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What to Do on Your Next Trip to Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Trip

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.

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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Tahoe

Are you looking for a gorgeous location for your next trip? Lake Tahoe will likely fulfill your needs.

Resting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is one of the most impressive freshwater lakes in the United States. The area’s beautiful scenery, beaches, and ski resorts are what attract millions of tourists all year long.

From a mob dumping ground to celebrities making it their home, there are many interesting things to discover about the place. But before you book a trip, here are some of the Lake Tahoe facts you might want to know.

1. It’s Massive and Spans Two States

So, how big is Lake Tahoe?

You can access Lake Tahoe from both California and Nevada. One-third of the lake resides in Nevada and the other two-thirds within the borders of California. 

And unlike other similar lakes in the US, this 191 sqm body of water is busier than you know. Because aside from the many tourists who cruise on the lake, you’ll also see the presence of the US Coast Guard. They’re tasked to maintain a presence on the water thanks to the unique positioning of the lake.

2. The Tenth Deepest Lake in the World

Lake Tahoe has a lot of water – and we mean lots. It’s the tenth deepest lake on the planet and the third deepest in North America after all.

Although Lake Tahoe’s depth measurements put the deepest point at 1,645 feet, the average depth is no more than 989 feet. But the volume of water is very impressive.

Draining the lake would yield enough water to drown the state of California in more than a few inches of water.

3. A Popular Retreat for Celebrities

The majestic scenery surrounding the lake has long been a huge draw for celebrities. Over the years, the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. Dean Martin, Cher, and David Coverdale all had residences in the area. A few politicians, like the Kennedy family, are also known to own properties near the lake. 

The lake’s proximity to Hollywood also makes it a popular movie backdrop. You can see it in several scenes in movies such as The Godfather and Bodyguard, among many others.

4. Old and Pure

When it comes to Lake Tahoe facts, the reality is that no one knows its exact age. But experts can agree that it’s ancient and is one of the top 20 of the oldest lakes on Earth.

Most measurements and estimates put its age at well over two million years. Remarkably, the water is also very pure, specifically at 99.994% purity. You can’t find that kind of water quality in many other large bodies of water around the world.

5. Legends of the Lake

Did you think that Scotland had the only lake monster? You may not be aware of this but the largest alpine lake in North America has its own folklore.

Tahoe Tessie is what’s known as a distant relative to the more widely known Loch Ness Monster.

Although there aren’t that many reports of sightings, the folktale does draw quite a number of visitors each year.

6. Big Shoreline with Cold Waters

Lake Tahoe has 72 miles of shoreline, most of which is clear enough so that people can spend time there and relax.

But the water doesn’t warm up a lot. At the coldest, it can drop to about 40 degrees in February. This may not be good for dips, yet it’s enough that it keeps the fishing season going 365 days per year.

What’s also surprising to many is the fact that the lake never freezes. And this is thanks to the amount of water and heat stored.

During the summer, particularly in August, the water may warm up to 70 degrees. That may be warm enough for swimming, even if it’s far from the most comfortable water temperature.

7. Amazing Display of Colors

Depending on where you look, the water of Lake Tahoe has different colors. Shallow areas of the lake are often emerald in color. In the center, you may notice an indigo nuance. 

The water’s superb clarity creates a true spectacle of green, blue, and other colors of the spectrum. That happens due to the manner in which the deeper depths absorb lights in the spectrum.

And under perfect conditions, you can even see a great reflection of the mountains.

8. Rich Native American History

Native American history dates the earliest inhabitants to as early as 10,000 years ago. The last known tribe to call Lake Tahoe home was the Washoe, prior to the 20th century.

Interestingly enough, the name Lake Tahoe came from a mispronunciation of the original Native American name da ow a ga. Translated, Tahoe means the edge of the lake.

9. Amazing Weather Year Round

It’s not enough that Lake Tahoe gets at least 270 sunny days in almost any given year. What’s also impressive is that the sun shines on an average of 75% of those days. 

This is one vacation spot where you don’t really have to worry about any rain.

10. Wildly Popular

Just how many people visit Lake Tahoe every year? The answer is an impressive three million, give or take – incredible figures for a place with a population of roughly 53,000 people. 

By comparison, Yellowstone National park averages around 2.7 million visitors. Meanwhile, the Grand Canyon gets over 3.2 million per year. 

Given the impressive scenery of those other two locations, Lake Tahoe is in great company as an outdoorsman hotspot.

11. A Lot of Water Coming In, Not So Much Flowing Out

You probably don’t know this, but Lake Tahoe has a single outlet. It’s the one at the Truckee River, right in Tahoe City.

But 63 tributaries help supply and sustain Lake Tahoe’s main body of water. Most of the water goes out by way of evaporation.

12. There’s Never a Dull Moment

The area surrounding Lake Tahoe has tons of trails, hikes, and ski slopes. Yet there’s even more you can do if you want to have a good time.

There are at least six casinos in the region that keep their doors open 24/7. And since fishing is such a big thing all year round, you can also try your luck at catching some record-breaking Mackinaw trout.

Lake Tahoe – A Vacation Destination Like No Other

There’s something for every visitor there. On peak days, the population of Lake Tahoe can shoot up to 300,000. It draws tourists constantly with its majestic mountain backdrops, lush forests, and superb water quality and clarity.

The dozens of attractions and outdoor activities in the area keep people entertained and coming back for more.

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