I'm considering going to Lake Tahoe with my 2 1/2 year old and newborn baby. We'd be leaving from Orange County, CA. Most flights seem to have layovers - can anyone recommend the easiest and fastest way to get to Lake Tahoe?
It's a long drive. I've done it before with the in-laws who live in Anaheim when our kids were about the same age as yours. It wasn't impossible, but we arrived exhausted. American Airlines and Alaska Airlines both have direct flights from LAX to Reno (RNO). The flight is about 1.5 hours. From Reno, the drive to Truckee is only 30-40 minutes. I don't think that any of the other nearby airports have direct flights to Reno.
SoCal- I go to Lake Tahoe all the time. There are direct flights from So Cal to Sacramento too. From there it is about 1 1/2-2 hours drive. Beautiful scenery though. Also, be aware that it is a higher elevation, so your newborn may have the same pressure as in an airplane, so bring a pacifier or bottle for going over the summit.
I totally agree with ShawnH and Seababy216. Southwest also has direct flights from SNA-Sacramento or LAX-Reno. Southwest also has a direct flight from San Diego, but LAX is probably closer for you. I think it just depends on which end you want to do the driving. We usually like to shorten the amount of driving on the back end because the whole flying experience is usually pretty exhausting.
Seababy's totally reminder about altitude is totally money. Be sure to keep your kids well hydrated because you get dried up real quick. We always bring Aquaphor for chap lips, Cetaphil for the skin and just make sure that you ask/offer them some aqua every hour. Our little guy had rudy cheeks and bleeding lips by the second day we were up in Tahoe the first time because we were just first time idiot parent.