Jacquie's Top 3 Photo Ops in Lake Tahoe

I’m not a professional photographer, but it didn’t matter—Lake Tahoe did all the hard work.

When I visited Tahoe last September, fall color was beginning to creep over the mountains and everything seemed very still in its transition. That’s why I was so shocked, when I returned last month, to see the transformed world of Tahoe. The snow-covered landscape, bustling with skiers and boarders, was a far cry from the stillness of September.

After a nearly 17 hour drive from Denver with my husband and dog in tow, seeing the mountains in all their powdered glory was like a breath of fresh air. My immediate reaction was to reach for my camera to capture that surreal moment, an action I found myself doing several times throughout the week.

Though the aesthetic and vibe of Lake Tahoe seemed a world away from what I had discovered last year, there was one very important common denominator—the terrain of Northstar and the massive, azure lake are two of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. Like, objectively insanely beautiful. So, to help you plot your way through the photographer’s heaven that is Lake Tahoe, I’ve documented what I think are the best photo ops in the area.

East Ridge of Northstar Mountain
I hadn’t skied in over 15 years, so, despite my excitement, I was pretty nervous to get back on skis. Luckily the mountain is full of awesome runs that were enjoyable for both my husband—a more experienced boarder—and me. I found incentive in the form of the East Ridge, which is easily the most gorgeous spot on the mountain, and also the highest. The view of the lake below and the snowcapped mountains beyond are straight out of National Geographic Traveler.

Bonus tip—I highly recommend using the Ski Butlers equipment rental service. They were so kind and accommodating when a storm came through, they even offered to come to our accommodations early so we’d have our equipment the next day.

Jacquie's Instagram-worthy Food Recommendations


Log Cabin

We loved this place so much that we may or may not have eaten there twice during our stay…the breakfast is phenomenal and the restaurant has an intimate diner feel that we really enjoyed.



This is a great place to stop when you’re strolling through Truckee. We popped in for drinks and loved the cool vibe.



We visited Cottonwood for a special-occasion type dinner and it was perfect, not to mention the views from the dining room can’t be beat.

Emerald Bay
Emerald Bay, the setting of the photo above (along with my ever-photogenic husband) is a well-known Tahoe hotspot – and for good reason! Named for the greenish tint of the water, Emerald Bay makes for an excellent photo, no matter the season. We stopped here on a road trip around the lake, from Northstar, through Kings Beach, then Tahoe City, and finally Emerald Bay, which is worth the drive alone in my opinion.

Kings Beach
Kings Beach, if you’ve never been, really is a beach in the middle of the high Sierra. Even in the winter, it offers a relaxing getaway from the vibrant mountain. Kings Beach is a great place to just kick back and enjoy the rush of the water and the massive eroded boulders that dot the shoreline. This place was one of my favorites and visiting in the wintertime means that you will likely have the place to yourself.