With the bluest of blue water and the greenest of green surrounding forest, Lake Tahoe, quite simply, transfixes. From the early Indians to authors such as Mark Twain, folks have tried to capture the beauty and mystique of the lake with nicknames like "Big Blue" and "Grasshopper Soup." Others maintain that it's impossible to describe the magnificence in words. At 6,225 feet above sea level, Tahoe is the highest alpine lake in the United States and has long attracted vacationers from around the world. In the summer, hiking, windsurfing, golfing, fishing and swimming (usually in wet suits due to the lake's brisk year-round temperature) are all the rage. The winter season, which actually starts around Thanksgiving, brings throngs of skiers to area resorts. Located between California and Nevada, different sides of the lake tend to attract different types of visitors. The California side draws families and outdoor enthusiasts while the Nevada side beckons those looking for big name entertainment and casinos. No matter which side you choose, a getaway to stunning Lake Tahoe will not soon be forgotten.