As Lake Tahoe elopement photographers, we often get questions about how to put together a Lake Tahoe elopement itinerary. Our couples want to enjoy everything Lake Tahoe has to offer while they’re here. So, we wanted to share some of our knowledge and help you figure out how to best plan and spend your Lake Tahoe elopement trip.
The Best Time to Elope
The best time to elope is on a weekday during the off-season. The off-season in Lake Tahoe is early spring, fall, or winter. If you elope during this time, it’s going to be quieter. The lake is calmer because you don’t have all the boats causing waves and noise. The beaches are empty, and you might not see anyone on the trails. It’s also so much easier to find good accommodations for less, as hotels and resorts typically offer better deals.
What to Do During Your Visit
There is so much to do in Lake Tahoe. We always highly recommend doing some activities, getting outside, and exploring what the lake has to offer, regardless of the season you’re visiting. However, what we recommend doing depends on the season.
In the spring, we recommend exploring the Village or doing a wildflower and waterfall hike. For fall, hiking some of the popular trails, mountain biking, and kayaking are some great options. During the winter, there are still many options, from skiing/snowboarding to sledding to snowshoeing to ice skating. You could even rent a snowmobile and go for a ride.
You can never go wrong with adding in a half-day of spa activities just to allow yourself the luxury of truly relaxing.
Where to Stay in South Lake Tahoe
A big part of planning your Lake Tahoe elopement itinerary is figuring out where to stay. We’ve listed some of our favorite hotels below with rough costs. Any of these locations will give you a great stay, but where you stay will depend on your budget and what kind of experience you want.
The Coachman | $$
The Coachman was recently expanded and sits in the Heavenly Mountains. It’s close to the Village and the beach, and it gives you a homey feel with modern amenities.
Black Bear Lodge | $$
If you’re looking for a hotel in the quiet, surrounded by pines, the Black Bear Lodge might be for you. They even offer private cabins.
Basecamp Hotel | $$
Basecamp Hotel is a great place to be if you want to explore all Lake Tahoe has to offer. It has all the modern amenities you need, but it still has that comfortable feel.
Edgewood Tahoe | $$$
On the shores of the lake, you’ll find Edgewood Tahoe. It’s a luxury resort and golf course with a variety of suites available.
Desolation Hotel | $$$
Don’t pay attention to the name. The Desolation Hotel is a micro-resort that’s perfect for skiers and adventurers.
Places to Eat in South Lake Tahoe
There are so many amazing and delicious places to eat in Lake Tahoe, and we love sharing our recommendations. If you’re looking for a fine dining and bistro experience, Edgewood Tahoe is the place to be. For more intimate fine dining, we recommend Evans, and if you need something a little more casual, Chart House might be perfect for you. If you want some casual pizza and beer, AleworX is the best spot for that, and you’ll often also be able to take advantage of their firepit and listen to some live music. If you want a firepit and live music but you’re hankering for a great burger, check out California Burgers. Finally, if you love some sushi, we recommend checking out Naked Fish.
Top Lake Tahoe Elopement Spots
To protect Tahoe, we keep all of our favorite spots secret and only share them directly with our couples. However, popular spots for elopements include Emerald Bay, Sand Harbor, and Logan Shoals Vista Point.
Make sure you have a permit if you need one. State parks will require permits, but they are easy to apply for. However, there are a lot of locations where you don’t need permits, and that’s typically where we go.
Example Lake Tahoe Elopement Itinerary
Wondering how this all fits together? Here’s an example of how you can plan your elopement:
Tuesday: Fly into Reno, drive to South Lake Tahoe, explore the Village, and go to dinner.
Wednesday: Wake up, have a spa morning with massage, hair, and makeup, and have your afternoon outdoor elopement in the “wild,” followed by a formal dinner.
Thursday: Pick your choice of a fun Tahoe activity before heading home.
We’re always happy to help our couples plan their ideal time in Lake Tahoe. If you’re in the early stages of planning your elopement and you’re looking for the perfect photographer to share your adventure with, reach out to us! We’d love to hear all about your hopes and plans for your elopement.