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|Amber Brooks • 3/21/18|
The Short Version: Located on Lake Tahoe, California, Camp Richardson Resort and Marina is a year-round destination for couples and families looking to get away from it all. For almost a century, the resort has invited people to make memories at the beach, on the lake, and in the mountains. Camp Richardson has everything you need to enjoy yourself — from kayak, bike, and boat rentals to nearby beginner-friendly ski slopes. Throughout the year, you can make the most of your vacation by spending the day swimming, hiking, or just hanging around with the people you love. If you want to reconnect with your significant other, you can head to Camp Richardson and relax at a historic resort where countless friendships have been formed.
In the season nine premiere of “Modern Family,” Jay Pritchett takes his family to watch the 2017 solar eclipse on Lake Tahoe in California. Of course, they all get into some misadventures on the water — the Dunphy kids wind up marooned by a flirtatious stranger, while Mitchell strives to clear the air with an unrequited childhood crush — but they all end up singing together on a luxury boat in time for the eclipse. As Cam said, “I always wanted to marry into a lake family.”
“Modern Family” isn’t the only TV show that chose Lake Tahoe as the backdrop for a romantic story. “The Bachelor” filmed an episode here in 2017, and the local resorts have seen many stars come and go over the years. From the breathtaking shores of Emerald Bay to the dizzying heights of Mount Tallac — the area is a beautiful place to connect with loved ones. That’s why so many families vacation at Camp Richardson, a historic resort, campground, and marina on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
“You have over 100 acres all around you, and no wifi,” said Vanessa Santora, the resort’s Operations Manager. “It’s a way to digitally detox and take time to reconnect with each other in nature.”
Since 1920, Camp Richardson’s friendly atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings have attracted tourists from all over the world. You can go mountain biking or lounge lakeside with your loved ones — it’s entirely up to you how you want to get away from it all. Couples visiting during the off-peak seasons (in the spring and fall) often find themselves swept away by the intimacy, serenity, and romance of the vacation spot.
“I love seeing all the smiles, and kids running around in pajamas, and couples getting engaged,” Vanessa said. “It’s a wonderful place.”
When you stay at Camp Richardson, you become part of a community of outdoorsy vacationers. As the smell of campfires and bonfires lingers in the air, you can hear families laughing as they build sandcastles or play volleyball by the water. You don’t have to drive anywhere — everything you need is within walking distance from the marina to the convenience store to the ice cream parlor.
You can start the morning by frying up a plate of bacon by a campfire and end the evening sampling the menu at the Beacon Bar & Grill, a waterfront restaurant with unbelievable views of South Lake Tahoe.
The resort’s lodging options vary from intimate cabins to rustic campgrounds. You can book a hotel room or a marina duplex all year round. Summer brings tent camping and RV options. The best time for couples to visit is during the spring and fall when the resort is less crowded.
If you’re celebrating a wedding or organizing a family reunion, you can look into
group vacation packages. Camp Richardson offers special deals all year round. One of the most popular packages for couples includes a bottle of champagne and a gift certificate to the Beacon Bar & Grill. Other cabin specials offer hot chocolate packets, Easter baskets, and other goodies.
Wherever they stay, the resort encourages couples to take a breather, let go of their worries, and enjoy each other’s company. Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon or taking your kids to the beach, Camp Richardson offers a lovely place to get away.
“We foster a family-friendly environment,” Vanessa said, “where kids can run around freely and parents can relax.”
Camp Richardson is a one-stop shop when it comes to outdoor activities. You can rent jet skis or paddleboards to take on Lake Tahoe in the summer, or you can enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. Whether you want to enjoy the blue waters on the lake or the fresh powder — the Mountain Sports Center and Camp Richardson Marina can equip you to have a fun day exploring the area with your loved one.
Couples can also rent bikes and take a course through miles of mountain-biking trails. You can stick to the beginner-friendly paved trails, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can get your blood pumping on dirt trails that wind through the mountains.
Camp Richardson comes alive with family-friendly activities in the summertime, which is its peak season. Live music plays every day while people get together to barbecue, go boating, and have award-winning cocktails. Vanessa said the bonfire area is a popular spot for wedding parties.
During the winter, you can participate in Snowshoe Cocktail Races, a relay race where the runners attempt to carry trays of drinks through the snow to the finish line. The fastest and the driest person is declared the winner. “It’s a fun and unique activity,” she said. It’s a great opportunity to laugh and make fun of yourself a little.”
“It’s a really nice way for people to connect by coming here,” Vanessa told us. “It’s a mellow place with wonderful views.”
Vacationers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the natural wonder of Camp Richardson’s surrounding area. Many Californians make a day trip to the resort to play on the sandy beaches or the mountain slopes, and then treat themselves to a lakeside dinner with a waterfront view. “Locals love this place,” Vanessa said. “They love the Tahoe charm.”
About eight years ago, Vanessa started working as a server at Camp Richardson’s Beacon Bar & Grill, and she fell in love with the beauty of the resort. She quickly climbed up the ranks, working in sales, arranging group visits, and taking on more and more responsibilities to help families and friends create lasting memories. Today, she is Director of Marketing and Restaurant Operations, and she still can’t believe how lucky she is to have a job in such a gorgeous part of California.
“This place reminds me of a camp I went to as a young child,” she told us. “It’s a nostalgic environment. If you’re having a challenging day, you can just walk down to the beach and enjoy the pristine blue water.”
She has seen young couples get engaged on the pier and return years later with their children. Some families make regular trips to Camp Richardson and think of the resort as a home away from home. The Dalton family has been vacationing here for over 50 years, creating fond memories for the last four generations.
“We have been going to Camp Richardson for 25 years,” said Ellen M. in a TripAdvisor review. “It is Lake Tahoe’s best-kept secret! Cozy, rustic cabins on the shore of Lake Tahoe… [It’s a] quiet, relaxing, peaceful place.”
Camp Richardson is a romantic place for everyone. Vanessa said she even knows of three staff members who met their future spouses while working at the resort and got married on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
“It’s a beautiful thing to know that people love it so much and want to have their weddings here,” Vanessa said. “It’s such an iconic location for people to propose or getting married, and many couples keep coming back because they’re attached to the memories they had here.”
“Modern Family” gave viewers a look at the family fun and romance that goes on at Lake Tahoe, California. It’s a lovely spot to spend quality time with loved ones and make new friends by the water.
Visiting Camp Richardson feels like going back in time to a small town where people talk and laugh with each other rather than burying their heads in their phones. For generation after generation, vacationers have come to the resort and marina for a welcome respite along the shores of Lake Tahoe. “You can sit still,” Vanessa said. “You can just be here and relax.”
Camp Richardson offers a beautiful, safe, and romantic space to focus on what’s important to you and shake off the everyday stresses that get between you and the people you love. You can book a stay at the cabins or campgrounds and create many wonderful memories at the beach, on the bike trails, or in the snow.
As Vanessa said, “The best way to connect with your family is to be 100% present when you’re with them, and this place totally gives you the opportunity to do that.”