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Affordable Lake Tahoe: Truckee Vacation Rentals
"Hibernation Haven" one of many vacation rentals
It was my turn to organize an extended family vacation. The destination -- Lake Tahoe, Calif., -- already agreed upon by everyone. Now, we just had to find a great place. How hard could it be to find a house that met our needs?
Vacation House Hunting
We had a tall order. We needed to find a house that could sleep seven adults and three children under 5 years old, one in a crib. Most of our group was flying in from the East Coast and my family was driving from the San Francisco Bay Area. To give you an even clearer picture, our group consisted of a retired couple on a fixed income (my parents), a Catholic nun on virtually no income -- her money goes to the convent (my aunt), a couple with a 2-year-old (my sister, brother-in-law and niece) and us, a couple with two children, ages 3 and 5.
One of the first things I did was an online search of "Tahoe vacation properties." I bounced around a few less-than-memorable rental sites and what I found were a lot of very expensive homes on the lake that didn't quite meet our criteria. If we were all chipping in $2,000 to $3,000 for the week, nobody would want to draw straws for who gets to sleep on the couch.
I began wondering how often we'd really want to visit the Lake. Realistically, maybe twice. My kids are cold-water wimps, and I could already hear them asking to swim in a warm pool.
Now I was onto something. I decided to expand my search beyond Lake Tahoe proper. And I found
The Royal Suite
I finally found a vacation home called Hibernation Haven at the
No one had to tiptoe around, snorers could snore without shaking the house, and our early-rising kids could keep themselves entertained in our mini-family room until the rest of the clan awoke. We had a spacious downstairs, a 10-person hot tub on our deck and walking trails behind the house. We started to ask, "Do we even need the Lake?"
Well, of course we did. One can't vacation in Tahoe and not spend a little time at the awesome Lake. But there was so much to do right where we were, too! Among our favorite activities and sites were swimming at the
The highlight for my 5-year-old was getting harnessed into the Sky Jump at Squaw Valley: the bungee-cord type apparatus that flings you up into the air and back down, only to spring back up off of a trampoline. Best "$10 for five minutes" ever spent.
With so many chefs to share the cooking, we didn't eat out too much. One night we ate three giant trout the men caught on their fishing excursion, and another night we ordered pizza. However, we had great luck for dinner one evening at Las Panchitas, a Mexican restaurant just across the road from Kings Beach. They seated us quickly (remember there were 10 of us) and had great food, fast service, decent prices and offered a casual, beach attire-friendly atmosphere.
All in all, I give a full endorsement to staying in Truckee. I thought it had so much to offer and is less taxing on your wallet than staying in the immediate vicinity of Lake Tahoe. And then there's that big amazing house. My children say to me every now and then, "I miss the big house with the hot tub. Can we please go live there?" What higher recommendation can I give to a place than answering, "I wish we could, too. Don't worry, we'll go back there again."
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Vacation Travel - Affordable Lake Tahoe: Truckee Vacation Rentals