While most people visit Lake Tahoe in the summer months, there's a little secret that locals know: Fall is the best time to head to the lake. Under the bright blue sky and among the golden leaves this fall head to these top eight food, wine, and hiking events:
Sample the Sierra (August 31, 2014 | Bijou Community Park)
The 5th Annual Sample the Sierra celebrates the best food, wine, and art in Sierra Nevada and El Dorado counties. From Tahoe's Riva Grill to Reno's Great Basin Brewing Company— and even the doughnuts from Rainbow Orchards in Camino—different types of farm food, award winning wine, and beers made within 100 miles of the lake will be featured. A bus tour of Apple Hill's gardens, farms, wineries and lunch from Smokey Ridge Charcuterie will be available for $65 per person.
29th Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival (September 5-7, 2014 | Village at Northstar)
Three days of cooking seminars, demonstrations, competitions, wine tasting and a lot of eating will take place at the Northstar California resort near Truckee. The Festival includes the Art of the Cocktail in The Living Room at the Ritz-Carlton, a Farm to Tahoe Dinner at Northstar's Zephyr Lodge, the Gourmet Marketplace Vendor Fair, mozzarella making, a wine and brew walk in the Village, and the popular Pedals & Pinots bike tour through the Martis Valley.
Trails & Vistas Art Hikes (September 6-7, 2014 | Spooner Lake)
The Trails & Vistas guided art hikes feature original performances by acclaimed musicians and work by visual artists at Spooner Lake in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Attendees will hear live music and storytelling, see original art, and be wowed by dance movements while immersed in the splendor of the fresh Sierra mountain air along a magnificent aspen-lined trail. The cost for the event is $40 for adults and $15 for children.
Thunderbird Lodge Winemaker Dinner (September 14, 2014 | Thunderbird Lodge)
The beautiful Thunderbird mansion on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe will be holding their last Winemakers' Dinner this September. This is where you can really dress up. The elegant food and wine pairings will be presented by Ritz-Carlton Chef Stanley Miller and Armen Khachaturian of Ehlers Estate Wines, accompanied by a tour of the Thunderbird grounds and some killer views. The price of each dinner is $250 per person ($125 of which is a charitable contribution).
Edible Pedal 100 (September 21, 2014 | Bowers Mansion State Park)
This is the ultimate way to eat and still get some exercise. The Edible Pedal 100 features three races in one: a leisurely 10-mile route through Washoe Valley, a 50-mile loop into Carson City and Genoa, or a challenging 150k up Kingsbury Grade into Lake Tahoe. No matter which one you choose, you will be able to savor local food and drink from local farms along with Nature’s Bakery, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Kombucha, Common Cider, and Silver Peak Brewery.
94th Annual Candy Dance (September 27-28, 2014 | Genoa, Nevada)
Work off some chocolate samplings with some contra dancing. The small town of Genoa in the foothills near Carson City swells in size during the annual Candy Dance. Held since 1919, the dance and no-host bar will be held Saturday evening from 5:30 to 10pm at the Genoa Town Park on Nixon Street. Other special events include over 300 food and craft vendors, candy making, and an AYCE BBQ. Tickets are $28 for adults and $20 for children.
Harvest Beer Dinner (October 19, 2014 | Manzanita at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe)
The Harvest Beer Dinner at the beautiful Manzanita restaurant will feature a three‐course dinner inspired by fall with select pairings of seasonal beers. The cost is $75 per person with select beer pairings. Reservations are required.