Friday, October 7, 2011

Find fall color at Lake Tahoe

My pal Pettit Gilwee writes that it’s leaf peeping season 
in California’s North Lake Tahoe – almost.
"The trails and roads in North Lake Tahoe are just
starting to show signs of autumn as the area’s aspens
transition from a sea of green to a brilliant shade of yellow."
I love this time of year in Lake Tahoe--autumn's tinges
of yellow and red create such a lovely contrast with Tahoe’s
solid wall of pines and firs.

It’s a good time to slow down. “Whether you’re out hiking or
paddling via kayak, when you see that striking contrast
in the trees, you just have to take a moment and soak
it all up,” says Executive Director Bill Hoffman of the
Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau. According
to Hoffman, the last two weeks of October and the first
two weeks of November are when the region’s trees really
start to change over.

Where to see the show? Locals recommend road cycling,
inline skating and running up Blackwood Canyon on the
West Shore, located three to four miles south of Tahoe
City. Blackwood’s paved road takes you from 6,200 feet lake
level to
Barker Pass at 7,200 feet.

Eagle Rock, a Tahoe landmark, sits just south of the
Blackwood Canyon entrance and is an easy 15-minute
hike to the top, offering panoramic views of the region.
(The California Tahoe Conservancy recently completed a
new trail to the top, which has significantly reduced
pollutants into Lake Tahoe.)

For a scenic alpine lake edged by aspen, check out
Spooner Lake nine miles south of Sand Harbor State Beach
(just outside of Incline Village). You’ll find miles of
hiking trails, as well as a good starting point for those
venturing into the backcountry for backpacking excursions.

On the Tahoe Rim Trail-- Lake Tahoe’s most popular hiking,
mountain biking and equestrian trail--you’ll wind through
more fall color. The 165-mile dirt path circles Lake Tahoe,
with eight trailheads making it easy to access. Try
jumping on the trail at Tahoe Meadows on the Mt. Rose
Summit (Highway 431), at Tahoe City off Fairway Drive
behind the town’s commercial core
and at Barker Pass up Blackwood Canyon, the paved
road is open to cars until they snow flies.

Details: In fall, look for the 2-for-1 dining deals,
with coupons in area newspapers; significant savings
on lodging; and many special events. TheVillage Center
in Incline Village is hosting Oktoberfest October 15
with German food, beer, live music by Bigg Funn and
raffle prizes. Furry friends are invited to the Dog
Days of Fall Dog Party October 15 in Incline Village.
The 7th Annual Tahoe City Harvest Festival runs through
October 22 and has a month long Scarecrows on Parade
decorating downtown Tahoe City. The Lake Tahoe
Women’s Wellness Weekend is November 12-13.

For more, head to And,
for the best bargains, check out the website’s
Cool Deals, which is updated daily and includes
savings on lodging and

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Napa Wine Country: a package deal with amour

We love deals. We love San Francisco. And we love the Wine Country. So it follows that we'd really love a new package the Hyatt Regency San Francisco just announced: “Wine Country Amour”. (It's designed to complement the Wine Country-themed exhibit displayed in the hotel’s lobby through November 18, 2011.)

And since we're talking 'amour', the package is designed for couples, with an option of combining two of the most romantic destinations in the world--SF and the Napa Valley. Here's how the Hyatt's Amour Package works.

Starting at only $259, the package includes: one night's accommodations; full American breakfast for two (room service or in Eclipse); a bottle of Flora Springs wine; turndown service (on request); and late check out to 2:00 p.m. (on request). This package is available from now through the November 18, 2011. And then, exclusively for Hyatt Regency San Francisco guests booking this package, the Napa Valley Wine Train is featuring the “Gourmet Express” dinner package, where visitors will enjoy a Wine Country journey for an added $89 per person. After about a one-hour drive north of San Francisco, Hyatt guests will arrive at the Napa Valley Wine Train station in downtown Napa. Prior to boarding, they will be able to taste two wines. Once on the train, guests will choose from a seasonal menu all of which is prepared fresh in the specially designed kitchen car. Transfers between the hotel and The Napa Valley Wine Train are also available for an additional price. Not bad.

Details: All these packages are available through December 30, 2011 (based on availability). Rates vary by dates. For more, see or call 800/ 233-1234.
For Napa Valley Wine Train special Hyatt Regency offer, please visit
COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

NOTE: This blog uses Google AdSense to provide relevant advertising for its readers.
Google may track browser habits to provide the best ads based on your preferences.