We decided to take a quick trip to Lake Tahoe, a place we've never been, prior to heading home from San Francisco. I asked for suggestions on Insiders and once again received some helpful information. I made reservations at Timber Ridge, a Marriott Vacation Club property for 2 nights at a very reasonable rate of $116 for a 1-bedroom suite. In addition to lodging recommendations, I also received a suggestion to visit Virginia City, Nevada.
It was a short walk from the Marriott Marquis to the Enterprise Car Rental office near Union Square. We picked up the car and drove back to the hotel to pick up our luggage. We had timed our departure to be at the end of rush hour (even though we were leaving San Francisco) and it was an easy trip across the Bay Bridge. We were thankful we were not heading into the city because the traffic was backed up for miles and miles and miles.....
We passed Sacramento on the outskirts of town and headed northeast on Hwy. 50. We stopped at a California Visitor Center which was in a shopping center near Folsom. We picked up tourist information and a suggestion to stop in Placerville, a small town originally known as Dry Diggin's; however, its most common name was Hangtown because of the reported numerous hangings due to the miners having arguments. Officially, only 3 men were hung there and the name of the town was changed in 1854 to the more friendly name of Placerville.
It was an interesting little town with the most beautiful pink dogwood tree I had ever seen. We went in the oldest continuously operating hardware store west of the Mississippi, a rather new bicycle shop with a friendly proprietor, and a candy store that had seen better days I'm sure.
How could I forget??? Before reaching Placerville, we stopped for lunch at
In-N-Out Burger. I just had french fries for lunch (since I don't like hamburgers); however, bikinchris enjoyed the burger. The restaurant was packed.
We decided it was time to head on the Lake Tahoe and were amazed at how quickly we came into snow. Our first view of Lake Tahoe was incredible.
We decided to visit Emerald Bay before checking in at the hotel.
Our suite was ready when we checked in (after 4pm) and we were pleased with the view.
We had received a list of restaurants in the area that offered discounts to guests at the Timber Ridge from the concierge and chose a little place in the adjacent complex which was just okay. After a bite to eat, we headed to Raley's grocery store, about a block away from the Heavenly complex, where we picked up some cinnamon rolls to bake in the oven for breakfast, milk, and some fruit. We laughed about the cinnamon rolls because we had bought some to cook in our oven in our Boston Custom House suite, but when we actually checked-in, we found we did not have an oven (due to the historical nature of the building). After returning to the hotel, we caught up on a Razorback baseball game on the computer before heading to bed.
After a breakfast of warm sweet rolls that sure made the room smell good, we headed up the east side of the lake. We decided to stop in Carson City, the capital of Nevada, on our way to Virginia City and enjoyed visiting the state capitol building. It was a short drive from there to Virginia City where we enjoyed the sights.
We were surprised at the number of tourists in the town on a Wednesday afternoon. Some of the shops were not open for the season yet, but lots of people were walking up and down Main Street.
We wanted to stop at Spooner Lake as we headed back to Lake Tahoe; however, it was not possible to get there. I know that Lake Tahoe does not freeze over, but I imagine Spooner Lake does.
We stopped at a couple of overlooks on the east side of Lake Tahoe, including Cave Rock and Zephyr Cove as we headed back to town. It was starting to cloud over, but was still beautiful.
We used a coupon from the concierge to get a free burger (I could get a turkey burger!) at Fat Burger at Harrah's Casino, just a block away from the hotel in Nevada. You got a free burger when you bought fries and a drink, so it was a pretty good deal. I was able to wash clothes that night and it was so easy because we had a washer and dryer in the room. Snow was predicted during the night and I got up a couple of times to see if it was snowing. It hadn't snowed at 2 or at 4, but when we got up about 7, there was snow on the rooftops. As we were leaving town, we saw cars parked with several inches of snow on the windshields, so we just missed a bigger accumulation.
We really enjoyed this side trip to an area we had never visited.