Hidden-Gem Casino Resort near Mountains
Mark Twain touted Lake Tahoe as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords,” but most people here aren’t content to just admire the scenery. The mountains offer hiking trails and opportunities to view the fall colors. But there's plenty to do on the mountains whatever the season, including hiking and biking. At night, come back to the hotel and enjoy what Tahoe Daily Tribune readers picked as the winner in the Loosest Slots, Casino with Friendliest Employees, Happy Hour, and Apres Party categories for Best of Tahoe in 2012. With this deal, you can choose a ski or snowboard rental option, so you can have your gear ready to go before hitting the slopes, including nearby Heavenly Ski Resort.
The casino draws in locals and vacationers alike with its blackjack and craps tables, poker room, and slot machines. Its floor is free of gaudy excess; it features high ceilings and walls fashioned with wood paneling or river rock. At the onsite Latin Soul restaurant, Chef Alvaro Ochoa has been slicing and dicing for more than 25 years, crafting fare brimming with Latin American flavors. He mixes huancaína, chimichurri, and tomato-chipotle to create a tasty dip for plantains, yucca chips, and garlic breadsticks, all served in a dining room replete with fiery wall murals. Guests can also visit The Timbers, which offers upscale American fare such as filet mignon, chicken piccata, and quinoa, mango, & kale salad.
South Lake Tahoe, California: Year-Round Haven for Outdoor Adventures and Late-Night Revelry
Lake Tahoe has no real off-season; people find ways to make use of its pristine water, beaches, and mountains all year long. In the summer, the lake's clear, freshwater surface—which straddles the California-Nevada border—is dotted with swimmers, boaters, and jet skiers. Winter offers the chance to snowmobile, snowshoe, cross-country ski, or bundle up for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Several ski resorts with world-class slopes typically stay open from November to April, and Emerald Bay State Park is accessible year-round. A moderately easy hike to the base of Lower Eagle Falls reveals breathtaking views of the waterfalls crashing down from above.
A diverse crowd of spectators gathers at night for South Lake Tahoe's various events, which range from wine and food festivals to rock concerts and fireworks displays. Next to South Lake Tahoe sits Stateline, Nevada, where a handful of casinos host high-stakes games of blackjack and solitaire.