kam and I mixed in some relaxation between our exploration of the area. We had time to lounge by the pool which also boasts great views of the lake and mountains. Kam and I enjoyed taking a dip in the oversized hot tub during sunset. We also took advantage of the complimentary s’mores bar in the evenings and lakefront yoga in the mornings.
How to Get There
We took a non-stop flight with United from Chicago O’Hare to Sacramento then rented a car. Lake Tahoe covers the California/Nevada border and the drive there took nearly two and a half hours. I have to say, my back was killing me during the drive. (Travel is no joke when you’re pregnant! I was 19 weeks at the time.) However, the drive through Eldorado National Forest is quite pretty, and Tahoe South is well worth the trip.
Things to Do
Tahoe South was an excellent choice for our babymoon, because there’s a variety of things to do! We spaced out some active days hiking the trails with casual strolls through town and lounging lakeside. Some ideas include:
- Rent a speedboat
- Go kayaking
- Hike Fallen Leaf Lake and Emerald Bay State Park
- Shop in Heavenly Village
- Relax by the lake or a fire pit
- Get a massage
Spend a Day on the Water
Our favorite activity was definitely renting a speedboat from Tahoe Sports of Ski Run Marina. The company was super helpful to ensure a great experience. Staff members show you how to operate the boat and drive you out of the marina, so it’s easy driving after that. We spent several hours cruising along the lake and chilling in Emerald Bay.
It is said that Lake Tahoe is 99.7% pure and so clear you could see a white dinner plate 78 feet below surface level. Floating on the beautiful blue waters while surrounded by lush forests and snow-capped mountains made for such a memorable day!
The waters were calm and since it was a weekday, there weren’t many boats on the lake. It was quite romantic! I was surprised that hardly anyone went into the water without a wetsuit — even on a hot day! Apparently, the water of Lake Tahoe is still cold at the end of summer.
If you can’t swing a private speedboat rental, I highly encourage finding another way to get on the water. Group cruises, paddle board and clear-bottom kayak rentals are also popular.
Hiking in Tahoe South
Kam and I love to hike, so we spent a full day exploring the area. Being 19 weeks pregnant, I was a little slower than normal, but we still spent hours on the trails. Our hotel concierge recommended moderate hikes at Fallen Leaf Lake and Emerald Bay. Our hike at Fallen Leaf Lake started with some beautiful waterfalls, and we loved checking out Emerald Bay by foot the day before we explored it by boat. The scenery at both places was gorgeous!
Where to Eat
We ate very well on this trip! We found some health-conscious casual spots as well as fancier places to enjoy a leisurely meal and the sunset. Here are some of the places I’d recommend in Tahoe South:
- Sprouts – Healthy fast-casual spot with plenty of vegan options.
- Capisce? – Family-owned restaurant serving freshly made Italian meals in a cozy setting.
- Jimmy’s Restaurant – California cuisine and an outdoor patio to take in the sunset.
- Basecamp Pizza – Popular pizza place in Heavenly Village.
- The Bistro Edgewood – Voted “Best Fine Dining” in Best of Tahoe’s readers poll.
- Brooks’ Bar & Deck – Upscale pub on Edgewood’s golf course. I had the best virgin margarita here!
At Jimmy’s Restaurant at the Landing, we reserved a table outside near one of the fire pits and took in a beautiful sunset before our meal arrived. You will see a row of cars parked in front the lake, but it doesn’t matter because you can still see a spectacular Lake Tahoe sunset in a gorgeous setting.
The olive oil braised chicken is one of their specialties so I ordered that, and wow! It is so delicious and such a generous portion! I wished my husband wasn’t vegetarian so he could have shared it with me. Highly recommend that dish if you go, but save room!
We are suckers for handmade, fresh pasta, so we went to town at Capisce?! I ate Papa’s Seafood Pasta which was packed with shrimp, mussels, scallops and clams tossed in a mildly spicy sauce. Delish! We also ordered bruschetta to start so after our meals we were pretty stuffed. However, our waitress said we had to try their famous dessert, Lisa’s Buns. It was a warm cinnamon bun served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. How could we turn that down?
South Lake Tahoe Makes for a Great Babymoon
Our five days in South Lake Tahoe made for a fantastic babymoon! We felt so relaxed as soon as we arrived and we did not want to leave by the end of it. You can combined adventure like hiking, boating, and biking with lazy days by the pool or in the spa. It’s all set in the most gorgeous of settings complete with waterfalls, crystal waters, and snow-capped mountains. The natural scenery is breathtaking and makes for an epic place to celebrate before baby arrives.
Be sure to check out more of my travel guides including Lake Geneva, WI in the Fall!
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