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Lake Tahoe Activities and News

Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Just another little hike…

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Nordic Center Vista

Nordic Center Vista

This is just another one of those ridiculously sweet views of Tahoe that you can get from a twenty minute walk in the woods. It’s fine for lowlanders, big families and those who generally don’t want to push it too far on vacation. I’m tempted to give you the quick and dirty on how to do this exact one but must say that, a) it’s easy to lose one’s way in the woods, b) AlpenGlow Sports in Tahoe City is a great place for hiking advice, and c) I get lost all the time.

The famous Tahoe Rim Trail passes right through Granlibakken’s backyard and offers some of the best hiking in the country. I’ll do a full post on that another time. The trail these photos were taken from is well below the Rim Trail (yes I get lazy, too) on a knoll at the T.C. Nordic Center…oh yeah, let AlpenGlow tell you how to do it.

Looking toward Desolation Wilderness

Looking toward Desolation Wilderness

© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos

Sail the Big Blue

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
The Tahoe Cruz, 50-footer

The Tahoe Cruz, 50-footer

Congrats – you’ve booked (or are about to book) your next trip to Granlibakken and Lake Tahoe. Next on the list – make plans to get yourself out on the Lake while here…

The Granlibakken blog covers all sorts of way to get wet – paddleboarding, wakesurfing / wakeskating/wakeboarding/waterskiing, jet skiing, parasailing, hot air ballooning, floating the Truckee – the list goes on and on. But this post is about the (normally) most-civil of the various water activities: sailing.

Most of us don’t have our own boats – thankfully there happens to be a 50-foot ocean raceboat called the Tahoe Cruz which resides at the Tahoe City Marina, about 4 minutes from Granlibakken. This is an awesome boat that likes to heel (lean over) in good winds. It’s also a suntan machine when there’s little or no wind. The Cruz goes out every day at noon, 2:30 and 5:30. They serve free beer, wine and soda and the 5:30 boat has cheese and crackers, too. The best boats for families with little ones are the first two.

Guest Skipper

Guest Skipper

This boat model is a Santa Cruz 50 and was built specifically for the Trans-Pac Race which goes from L.A. to Honolulu. This boat type dominated the race for years. With that race pedigree, sailing the Cruz on a windy day here at Tahoe is truly incredible. When she gets heeling folks get excited (those on the bow can get doused) and the wine usually starts flowing – and that’s why I said it’s normally the most civilized of the water sports up here….

Cowpoke Sailor

'Hey Cowpoke, you cast a pretty nice shadow'

© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos

Finding your chi on Tahoe’s West Shore

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

wanderlust-logoThe Wanderlust Festival, in its second year, comes to Squaw Valley from July 29th to August 1st. This four-day festival marries the art of yoga with the art of song with headlining yoga instructors Seane Corn and Shiva Rea and music performers Moby and Pretty Lights.

Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge has long attracted visitors and groups who share its values of wellness. Our wooded serene setting offers a contemplative environment, and accommodations provide privacy and flexibility for visitors with special dietary needs.

Granlibakken welcomes participants of the Wanderlust Festival with a special lodging rate starting at $115/night.

Ready, Set: SUMMER!

Friday, July 9th, 2010

OK – we all heard about the 10-feet of snow that Squaw got in April. And May was no time to for a lengthy dip in the Lake. June had a ton of thunderstorms and unsettled weather. Just because Tahoe decided to skip spring doesn’t mean that anyone should skip summer here. And summer has truly arrived, albeit on “Tahoe Time.”

Flip Flops Caught in the Winter

False Start Flip Flops

It’s in the ’80’s every day, boats are out in full force (as are the watercraft rental biz’s) and the water is, yes I dare say it: Warm! If you are one of these strange folks who think Tahoe is a lake to merely wonder at (the Hawaii-meets-Bermuda color) it’s time to get into those skivvies and give this ditch a dive. Seeking the warmest option? Well don’t swim on a windy day – upwelling currents bring the mobster-freezing gel from the depths right to the surface. And don’t swim next to a creek – not because of pollution you city slicker, rather because that water was snow about 5 hours ago. The warmest spots are Commons Beach in Tahoe City, King’s Beach, and the entire East Shore. So shovel off those flip flops and get up here…!

© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos

In the key of “G”

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Granlibakken is thrilled to be the host lodging site for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival Orchestra Academy and site of the Strictly Classical Performances taking place this month on July 21st and July 28th.

The Orchestra Academy, the only paid residency program on the West Coast, offers a 10-day intensive professional experience with training by world-class soloists. The Academy has recruited 36 of the most talented young musicians from across the country to live and rehearse at Granlibakken Resort.

July 21st’s performance is Classics New and Old featuring special guest Ariana Ghez, principal Oboist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

July 28th’s performance is Music in the Key of D featuring special guest Jerry Grossman, principal Cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Granlibakken’s Executive Lawn Venue is the perfect setting for this musical extravaganza. There will be a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres at 5pm before each concert. Concerts begin at 6pm and end at 7pm.

For those attending either performance, Granlibakken is offering a special Lake Tahoe Music Festival Lodging Package with rates starting at $122. This package includes lodging, full hot breakfast buffet and access to on-site amenities.

Tickets to Strictly Classical cost $10. Seating is limited. Contact to reserve your tickets.

One of the Best Words: R-E-S-O-R-T

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Ever think you deserve a quick zip to some resort for an easy getaway? It’s kind of a tough thought given the current economic climate – maybe the job’s a little shaky, or your tapping what’s left of the home equity line, or maybe you’re just keeping things a little tighter to the belt.


Three Lanes of Heaven

Well check this out: you can come to Granlibakken, stay for a great price and feast every morning on an expansive (and free) spread. If you’re feeling ambitious you should know that just about everything I’ve written about in the blog posts below is still a possibility. It’s a great time for mountain biking and hiking, you can swim in the Lake at any time of day and into the evening, the fishing is getting better and better (though not on the Truckee near Tahoe City), stand-up paddling is perfect, you can motorboat in the mornings and sail most afternoons. It’s heaven-time up here!

After you’ve (maybe) done one of these activities after breakfast, you can waltz on down to the crystal clear waters of Granlibakken’s pool-a-palooza. If you’re one of those people who think it’s always chilly in Tahoe then start in the mammoth hot tub replete with its own island. This ought to heat you up enough to hop in the pool (which is also heated & has some lanes) which for me is the perfect place to start (by the way, there’s also a kiddie pool). Then take your pick of the chaise lounges, umbrella’d tables or the lush grass which are all poolside. This time of year things are quiet enough in Tahoe that you’ll feel like it’s your very own personal r-e-s-o-r-t, ahhhh!


A Slab of Heaven

If you’re not like those lucky people who can sit by a pool for hours then choose from a list of mellow options to fill the rest of the afternoon – tramp on the famous Tahoe Rim Trail right from the ‘backyard,’ roll a cruiser bike to Tahoe City, stroll down to Granlibakken’s tennis courts for game or two. Or, since most of the rooms at Granlibakken are so nicely laid out, you can just chill back at the pad and listen to the wind blow through the trees…


Ahhh those sweet trees, Heavenly!

“Shhh…it’s still summer!”

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Sounds like summer is in full swing in the City – word is that fog plus cold, blowy temps are a fixture of the Richmond district and all the other usual places these days. It’s one of the things that makes that place so darn romantic sometimes. Well, up here at Tahoe we have Summer in Disguise. Some days are full-blown four-alarm sunshine but we seem to be collecting a few more of those ‘other’ days where we actually see clouds.


Lots of us love it because not only is natural variety the spice of a place with little culture but also because it’s a change from the Big Tahoe Sun days of mid-summer. And the great thing about it is that you can do just about everything that’s so popular in the middle of summer – the difference now is that you have to be a little more self-reliant, oh, and there’s no traffic.

Want to raft the river?
Rafting co.’s are closed – bring your own floatation and you’re off!

Want to swim on top of Squaw?
Hike Shirley Canyon and get in the river!

But come to think of it, most other businesses are still open for one more week. Shakespeare performances at Sand Harbor are still happening. Boat, paddleboard, kayak, and bike rentals (Granlibakken also has rental bikes) are full swing. You can go high up on a parasail or hot air balloon over Tahoe. And most importantly, all the major restaurant decks are still open: Sunnyside, Jake’s, River Grill, River Ranch, The Bridgetender, GarWoods, Blue Onion, Caliente, Jason’s, Steamer’s, and on and on!


Not too busy in the lineup

Not too busy in the lineup

One of the most summery things you can do up here is go surfing off the back of a boat. It sounds weird but with the right boat and the right driver you can do take up this sport easily. If you don’t have access to a boat you can still rent an instructor and boat right in Tahoe City or at the Sunnyside Marina, both within a ten minute spin down the bike path (or five minutes’ drive) from Granlibakken.

My little family got treated to an afternoon of wakesurfing with Surf Tahoe, located at the Grove Street pier in Tahoe City. Our instructor was Chris Lange who we met while he was bilging water into two huge fatsacks used the make one rear corner of the boat super-heavy so our wave would be huge. After some easy instruction we were on our way – just 20 feet of rope from the stern of the boat and chatting with Chris all the while, we could throw the rope back into the boat and surf Tahoe with only the ramp of the wake propelling us. This is Surfing Tahoe and it is very cool.

Although it doesn't LOOK that cool!

Although I don't look cool doing it...

If you do have a boat (and you’re still reading this) it probably isn’t built for wakesurfing. So have fun with it. Grab an old surfboard and pile some buddies on a rear corner of whatever old bucket you’re running. I did this the other day with a friend who’s engine stuck out the back of the craft – not the best set-up for having your face right off the rear transam while learning to surf. So we long-lined it at regular wakeboarding speed – it was hilarious. Massive higher-speed splashes, rope-splitting pulls on the line, and sore consequences from new moves tried – these were the name of the game that day. And although it wasn’t real wakesurfing the thrill was there.

So no matter how you end up going about it, give this new rave a try and how it catches you!

© 2009 Alex West

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