Historical Hotel Casino Overlooking Sierra Mountains
In 1944, Harvey Gross opened a casino in a log cabin near the southern banks of Lake Tahoe. It's come a long way since: today, Harveys Lake Tahoe is a glass-encased monolith with enough restaurants and shows to suit a small town. Beneath the glitzy exterior of the resort, though, there are still hints of its history; the Sage Room steakhouse contains hand-hewn timber frame beams that buttressed the original lodge.
The thumping heart of Harveys is still its casino, now a 52,000-square-foot facility, which features a live-action keno lounge, a poker room with daily tournaments, and Nevada’s only nonsmoking race and sports book betting. There's more Vegas-style entertainment at The Improv at Harveys Cabaret, where two quick-witted performers create comedy Wednesday–Sunday.
For a break from the neon, step aboard the Tahoe Star, a 54-foot yacht owned by the founder of the Harrah’s chain of casinos. On its trips through scenic Emerald Bay, the Star has seen its share of star passengers, including Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and the guy who tailors Bill Cosby’s sweaters.
The resort's dining options explore a variety of tastes, from the Black Angus sirloins of the Sage Room to the fish tacos of the Cabo Wabo Cantina, a spinoff of rocker Sammy Hagar’s original. There’s even a ski-lodge version of the Hard Rock Cafe, complete with chandeliers forged from antlers.
Although much of the resort’s nightlife roars on 24/7, guest rooms in the Lake Tower are a quiet place to retire for the night. Luxury rooms have been recently remodeled, the premium rooms soar above the tree line.
Stateline, Nevada: Gaming Hub on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore
There's no ambiguity to the main draw of Stateline—it's gambling. Just as there is no ambiguity to the origins of the town's name, as it lies right along the California-Nevada border. As such, Stateline pulls in plenty of visitors from California, and in turn, Nevadans can easily hop the border to visit neighboring South Lake Tahoe, home to the Heavenly Ski Area.
Once skiing season winds down in late April, it becomes easier to hike the granite banks of Emerald Bay. Two of the most popular routes lead to Eagle Falls, whose waters cascade with more force during the snowmelt in May.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.