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Publication: Weekend GetAways
Cobalt-blue Lake Tahoe

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, June 13, 2008
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!

Greetings Getaway Lover,

We're Off to stunning cobalt-blue Lake Tahoe. It is the 
largest alpine lake in North America, famous for its 
clarity, deep blue water, and surrounding snowcapped 
peaks. Straddling the state line between California and 
Nevada, it lies 6,225 feet above sea level in the Sierra 
Nevada. The border gives this popular resort region a 
split personality. About half its visitors are intent on 
low-key sightseeing, hiking, fishing, camping, and boat-
ing. The rest head directly for the Nevada side, where 
bargain dining, big-name entertainment, and the lure of 
a jackpot draw them into the glittering casinos. 

Happy Trails,

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The first white explorer to gaze upon this spectacular re-
gion was Captain John C. Fremont, in 1844, guided by the 
famous scout Kit Carson. Not long afterward, silver was 
discovered in Nevada's Comstock Lode, at Virginia City. As 
the mines grew larger and deeper, the Tahoe Basin's forests 
were leveled to provide lumber for subterranean support 
(had the forests been left untouched, Lake Tahoe might well 
have become a national park). By the early 1900s wealthy 
Californians were building lakeside estates here, some of 
which still stand. Improved roads brought the less affluent 
in the 1920s and 1930s, when modest bungalows began to 
appear. The first casinos opened in the 1940s. Ski resorts 
inspired another development boom in the 1950s and 1960s, 
turning the lake into a year-round destination. 

Though Lake Tahoe possesses abundant natural beauty and 
accessible wilderness, nearby towns are highly developed, 
and roads around the lake are often congested with traffic. 
Those who prefer solitude can escape to the many state 
parks, national forests, and protected tracts of wilder-
ness that ring the 22-mi-long, 12-mi-wide lake. At a van-
tage point overlooking Emerald Bay, on a trail in the 
national forests that ring the basin, or on a sunset 
cruise on the lake itself, you can forget the hordes and 
the commercial development. You can even pretend that 
you're Mark Twain, who found "not fifteen other human be-
ings throughout its wide circumference" when he visited 
the lake in 1861 and wrote that "the eye never tired of 
gazing, night or day, calm or storm." 

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Crystal Bay Club 
Casino, Crystal Bay 
The Crystal Bay Club has a restaurant with a towering open-
truss ceiling that looks like a wooden ship's hull. 

Address: Hwy. 28 at Stateline Rd., Crystal Bay, NV, USA
Phone: 775/831-0512

Downtown River Walk 
Park, Reno 
The Downtown River Walk often holds special events featur-
ing street performers, musicians, dancers, food, art 
exhibits, and games. At one end, the 2,600-foot-long 
Truckee River white-water kayaking course runs right 
through downtown and has become a major attraction for 
water-sports enthusiasts. www.renoriver.org. 

Address: S. Virginia St. and the Truckee River, Reno, 
Fleischmann Planetarium 
Observatory/Planetarium, Reno 
On the University of Nevada campus, the sleekly designed 
Fleischmann Planetarium has films and astronomy shows. 
www.planetarium.unr.nevada.edu. COST: Exhibits free, 
films and star shows $5. OPEN: Weekdays 8-8, weekends 

Address: 1600 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV, USA
Phone: 775/784-4811

Other Places of Interest:

Heavenly Gondola 
Viewpoint, South Lake Tahoe 
Whether you ski or not, you'll appreciate the impressive 
view of Lake Tahoe from the Heavenly Gondola. Its 138 
eight-passenger cars travel from the middle of town 2½ mi 
up the mountain in 13 minutes. When the weather's fine, 
you can take one of three hikes around the mountaintop and 
then have lunch at Adventure Peak Grill. Heavenly also 
offers day care for children. www.skiheavenly.com. COST: 
$24. OPEN: Hours vary; summer, daily 10-7; winter, daily 

Address: Downtown, South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
Phone: 775/586-7000 or 800/432-8365

National Automobile Museum 
Museum/Gallery, Reno 
More than 220 antique and classic automobiles, including 
an Elvis Presley Cadillac, are on display at the National 
Automobile Museum. www.automuseum.org. COST: $8. OPEN: 
Mon.-Sat. 9:30-5:30, Sun. 10-4. 

Address: Mill and Lake Sts., Reno, NV, USA
Phone: 775/333-9300

Thunderbird Lodge 
House/Mansion, Incline Village 
George Whittell, a San Francisco socialite who once 
owned 50,000 acres of property along the lake, built 
the Thunderbird Lodge in 1936. You can tour the man-
sion and the grounds by reservation only, and though 
it's pricey, it provides a rare glimpse back to a 
time when only the very wealthy had homes at Tahoe. 
You can take a bus tour from the Incline Village 
Visitors Bureau or South Lake Tahoe, a 45-passenger 
catamaran tour from the Hyatt in Incline Village, or 
a 1950, 21-passenger wooden cruiser from Tahoe Keys 
Marina in South Lake Tahoe (which includes lunch). 
www.thunderbirdlodge.org. COST: $25 bus tour, $65-$90 
boat tour. OPEN: May-Oct., call for tour times. 

Address: 5000 Hwy. 28, Incline Village, NV, USA
Phone: 775/832-8750 (lodge direct number); 
800/468-2463; 775/832-1606 (reservations); 
775/588-1881; 888/867-6394 (Tahoe Keys boat); 
775/832-1234; 800/553-3288 (Hyatt Incline Village 
boat); 530/544-9186 (bus shuttle from South Lake 
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Best Western Station House Inn 
$90 to $175, South Lake Tahoe 
It's a short walk to the beach, the Heavenly Gondola, or 
the casinos from this modern, well-kept, two-story motel 
off the main drag. The beds are comfortable, and the 
entire property is immaculate. www.stationhouseinn.com. 
100 rooms, 2 suites. Restaurant, cable TV, pool, outdoor 
hot tub, ski storage, bar, dry cleaning, Internet room. 
AE, D, DC, MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 901 Park Ave., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
Phone: 530/542-1101 or 800/822-5953
Fax: 530/542-1714

Cal-Neva Lodge 
$121 to $250, Crystal Bay 
All the rooms in this hotel-casino have views of Lake 
Tahoe and the mountains. The hotel also rents seven 
two-bedroom chalets and 12 cabins with living rooms. 
There is an arcade for children and cabaret entertain-
ment for grown-ups. Though some of the public areas 
look a bit shabby, the rooms are generally well main-
tained. There are some fun peculiarities about the 
place such as the state line running right through the 
swimming pool and the secret tunnel that Frank Sinatra 
built so that he could steal away unnoticed to Marilyn 
Monroe's cabin. Tours of the latter leave Thursday, 
Friday, and Saturday at 7, 8, and 9 PM. 
www.calnevaresort.com. 220 rooms, 20 suites, 12 cabins. 
Restaurant, coffee shop, room service, cable TV with 
movies, in-room VCRs, Wi-Fi, tennis court, pool, gym, 
hot tub, massage, sauna, spa, bar, cabaret, casino, 
video game room, dry cleaning, concierge, airport 
shuttle, some pets allowed. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 

Address: 2 Stateline Rd., Box 368, Crystal Bay, 
NV 89402, USA
Phone: 775/832-4000 or 800/225-6382
Fax: 775/831-9007

Chinquapin Resort 
$176 to Over $250, Tahoe City 
A deluxe development built in the 1970s on 95 acres of 
forested land and a mile of lakefront lies 3 mi northeast 
of Tahoe City. Within are one- to four-bedroom town houses 
and condos with great views of the lake and the mountains. 
Each unit has a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, and a 
washer and dryer. Some units haven't been updated in a 
while; be sure to request a recently remodeled one when 
you book. A one-week minimum stay is required in summer 
and late December; two- and three-night minimums apply the 
rest of the year. www.chinquapin.com. 172 town houses and 
condos. Kitchens, cable TV, 7 tennis courts, pool, 2 saunas, 
2 beaches, dock, hiking, horseshoes; no a/c. AE, D, MC, V. 

Address: 3600 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 96145, USA
Phone: 530/583-6991 or 800/732-6721
Fax: 530/583-0937 

Italian, $10 to $22, Incline Village 
 Diner Rating:  
An Italian family restaurant with a light, inviting dining 
room, Azzara's serves a dozen pasta dishes and many pizzas, 
as well as chicken, veal, shrimp, and beef. Dinners include 
soup or salad, a vegetable, and olive-oil garlic bread. MC, 
V. Closed Mon. No lunch. 

Address: Incline Center Mall, 930 Tahoe Blvd., Incline 
Village, NV, USA
Phone: 775/831-0346

Beaujolais Bistro 
French, $16 to $30, Reno 
Everything here is French -- waiters, wine, and even the 
music -- and the service is warm and friendly. The 
comfortable, airy dining room has exposed brick walls, a 
parquet floor, and an inviting, casual vibe. On the menu, 
expect modern adaptations of classics such as beef 
bourguignon, roast duck, coq au vin, seafood sausage, and 
steak frites, all lovingly prepared by the chef-owner. 
Reservations essential. AE, D, MC, V. Closed Mon. No lunch 

Address: 130 West St., Reno, NV, USA
Phone: 775/323-2227

Christy Hill 
Contemporary, $16 to Over $30, Tahoe City 
Sit near the fireplace in the sparsely decorated, white-
washed dining room or outside on the deck, and take in 
mesmerizing lake views while dining on Euro-Cal 
preparations of fresh seafood, filet mignon, or 
Australian lamb loin. The service is gracious, and 
desserts are especially delicious (try the pecan ice 
cream or fruit cobbler). Come early to see the sunset -- 
and you'll understand why the entrée prices are so high. 
There's also a less expensive café menu served at the 
wine bar or on the deck. Reservations essential. AE, MC, 
V. Closed Mon. No lunch. 

Address: Lakehouse Mall, 115 Grove St., Tahoe City, CA, USA
Phone: 530/583-8551

Pan-Asian, $16 to $30, Truckee 
Flavors are bold at this old-town restaurant, where every 
dish is artfully prepared and stylishly presented. The 
eclectic Southeast Asian-inspired menu changes twice 
monthly and is served in a bright, contemporary 2nd-floor 
dining room. In the summer, sit outside on the terrace 
overlooking Main Street and the train depot. Lunch is a 
bargain, and there are always lots of choices for 
vegetarians. D, MC, V. Closed Tues. 

Address: 10118 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, CA, USA
Phone: 530/587-0557


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