The last warm weeks of summer are fading away and the crisp autumn air is nipping at our ankles, but there are still plenty of celebrations and festivities to be had in Tahoe South. Experience Labor Day weekend and beyond with enticing September events.
Emerald Bay: perfect in any season. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun
Labor Day Weekend
The nationally renowned Lake Tahoe Fireworks Extravaganza returns Sept. 4 at 8:30 p.m. Take in the captivating display that lights up the lake with various patterns and designs. The 20-minute show is choreographed and synchronized to a music broadcast on local radio stations 93.9 FM-KRLT and 1490 AM KOWL. The fireworks are visible throughout Tahoe South, but some front row vantage points include the M.S. Dixie II, Nevada Beach, Round Hill Pines, Edgewood Tahoe and Lakeview Commons.
Labor Day is also one of the last times you can take advantage of the lingering summer days with a beach day. If you’re looking to avoid the holiday weekend crowds, check out some recommended secluded beaches worth visiting.
Tour de Tahoe: 72 miles around the most beautiful lake.
Tour de Tahoe – Bike Big Blue is back for its 13th year, Sunday, Sept 11 with hundreds of bikers visiting Big Blue for a chance to ride the entirety of its shores. The Ride to Cure Diabetes offers an adventure for avid bicyclists to circumnavigate 72 miles around Lake Tahoe. The scenic bike tour will also include activities such as a robotic bomb squad and search and rescue demonstrations
After a summer of spectacular music, the Harveys Outdoor Concert Series concludes its season with Stevie Wonder, Friday, Sept. 2.
Sample the Sierra offers tastes of the best restaurants in Tahoe. Credit: Matt Morning
The diverse and growing Lake Tahoe culinary scene will be celebrated during September with three major events featuring locally sourced food, wine, beer and spirits exploring the regional palate.
The 7th annual Sample the Sierra, the farm-to-fork food and wine festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 17. Featuring more than 20 Tahoe South restaurants, the event celebrates the bountiful regional resources by showcasing local specialties and flavorful menus. The participating restaurants will help pair delectable dishes with fare from local wineries, distilleries and breweries making for an all-encompassing dining experience.
In conjunction with Sample the Sierra, Tahoe South will also host Restaurant Week, Sept. 16-23. The event will feature favorite South Shore restaurants, offering pre-fixe dinner specials and discounts.
Guests of the Ridge may also experience unique culinary opportunities year-round with complimentary cooking demonstrations held every Thursday at 3 p.m. in the Castle Rock View Room. Additional Thursday evening activities include wine tasting in the Bear Trap Lounge, 4 p.m.
The Ridge Tahoe also provides a plethora of activities for those that would prefer a quiet Labor Day in the comfort of the resort. For a list of weekly activities, visit our Organized Activities page.
Ghosts, goblins, witches, monsters and mummies run amuck in Tahoe South this Halloween. Get in the spooky spirit a week early this year and keep it going through the holiday. Here are a some parties and celebrations you won’t want to miss.
- Tahoe Tot Spot is hosting its first Monster’s Ball for children four and younger. Bring your youngin for face painting, carnival-style games, a fun house tunnel, balloon maze, bobbing for apples, and Halloween treats. The fun starts at 4 p.m. and each child will receive a special trick or treat bag to take home.
- The 37th Annual Freaker’s Ball at MontBleu – This is the oldest, largest and most extravagant Halloween party. The fun kicks off at 8 p.m. The costumes are worth it on their own, but there’s also $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs in the costume contest. Pop-Fiction will be performing in the Theater, music will be at Blu and the Haunted Zone Party Pit, and Opal’s resident DJ will be spinning all night. This is one of the biggest Halloween celebrations on the West Coast. It’s worth it.
- Halloween Dance with the Tahoe Dance Band – This 17 piece band will be playing at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30. The party is open to all ages and includes appetizers, wine and desserts. Prizes will be given out for funniest, most original, sexiest and scariest costume.
- Tahoe Best Friends is hosting a Howl’oween Party for dogs, kids and adults. Dress your whole family up (your pooch too) and come eat, drink and be scary at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31. There will be contests and prizes and the best part is, it’s free!
- Trick or Treat at the 13th Annual Treat Street, Saturday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Lake Tahoe Community College and local businesses team up to provide a safe environment. There will be candy, hot cocoa, pizza, cotton candy, popcorn and s’mores for the whole family. An added bonus? A haunted house.
- If you’ve recovered from Freaker’s Ball and are ready for more Halloween fun, Opal Ultra Lounge inside MontBleu brings round two with their Exotic Halloween Bash. The exotic costume contest is offering $5,000 in prizes. As if that wasn’t reason enough to go, ladies drink free until midnight.
- New to the Tahoe South Halloween scene, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe is getting in on the fun with The Rocking Dead Halloween Bash & Costume Contest. The party starts at 9 p.m. and is in Vinyl. Cover Me Badd will be providing live music and there’s no cover if you come in a costume.
- Closing out the Halloween Celebrations is the Circus of Sin party at Peek Nightclub in Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. DJs Eric Dlux and Rick Gee will make sure everyone is in the spooky spirit.
What kind of scary fun will you get into this Halloween?
The Tahoe South sunsets have been so good lately they inspired us to write a blog on the best spots to check them out. We know we’ve given you scenic viewpoints and gorgeous hikes in the past, but we’ve collected a list of our top 5 locations to watch the sun go down.
- Cave Rock – This is a popular spot for locals and visitors. It’s a short hike followed by some average bouldering to get to the top. From the top you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake. The trailhead sits off Cave Rock Drive. If you don’t have a lot of time, this is the hike for you as it only takes about 15 minutes to get to the top once you’ve parked.
A Cave Rock sunset is always a good view.
Photo: Britt Hobart
- Logan Shoals – This popular viewing point is right off Highway 50 after Cave Rock. It’s a short walk, but if you’re not afraid of bush whacking it a little, there’s a path below where you can get an even better look at the lake. The path extends to two miles on each side and stops at private property on both sides.
- Van Sickle Bi-State Park – How often can you tell people you’ve been in two places at once? You can do that multiple times on this hike. There are several different paths so it’s kind of like a choose your own adventure hike. Hike up to Heavenly Mountain and The Ridge Tahoe or make it a short hike to scenic viewpoints. Or start at The Ridge Tahoe and hike down to this trail.
Get some elevation for better views.
Photo: Spencer Spellman
- Zephyr Cove – Known for being one of the better beaches in town, it also offers incredible views. Relax by the water, bring a blanket and a cuddle buddy. There’s just something about the way the sun sets behind those rocks.
Tahoe South sunsets are magic.
Photo: Erin Leigh Frederick
- From a boat – The lake always looks better when you’re on the water. Take a cruise on the MS Dixie II to enjoy the sunset from the best location. The cruise includes dinner and a lap around Emerald Bay.
Where is your favorite place to watch the sun go down?
The summer to fall season always seems to be such a fast transition, sometimes it feels like it happens overnight. Summer food for me is always so abundant with amazing variety of flavors and textures.
Fall food is a change of the way I cook food, richness that seems to have to be coaxed out with slower more patient cooking techniques. Braising or stewing with root vegetables with deeper stocks tends to bring more of a comfort or authentic flavors to fall dishes.
You will see this soup served many times in the coming months at the Mountain side Eatery and the Hungry Bear restaurant. Enjoy!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 ½ to 4 pounds Butternut squash
- 2 cups medium diced yellow onion
- 2 cups medium diced celery
- 1 cup medium diced peeled carrots
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Sea salt / fresh ground Black pepper
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
- Pre-heat convection oven to 350
- Split squash lengthwise and coat flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper, leave seeds in
- Place flesh side down on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes or till flesh is tender to touch (think baby food mush)
- In a medium pan on medium heat cook onions, celery and carrots in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil till tender and set aside
- In a blender or food processor place 2 cups of stock and half vegetables and puree, when smooth and the rest of the mix and add stock when needed
- Remove seeds from cooked squash, scoop out with spoon and blend with vegetables in batches, adding liquid as needed
- Adjust seasonings to taste and add thyme
- Top hot soup with chive sour cream and serve
There’s nothing better than a warm soup on a chilly autumn day.
Mountain Side Eatery
Breakfast with Chef Jim is a great way to start your day at The Ridge Tahoe. The Mountain Side Eatery offers fresh baked quiche, muffins and danish and seasonal fresh fruit. Don’t miss the awesome breakfast burrito, egg sandwiches or bistro dishes for those who are looking for a familiar way to start your day. Organic fresh orange juice, and Peets coffee and specialty drinks are always ready for you. Daily lunch specials along with Sandwiches and salads are far from ordinary, and homemade soups and chile will warm you on the crisp autumn day.
The Omelet Bar appears Saturday and Sunday, and a Taco bar on Saturday night, all house made and made to order.
Bear Trap Lounge
Tapas are the new light meal that are being met with great success. Check The Ridge guide for the day of service. Tropical Tuesday, Margarita madness Wednesday and on Thursday don’t forget to see Jim at the wine tasting. Happy hour every day from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, ask Jim or David for the daily drink special.
Hungry Bear Restaurant
Choice grilled steaks, fresh seafood and seasonal pasta dishes with a focus on creative and distinctive flavors are the cornerstone of our signature restaurant. Chef Paul’s daily early bird special and entre specials are not to be missed. Your pastry chef Heather always has a sweet ending to your meal, warm fall cobblers and a pumpkin cheese cake that is to die for! Check The Ride guide for open days and make reservations during your stay.
Cooking demonstration on Thursdays in the Valley View room at 3:00 p.m. are a free offering to see, feel and taste how we prepare your food and give insight about how we do what we do.
Please make your reservations ahead of time for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we book up fast.
On behalf of Simon and my staff, I want thank you for all your comments and support and we look forward to seeing you this coming season.
Chef Stephen Moise
Fall is here and if you’ve never visited Tahoe during the shoulder season you might be wondering what there is to do. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of activities and fun. While you may not be able to do it all in one trip, you can certainly plan a return to The Ridge Tahoe and finish what you started.
- Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson. Beers, brats and fun. What more do you need?
- Fall Fish Festival. Watch the Kokanee salmon migrate and maybe even spy a bear.
- Hike. Pack a lunch, bring lots of water and head out into Tahoe South to check out the fall foliage.
Fall trips to Tahoe South include gorgeous scenery and weather.
- Improve the odds and kiss the dice in one of the Stateline casinos.
- Explore Lake Tahoe by boat. The Tahoe paddlewheelers run year round and you can rent a speed boat most of October. Just pack layers!
- Kayak/Paddleboard. If a speed boat is too much wind in your face rent a kayak or a paddleboard for a relaxing day on the lake.
Choose your vessel and get out on the lake. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
- Ride a horse. Take in views and nature for a few hours with Zephyr Cove Stables.
- Bike. Get your adrenaline rush on any of Tahoe’s mountain biking courses. Or check out the new Bijou Bike Park to catch some air.
- Reel in a monster Mackinaw on a fishing boat charter or find your secret spot off the shelf to catch some nice size trout.
- Tee it up and get 10 extra yards on your drive (higher altitude does that) at any number of Lake Tahoe area golf courses.
- Go see the fall foliage. Seriously, the leaves do change colors in Tahoe and it’s amazing.
- If you don’t mind a little bit of a drive, go to Apple Hill and experience everything fall. Apple picking, pumpkin picking, apple cider, hay rides, and any other fall fun you can think of. They also have wine tasting and a brewery.
- Make the big throws and take the long putts at Lake Tahoe’s most challenging disc golf courses.
- The adventure doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Dance the night away at one of Tahoe South’s nightclubs.
- Show the folks at work how you spent your summer vacation by bringing a piece of Tahoe home with you with the perfect souvenir.
- Catch the boldest, bawdiest and hottest names in comedy every week at The Improv at Harveys.
- Sit out by a fire pit, listening to live music and enjoying a hot toddy. Basecamp Pizza has live music every day and blankets to keep you warm when the temps drop.
- Catch a concert. Slow season does not mean a lack of entertainment in Tahoe South.
- Run in a costume at Tahoe’s Halloween Freakin Fun Run.
- Freaker’s Ball. Halloween is a big to-do in Tahoe South. Celebrate with one of the best Halloween parties on the west coast this year.
- Work up an appetite and satisfy your thirst at any number of South Shore restaurants and pubs.
- After a full day of adventure, work those muscles out at Elevation Spa at The Ridge Tahoe.
How many of these can you check off your to-do list?