It’s A Couples Thing A romantic guide for two in Lake Tahoe

Planning an intimate retreat to Lake Tahoe? Consider this weekend-long itinerary:

Friday

Photo by: @Mdmverruca

Book a room for the weekend at South Lake Tahoe’s 968 Park Hotel, a cozy boutique hotel designed with sustainable, green materials.

After you check in and get settled, start your evening with the hotel’s complimentary local-wine tasting.

It starts at 6 p.m. every Friday in the lobby’s Coffeepub, which also hosts live music from 7:30 p.m. on Friday nights.

For dinner, make your way to Café Fiore, a tiny and welcoming Italian restaurant with only seven tables—so make a reservation ahead of time.

Share stuffed eggplant crepes and bowls of capellini over candlelight and a white tablecloth.

After dinner, stroll the beaches of Lake Tahoe at Lakeview Commons or walk through the Heavenly village (just a block from your hotel), then snuggle up around the outdoor fire pits outside of Fire & Ice.

Photo by: @Brouder

Saturday

Start your day at locals’ favorite Driftwood Café, just steps from the Heavenly gondola and walking distance from your hotel.

Fuel up for a day in the mountains with mugs of hot coffee and a roasted-almond waffle topped with bananas, granola, and yogurt.

Gear up and board the gondola for a morning of carving down fresh groomers or untracked powder.

If you’re not up for skiing or snowboarding, you can still ride the 2.4-mile-long gondola with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and a photo-worthy observation deck at 9,123 feet in elevation. For lunch, enjoy an artisanal pizza or a bowl of homemade soup at the mid-mountain Tamarack Lodge.

Use the afternoon to relax—you’ll need your energy for what comes next.

Take the hour-long drive through granite canyons from South Lake Tahoe to Kirkwood, where on select Saturday evenings throughout winter, Kirkwood’s Cross Country and Snowshoe Center offers guided snowshoe hikes (gear rental included) under a full moon starting at 6 p.m.

Savor the moonlit, snow-capped vistas of the Sierra Nevada range as the two of you tromp hand-in-hand through open fields and towering pine trees.

Azul Latin Kitchen

Afterward, visit the historic Kirkwood Inn, which has a mountain-lodge ambiance, and hearty dishes like apple cranberry–stuffed pork chops and garlic mashed potatoes.

If you’re up for a little more excitement once you’re back in South Lake Tahoe, hit up the newly opened Azul Latin Kitchen in the Heavenly village for margaritas, outdoor fire pits, and salsa music.

Sunday

Enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast at the Tahoe Keys Café—opt for the açai bowl or the breakfast burrito with locally sourced chorizo.

On your way back, pick up lunchtime supplies for two from the Cork and More, a deli and wine shop.

Call in advance and order one of the specialty picnic baskets, like the French Picnic—freshly baked baguette, cheeses, salami, olives, chocolate truffles, and fruit—and enjoy a picnic in your hotel room.

After lunch, hit the Heavenly slopes or take in the views on a romantic drive.

Photo by: @bran_i_am

Seven miles north on Highway 50, you’ll cross the state line into Nevada and hit Cave Rock Drive; do the 15-minute hike to the top of Cave Rock.

From this rocky pinnacle, you’ll have expansive views of Lake Tahoe, and in the winter, there’s a good chance you’ll have the outlook all to yourselves.

Keep driving north along the east shore of the lake toward the jagged rocky banks and turquoise blue waters of Sand Harbor, a perfect destination for breathing in the fresh air while enjoying a hot tea or coffee.

In the afternoon, book a couples’ deep-tissue massage at the lakeside Landing Spa.

Stay put for dinner: Jimmy’s Restaurant at the Landing Resort has some of the finest dining in town, with small plates—like grilled peaches and prosciutto, and chili-marinated prawns—perfect for sharing.

Toast to a romantic weekend well spent in the mountains.

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