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Pet & family-friendly vintage 'Old Tahoe' cabin--spectacular views of Lake Tahoe

Bedrooms 2
Space 978 sq ft
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

Cute & Cozy 2 bedroom 1 bath Old Tahoe Classic with extraordinary lake views.

Location: Wonderful North Tahoe site in Carnelian Bay, 3.5 miles from Tahoe City.

2 Bedrooms, 1 bath. 978 sq. ft.

Some of our neighbors say we have the best view in the neighborhood. Maybe they are just being polite. I don't know; I haven't been to every house in the neighborhood, and in any event, tastes vary. But it IS a lovely view, and we like it, and we think you will, too.


Sleeps 4 comfortably, 5 with couch in living room, 8 with inflatable mattresses.

The beds in the 2 bedrooms (1 king, 1 double) can each sleep 2 adults. The "overflow" sleeping area is the large living room, where there is a couch that will sleep 1, and inflatable mattresses that can easily sleep 3, or perhaps 5 if you want to really pack 'em in. The living room is for use by the children (including adult children) of the parents staying in the bedrooms. Sleeping bags and pillows supplied. Limit on adults is 4; overall limit is 8. But if you've got more children, and don't mind crowding, feel free to bring them. Keeping in mind that we have 978 total square feet, and 1 bathroom.


Replete with original character and charm, this beautiful 'Old Tahoe' cabin was built in 1942, with redwood exterior and knotty pine interior. Enjoy many magnificent views of the lake and mountains from inside and outside this beautifully maintained cabin. Warm yourself on a crisp evening with a fire in the large stone fireplace. Dine before the large picture window with gorgeous lake views. Over 150 trees on the property, many of them 80-100 years old. Watch any of the premium movie channels. Relax on the furnished covered deck as small animals and birds feed from their established 'feeding rocks'.

Hike miles of trails on Forest Service land or enjoy a bike ride on the paved bike path. This 'Old Tahoe' style cabin is a couples' delight or perfect setting for a family. Located just 3.5 miles from Tahoe City's beaches, music festivals, and farmers markets. World class dining is just around the corner, as well as boutique shopping and art galleries. Close to all North Tahoe attractions.


Large living room with beautiful lake view.

Large wood-burning stone fireplace with supplied fir and almond firewood.

Formal dining table expands to seat eight.

COVERED DECK with lake view seats eight. Many places in Tahoe have decks, but ours is the only covered deck I've seen. (It's not covered with an awning--it's built into the structure of the house.) This allows you to enjoy being outdoors, without directly experiencing the effects of sun, rain, snow, or the worst of the wind. For those preferring to be out in the elements, the directly adjoining landing (which leads to the stairs) is uncovered (as is the patio, unless you're under the umbrella). (Disclaimer: the landing is small, and will seat only one.)

Slate patio with table & umbrella with four chairs, chaise lounge, and two wicker chairs and end-table.

Patio includes pond and 'feeding rocks' for birds, chipmunks, & squirrels (food provided).

Gas barbeque.

Kitchen with refrigerator/freezer, microwave and stove/oven (4 burners).

Dinette off kitchen seats four.

Single bathroom with toilet, shower, and sink.

Master bedroom with king size bed and great view of the lake. (Bed includes down featherbed, electric blanket, down comforter, and bedspread enclosing another down comforter.)

Upstairs bedroom with full (double) bed and filtered view of the lake. (Bed includes 4" memory foam pad, down featherbed and down comforter.)

Couch in living room can sleep one. Pillows, sheets, wool blankets (or, if you prefer, a sleeping bag) and an extra down comforter are available for use here.

Lots of floor space in the living room for kids.

Plenty of inflatable sleeping pads (two queen, one full, three twin), linens, blankets and pillows for floor sleeping.

Level parking for 4 cars; can accommodate boat or RV.


Fully stocked cabin: Bedding, linens, towels, pillows, TP, paper towels, soap, BBQ gas, spices, condiments, etc.

27" TVs in living room and master bedroom; DVD in living room.

Cable with all the premium channels (8 HBO channels, 6 Showtime, 9 Cinemax, 3 Starz, 5 TMC, 6 Encore, EPIX, DISC, TLC, MTV, CNN, Lifetime, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone. . . over 200 in all). (Note further: most of the premium networks--e.g., HBO--have FREE movies on demand--e.g., "HBO On Demand". I estimate that there are about 10,000 total movies available to you this way.)

High speed internet Wi-Fi connection (130 mbps).

Kitchen includes stove/oven, microwave, Cuisinart coffee maker, Keurig coffee maker, Krups Il Cafe Duomo (cappuccino maker), coffee grinder, french press, blender, rice cooker, toaster, crock pot, waffle iron, plenty of pots and pans, dishes, glasses, cups, silverware and cooking utensils. Also many spices and a variable collection of condiments.

No washer and dryer, garbage disposer, dishwasher, or bath tub.

Families and children welcome! See above for sleeping-gear information. Twenty-seven board games and puzzles (ask me to send you an inventory; maybe you can leave yours at home). Kiddie gates supplied to keep the littlest ones off the inside and outside stairs. Twenty-four family & children-oriented movies on the DVR in the living room (as of 4/1/2018). Lots of beach towels & blankets, beach chairs & chaise lounges, ice chests & tote bags and other supplies for picnics or trips to the beach. Stuffed bears, or shells and polished rocks, for the kiddies, as souvenirs of their visit to Lake Tahoe. Some places charge extra for persons above a specified limit. We don't, and welcome large or extended families.

Doggies and kitties also welcome! I suppose my limit is two dogs, but if you have more, and they are old, or small, or somehow otherwise reasonable, let's talk. Doggie beds provided: two large, one medium large, two medium, two small, and two tiny. I also have a large steel "wire" crate, in case your doggie is used to crate sleeping. Additionally, a supply of sheets you may spread over furniture in order that your doggies may use the furniture without worry, if that is your preference. "Puperoni" treats upon arrival, unless you specify otherwise. If you don't have a regular and effective anti-flea protocol, don't bring your pet. We all have to live here. We don't charge extra rent or cleaning for pets, nor is there an enhanced security deposit. Just be responsible, and "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you".

Smoking is OK on the patio or the deck, but not in the house. Ash trays provided.

Check-in time, 5 pm. Check-out time, 10 am. This gives me seven hours between guests to insure that everything is in readiness for your visit. NOTE: In those cases where there is no other guest leaving the day you arrive, or arriving the day you leave, I am able to be more flexible, and TYPICALLY you can arrive, and depart, at whatever time of day is optimal for you. Of course, if other guests make a reservation after you have made yours, the 5 pm and 10 am times would apply.

I live in a small "mother-in-law" cottage on the same property. I am retired, and busy myself taking care of our 150 trees, raking trails, moving firewood, and other tasks away from the main cabin. I make an effort to be entirely invisible during your visit, although I am always available to you in person, or by phone, text, or email. Sometimes, I visit friends out of town; on those occasions I am still available by phone, text, or email, although not in person, of course.

For reservations, or questions, call (916-813-8553) or text (916-813-8553) Brian, or use the systems in place here on VRBO.

Thank you!

More Details

Brian Harris
Member since: 2014
Speaks english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 26, 2018

About Brian Harris

My grandfather bought this cabin in 1957, when I was three years old. He paid for it with a check for $14,000. He never bought a house any other way. "If we can't pay for it today, we can't afford it" was, I suppose, his motto. He hated to pay interest--in fact, he simply wouldn't. Our family has reaped the benefits of his discipline, and his emphatic refusal to spend money he did not have.

My little brothers and I had many happy summers at Tahoe. We played with other children in the neighborhood, who are still here today, over half a century later. This is a nice neighborhood, full of nice people--even those newbies who've only been here for forty years.

We three boys used to go on walks in the woods with my dad and my grandpa. We would gather the knots out of fallen and rotting trees, using an old rock hammer, and collecting the knots in burlap bags we still have. The reason for gathering the knots was that they were very dense, and burned hot for hours (and were free). However, as little boys, the excitement for us was found in the license to tear apart the rotting tree, especially if it was full of ants. (Note 1: "knot" here refers not to nautical speed nor rope configuration, but instead to the location in a tree where a branch emerges from the trunk.) (Note 2: In the intervening years, I have, under the long-distance tutelage of E. O. Wilson, developed great respect and admiration for ants, and today do nothing I can avoid, to harm their colonies or their individuals, if "individual ant" is not an oxymoron.)

While the knot hunts were great fun, I enjoyed most feeding the squirrels by hand, and attempting to catch the blue-belly lizards around the house and crayfish down at the lake. I have a picture my dad took when I was maybe five, with a squirrel stretching himself to his limit to take food from my extended hand. I still enjoy feeding their descendants today, placing food on the "feeding rocks" to which they have become acclimated.

Brian Harris purchased this cabin in 1957

Why Brian Harris chose Carnelian Bay

1957 was a big year in our family--my grandpa retired, my mom & dad bought their second house, and I retired from only-child status with the birth of my brother Mark, who was, and is, not nearly as good-looking as me. Regarding the cabin, the critical development was my grandfather's retirement. He and my grandma used to spend every summer in Tahoe, and he would spend most of his time puttering around the cabin, keeping everything in top shape. In those days, we used to stain the redwood that makes up the outside of the house. (It's not practical to do this any more--the stains allowed in California have become so weak that they won't keep water out of wood. So now we paint.) My grandfather, ever thrifty, refused to buy commercially prepared stains--"they're ridiculously overpriced". He would instead mix his own, from linseed oil, kerosene, burnt umber, and two other ingredients that I've lost in the mists of time. By the mid-1970's, my grandpa, approaching 80, decided that his best ladder-days were behind him, and sold the cabin to my dad. My dad--a teenaged electrician on his submarine during WWII--updated and expanded much of the wiring in the house, among many other improvements. Our cabin was built in 1942, reflecting the beauty and craftsmanship of that era. But there were many components of our modern everyday life that weren't even on the horizon in a mountain cabin in 1942. Under my dad's direction, we converted from septic tank to sewer (as kids, we weren't allowed to flush unless we 'did #2'), from propane to natural gas, and from wood roof to steel roof, among other things. By the 1990's, Dad had reached his own "get me off this ladder" stage, and I took the lead on cabin maintenance. I was joined in this by my son Evan, and especially by my daughter Amelia, who has a special affection for our "home-across-the-generations". If either of them can ever find ANYONE to marry them, I hope to live to see the 5th generation enjoy our family home.

What makes this cabin unique

As you can see from the pictures on this site, our home was constructed with the "Old Tahoe" look typical of the era (1942). This underlying structure has been augmented by my grandma, my mom, my wife, and my daughter.

My grandma was an artist by nature. The curtains in the living room were harvested from a dumpster at UC Davis (my own undergraduate Alma mater) by Grandma. She added to the motif of trees and leaves by hand-painting hundreds and hundreds of pink leaves, matching the shape of those found on the original curtains, but matching the color to the original purple-and-pink-paisley rug in the living room of the cabin. Both the rug and the curtain can be found in this living room today.

The main look of the inside of our house was produced by my mom. She grew up in Kansas in the 1920's and 1930's, and many of the decorations to be found on the flat surfaces and the walls reflect her fondness for this era. Since I have been renting out our cabin beginning in 2014, I have found that our guests really warm up to my mom's homey style of displaying nostalgic items. I am gratified to see how many people enjoy the careful effort she has made for so many years.

My wife and my daughter have contributed to the look of our place, unexpectedly perhaps, by their work with rocks. My wife and I collected rocks from across the western and southwestern United States; these can be found in various locales around our cabin. My daughter arranged many of the rock configurations that form borders to the paths and plants around the cabin, among other things. When she was younger, we went into the forest together and found some baby manzanita bushes that we transplanted to an appropriate spot near the cabin.

All told, there have been four generations of love and attention put into the look and the function of our cabin. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!


Accommodation and Amenities for this vacation cabin rental in Carnelian Bay, California

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 978 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 5:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Max. adults: 5
  • Min. age of primary renter: 30 ...
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Smoking is allowed, but OUTSIDE only. Ashtrays are provided, and you may smoke on the covered deck, or the patio. Please exercise normal caution.
  • "Parties" are not allowed, but you are welcome to have four friends join you for dinner. Please don't yell in the bar at 2 am, "Let's go to Brian's!"
  • Doggies and kitties are welcome. We like pets, and have always had them (in Sacramento). Basic limit is two, unless they're older, smaller, quieter.
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Sink
  • Extra toiletries available in case you forgot something. Two hair dryers. Lots of medicine in the cupboard, but you are on your own regarding expiration dates.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , This downstairs bedroom includes an excellent lake view.
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , This bedroom is upstairs, and has a tree-filtered lake view.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double , Couch in the LIVING ROOM sleeps one.
  • Downstairs bed ("bedroom 1") has a down featherbed, electric blanket, and two down comforters. Upstairs bed ("bedroom 2") has a 4" memory foam pad, a down featherbed and a down comforter. Fold out bed in the couch may make use of available wool blankets or back-up down comforter(s).
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • marina
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • parasailing
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(42 traveler reviews)

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Pet & family-friendly vintage 'Old Tahoe' cabin--spectacular views of Lake Tahoe
average rating of 4.7619047 based on 42 reviews
Mount Pleasant, SC

Cozy cabin with most impressive view

  • 5 of 5

Amazing view, much better than pictured. This cozy cabin has everything one could wish for and then some. The owner (Brian) has thought of everything to ensure a wonderful visit. From the comfortable bed to a generous supply of bird seed, ready to use fire......the list goes on and on. The cabin in located in a very quiet area five minutes or so from three grocery stores, several nice restaurants, and even a few shops.

I think the real difference about this place is the heart that Brian shows in wanting his guests to enjoy their stay. He is very easy to work with and just a quick phone call away. He even took care of a small issue for us while he was on an emergency room visit. That certainly exceeded any normal expectations.

I would most certainly stay again when in the area.

Robert Clark

  • Submitted: 1-Jun-2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0

Great view

  • 3 of 5

Great view and fireplace.

  • Submitted: 28-Apr-2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

This cabin has the perfect combination of old world ambience, location, and world class views.

  • 5 of 5

Staying here you quickly discover that everything you need to enjoy your stay has been considered and is provided. The location is central to so many resorts, restaurants, hiking trails, shops, etc. yet you may never want to leave this comfortable rustic retreat. Would definitely recommended for an intimate getaway in any season !

  • Submitted: 15-Jan-2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Exceptional Place with a great host

  • 5 of 5

Loved this place. Having grown up in the area I have great appreciation for homes that make the most of the environment and this does great at that. The views are fantastic and the covered porch and furnishings were terrific. And Brian is terrific.

  • Submitted: 30-Dec-2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming cute cottage with great views!

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful views of the lake. Quaint cottage with a nostalgic feel. Brian has thought of everything and even if you forget something, he probably has it here! We will definitely return!

  • Submitted: 19-Dec-2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Fremont California

Unbelievable Views of Lake Tahoe

  • 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Brian’s cabin this week. He is a gracious host who goes out of his way to make your stay enjoyable. The views of Lake Tahoe from the dining room and deck are spectacular, firewood is provided during the fall months to keep warm during the evenings, and the off-season lack of crowds makes Tahoe a great destination for exploration.

The vintage cabin is great for couples ... or can comfortably accommodate four people. A quiet neighborhood, a fully stocked kitchen, and a relaxing cabin in the woods are a few of the reasons why you would want to stay at Brian’s cabin. This was our third visit to the cabin ... we will definitely return in the future.

  • Submitted: 30-Oct-2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
16 Miles
Tahoe-Truckee Airport
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Pete & Peters
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Tahoe City Golf
Nearest Train
14 Miles
Truckee Amtrak
Nearest Motorway
0.25 Miles
Hiway 28
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Jake's on the Lake
Nearest Ski
11 Miles
Squaw Valley
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Commons Beach
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this vacation cabin rental in Carnelian Bay, California

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Memorial Day
May 24 2018 - May 28 2018
3 night minimum stay
Early Summer
May 29 2018 - Jul 2 2018
2 night minimum stay
4th of July
Jul 3 2018 - Jul 9 2018
4 night minimum stay
Mid Summer
Jul 10 2018 - Aug 30 2018
2 night minimum stay
Labor Day
Aug 31 2018 - Sep 3 2018
3 night minimum stay
Late Summer / Early Fall
Sep 4 2018 - Oct 11 2018
2 night minimum stay
Mid Fall
Oct 12 2018 - Nov 20 2018
2 night minimum stay
Nov 21 2018 - Nov 25 2018
3 night minimum stay
Late Fall
Nov 26 2018 - Dec 13 2018
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee C$227.03
Damage Deposit C$324.32

Pet fee: I allow up to two pets (doggies or kitties), with no additional fee or deposit.

Damage deposit: $250. So far (as of February 24, 2018), all of our guests have had 100% of their damage deposit returned.

1-week stay: I offer 10% discounts for those who stay one week or more. However, during the busy times of the year, this excludes Saturday to Saturday visits (which consume 2 weekends). For Saturday to Saturday stays, the weekly discount rate would not apply; instead you would be charged the daily rate.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made
Contact Owner