There are few things in life finer than a lazy summer day on a lake. The smell of sunscreen, a page-turner in your lap, maybe a glass of Whispering Angel at your side...dozens of children scuttling over your sandy feet…
Ok, while the last part may fit into my perfect scenario five years from now, it isn’t necessarily a part of my ideal summer day today.
I don’t have the answer for avoiding throngs of people at every beach, but I’ve found my idea of perfection—and isolation—at Donner Lake.
For those of you not familiar with Northern California, Donner Lake is a smaller, warmer lake about 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe.
My family has a home near Donner and a few summers ago I discovered the perfect alternative to the ever-crowded beaches dotting the perimeter of the lake: public piers.
There are 37 public piers around Donner Lake and they’re up for grabs each morning. While you need to get up early (most docks will be claimed by 9:30/10 a.m. on weekends), it’s the perfect place to bring floats, towels, beer, a day’s worth of snacks, and a group of friends.
Here are some pictures from our perfect Saturday floating, swimming, and lounging on our own little private “island”: