One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories was when my boyfriend planned a surprise getaway weekend. He wouldn’t give me any hints – just told me to pack an overnight bag for the weekend and be ready to leave bright and early the next morning. I was so excited – I love surprises!
The next morning after coffee, we drove north on Hwy 101 towards San Francisco, taking several detours along the way to keep me guessing – including taking the SFO Airport exit, then circling around to get back on the freeway. I had no clue where we were going.
We continued on into San Francisco and I wondered if we were going to spend a romantic weekend in the city. After driving around for awhile, including pulling up to several hotels to throw me off track, we made our way across the Oakland Bay Bridge. By now I was completely baffled as to where we were going and the suspense was building. It was a beautiful sunny day and I decided to stop asking for hints and just sit back and enjoyed the moment. We passed Berkeley, Vallejo and Fairfield, then pulled off the highway in Vacaville for a late breakfast at The Nut Tree before continuing on our journey – past Sacramento and beyond.
Two and a half hours later, we finally reached our destination – Lake Tahoe! It was a wonderful surprise and I was filled with anticipation of what lay ahead.
If any of you have ever visited Tahoe before, you know that it’s one of the most scenic destinations in the world. Winter months are especially popular with skiers – it’s home to some of the nation’s top ski resorts, including Squaw Valley (host to the 1960 Winter Olympics) and Heavenly (the largest resort in California and Tahoe’s highest summit).
We packed a lot into our Valentine’s Day weekend, starting with a thrilling Gondola ride at Heavenly Ski Resort – 2.4 miles up the mountain. The 8-passenger cable car ride took about 12 minutes to reach the top and the views along the way were stunning. Once at the massive Observation Deck (at over 9,100 feet up the mountain peak), we were in awe of the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and the dramatic Desolation Wilderness – it was breathtaking.
Another memorable moment was when we snuggled up together on a romantic old-fashioned sleigh ride in an antique European sleigh – just like the ones you see in the movies – and enjoyed the sights of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. We indulged in some incredible meals, including a romantic candlelight dinner. We also tried our hand at Blackjack and played the slots as we listened to live entertainment at the casinos. And we even had time to squeeze in a relaxing sightseeing cruise on Emerald Bay – the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
It was a fun adventure and the memory of that Valentine’s Day weekend will stay with me forever. Oh… and for the record, my boyfriend is now my husband and we’ve been happily married for over 30 years 🙂
Four Things You Should Do Next
to Create a Fun Valentine’s Day Memory for Your Honey
This year, Lake Tahoe has been blessed with record snowfall and the skiing is fantastic. It’s a perfect time to enjoy a winter sleigh ride, snow-boarding, snow-mobiling, or a scenic cruise around Emerald Bay. If you’re thinking of taking your honey up to Tahoe for a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend, here are four things that you should do next:
- Check and book flight and hotel reservations – Expedia / Priceline and Airbnb
- Make Lake Tahoe restaurant reservations ASAP! – OpenTable
- Book a fun Lake Tahoe sightseeing tour or activity – Viator (see examples below)
- Don’t forget to buy your honey a little something (a single red rose, chocolates, jewelry) – Amazon Gifts / or a cute little plush “I Love You” Teddy Bear
Examples of Lake Tahoe Sightseeing Tours and Ski Rentals
- Romantic Private Sleigh Ride in Lake Tahoe
- Heavenly Premium Ski Rental including Delivery
- Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
- Ski or Snowboard Rental in Lake Tahoe
- Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake Tahoe
- South Lake Tahoe Snowshoe Rental
Tell us about one of your favorite Valentine’s Day memories?