Exploring Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Virginia City

This weekend, Cam’s parents were in town from Oregon and it was so nice to have our first visitors! We had a great time exploring our new home state with them, and I wanted to share some of my photos!
Saturday we decided to do the drive around Lake Tahoe, which is about 72 miles and touted as one of the most beautiful drives in the West. We had a perfect sunny day, and I was so excited to take some pictures of the lake when we stopped at Emerald Bay (a gorgeous part of the lake!)…except when I pulled out the camera I realized that I forgot to put the memory card back in after downloading the pictures on the computer. Major bummer. Luckily my cell phone takes pretty good pictures though, so that’s what I had to use for the rest of the day. 

The lake is so beautiful, and I’m looking forward to doing this drive many more times! (and hopefully being able to take some pictures with my real camera…) During our drive around the lake, we also passed by Squaw Valley, one of Tahoe’s big ski resorts and home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. 
We drove up to Truckee, California, a cute little town just northwest of the lake, for lunch and I really liked it. There were lots of cute shops and restaurants, and I have a feeling we’ll be going back again soon. 
We had lunch at a cute little French-style place called avec that had fantastic sandwiches!
Downtown Truckee
So pretty with the mountains in the background!

There are so many adorable communities all around the lake, and I loved seeing all the unique homes during Saturday’s drive. Even though it takes a little bit of time, driving around the lake is definitely something I’d recommend doing if you visit Tahoe!
Sunday, we drove away from the lake to see some of Nevada. Our first stop was a little town called Genoa, which sits near the base of the mountains. It’s a very small town, but it has this really neat saloon that claims to be Nevada’s oldest bar!

How crazy is this place?!

Next, we drove up to Virginia City, NV, which is a historic mining town that makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Granted the town is touristy, however, what I liked is that despite the t-shirt shops and old-time photo places the town and the people we saw walking around feel authentic. Lots of places try to make their towns have an “old-West” feel that seems contrived, Virginia City is the real deal. There are so many neat little saloons and casinos that look like they’re straight out of the 1800’s. Definitely worth a day trip if you’re in Lake Tahoe and have some extra time!

The town had some gorgeous views

Cam and his parents
Mark Twain sent some time in Virginia City so he now has his own museum in town
This saloon had a great Western band

Silver was mined in Virgina City and it was really interesting to see all the old silver dollars
I loved all the old-fashioned lights

 

There were lots of people walking around dressed like this

 

Nevada’s oldest church

We also had some great meals while my in-laws were in town, but in order to not look like a crazy person in front of them, I resisted whipping out my DSLR at most of the restaurants we went to. But if you do come to Stateline/South Lake Tahoe, here are a few places we tried this weekend that I liked:

Sugar Pine Bakery for cinnamon rolls and other baked treats
Chart House for happy hour and great views of the lake at sunset
Mirabelle for french food–they make an awesome souffle!
We went two places Cam and I had already tried–Red Hut Cafe for breakfast (and the most buttery hashbrowns you’ve ever tasted) and The Swiss Chalet, which is great if you like Swiss food/fondue
Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe–seriously, this place was SO good. Often you’ll go to a restaurant and the presentation will be awesome but the food will be just ok or vice versa,  but this place has both. All the food we had was complex and flavorful, and artfully presented on the plate, and their dessert menu was amazing. It’s very small inside though, so I’d definitely recommend reservations.

I did managed to snap one picture with my cell phone of my frozen white chocolate mousse torte at Evan’s because it just looked so lovely!

Hope you’re having a wonderful week so far everyone! Don’t forget to enter my Shabby Apple necklace giveaway, winner will be announced Friday! Xoxo

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