Reminiscing: The Vintage Motels of South Lake Tahoe, California


The Vintage Hotels of South Lake Tahoe on The Block Vintage

Monday marked my husband’s and my one year wedding anniversary. It got me reminiscing, and I started thinking about how this time last year, we were honeymooning in sunny California. For the first three days of our vacation, we stayed in South Lake Tahoe. Being from NC, I’d never really known anybody who’d been to South Lake Tahoe, and I had no idea what to expect. When we arrived, we were greeted by a plethora of retro and vintage hotels sprinkled all over the hills. It was like fate! How did I just randomly land somewhere with so much mid century charm?! Some of the hotels were abandoned, some were still running, and some appeared to be in the midst of renovation. I was obsessed with all of them.

Let me take you on a photo tour of some of my favorites!

The Stardust Lodge is still in business and had my favorite sign, by far:

DSC_0112 (1)From what I could find online, it looks like the Mark Twain Lodge has recently been renovated and is back in action. Here’s a shot of how it looked one year ago:


I think this is just somebody’s house, but HOW precious is it:DSC_0096

I didn’t get a photo of the front of this hotel, so I’m not sure of the name, but it had the cutest little “pool house” outside:DSC_0076DSC_0077

The Ambassador Motor Lodge was another one of my favorites from the outside. It’s so picturesque and mid-century. I will say, it didn’t seem to have very good customer reviews when I googled it just now…18481125573_6c94247a0e_o

The Tahoe Queen also appeared to be under renovations at the time, and that’s probably a good thing since “Worst Hotel Ever” was what came up when I searched it online. Eek:19096137962_9f7a7fc92a_o

Walking down the streets of South Lake Tahoe, I felt like I was in another time. I truly fell in love with the quaint mountain town as I walked around, kind of getting lost, taking these pictures. If I had a million dollars, I think I’d move out there and renovate one of these myself.

With all this talk about Tahoe motels, I have to mention Basecamp Hotel, which was where we stayed. It was a super kitchy renovated motel. They had an adorable courtyard and super cute rooms for a really good price! We loved it and would definitely stay there again if we ever get to go back!


They even have rooms where you can “camp out” inside. We didn’t stay in one of those, but how cool is this:

GI-GallerySo anyways, if you’re looking for a gorgeous vacation where you can feel like you’re in a different decade, check out South Lake Tahoe! With a vintage vibe that you can’t get away from, you definitely won’t regret it! Just read the online reviews of the hotels before you pick one…

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