If crowds get you down, visit Lake Tahoe in September or October. You won’t quite have the place to yourselves, but relative to summer holiday weekends, there’s elbow room to spare. Tahoe is rich in cottage and cabin hotels, many dating to the 1950s and before. While some are certifiably “rustic,” our favorites are comfortably furnished, well managed and wholeheartedly welcoming to four-legged guests.
On the North Shore, you and your pup can hide away at Rustic Cottages Resort, a 19-cabin, former logging camp in Tahoe Vista that was converted to vacation cottages in 1925. All units have private baths, many have fireplaces and kitchens, and continental breakfast is part of the very reasonable nightly rates. Cedar Glen Lodge, just down the road, features a cluster of elegantly renovated, 1950s-era cottages with kitchens or kitchenettes. Dogs as well as people are welcome at the outdoor fire pit and in the grassy picnic areas, and the lakeshore is just across the street.
In South Lake Tahoe, Holly’s Place is favored by DogTrekkers not just for the reasonably priced accommodations, but because the two-acre property is securely fenced and it’s OK for well behaved canines to accompany their people off-leash. On the splurge end of the spectrum, Fireside Lodge B&B pampers with river-rock fireplaces, knotty pine woodwork, luxury furnishings and owners happy to help you plan activities to enjoy with your pet.
Two more favorite DogTrekker places: Tahoma Meadows B&B Cottages on Tahoe’s West Shore, and Zephyr Cove on the Nevada side, in the lake’s southeast corner. The former makes a great base for hikers, while the latter has access to a rocky strip of shoreline where you and Fido are both welcome to romp and swim in Tahoe’s-clear waters.