Off the Beaten Track – Lake Tahoe by train

At one time, you could get on a train in San Francisco, change trains, and actually get off the second train on the steamer dock literally ON Lake Tahoe.  Those days are gone, but one can still get to Lake Tahoe on public transportation (Amtrak), and go anywhere around the lake by bus (TARTS).  And since Lake Tahoe can have really bad traffic, especially on weekends in the summer, getting there, and getting around, without needing to drive, is very attractive.

Lake Tahoe is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in North America, and anyone who likes natural beauty (lakes and mountains), and has at least a weekend to spare, should make the trip.  The train makes it easy, and interesting, as it follows much of the route originally built by Chinese laborers in the late 1800’s.  The route is called the California Zephyr, named for one of the great American trains, and the leg that gets you close to Lake Tahoe is just the first part of the 3 day and 2 night journey from San Francisco to Chicago (which you should also do if you have time [and like train travel]).  The ride is relaxing, comfortable, and beautiful.  The price isn’t bad either, so what more can you ask?

The lake offers water sports (obviously), although the water is too cold to swim in until August, hiking, quiet beaches, and the sound of wind in the pines.  It also has nightlife, great restaurants, and casinos with gambling and floorshows.  In the winter, it is one of the top ski destinations in the U.S.  When you study English at EC in San Francisco, you owe it to yourself to get out of the city and see some of our magnificent state.  And this way, you don’t even need a car.

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