Yours truly just returned from a lovely weekend in a lovely place where I've never been before -- Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
It's probably best known as the place where the Corleones lived in Godfather II. But anyway ...
Located in the beautiful snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is a huge, 22-mile fresh water lake that falls between the Nevada and California border, and it is one of the single most beautiful spots I've ever seen in the United States. The lake is the second deepest in the country and, when you dip your toe in, it is COLD. However, there are lots of beaches on which to relax on and, at this time of the year, the air is refreshingly cool.
We were there for a wedding so it wasn't a long trip. A great deal of the lake is inaccessible unless you're staying at a resort, are a member of one of the beach clubs, or are staying at a private estate. But there are some state parks where you can go and get close to the water. If you go, you must get to Sand Harbor State Park. This has some of the best, most jaw-dropping views of the lake and mountains you can possibly find. Also, there is a Hidden Beach where families like to go to frolic and it is very nice.
A few notes: to get to Lake Tahoe, you must fly to Reno. It's kind of a pain to get there since there are no direct flights from NYC. Also, to get to the lake, you must drive up a 17-mile, twisting road up the mountains and, for the inexperienced driver, it can be a bit scary (think when Jack Nicholson and family are driving up to the hotel in The Shining and you get the idea). But once you're there, you're in a little bit of heaven.
So thumbs up to Lake Tahoe. This New Yorker was impressed.