Tahoe’s West Shore: Unspoiled beauty

IMAGINE KAYAKING OR PADDLE BOARDING OVER sparkling blue water, and hiking or biking along a pine- covered path by the shoreline.

Or waking up in a cabin or lodge to the sound of birds and fresh smell of pine trees. Lodges, with old-world names such as Granlibakken, also have a sparkling swimming pool and tennis courts for mountain recreation.

This is Lake Tahoe’s unspoiled West Shore. Stretching from Tahoe City to Emerald Bay, it is area of natural beauty that provides a relaxing getaway, where the sun shines 75 percent of the year.

Just a one- to two-hour drive from the Sierra foothills, Reno or Sacramento, the West Shore is a world apart from the hustle and bustle below.

“West Shore is the best shore,” the Tahoe locals say.

Highlights include:
• Spectacular scenery and picnicking at Emerald Bay, Sugar Pine Point State Park, Eagle Rock and Blackwood Canyon.
• Kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, sailing and fishing, as well as swimming and sunbathing on white-sand beaches.
• Miles of paths for walks and hikes near local beaches.
• A bike path along the entire shore, joining in Tahoe City with the rest of the route.
• Off-road-vehicle riding, including the famous Rubicon Trail, America’s wildest off-road and jeep trail.

This summer offers added excitement on the West Shore. Obexer’s Boat Co. in Homewood, longtime home to Tahoe’s famous “woodies,” celebrates its 100th anniversary.

On July 16, Obexer’s celebrates with a breakfast, community barbeque on the beach, and night-time musical entertainment, with hosted appetizers and no-host bar.

On August 15, Obexer’s hosts the 18th annual gathering of the GarWoods boat show. The spectacular “woodies” are on display in the marina. Admission is free.

Here’s a tip: Obexer’s General Store, across the street from Homewood Mountain resort, has fresh made-to-order sandwiches. Grab one for a picnic at Sugar Pine Point State Park.

Then rent kayaks for exploring. This year, West Shore Sports has a rental concession at Sugar Pine Point. Also visit West Shore Sport’s main shop in Homewood to rent bikes, kayaks and paddle boards. Stand-up paddle boarding is the latest watersports craze to hit the Lake.


A stately summer home built in 1903. Sugar Pine Point State park. Summer tours.

One of the world’s most photographed locations. Hike down to Vikingsholm castle built in 1929. Summer tours.

Sugar Pine Point State Park. An original log cabin built by the famous general.

Museum displays include Indian basketry, logging and railroad history. Tahoe City at Fanny Bridge. Summer tours.

Site of the 1960 Winter Olympics Biathlon and Cross Country events.

Museum exhibits include vessels that are significant to Lake Tahoe, memorabilia dating back to the 1800s, and the largest collection of outboard motors in the West. For more information, go to TahoeWestShoreAssoc.com

(photo credit: Scott Thompson, ScottShotsPhoto.com)

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