Last summer we checked a travel destination off our bucket list – Lake Tahoe! We actually started our trip in San Francisco before renting a car and driving over. The entire week was amazing, and we definitely want to go back in the future! Most of the photos below were taken with 35mm film, but there are a few iPhone photos thrown in there too.
We left San Francisco early in the morning, stopping at Philz Coffee before hitting the road. The drive itself was really smooth! Thanks to a fantastic recommendation from Sarah at Events by Daydream, we drove around the northern part of the lake and saw Donner Lake along the way. We loved all the views! Here are a few highlights from the day:
Our first hike was at Emerald Bay State Park. I highly recommend taking the short hike down to Vikingsholm, a beautiful historic site featuring Scandinavian architecture. Although we didn’t do a full tour, we enjoyed the outside views of the mansion and the beach. We finished our evening with live music, pizza and beer at Base Camp Pizza Co., part of the Shops at Heavenly Village.
Also, we loved our hotel recommendation from The Daydreamer Next Door! We stayed at Hotel Azure, which is right along the waterfront (only one street stands between you and the water). It’s also steps away from El Dorado Beach and the pier. Both spots are really small, but it was really nice being so close to the water.
Our morning started at Bear Beach Cafe, located right next to our hotel. We ended up with a table with waterfront views which I loved, and we both enjoyed our breakfast (especially the homemade muffins – highly recommended)! We spent the rest of the day hiking and relaxing at the many beaches along the east side of the lake. I still can’t get over how clear and blue the water was! Our favorites were Secret Cove and Whale Beach.
After dinner we watched the sunset at El Dorado Beach, which was perfect since we were so close and could easily walk there. Of course, I couldn’t resist bringing my film camera along for some of those moments!
We had breakfast at A Cup of Cherries, and it was delicious (I had the rum French toast – although it was a tough choice between that and the crepes). Their coffee was also a highlight! The rest of the morning was spent relaxing and getting ready for Sarah and Hunter’s Whale Beach engagement session later that day.
We did their session on the beaches on the east side of the lake, so we got to hike a little and enjoy the views. Here are a few photos from the session – you can see more of their engagement photos at Lake Tahoe here!
Unfortunately we had to leave super early for our flight home, so this day was all travel. But it made up for it because I got to edit their engagement photo sneak peeks along the way!
Overall, we LOVED this trip. If I would change anything, it would be staying longer! We almost went paddle boarding and trying out some of the water activities, but since we were only there a short amount of time we didn’t get the chance. Also, now that we know how gorgeous the coves and beaches are, we would bring along lunch and have a picnic there so we could stay longer without starving.
We can’t wait to go back again in the future. It truly lived up to the hype, and I can’t recommend it enough! P.S. the first couple to book a wedding or elopement here will get a sweet deal. Reach out here to learn more about my Lake Tahoe wedding photography services!