It's not about the journey, it's about the destination.
Yes, I realize that saying is typically said the opposite way. But in this week's edition of Coffee Corner, it's all about the destination.
Growing up in Atlanta, it takes at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. The GPS might say it's only 4 miles down the road, but thanks to all the traffic, the local grocery store is still a 2-hour trip. Those of you from Los Angeles know what I'm talking about. Those from Reno? Not as much.
One of my fondest memories about moving to Reno was when my mom asked a nice lady at the gas station if there was a Target somewhere in town. Her body language completely changed and said in an exhausting tone, "Oh, it's so far. It's in South Reno. And that is a 15-minute drive." Trying not to laugh at the idea that it only takes 15 minutes to get from one part of town to the next, we hopped in the car and went on our way.
So before I tell everyone where today's review is located, take a deep breath and remember the destination is worth the journey. This 15-minute or less drive will put a smile on your face for the entire day. Throw on your favorite Spotify playlist (or Apple music playlist, if you're into that kind of thing) and sing your heart out on the way to the Sparks Marina.
Friendly tip: If you're stressed about the short drive around town, add Odesza's Moment Apart album to your playlist and listen to it on the way over. You'll never listen to anything more peaceful. And if you live in Sparks, Odesza is still a perfect artist to add to your playlist, too.
Today's review: Lighthouse Coffee
Lighthouse Coffee is a family-owned business that has two locations in Sparks. The location on the Marina is open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The other location is on Vista Boulevard and is open until 6 p.m. during the week. A lot like The Purple Bean, this is one of the few coffee shops in town that stays open until 5 p.m. They source their green coffee beans from fair-trade, Grade A farms from all over the world and roast the organic beans in their facility in Sparks.
Are you dreading the drive from Reno to Sparks after seeing these pictures? Me neither. All the pictures on today's review are from their location on the Sparks Marina. Once you pull into the marina, there are beautiful apartments called Waterfront at the Marina on your right. You can park in the parking lot of the apartment complex and make your way between the two buildings to get to this cute coffee shop. They are also building a sister restaurant to Gar Woods in North Lake Tahoe to the right of Lighthouse Coffee called Sparks Water Bar. It's set to open later this month, which is pretty cool.
This coffee shop is one of the cutest in town! It's giving me lake house vibes with the dark wood floors and wood bar area. There is a cozy corner with comfortable couches to have a business meeting or to just enjoy spending time with your friends. We are having record-breaking heat in the Biggest Little City this summer, and while the patio looks appealing, it also looks extremely hot. There are huge windows throughout the interior of Lighthouse Coffee, so you can enjoy the stunning view with air conditioning. It's basically a two-for-one deal. I also want to point out the patriotic items laying around this establishment. I love my country and it's very clear they do, too. Merica'
The hype is real. Every time I am in the Sparks area and mention having a crave for a latte, all my friends bring up Lighthouse Coffee. And it is pretty dang good. Their lattes seem to have more shots of expresso in them, or maybe it's the imported organic beans I mentioned earlier. Not quite sure but I loved it.
They have a lot of original "Summer Specials" that I was tempted to try, including the orange creamsicle shake. Orange creamsicle! Are you kidding me? Sounds amazing. Or what about the iced fruity pebbles latte. I'm sure it's to die for. There are also a lot of options for the non-traditional coffee drinker such as chai lattes, hot coco, matcha and flavor of the day smoothies.
As for food options, they do have some bakery options along with breakfast sandwiches, bagels and quiche. I'll definitely have to try one of the quiche's next time I come. They also have a variety of local beer and wine choices!
Bang for your buck
There are two size options for iced coffee: 16 ounces and 20 ounces. I got a 20-ounce latte with oat milk for $6.45, which is a little pricy. But just like any other beautiful location, you're paying for the view along with the food. Their hot coffee options along with non-coffee options are just under $5. Not too shabby!
Chris Murray told me I needed to have some type of ranking system for these reviews, so I'm giving Lighthouse Coffee a 8.3. If you are a fan of Barstool and watch Dave Portnoy's pizza reviews, you know an 8.3 is pretty dang high. What is better than coffee with a view? Great coffee and a view, which exactly what Lighthouse Coffee has to offer.
In two weeks, we are going back downtown and featuring my absolute favorite coffee shop in town, Homage.
Nevada Sports Net creative producer Jenna Holland is a former college softball player and avid traveler. She is also a regular contributor to NevadaSportsNet.com. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @JennaHolland4.