It's the "in-between season" around Lake Tahoe, that time of year when armies of tourists have ended their occupation of the lake, making it easier for you and me to get around.
The in-between season, also known as the "shoulder season" by those in the travel biz, gets better as September goes by, peaks in October and winds down in November, ending with the first snowfall. Just about everything you can do at the lake in the summertime, you can do now, without the crowds.
Festival-wise, consider these (details at www.gotahoenorth.com):
- Music, hayrides, pumpkin-painting, pie-eating contests, a beer garden and a cornucopia of gourmet fare will be among the highlights at the Resort at Squaw Creek's Harvest Festival, Oct. 5-14 in Olympic Valley.
- Choose from among three-course lunches and dinners for $20, $30 and $40 at restaurants around the lake during Tahoe Restaurant Week, Oct. 7-14. No tickets or coupons are necessary.
- The Tahoe City Harvest Festival and Oktoberfest will offer a tasting of German wines, 5-K and 10-K runs, a pub crawl, a ghost walk and a pumpkin-carving workshop, Oct. 6-20.
- Grilled bratwurst, beer, live music and arts-and-crafts will headline the Oktoberfest in Incline Village, Oct. 13.
- The adults-only Historical Haunted Walking Tour in Truckee will take attendees back in time, Oct. 18-19. Plan on hearing ghostly tales at "historic buildings and legendary watering holes."