One of the advantages of studying at Berkeley Global is that you can visit many beautiful places in Northern California within only a few hours. I arrived in the U.S. in June 2019 before my Berkeley Haas Global Access Program (BHGAP) began in the fall. I was lucky to have the chance to travel before the COVID-19 outbreak. I sincerely hope that we will be able to return to our normal life in the near future. In the meantime, I would love to introduce my favorite weekend getaway in Northern California.
Many people might first think of visiting the famous tourist attraction Yosemite while studying abroad in Caifornia. While I loved the magnificent scenery of Yosemite, my favorite place became Lake Tahoe as soon as I visited. I did not know much about Lake Tahoe before coming to Berkeley. A friend who was living in the Bay Area introduced me to Lake Tahoe and I instantly fell in love with the town.
I first visited Lake Tahoe during the summer and I enjoyed the time so much so that I decided to visit once more in the winter. It is a location you can visit year-round. You can relax on the lake's beach when it is warm or hit the slopes when it snows. If you are looking for a getaway where you can not only relax and meditate, but also be surrounded by beautiful nature then Lake Tahoe is the place for you!
Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is a 3-to-4-hour drive from Berkeley. Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it straddles the border of California and Nevada. Although it is one big lake, there are two separate areas—South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe. While both areas have beautiful nature, access to various water and winter sports, nice hotels and gourmet restaurants, there are some differences between the two areas. The biggest difference I found is that North Lake Tahoe is quieter with fewer people than South Lake Tahoe. If you enjoy an active nightlife, South Lake Tahoe would be a better option. I have many unforgettable memories in Lake Tahoe from both trips I took.
If you are not a fan of cold weather, I would recommend visiting Lake Tahoe during the summer. There are so many things you can do and see. You will especially have an amazing time swimming in the lake's crystal clear water. Even if you are not a swimmer, there are still various water activities you can enjoy, including kayaking, jet skiing and paddleboarding. During my kayak experience, I was able to paddle to the middle of the lake and enjoy the peace and quiet. It truly felt like paradise. Away from the lake, there are so many other activities you can try, such as hiking and biking along beautiful trails or exploring the downtown shops.
If you visit Lake Tahoe in winter, you will get to see the most beautiful, snowy mountains. The scenery looks just like a movie scene from Frozen. If you enjoy winter sports, there are a variety of activities that you can try such as skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating. I had an amazing two-hour experience snowmobiling. I participated in a snowmobile group where I was able to ride around and see the beautiful lake. When we got to the top of the hill, I was speechless because of the amazing view. I marveled at the endless beautiful sceneries as we glided through the towering pines and aspen. As I reflect on this moment of riding through the snowy forest, it still makes me feel so happy.
I was so happy to have a chance to study at Berkeley Global, because it led me to weekend trips I will never forget!