As Southern Californians, we have an assortment of convenient options when looking for a mountain vacation home. Lake Arrowhead is a short drive from Pasadena and features a great lake experience plus charming housing options. Just a bit beyond, others choose Big Bear. For the dedicated skier or fisherman and those willing to endure a longer drive, Mammoth Mountain is a great option. Even with all of these destinations, my choice would be to purchase a Lake Tahoe vacation home.
WHAT ABOUT LAKE TAHOE?
As a Bay Area native, I spent most of my vacation time in the scenic Lake Tahoe area. Whether it was snow skiing at Squaw Valley, water skiing in Carnelian Bay, hiking the trails of Emerald Bay State Park, or playing tennis amongst the pine trees, I loved my time in this idyllic mountain resort. I grew up making a yearly pilgrimage to Tahoe Tavern each summer, a sprawling condominium community perfectly located on the north shore of the lake. I continued this yearly trek with my husband and kids, cementing this location as my ideal “happy place.”
My husband and I took a trip last weekend to visit family in Truckee, a charming town adjacent to Tahoe City. As a part of the weekend activities, I built in some time for a real estate road trip. Connecting with my Pacific Union buddy, Scott Willers, we toured three Lake Tahoe vacation home properties along the north shore. With our crew in tow, we got the low-down on what it takes to purchase a home right on the lake. Here is a summary of what we found:
LAKE TAHOE VACATION HOME OPPORTUNITIES
300 W Lake Boulevard #12, Tahoe City
4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1,906 sq ft
Listed for $2,150,000
Located in my beloved Tahoe Tavern, this condominium is perfectly located at the water’s edge. Tahoe Tavern, built in 1966, is not the most interesting architecturally, but life within the gated walls is beautiful. Blessed with tennis courts, a gorgeous pool, sprawling green meadows, and a deep water dock, the property is a kid’s paradise. This unit has a nicely updated kitchen, but much of it is in original condition and in need of some wise improvements. The beauty of #12 is all about the location right on the lake. There is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath Tahoe Tavern unit further away from the lake currently listed for $690,000, but lakefront is pretty special.
W Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City
7 bedrooms, 9 baths, 9,000 sq ft
Listed for $15,000,000
Scott Willers gave us the supreme pleasure of viewing a dramatic pocket listing further down Lake Boulevard toward Emerald Bay. The impressive home is reached via a long and narrow driveway, snaking its way toward the water’s edge. Blending beautifully into the tree-filled lot, the custom home was built in 2008, and it is a sight to behold. Blessed with vaulted beamed ceilings, enormous windows with killer views, and an unbelievable dock with double boat house, this home is spectacular. In addition to ample bedroom space, a beautiful kitchen and baths, and large open entertaining spaces, there is a killer indoor lap pool on the bottom floor. Without a doubt, the high-tech boat house and private dock is where the value lies. Lake Tahoe has heavy restrictions on lake construction, so you either have a dock and boat house or you never will. Out on the end of the dock, it is nothing but you and the Lake. Aaaah!
4570 N Lake Boulevard, Carnelian Bay
5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3,125 sq ft
Listed for $5,495,000
Located basically right on Lake Boulevard past Tahoe City in scenic Carnelian Bay, this Lake Tahoe vacation home has a much more modern feel than the previous home. Build on a steep lot, the house has a lot of stairs but all of the rooms have beautiful views of the lake. I was not thrilled with the finishes on this home, although I really liked the large open kitchen family room with an adjacent deck. I could imagine spending lots of time in this part of the home. The best part of this property, without a doubt, is the incredible dock with rooftop deck. To ease the number of trips up and down the stairs, the property also has a great guest house at the dock level. Having access to a kitchen and bath during lake days would be ideal. Even though the home is pressed close to the road, when you are down at the dock, you feel a million miles away. It is heavenly!
TRAVEL TO LAKE TAHOE
Getting to Lake Tahoe is not as difficult as you would imagine. Commercial airlines, like Southwest, have regular flights into Reno-Tahoe Airport (approximately 50 miles from Tahoe City). Another option is to fly privately into Truckee airport via Mountain Lion Aviation. If you choose to drive, it is about an 8 hour trip from Pasadena CA.
If you are interested in exploring one of these Lake Tahoe vacation home opportunities or see what else is available, contact me. I will happily head up to my “happy place” to give you a tour.