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Black Bear is an elegant, rustic lodge in South Lake Tahoe offering luxury accommodations in a relaxed mountain setting and it is positioned close to all mountain and Lake Tahoe activities.
Voted one of the best B&Bs in California, Black Bear Inn is an elegant, rustic lodge in South Lake Tahoe offering luxury accommodations in a relaxed mountain setting, close to all mountain and Lake Tahoe activities.
Black Bear's main lodge has five comfortable guest rooms, each with private bath, king bed and gas fireplace. Three spacious, romantic cabins of varying sizes and a hot tub gazebo sit on the back grounds beneath the pine trees. Each cabin has a private patio. Every morning a full, hot breakfast is served. (Breakfast is included in the rate, dinner is not.)
Visit the Room & Rate page for room photos and information. For photos of the lodge, cabins and grounds, visit the Lodge page. Our Things To Do and Links pages will tell you all about Lake Tahoe activities, restaurants, beaches, ski resorts -- everything you need to plan your trip. Use Black Bear Inn as your home base for a romantic weekend getaway or family reunion while you experience extraordinary Lake Tahoe.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Kevin for sharing his own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
People come for all different reasons. Sports, lake activities, recreation, and they like a high quality lodging facility which we offer, from the gourmet breakfasts to the Ralph Lauren sheets and towels. We get a lot of honeymoon couples, anniversary couples, and folks who are just getting away for a romantic getaway.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
What sets us apart from any other place in Tahoe is our unique architecture, and the way we filled the space with rustic yet elegant furnishings. The ambiance is relaxing and the food is terrific.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
The number one reason to visit here is to experience a world class alpine lake of extraordinary beauty.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
The best compliment we ever received was that our lodge reminded them of some of the great lodges of the West, or when they say it looks "old but new." When we built it 14 years ago we wanted it to have all the modern conveniences, but we wanted the rustic elegance of Old Tahoe.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
That's a tough one. I'd say the hidden gems that only locals know about. The most scenic and most spectacular views, and tiny remote beaches. Places that you would never find on your own. There is a photographer in town who has a business where he takes guests on a tour to his favorite areas that have stunning backdrops, and he photographs the couple in each location - - at waterfalls, overlooks etc. So the guests have a fun, wonderful day being driven around Tahoe's best spots, and then they are given a disc of photos of themselves! It's a great idea.
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
There are so many options, that we try to cater to the individual guest. Some guests like the excitement of extreme boarding and skiing while others prefer something relaxed like a sleigh ride through the forest. There are others who enjoy the middle ground of snowmobiling or dog sledding. Same thing applies during the summer. Hiking and mountain biking can be smooth and easy or it can be a strenuous workout. Kayaking is easier and you go at your own pace. You can sail in an antique wooden boat, tour the old Tahoe estates, and tour the Silver Rush area of Nevada. There are hundreds of choices.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?The Lake is within easy walking distance, and there are a wealth of activities on the lake. Although you can start off hiking and biking from the inn, I think the best hiking, mountain biking and skiing is a very short drive - - 10 minutes. What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
Cafe Fiore, a very tiny Italian restaurant across the street has wonderful ambiance. And Evan's is our other favorite. Both are always reliable for fine food, a welcoming staff, and a relaxing dining experience.
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
There are no less than 50 websites that tout Lake Tahoe. Some are very broad in scope and some are narrower. We always prefer to talk to our guests and custom fit their agenda to their personal preferences and tastes. No website can really give you a true feel for Lake Tahoe.
How many rooms does your inn have?
We offer ten rooms.
Do you accept pets?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate pets. We have dogs of our own, and our female dog does not like other animals on the property. So we love pets, but we can't accommodate them. There is a vet in town called Alpine Animal Hospital that does day boarding, but I've found that people who travel with their dogs want their dogs to be with them at night.
Due to our intimate size, weddings at Black Bear Inn are not for everyone, but only for the discerning bride and her guests. This is a special event and we want it to be just right for you.
Our capacity is seasonally limited because of the weather. We can only accommodate 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors (outdoor weddings are possible June through September). Ceremonies with up to seven guests (plus bride & groom) do not need to rent all the inn rooms. Out of consideration for outside guests, for any larger event, we ask that you take all the rooms.
All wedding dinners are provided by our own chef here at Black Bear Inn. Chef Alex can provide a set menu for a seated dinner (max of 30 people) or provide a buffet style dinner for larger groups. All food contracts are arranged with the chef.
Our license allows us to serve only beer, wine and champagne. We cannot serve liquor, and liquor cannot be brought on site. We sell wine and champagne by the bottle. A corkage fee of $20 per bottle applies to all wine and champagne brought in by guests. The site fee does not include the outside rental of tables, chairs, linens, glassware, flatware or china.
You are welcome to write your own vows if you like. If you would like flowers, a cake or a photographer, please contact us and we will send you referrals.
Due to the strict local noise ordinance we do not allow amplified music outdoors.
In order to reserve your spot, a non-refundable deposit is required. Payment must be paid in full at least six months in advance of your wedding date. A site fee guideline is shown below, though it may fluctuate due to certain circumstances. Please call for pricing.
- 2-4 people $500
- 5-7 people $750
- 8-20 people $1000
- 21-30 people $1500
- 31-50 people $2500
For California weddings, no blood test or waiting period is required. The couple must be at least 18 years of age and have identification. Any divorce/termination within the last 90 days requires verification. The fee is $60 for a public license and $53 for a confidential license (a confidential license carries more conditions). The license is available at any California county recorder-clerk's office. For more information, visit the El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk's Office in South Lake Tahoe at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 108, or call (530)573-3409.
"Let's be candid. We have all seen beautiful locations advertised in magazines, on postcards or on the internet but upon visit, we have been disappointed. I have to admit the pictures of the Black Bear Inn looked too good to be true so I made a special trip from Pasadena to check out the Inn.
I have to tell you, I found the Inn to be picture perfect: rich, lush, filled with color and beautifully decorated. Upon seeing the Inn in person, I so fell in love with its beauty, tranquility and charm that on the spot, I reserved the whole Inn for our September 17, 2011 wedding. I was mindful that the Black Bear Inn is a business but for an everyday Joe like me, our wedding plans came down to the issue of trust. Could I completely trust that the Black Bear Inn staff would fulfill the vision of our wedding? After sitting down and discussing the proposed plans with the Black Bear Inn staff, with their warm and caring reassurance, I bet the farm and placed all of our hopes and dreams for our wedding into their hands and came up aces.
Our wedding was absolutely beautiful. Everything we had hoped and prayed for came out exactly the way we wanted it to be. Looking back on it now, the wedding was perfect principally because the staff at the Inn made sure everything turned out beautifully just as they promised it would some months before. All of my friends and family members were so impressed and reported that the Black Bear Inn staff were always professional, caring, willing to go the extra mile to assist and always treated them with respect. To each and every one of the staff members at the Black Bear Inn, my wife and I want to thank you for our gorgeous September wedding and for our perfect beautiful memories that will always be cherished."
Things To Do
Wintertime is when Tahoe shows off its 15 ski resorts, including Heavenly Mountain Reseort (just one mile from the inn), Squaw Valley and Kirkwood. Tahoe winters are famous for huge dumps of light powder and beautiful blue skies. This is world-class skiing at its best.
15 ski resorts
Cross country skiing
Horse drawn sleigh rides
Snowshoeing through the forest
Dog sled rides
There are countless activities to enjoy in the summertime, and below is a starter list. Please check out our Links page for links to specific events.
Fishing and boating
Canoes, kayaks, sailboats
Rafting (white water or long 'n lazy)
Catamarans, paddle wheelers
Historic towns (Truckee, Virginia City, Placerville, Coloma)
Tour the Apple Hill wineries
Hot air balloon rides
Glider rides, helicopter tours
...or ask to borrow our Ultimate Driving Tour CD
Throughout the year there are a wide range of special events: outdoor concerts, the marathon, bike races, a Shakespeare Festival, antique car and boat shows -- something for everyone. Links to many of those events can be found on our Links page.
Whatever the season, Lake Tahoe has several casinos that happily welcome anyone of legal age. The larger casinos have major entertainers, shows and concerts. Shopping at one of the many stores in town is another year-round activity. A lot of our guests like to kick back in the lodge and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi set up. And don't worry -- if you didn't bring a laptop, we've got one you can use.
Here are links to several sites that can help you plan your trip to Lake Tahoe. If you prefer talking to a human being rather than surfing online, please feel free to call us as well! (10am-6pm daily, PST) We will be glad to help you plan your weekend getaway.
The Lake Tahoe area has one of the highest concentrations of ski resorts in the world and is home to several ski resorts. Each mountain has its own personality, amenities and unique views of the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountain range. Black Bear Inn is just one mile from the Heavenly Mountain California base lodge. Follow these links for more info about each ski resort.
♦ Heavenly Mountain ♦ Squaw Valley ♦ Kirkwood ♦ Sierra At Tahoe ♦ Northstar At Tahoe ♦ Alpine Meadows ♦ Homewood ♦ Diamond Peak ♦ Spooner Cross Country ♦ Mount Rose ♦ Donner Ski Ranch ♦ Sugar Bowl ♦ Boreal
♦ The Ski Renter ♦ Sleigh Rides ♦ Rainbow Mountain
♦ In-Room Massage ♦ Massage Therapy Cottage ♦ Shannon's Day Spa ♦ Wine Bar ♦ Jon Paul Photo Gallery ♦ Image Angels Photography ♦ Airport Shuttle ♦ Private Air Taxi From S.F. ♦ Alpine Animal Hospital ♦ Graystone Ltd ♦ Deep Lake Design ♦ Carlo D'Alessio ♦ Deb Howard (realtor) ♦ Winesox ♦ Cocoa-Bibelot Chocolatier ♦ Film Tahoe (location scout)
(not all of these are links)
♦ January - Gay Ski Week ♦ July/Aug - Shakespeare ♦ June - Lake Tahoe Relay ♦ August - Reno Hot August Nights ♦ June - Lake Tahoe Relay ♦ August - Reno Hot August Nights ♦ June - Most Beautiful Bike Ride ♦ August - Wooden Boat Exhibit ♦ June - Renaissance Faire ♦ September - Bike Race ♦ June - Lake Tahoe Corvette Club ♦ September - Labor Day Fireworks ♦ July - Fireworks Over The Lake ♦ September - Lake Tahoe Air Show ♦ July - Tahoe Celebrity Golf ♦ September - Iron Girl Triathlon ♦ July - Bike Race ♦ September - Marathon ♦ Year-Round - Heritage Found.
There are countless web sites that supply information about the Lake Tahoe area. Here are some of our favorites:
♦ Tahoe Culture ♦ Tahoe.com ♦ About Lake Tahoe ♦ Reno.com ♦ Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority ♦ Tahoe Country ♦ Lake Tahoe News ♦ Reno Tahoe Territory
If you are concerned about the weather and road conditions while lodging in South Lake Tahoe, here are a few sites that might help.
♦ Heavenly webcams ♦ CalTrans road condition map ♦ Lake Tahoe cam
The shuttle service that runs between the Reno/Tahoe airport and South Lake Tahoe costs about $24 one way, or $43 round trip and is based in the far corner of the airport baggage claim area of the Reno airport. The ride takes about seventy minutes and lets you off at the casinos in Stateline, Nevada, one and a half miles from Black Bear Inn. Taxis can be called from any casino. Once you're at Black Bear, public buses, casino shuttles and ski resort shuttles stop in front of the lodge. Car rentals are also available at the Reno airport. Be advised that it is best to have a four wheel drive vehicle if you come during the winter months.
As of March 2010, there is a new shuttle service that runs between Sacramento International Airport and South Lake Tahoe. Currently, a round-trip costs $99 and one-way is $65. The shuttle will stop at four South Shore casinos, where taxis are readily available. We recommend you depart at Horizon. For more information, please call Super Shuttle at (800) 258-3826.
Do not rely on GPS systems; they have been routing guests the wrong way.
A new highway from Reno is under construction. For the next couple of years, as you drive this route you will be getting on and off the elevated highway/bypass. Once it's finished it will have a new number.
It's a seventy minute drive from the Reno airport to Black Bear Inn. Just beyond the airport exit, take Highway 395 south out of Reno. After a few miles, take exit 57B in order to stay on 395. Highway 395 takes you into Carson City. Just as you enter Carson, take the new 395 Business exit. Otherwise you will continue on a new elevated bypass that only goes a mile or two. While you are on 395 Business, Highway 50 merges with 395. When 50 and 395 split, turn to the right and stay on 50. You will immediately begin to ascend the Carson mountain range. In twenty miles or so you will see the only high rise buildings on the road: the casinos. They are located right on the California/ Nevada border at the Stateline Street traffic light. Four lights further south is Ski Run Boulevard. Turn left onto Ski Run. Black Bear is one-half mile up on the right: 1202 Ski Run Blvd.
It takes approximately two hours to drive from Sacramento to Black Bear Inn. (If starting at the Sac airport, add 15 minutes to drive south on Interstate 5 to Highway 50). Take Highway 50 east out of Sacramento. Continue into the Lake Tahoe area until you reach the traffic light at Pioneer Trail, about one-half mile past the point where Highway 89 merges into 50 from the right. Turn right onto Pioneer Trail. Once on Pioneer, drive seven and one-half miles to the Ski Run Boulevard traffic light (the third light). Turn left onto Ski Run. Black Bear is one block down on the left: 1202 Ski Run Blvd.
From Minden (Hwy. 395):
If you are driving up 395 through Nevada, you'll want to take Highway 207 over the mountain rather than going further north to Carson City. Highway 88 is the short link between the two roads; Highway 88 hits Highway 395 at a traffic light in Minden. Make a sharp left onto 88. After two miles on 88, turn right at the light onto Mottsville Lane. This road becomes 207/ Kingsbury Grade. Kingsbury will take you up and over the mountain and dead end at Highway 50 near the lake. Turn left onto 50. Soon you will see the only high rise buildings on the road: the casinos. They are located right on the California/ Nevada border at the Stateline Street traffic light. Four lights further south is Ski Run Boulevard. Turn left onto Ski Run. Black Bear is one-half mile up on the right: 1202 Ski Run Blvd.