A Tahoe Appetizer and a Side of Reno

Edgewood-Tahoe's closer plays out before a backdrop that simply is stellar. Photo by Erin O’Boyle Photographics

Time is growing short to cash in on warmer days adventures, but it’s never too late to start thinking about Post-Thaw 2012.  Outlined below are a few more Reno-Tahoe adventures, and some sure-fire spots to bed down and fuel up.


The formula is well established, and it works well, too, and in this iteration add location to the mix.  Embassy Suites’ South Lake Tahoe setting puts the Nevada casinos literally just north of the property, Heavenly Village and Heavenly Ski Resort’s mountain-accessing gondola—also a boon for summer/fall hikers, bikers and gawkers—are 50 yards to the south, and the lake is a five-minute stroll to the west.  (877-497-8483)

If the Ponderosa was the center of hospitality of Bonanza-era Tahoe, the head of the new four-season Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is today’s Pa Cartwright.  The lodge is a fusion of Ritz service, chic-rustic design and easy mountain comfort.  There’s a spa with its own pool, downslope gondola access to the services at Northstar Village, gorgeous views of meadow and mountain, pool, kids activities, adjoining Ritz-Carlton Club, nearby golf, and come winter the “Mountain Concierge” will have boots warmed and skis ready so the first exertion of the morn is deciding, “Ski down or lift up?” (530-562-3000)

Reno’s not Vegas when it comes to higher-end accomms.  The plus side is you don’t need to raid the kids’ college fund for a weekend stay at a commendable place like Silver Legacy.  Rooms have been renovated and the new digs look nice, modern; adios dated Silver Baron-era “Victorian” look.  The food offerings are strong, including steak and an oyster bar.  For those who like to gamble, the casino is open and nicely smoke-free, and Ferrari-Carano is the house wine. (775-325-7401)


The fish, I expected.  The pleasant surprise at Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe City comes in the form of seriously good carnitas.  Sitting lakeside is not a bad attribute, either. (530-583-0188)

I doubt anyone in this loud, convivial place ‘neath Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe would have the temerity to utter the phrase “gastropub,” but they do pay attention to the food—and house-brewed suds—at Stateline Brewery & Restaurant.  (530-542-9000)

Contemporary, vibrant American cuisine grace Reno’s riverside Wild River Grille; for lunch go for the turkey burger après the brie and spinach dip starter, blackened mahi or scallops resonate at dinner.  The restaurant hosts a number of special events throughout the week and across the year so check the website. (775-284-7455)


Gearheads and art lovers rejoice: Reno has something for both.  The National Automobile Museum is one of the best of its kind in the land.  The sheer volume of objets d’art is staggering, with an unimpeded progression from the first “horseless carriages” through the muscle-car era, with more selective choices the past few decades. Did you know Cadillac invented the electric starter because its founder, Henry Leland, lost a friend due to an injury he sustained trying to crank-start the car of a stranded woman?  Neither did I. (775-333-9300)  The Nevada Museum of Art could be the biggest little art museum in the world.  During a recent visit, the special exhibition featured the provocative outsized figurative art of Fernando Botero.  Good stuff.  (775-329-3333)

There are some 40 golf courses within an hour of Reno, and as Vic Williams, local resident/publisher of Fairways+Greens Magazine, says, “I’ve watched Reno-Tahoe grow from a golf underdog to world-class destination. You simply can’t find more variety in flavor, terrain and design styles anywhere else in the West.”  Edgewood-Tahoe gets the air time. (775-588-2787)  Another must-play is Truckee’s Old Greenwood, where the gracefully aging, ever-adapting Jack Nicklaus stitched together some of the most imaginative and distinct short par 4s around. (530-550-7010)  The Resort at RedHawk in Sparks gets a lot of deserved attention, as well.  Its Robert Trent Jones-designed Lakes Course is, as the name implies, liberally sprinkled with water and critter-teeming natural wetlands on the inward side. (775-626-6000)

Reno’s Truckee River Whitewater Park and surrounding Riverwalk District are year-round attractions of open-air markets, art shows and galleries, music, urban revitalization, food, the occasional whitewater competition and a sure-fire cool-off spot when the sun is high and people take to kayak and inner-tube; rentals are available. (775-825-9255 and 800-367-7366)

Tahoe Adventure Company.  While I can’t guarantee Frisbee golf from atop kayaks, check out the website for water sport rentals and tours, wheel and foot outings, and a bunch of other all-year thrills.  (530-913-9212)  Depending on season, Tony Berendsen’s Tahoe Star Tours also pairs with Tahoe Adventure Company on hiking, kayak and snowshoeing star excursions. (775-232-0844)

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