What to Do on Your Next Trip to Lake Tahoe
Looking for year-round fun in and around Lake Tahoe? You can do almost anything you want no matter when you visit.
Lake Tahoe is a picturesque vacation spot all year round. Yet you can do more than just sightseeing as there’s no shortage of outdoor and indoor activities available to tourists.
If you want some ideas for your next trip to the California-Nevada border, check out some of the top things to do in Lake Tahoe.
1. Go to Kings Beach
Lake Tahoe has over 70 miles of shoreline. And on its northern shore, Kings Beach is by far the most popular spot. It’s the gem of a 13-acre park and packed with tourists all summer long.
Here you can go swimming or enjoy a relaxing picnic by the lake. Kids can also have fun on the playground, while pets can roam free. Some tourists also rent boats from there and go on pleasure or fishing cruises.
Kings Beach has a bit of everything for those who want to spend most of their time outside.
2. Get Your Dose of Water Sports
Feeling adventurous? Make sure to check out these two locations: Homewood and Sunnyside. The two marinas are ideal for renting kayaks, booking cruises, and even taking lessons for various water activities.
The lake is big enough for a wide range of them. You’ll find lots of people steering powerboats and jet skis on the water. Paddleboarding and waterskiing are also popular activities.
3. Take Some Hollywood-Worthy Photos
Make sure to take lots of pictures on your Lake Tahoe vacation. After all, the area surrounding the lake had its fair share of exposure in films. The gorgeous mountain backdrop and varied water gradation can help you capture amazing stills.
Going on a hike like the Rubicon Trail or the Vikingsholm Trail provides plenty of opportunities to capture picturesque views. Also, touring the Vikingsholm Castle on the way can give you a unique view of Scandinavian architecture on US soil.
While at Emerald Bay State Park, you might want to check out Inspiration Point. It sits 600 feet above the lake and offers a fantastic view of the bay and surrounding area. In fact, many tourists regard that spot as the most photogenic in Emerald Bay.
4. Winter Activities
Visiting Lake Tahoe in December is never a bad idea.
Squaw Valley is perhaps the most famous ski resort in the area as it’s the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. And the Heavenly resort has plenty going on, with its over 4,800 acres of ski terrain. Here you can also take a 2.4-mile scenic gondola ride.
If you want a quieter winter vacation and avoid the crowds, look to Alpine Meadows. It offers a 2,400-acre resort with 100 runs, snowboarding parks, and tons of other things to do in Lake Tahoe for tourists of all ages.
5. Step Inside for a While
Once you’ve had enough of basking under the sun, you can step indoors for a while. No one will mistake Lake Tahoe for Las Vegas but it still has plenty of casinos for you to try your luck in.
If you prefer to sample the South Lake Tahoe nightlife, there are more than enough gambling options available. You also have access to a variety of concert venues, nightclubs, and both casual and upscale restaurants.
Although the area gets more than enough sunny days, it’s good to know that there’s something else to do if you catch some bad weather.
6. Take a Different Scenic Tour
Boat cruises are quite popular on the lake. But have you ever thought about some of the more different things to do in Lake Tahoe?
An interesting alternative to the usual cruise or gondola ride is a flying tour of the area. Because at Lake Tahoe, you can book a sightseeing tour while riding in a hot air balloon.
For the winter season, you have flights over Carson Valley, Minden, and Gardnerville. While in the summer, balloon tours take you over most of the lake.
If you’re not too fond of balloons but still want a bird’s eye view of the lake, then how about a helicopter tour? A typical helicopter tour of the lake circles the entire 72-mile shoreline. In about 45 minutes, you get to see everything, including stunning views of the lake and all its different shades.
7. Tour the Tallac Historic Site
Tours of the Tallac Historic Site run from Memorial Day to early fall and feature guided building tours, art shows, and estate walks.
In August is when things get even more entertaining. The estates run a Gatsby-themed festival, which includes jazz concerts, Roaring Twenties parties, and other social gatherings. At the festival, you can get a glimpse into the life of the lake’s wealthy residents in its heyday.
8. Explore the Truckee River Bike Trail
For more things to do in South Lake Tahoe, it’s best to visit in early spring or the summer. Because once the snow melts in Squaw Valley, it frees up tons of exciting trails for anyone to explore.
You can ride mountain bikes on miles worth of dirt trails and thick forests. Fortunately, you can bring your own bike or rent one in the valley. Alternatively, you can also cruise the outdoor rink in your roller skates if you prefer something less tiring than an advanced trail.
9. Sample the Local Brews
Lake Tahoe is famous for something else too – local craft brews. You can even find a variety of porters, pale ales, and IPAs, at the local Fifty Brewing Company.
You’ll also find extensive menus and unique drinks at other spots such as Moody’s Bistro or the Old Town Tap. Pub-style burgers are a big hit, too. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of upscale dining options in the area as well.
The Gem of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
It’s more than the geographical heart of the mountain range. Lake Tahoe is also one of the most spectacular places there. Its popularity even rivals that of Yosemite National Park and similar destinations.
Whether you visit in the summer or winter, there’s never a dull moment. Lake Tahoe gets fantastic weather for most of the year. Its ski resorts are world-class and the fishing season never ends.
There’s a lot you can do indoors and outdoors if you make Lake Tahoe your vacation destination.