I bought a new swimsuit before we arrived at Zephyr Cove Resort. I'd heard it was a Mecca for watersports and was not disappointed. For the mellowest of beach bunnies to those seeking adrenaline rushed thrills, Zephyr Cove Resort has it all, and in a spectacular setting on the soft, sandy shores of Lake Tahoe.
We took our time getting to Zephyr Cove Resort, driving along the Lake Tahoe East Shore Drive. It's a National Scenic Byway and there are so many scenic turnouts and short hiking trails from the road that we spent all day dawdling the 72 miles from North Lake Tahoe, where we'd camped the night before, to Zephyr Cove. (If we'd known in advance how nice the Zephyr Cove campground was, we might have done the drive a day earlier.
The Zephyr Cove beach is popular with day trippers who come to relax on the mile of spotless golden sand. Folks also come from all around Lake Tahoe to cruise on the Dixie II, the stern-wheeled paddle boat that tours the lake five times a day in the high season.
Just a short hop up the road from the resort are the casinos of Stateline where the stout of heart - and of wallet - can test their luck. Harrah's, Harvey's, Caesars Tahoe, and Horizon are a few of the big ones, but the smaller ones will happily relieve you of your greenbacks - or add to it, if you're having a winning streak. Of course, you can catch a show too; we had a Beatles revival, a cabaret, and a first run movie theater to entertain us, to name just a few of the options.
Zephyr Cove, located on the Nevada side of Tahoe, is an old-fashioned resort with all the comforts of modern living. Our tidy, two room cabin included a microwave in the fully-stocked kitchen, cable TV, and even a data line for dial-up email service. (Sorry, you have to bring your own laptop.) The location lets you decide how you want to spend your vacation. You can run up the road for groceries if you want to do your own cooking, or you can take advantage of the restaurant that's just up from your cabin.
Our immaculate two room cabin was furnished in heavy knotty pine and cool in the midday sun. The day use parking lot obscured our view at first, but as the afternoon wore on, it cleared out and left us to enjoy the setting sun. Down at the Sunset Beach Bar, a band played a spicy Latin tune while the Dixie II boarded passengers for the evening dinner and dancing cruise. We could hear the whistle blow from our little house and decided to join them the next day.
Nestled in a grove of pines along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove Resort's 28 cabins offer a delightful alternative to ordinary lodging. Ranging in size from studios and cottages perfect for a couple or small family to four bedroom cabins sleeping up to 10, most feature lakeviews and full kitchens and all are just steps from the beach. Non-holiday stays of three or more consecutive nights in the Off-Season (spring or winter) receive a 20% discount.
Cabin Accommodations & Housekeeping Cabins
Call: 775/589-4907 - Highway 50 at Zephyr Cove, Nevada 89448
All cabins and lodge rooms now have phones, TV with cable and HBO. Bath. Linen and towel service every third day. All kitchens are fully equipped with refrigerator, oven, microwave, coffee maker, cookware, dishware and utensils. Pets allowed, $10 charge per pet per night. $10 per rollaway bed per night.
The Dixie II was launched in 1994 after her predecessor retired following 25 years of service on Lake Tahoe. The 151-foot boat paddles the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe year-round. In summer time, guests drink tropical cocktails on the "Hurricane Deck" (try one of the Dixie specials), and in winter, they stay warm in one of her spacious enclosed seating areas. The two hour tour is narrated and worth paying attention to - it includes local legends, a fish tale, and even a ghost story! On Labor Day, the Dixie competes against the Tahoe Queen in a 6 mile steamer race. The boats are decked in bunting and their passengers don period attire. It's fun to watch and a great way to welcome the summer.
After cruising on the Dixie II and napping away the afternoon on the beach (hey, the Sunset Beach bar delivers "towelside" cocktails - you can't argue with that!), we decided not to mess with a good lazy streak and headed up to the restaurant for dinner. The restaurant is a casual, family oriented place that doesn't skimp on either portions or service. I had the Cornmeal Encrusted Trout and my companion had Grilled Salmon. We both ate his fluffy garlic mashed potatoes and washed it all down with microbrews. I'd heard that the restaurant made a milkshake of notice, and even though we were full-up and my companion insisted he did not want to eat another bite, we got through the whole thing - including the two refills from the big silver pitcher.
Summer activities at Zephyr Cove include plenty of rental watercraft (paddle boats, Wave Runners, motor boats, and more), parasailing, catamaran cruises, beach volleyball, the Dixie II, of course, guided sportfishing and more; there's plenty going on in the Winter as well. Zephyr Cove operates the largest snowmobile tour in the United States.
||Tahoe Rim Trail - After 20 years of work, the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 150-mile loop that runs along the ridges and mountaintops circling Lake Tahoe, officially opened in September, 2002. Built and maintained by volunteers, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and Nevada State Parks, the trail winds through two states, six counties, three national forests, state parkland and three wilderness areas. This single-track, backcountry trail is open to runners, equestrians, hikers, and in most areas, mountain bikers. The Tahoe Rim Trail is considered one of the largest volunteer projects in the country with more than 10,000 volunteers working nearly 200,000 hours to make the trail a reality. Many more have donated monies to help fund the $300,000 per year needed to maintain the trail. Public contact: Tahoe Rim Trail Association; P.O. Box 4647, 297 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, NV 89449; telephone (775) 588-0686; fax (775) 588-8737. www.tahoerimtrail.org
Click for Mountain Biking
Beginners are welcome, although there are tour options for more experienced riders. A shuttle runs from many of the nearby hotels and resorts, and tours are offered twice a day. (Zephyr Cove is in the processing of winterizing its facilities - they may be ready by the time you're reading this.) Naturally there's great skiing nearby: Heavenly Valley has a lift just up the road from the resort.
After After 10 months of work and over $4million in renovations, Zephyr Cove RV Park & Campground is open and ready for visitors.
The renovation project, a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and ARAMARK, has transformed an outdated facility into a state of the art RV Park & Campground. The new park design incorporates a host of improvements. RV guest will discover larger spaces, many of which can accommodates vehicles up to 40 feet in length, with upgraded services. Campers will find a mix of drive-in and walk-in sites, which have been relocated to new areas within the park and some feature lakeviews. The park is located just across the street from all of the recreational amenities of Zephyr Cove Resort.
Cabin Types: Cabin 1-6 are bungalows sleepsing 2-4, kitchen, 1 queen and sleeper sofa, wood deck. Cabin 8 is a lakeview cabin with cozy living room with gas fireplace, kitchen, sliding glass door to wood deck. 1 bedroom with 1 king bed. Cabins 9-11 are lakefront cottage, sleeping 4-6 with living room, kitchen, wood stove, 2 bedrooms, 1 queen, 2 twins, wood deck. Cabin 12 is a lakefront cottage, sleeping 2, picture window, kitchenette, 1 bedroom with a king bed, porch.
Cabins 13-15 are 2-story lakeview chalets sleeping 5-7, rustic pine living room with stone fireplace, kitchen, 1 bedroom, 1 king, loft with 1 queen and 1 twin. Cabins 16-20 are studios, sleeping 3, microwave and mini refrigerator. Cabins 16-19 have 1 queen and 1 twin, Cabin #20 has 1 queen only. Cabin 21-22 are lakeview cottage sleeping 2-4, pine living room, kitchen, 1 bedroom with 1 queen, Cabin #21 has fire log fireplace. Cabin 23 is a 2-story lakeview chalet, sleeping 6, pine paneled living room with stone fireplace, kitchen, sliding glass door to large wood deck, 3 bedrooms, 1 queen, 1 double, 2 twins.
Cabin 24 is a 2-story lakeview chalet, sleeping 8-10, large living room with stone fireplace, kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 2 kings, 1 queen, 2 twins, 2 bath, large wrap-around deck. Cabin 25 is a non-smoking lakeview, sleeping 2, with new and cozy living room with gas fireplace, kitchenette (no oven), skylights, 1 bedroom, 1 queen, wood deck. No pets allowed in this cabin. Cabin 26 is a lakeview chalet that sleeps 6, rustic living room and kitchen, gas fireplace, 1 bedroom, 1 king, 2nd floor dorm with 4 twins, wood deck. Cabin 27-28 is a lakeview duplex cabin, sleeping 2-4, with a living room, kitchen, 1 bedroom with 1 king, wood deck. Cabin 29 is a 2-story lakeview chalet, with new large living room with gas fireplace, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 queens, a loft with 1 queen and 3 twins. No pets allowed in this non-smoking cabin. Cabin 29 has been designed to be universally accessible in compliance with ADA guidelines.
In order to make it most available to those needing its features, Zephyr Cove Resort will accept reservations for Cabin 29 as follows: Individuals with the proper documentation of need can reserve Cabin 29 up to one year in advance. All others may reserve Cabin 29 up to 30 days in advance. In all cases, Zephyr Cove Resort policies regarding minimum and maximum night stays, deposits and refunds, etc. will apply.
Accommodations at the Lodge: L1 has a double bed, sleeping 2; L2 and L4 each sleeps 2-4 with 1 bedroom with 1 double bed and a living room; L3 sleeps 6 in two bedrooms, one with 1 double, and the other bedroom with two doubles; L5 sleeps 8 in two bedrooms, 1 double, 2 doubles, 2 twins.
Zephyr Cove Resort Marina has late model boats, from 18 to 24 feet - 150 to 320 hp; Open Bow, Ski Boats, Deck Boats, Pedal Boats and Kayaks, Water Skis, Wet Suits, Water Toys. Boat rental info & reservations: 775-589-4908.
Everything you need is right there at Zephyr Cove Resort. A store with the basics and a restaurant and a range of accommodations, including a beautifully refurbished campground and access to all the outdoors fun you can handle, year-round. We had a terrific stay. We'll be back for winter sports! -
By Pam Mandel, Seattle Correspondent.