Two weekends ago we left the rain of central California and headed to the Sierras. South Lake Tahoe in fact. It’s one of the very few times we’ve been to the area during the winter with snow on the ground in the past 8 years!
Our goal was to give my youngest her first experience in the snow, my nephews were heading up as well to ski, and my parents were going to get a little gambling in. We stayed at a spot we’d been to many times in the Summer time, Camp Richardson Resort. Our friends have camped in the campground before, we’ve hit the beaches in July, and we’ve also hiked nearby at the Tallac Historical Site/Taylor Creek.
*all photos can be clicked to enlarge!* A year-round destination resort of pure relaxation offering historic lodging, camping, boating, biking, beach-going, lakeside dining, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, and more, Camp Richardson is going to be our new go-to resort when we make our Tahoe plans. With an assortment of rustic cabins (no TV is rustic to us!!) spread about the property, a hotel, an inn, a marina duplex, and the Richardson House (sleeps 20) for a family reunion, a stay during the winter months can meet all your budget and lodging needs.
We stayed as a family in the Marina Duplex, two side by side condos that sleep six people each. Rented separately or for a larger family, they each have a room, loft, one full bathroom, kitchen, dining and living room with an adjoining door. During the summer the duplex is available at a weekly rental rate, during the winter, rental is on a daily basis ($165 Su-Thurs), with weekends being slightly higher per night ($210).
The best part of the duplex, it sits just yards away from the shore of Lake Tahoe. The piers and boat docks are literally steps away, the scenery, unmatched and literally breathtaking! Look at these adjoining photos, the view from our deck!! We felt like we were in heaven. The silence was golden and if it weren’t for being in the 30-degree range, I could sit on the deck with coffee or a cocktail all day long and admire the lake! Also I appreciate that the duplex is decorated very conservatively, with kids, you don’t ever want to feel that they can move around the place without breaking something expensive. I do wish there was less carpet (or adding a floormat) inside the front door as we had to remove boots each time we went in and out to avoid soaking the floor with snow. Later in the day when we’re in for the night, wearing socks or barefeet across that wet floor was uncomfortable.
Having 3 kids with us, and our car holding our sleds, we had to look no further than the front yard to have activities for the weekend! The natural slope from the duplex to the water provided the perfect hill for sledding! The kids spent hours going up and down and thankfully to the sand at the shore, it stopped the sleds naturally before they’d hit the water. Not used to the cold, we could enjoy the warmth indoors and also watch the kids from the windows!
Indoors in the duplexes, to the kids liking, there were televisions with all the essential channels. The kitchen had everything needed to make a meal in and save some money by not eating out (a grocery store can be found at the Y, about 2 miles away). Upstairs you’ll find a double bed in a room with a door and a double in a loft with plenty of drawer and closet space. Downstairs, there is a sofa bed, chair, and gas fireplace that keeps the place plenty warm. Despite the below freezing temps at night, keep the heat to about 68 at night, especially if everyone is sleeping upstairs. Heat rises and we found ourselves actually cracking a window on the first night!
While staying at Camp Richardson you have access to the nearby General Store, Ice Cream and Coffee Shops, The Beacon Grill located just steps from the duplex, and also Mountain Sports Center for all your outdoor activity needs. Had we not brought sleds, they have them available to rent. We did though have the opportunity to try out something we’ve never done, showshoeing! Due to lack of packed snow, our other option of cross country skiing was out, but we grabbed sets of snow shoes for the five of us and tried it out!
Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person’s foot does not sink completely into the snow, the heel is left free so you have normal range of motion when you walk. It takes a little while to get the coordination of it all, but boy is it a great work out, just think of some added weights with each step. There are trails in and around Camp Richardson. We decided to walk down the beach and back for our first experience, having a half-day rental is just the right amount of time to tire out a family of five!
During the winter Camp Richardson is a fabulous place to take your family for some snow fun! I can’t wait to look into staying there on our annual summer trip, whether it be in a cabin or possibly at the campground. Next time you’re in the area, check it out!
We were treated to our stay and 1/2 day showshoeing. The opinions expressed are our 100% tried and true experience.