Fact: I was under the impression that inland California was a Mad Max-style desert wasteland possibly filled with feral children.
Yes, just like that. I know inland Cali is full of farms and whatnot (avocados!), I just … I don’t know. Let’s call it cognitive dissonance.
Anyway! California away from the coast = not a parched desert where life goes to die! (The more you know.)
We met friends in Sacramento and drove east toward Lake Tahoe. We had meant to just drive straight to the lake (so we wouldn’t be accosted by the roving bands of desert bandits, obviously), but inland Cali was hell bent on showing us All The Things—vineyards, mountains, orchards, general loveliness. Seriously, California, you’ve got All The Things in abundance.
Like pears. We followed a delicious detour along Highway 50 that wound through the vineyard- and orchard-dotted hills. One of our stops was Boeger Winery (home of that lovely pear), where we not only did a wine tasting but also chatted with one of Boeger’s employees about the property and the surrounding area. The result was a couple bottles of wine to enjoy later and tracking down a fig tree on the property to sample fresh figs.
I’m so, so glad we stayed away from the highway on our drive toward Tahoe. It was all woods, mountains and winding roads until bam!
Hello, Lake Tahoe!
We stayed on the north, California side of the lake, which is what I’d recommend. (We drove around the entire lake, and I can now confirm that Nevada is the true wasteland, except instead of feral children it’s full of bros.)
I mean, look at this:
Gorgeous, right? Right. We spent a day hiking and tackled the unbelievable Rubicon trail that follows the lake shore from the stunning Vikingsholm (above, a Nordic mansion) to another state park. It was one of those trails where basically every view is amazing.
Lake Tahoe really blew me away. I grew up around some of the most lovely lakes in the US (that’d be the Great Lakes, obvs.), so I know a thing or two about watery goodness, but I was seriously impressed with Lake Tahoe—both the actual lake and (most of) the tourist towns. It was laid back, beautiful and surrounded by too many little nooks and crannies to explore in just one long weekend. Basically, I’m looking for an excuse to head back.