Ty Polastri In The Know Local Tahoe

Ty Polastri

Lifestyle Marketer, Entersport, Bicycle Advocate

Three words you'd use to describe your area:

Vibrant, Beautiful, Active

What's your favorite local cafe or coffee shop and why?

Ready for a little java with a cool authentic local vibe? Then try out Clyde’s Coffee Roasting Company on Kingsbury Grade, near Stateline, or Alpina Coffee Cafe out near the “Y” on the west side of town. Both cafes are locally owned, have outdoor seating, and its where friends meet for a cup of joe over a business meeting or planning for their next adventure. It’s also a great place to connect with locals for insider tips on where to go and what to do while here – we are friendly.

You've got a dog lover visiting, where do you go?

Dogs love Tahoe. They enjoy running through the forest and swimming in the Lake and streams. Generally, there is a leash law in effect in City Limits and public parks.

However, there are spots for dogs like the Bijou Dog Park, and an area on the south end of Nevada State Beach where they are free to play off-lease.

Dog lovers will also appreciate dog-friendly lodging properties in town.

You need a get-away-from it all escape, where do you go and why?

There are two dominant getaway options and they are beaches and trails. During non- winter months, I visit the Lake nearly every day to connect with the water’s crystalline clarity and ever changing mood. The water’s clarity helps me clarify my mind and focus, while the Lake’s mood can help me validate or shift what I’m feeling that day – it is a kind of daily ritual for connecting to something larger that myself and remembering to authentically connect to myself and others during the course of the day. Trails, there are literally hundreds of miles of trails surrounding the Lake for hiking and mountain biking with many options for all skill levels and interests. For me, I love mountain biking high above the Lake with majestic vistas of the surrounding peaks and high alpine Lakes.

A couple of my favorite single-track trails are the world famous Flume Trail in Incline Village, and for an introduction to mountain biking or to get acclimated to the altitude the Powerline Trail is a nice single track in town. For less challenging trails there are miles of paved bike paths for casual and convenient riding to beaches, restaurants and shopping areas. To see the details, maps and videos of these trails and more go to my website: www.biketahoe.org. During winter months, there are nine ski resorts surrounding the Lake, and each of them is uniquely different in terrain and amenities. My home resort is Heavenly Mountain, which is conveniently accessed by a gondola in the middle of town.

It is where I also serve as a ski school manager during winter months. One of the most popular trails is Ridge Run on the California side of the mountain. This intermediate, Blue, trail guides you down the mountain while the entire Lake is before you. It’s almost like skiing/riding into the Lake.

A must ski trail for spectacular views of the Lake and the peaks surrounding it. You definitely want to take photos.

A foodie fanatic is visiting, where do you take them and what will you order?

For such a small community there are many great options for dining. Depending on your tastes and budget there is something for everyone. For me, when I’m in the mood for the best pizza, I go to Base Camp Pizza in the Heavenly Village where there is daily ongoing live music and many other great shops, and dining options to visit.

When I’m wanting to share a special evening with a love one(s) I’m going to the Edgewood Country Club (site for the annual American Century Pro-Celebrity Golf Tournament) for a continental lakeside dinner – particularly during sunset time which is always stunning.

Sushi is my weekly to go dining and the best for that is Samurai on Highway 50 in midtown. When you go to Samurai be sure to say hi to Aje, the owner/chef, and say I sent you. He will greet you with a big smile and welcome you.

You're filling a gift bag that showcases 3 - 5 of your favorite local goods, what do you include?

Often when visiting a new location, it is fun to purchase some items that can always reignite lovely memories of your visit.

One of my favorite items that is unique to Tahoe is a Jewelry charm shaped as Lake Tahoe and generally set in sterling silver with the blue Lake a turquoise stone - it’s absolutely beautiful and found at Jewelry stores at Heavenly Village or Round Hill Shopping Center.

Central to Lake Tahoe’s distinctive character is active sports – “it’s the all-year round playground”.

This year round active lifestyle is why many people live and visit here. Supporting active lifestyles are a number of sport retailers providing a wide variety of products with experienced expert staff to help you choose an item that can enhance your activities while here and when you return home.

City explorers unite! Where would you take a visitor if you only had 3 hours to show off your area and why?

If you have never been to South Lake Tahoe and only had a brief time here, I would take you on the 2.4-mile-long Heavenly Gondola ride to the observation deck at 9,123 feet above sea level. From that deck, you can look east and see Carson Valley in Nevada, the location of the State Capital. Just 15 miles east from Carson City is the historic Virginia City mining town - where silver was discovered in 1859 and Mark Twain was the editor of the newspaper. Virginia City is a great historical day trip for experiencing the Wild West. Looking West, you will see the majestic Mt. Tallac and Pyramid Peak cradling the Desolation Wilderness area. Just 60 miles west of South Lake Tahoe gold was discovered in 1848 and prompted the largest U.S. emigration movement in history.

Looking north, you can view the entire Lake: shore-to-shore (22 miles long by 12 miles wide). Behind you, and at the end of the Gondola ride you will see several ski runs in California and Nevada. It is a bird’s-eye view that will take your breath away and as Mark Twain describes: “To breathe the same air as the angels, you must go to Tahoe”. I promise you will be inspired to return when you have more time to explore all the possibilities for adventure – summer or winter.

Sporting teams can bring a community together - what teams do you love to cheer for?

I have lived in South Lake Tahoe, on and off, my entire life. My body first touched these sacred waters when I was 6 months of age and little did I know that it would become a kind of baptismal that would chart the course of my life’s journey.

I was fortunate to have Italian parents who loved the outdoors and the associated sporting activities. We built a second home here where I would spend summers, and after college winter too.

It was here that I learned environmental stewardship and went on to get a degree in Ecology. I loved water sports like water skiing, sailing and fishing with my Dad.

My Dad introduced me to snow skiing and that would influence my career path in winter sports. There are nine ski resorts surrounding the Lake, and Heavenly Mountain is located downtown within walking distance from gaming properties, lodging and dining options.

How long have you lived in this incredible place? What brought you here and why you suggest someone else consider moving here?

I live in the Stateline area just a mile away from the Stateline separating California and Nevada. I love the fact that I’m close to all the amenities in California, but feel away from it all by living in Nevada – plus no state income tax.

From where I live, I can walk or ride my bike and travel a short distance to Kahle meadow, Nevada State Beach, and Round Hill Pines Resort and Beach. Actually, everything is accessible by bike in South Lake Tahoe.

You can ride across the entire town on a bike path visiting restaurants, parks, six beaches, campgrounds, community services and shopping.

Suggested Reading

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