7 winter day trips outside the Tahoe Basin
Weather in the Tahoe Basin has been bitingly cold the past week — and for those who aren’t able to handle it, or are looking for bluer skies, it might do well to temporarily get out of the region for a day (or at least a few hours).
Whether you’re in the mood for a short drive or ready to put a large distance between yourself and the lake, we have a suggestion for you.
Under 100 Miles Away
The following trips last approximately half a day, unless you’re someone who likes to take their time when exploring. The drives are all less than an hour, meaning you won’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to your destination.
Genoa — This Douglas County town is home to the historic Pink House and oldest “thirst parlor” in Nevada: Genoa Bar & Saloon. Enjoy an artisan lunch from the Pink House — which offers light fare like sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, wine, specialty coffee and more — before heading to the saloon and indulging in your drink of choice.
Grover Hot Springs State Park — Located just outside of Markleeville, this spot is the ideal place to relax. Apart from the picnic area and hiking trails, there are swimming pool hot springs surrounded by open pine forest and meadows. Entry is only $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Carson City — Nevada’s capital is a neat spot to check out for any history buff. Consider stopping by the Nevada State Museum to visit exhibits such as examining geologic history, a Columbian mammoth, an underground mine, the former Carson City Mint building and more.
Virginia City — This town also is seeped in history, but one of the top locations is The Bucket of Blood Saloon: It features vintage décor and Old West memorabilia (think Comstock Lode era). Other popular stops include tours through the various mines and supposedly haunted buildings, such as the Old Washoe Club.
Over 100 Miles Away
While you’ll have to wake up a little earlier in order to fit these trips into one action-packed day, they’ll certainly be worth it.
Old Sacramento — This region covers the 28 acres on Sacramento’s historic waterfront and signifies iconic moments in California’s history: the founding of the Transcontinental Railroad, the end of the Pony Express, and the location of the state’s first business district (which focused on gold, agriculture and the river). Here you’ll find a mix of museums, tours, railroad and carriage excursions, and much, much more.
Napa Valley — For those who want to go wine tasting, look no further. Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, Napa and Oakville & Rutherford are all cities found in Napa Valley that welcome walk-ins. Whether you want to play it by ear or book a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train, this is a great way to spend a full day.
Alabama Hills — As the range of hills — located on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada — is roughly over 200 miles away, this might be more suited for an overnight trip ideal for the outdoorsman. The region offers hiking, climbing and a few other adventurous activities.