What To Do When You Have Less Than 24 Hours in Tahoe

On our winter bucket list was to experience snow with the kids. Thanks to our very willing and adventurous uncle and aunt, we were on a road trip to South Lake Tahoe within our first week in America! The weather forecast was good and clear for only a day (unless we wanted to get stuck in the hotel from the storm!), so here was our itinerary for visiting Tahoe in less than 24 hours!

9:30AM We left South San Francisco immediately after breakfast. We expected to get to Tahoe by noon but we stopped several times so this prolonged our ETA (estimated time of arrival). Here inside the Mazda CX7, ready for the road trip ahead!

mazda roadtrip america

11:00AM Our first stop was for macapuno pies at the Sunflower Bakery in Hercules. This is a Filipino-owned bakery selling an assortment of other baked treats, too! If you’re hitting the road, you must load up on snacks for the kids!

sunflower bakery hercules

12:20 Then another quick stop for a meal at the In N Out in Vacaville for my husband and son to try the famous burgers (Fortunately, I still have reign over my 21 month old daughters diet which is mostly non-meat, yay! The girls just had fries and a milkshake while the boys had their fill).

in n out burger vacaville

If you have more time, you can also check out Vacaville Premium Outlets for some shopping. Since we were pressed for time, we left right away.

Soon enough we saw signs of Tahoe nearby! The excitement builds up!


3:00PM Here, we stop at Strawberry Lodge because their front porch and snow is too good to pass up!

strawberry lodge tahoe

Here are some of the photos we took during the golden hour. (It is said that the golden hour for photography is shortly before sunset or just after sunrise)

strawberry lodge south lake tahoe

lake tahoe with kids

tahoe for kids

lake tahoe kids

south lake tahoe

4:30PM Along with other winter tourists, we watched the sun set from Kings Beach.


south lake tahoe kids

My 8 year old son loves playgrounds! The freezing temperatures didn’t stop him from conquering this playground located at the frozen beach side of Thomas F. Regan Memorial Park still on Kings Beach in South Lake Tahoe.

playground south lake tahoe

5:50PM My super hosts chose to stay at the Marriott Timber Lodge. While waiting to get checked in the room, we killed some time at the kids recreation center by the reception and lobby.

kids recreation marriott tahoe

I was glad to see so much kiddie materials to keep them busy. I even saw other parents “deposit” their kids while they go on dates or hit the slopes. Great idea to have this service! Definitely a thumbs up!

marriott timber lodge kids

6:30PM Just before dinner, we finally got to our room. What I liked was the fireplace which kept us all warm and fuzzy.

fireplace marriott timber lodge tahoemarriott timber lodge tahoe 1 bedroom

There is also a fully operational kitchen for cooking meals. I should have brought hot cocoa with marshmallows!

kitchen marriott timber lodge

marriott timber lodge roommarriott timber lodge bathroom

7:00PM We took the courage to walk to Base Camp Pizza at Heavenly Village next door for dinner. Since the holidays is the busiest time of the year for touristy places like Tahoe, lines can be very long before you get a table to sit. I recommend that you get a table by the bar instead!

heavenly village base camp

Of course, we order the pizza. The large pizza margherita was big enough to feed 4 adults and an 8 year old child.

base camp pizza tahoe

8:00PM Watch ice skaters at Heavenly Village Ice Rink right across Base Camp while digesting food (or waiting in line for a table!) There is a Starbucks located adjacent to the restaurant as well. A cuppa tea or coffee would be a good idea in the cold!

heavenly village ice skating tahoe

Next day

7:00AM My kids eagerly scanned for squirrels outside our window. If you are lucky, you will see snow falling. They were happy enough to see the fresh snow covered land. Such a treat for us living in the tropics!

marriott south lake tahoe

This is the view of the ski lifts of Heavenly Village from the kids recreation room.

ski lifts heavenly village tahoe

8:30AM After breakfast, we all bundled up for an hour of play in the snow! It was my first time to try sledding and it was tons of fun doing it with the kids! You can rent the sleds for $5 each from the kids recreation room of the hotel. I highly recommend you do this at the very friendly bunny slope just behind Marriott Timber Lodge.

snow sledding with kids tahoe

I found this other snow-loving kid (only 14 months old!) too adorable 🙂

snow sledding tahoe kids

10:00AM After checking out from the hotel, proceed to Zephyr Cove for amazing views of the snowcapped mountains and the icy sheets from the lake.

tahoe queen lake

Farewell, Tahoe! Thank you for the white winter wonderland experience!

queen tahoe Special thanks to Roman Tioseco for some of these amazing photos!

Marriott Timber Lodge

4100 Lake Tahoe Boulevard  South Lake Tahoe  California,  96150,  USA



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