If vacation memories have an address, it’s at Sunnyside Lodge on Lake Tahoe's western shore. Two miles south of Tahoe City, this mountain-chic getaway has welcomed the city-weary since 1946. Arrive by car, bike, kayak, or ski boat—there's valet service at the dock—then bask in summer's warmth with lake-view cocktails or clink glasses to winter's rosy alpenglow.
Your best plan is to stay for a few days. Sunnyside's 23 rooms and suites are decked out in modern lodge style with upgrades like river-rock fireplaces and private lake-view decks. At night, you'll tuck in under a goose-down comforter and listen to Tahoe's waves lapping against the shore. Rise with the sun and rent a WaveRunner or ski boat at neighboring Sunnyside Marina, then rev up the horsepower and skim along Tahoe's placid surface until the mid-morning breeze picks up.
Back on shore, dry off with a mellow bike ride on the paved Tahoe Trailways path. Pedal north from Sunnyside to Tahoe City or south to Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, but get back by noon to claim a table on the lodge's lakefront deck, Tahoe's largest (seating capacity: 250). Rum-rich Mai Tais, zesty ginger-lime mules, and heaping platters of fried zucchini and calamari contribute to the summer-party atmosphere.
If winter is your favorite vacation flavor, Sunnyside has that covered, too. Within a few miles are Homewood Mountain Resort and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, where you can ski or ride white-knuckled steeps or baby-bunny bumps. (Sunnyside offers discounted ski packages in winter.) After tearing up the slopes, refuel at the lodge's Mountain Grill with fish tacos or a Wagyu burger, then finish off with a tooth-achingly sweet classic, the hula pie—macadamia nut ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust, crowned with whipped cream and hot fudge.