Adventure Like a Celeb in South Lake Tahoe
Seen “Top Gun 2: Maverick” yet? South Lake Tahoe has been the backdrop for an array of blockbuster movies, sitcoms, and reality TV series that showcase Tahoe’s famous turquoise water, snowcapped mountains and towering pines. So when the production for Maverick wanted to build a military base that had a runway between mountains, the Lake Tahoe Airport came into play. Production built platforms on the side of a mountain for helicopters to bring in the equipment needed to shoot that epic military base/fighter scene three years ago.
Did you know that classics like “The Godfather Part II,” “City of Angels” and “The Bodyguard” were also filmed in the region? “We live in a magnificent place that translates well to the big screen and we look forward to sharing it with the world,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “News of the celebrity stays has inspired visitors to spend time here living vicariously like a star.”
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CELEBRITY CRIBS IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Living like a star begins with palatial accommodations. The Sherman Estate is a sprawling 15-acre property providing stunning lake views, hot tub, indoor pool, movie theatre, game room, fireplace, expansive kitchen, multiple outdoor lounge spaces, and wet bar with 17 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms that can host up to 40 guests. It’s no wonder that casts of Real Housewives and Kardashians stayed there as well as filming locations for the rose ceremony of the ABC’s The Bachelor. The property is in high demand and now requires a minimum stay of 30 nights with rates starting at $9,000 per night. In addition, Bliss Experiences/Lake Tahoe Yoga/ offered private yoga sessions for casts staying there.
ABC’s The Bachelor season 22 with Arie Luyendyk Jr. featured his accommodations at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, and the women were nearby in Stateline, Nev. at a Buckingham Luxury Vacation Rental. Preview of the episode: https://www.youtube.com. In season 10, Dr. Andy Baldwin, a navy lieutenant, used the Black Bear Lodge (at the time Black Bear Inn) on Ski Run Boulevard for a romantic date.
Bally’s Lake Tahoe (formerly MontBleu) Edgewood Tahoe, Hard Rock Hotel, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, and The Landing Resort & Spa have housed numerous cast/crews during shoots. As the official host hotels for the American Century Championship during the annual celebrity golf tournament, Harrah’s and Harveys have welcomed hundreds of sports and entertainment stars.
WHERE TO PLAY & DINE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
The possibilities are endless to create a memorable, romantic getaway like casts/crews did in Lake Tahoe. Here’s a snapshot of activities they experienced while filming during the fall, early-winter and late-spring seasons when more privacy calls:
Aerial Adrenaline: Catch a glimpse of the snowcapped peaks with scenes from “Top Gun 2: Maverick” via helicopter tours, which take flight year-round from South Lake Tahoe Airport. Feeling daring, try Sky Combat Ace and experience pilot-for-a-day with the Top Gun package, aerobatic maneuvers over the Lake Tahoe landmarks shown in the movie, including Emerald Bay and Maggie’s Peak.
Get over the water with parasailing at Zephyr Cove Resort like “The Bachelor” did on their date followed by a picnic at Baldwin Beach. Another iconic date included Arie and his suitor with a horseback ride through Camp Richardson Corral to Fallen Leaf Lake. Spoiler alert there’s not a hot tub along the trail but many accommodations do offer hot tubs for guests.Dinner at Hard Rock’s Park Prime followed by a concert inside the hotel was another special evening. Casey Webb, Travel Channel series, “Man v. Food,” recently visited Cold Water Brewery, Artemis and Fox & Hound. Other dining establishments for cast/crew included Edgewood’s Bistro, Brooks’ Bar & Deck, and Riva Grill.
Tahoe Blue Wave mesmerized casts of both RHOBH and Kardashians. Camera crews utilized outfitters Tahoe Sports and Lake Tahoe Boat Rides to make scouting and filming possible. Camp Richardson Resort’s marina was the headquarters for “Modern Family” boats, jet skiing, canoeing, while the Marian Duplex and cabin were transformed for parts of the episode. During winter months stars were skiing/snowboarding at Heavenly Mountain Resort snow tubing and ice skating at Edgewood Tahoe.
“You can’t buy the kind of exposure these various films and shows earn,” added Chaplin. “Through the El Dorado County Film Commission and our local partners, we continue to generate buzz and garner millions of impressions of our incredible destination.”
For a guide to South Lake Tahoe film locations check out the El Dorado County Film Commission’s movie map.
The Sierra Rose was used in the filming of “Modern Family” with Camp Richardson Resort & Marina as the headquarters; the houseboat is actually up for action: here. Credit: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority