Lake Tahoe Travel Guide – Things to Do and Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

A First-Time Traveler’s Guide to Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest lakes in North America that sits on the state line of Nevada and California. Visitors are drawn by the crystal-blue waters of Lake Tahoe and the towering mountaintops nearby. It is a popular place to visit year-round, with summer and winter outdoor activities for everyone. Lake Tahoe offers California and Nevada its natural beauty, and tourists from all over the world visit there for various options to do all year. Its most popular activities are skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, and biking trails. Mark Twain is one of Lake Tahoe’s famous enthusiasts and famously said about the lake, “As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

Lake Tahoe Travel Guide
Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

Best Months to Visit Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a year-round destination with its high seasons in the summer and winter. These seasons fill Lake Tahoe with outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy.

The summer months of June to August make them the ideal months to enjoy the beaches and lakes with summer activities like stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, and kayaking. A trip in September or October is perfect for sunny days without the hassle of summer crowds.

There is excellent snow coverage during the mild winter months of December to March, making them ideal for enjoying winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Most of the summer and winter crowds are gone during the spring and fall seasons. This is a great time to visit since accommodation prices are generally lower than the high seasons, and visitors can explore the hiking trails and the waterfalls in Lake Tahoe.

Why You Should Visit Lake Tahoe?

The beauty and serenity of Lake Tahoe are too beautiful to imagine and describe. You have to see it to experience it. One of the biggest reasons to visit Lake Tahoe is the lake itself.  Lake Tahoe is one of the purest lakes in the world at 99.994% pure.

Lake Tahoe has something to offer everyone. Countless activities can fill any adventurer’s content every summer and winter. From a summer paradise of hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, cruising, and water sports, to the winter wonderland of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating.

Lake Tahoe has two personalities: North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. North Lake Tahoe is ideal for the winter, filled with snowy serenity and winter wilderness, perfect for the winter romantics. South Lake Tahoe is ideal for the summer with lots of beaches and lively nightlife. In short, North Lake Tahoe has more outdoor activities, while South Lake Tahoe has some of Nevada’s best casinos. South Lake Tahoe is recommended for first-time visitors because it offers many of the most famous sights and has the most options for dining and shopping.

Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe?

The best places to stay in Lake Tahoe matter. Whether you’re into quiet nature or bustling nightlife, Lake Tahoe has a variety of accommodations to offer.

North Lake Tahoe

If you’re looking for somewhere relaxing with a less busy and laidback atmosphere, North Lake Tahoe is the area to stay.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe in Truckee CA
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe in Truckee CA

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, is located 15 minutes from Lake Tahoe.

Property features and amenities include the Lake Club with a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and the Spa and Fitness Center with treatment rooms, ladies and gentlemen’s lounge areas with sauna, steam, whirlpool, and two outdoor swimming pools. An indoor and outdoor function space with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and picturesque mountain landscape, two ballrooms, breakout meeting rooms, and a board room.

A daily resort fee of $55 includes internet access in the guestrooms and public areas, shuttle transportation, 24-hour access to the fitness center, mountain concierge and ski/golf valet services, and overnight storage.

Hotel accessibility features can be viewed on the hotel website.

Pet-friendly rooms are available upon request with a $20 per night pet fee and a one-time $170 non-refundable pet cleaning fee charged upon check-in per stay. As per hotel policy, no more than two pets may occupy any guestroom. Pet-friendly guestrooms are located on the second and third floors to allow for ease of entry and exit. Service animals are permitted for persons with disabilities.

Other features include daily housekeeping, laundry service, valet parking, and year-round ski-in ski-out access to Northstar California. Secured public parking is available with an electric vehicle charging station. The restaurant on-site includes the Manzanita that serves Californian cuisine, and is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and cocktail hour.

Check-in starts from 5PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, California 96161 United States
Contact: +1 (530) 562 3000
Email: rc.rnorz.concierge@ritzcarlton.com
Website: ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/lake-tahoe

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino is a 5-minute drive from Lake Tahoe.

Hotel features include the Stillwater Spa & Salon with steam rooms and saunas, a heated outdoor pool, a 24-hour Stay Fit fitness center, a 24/7 business center, and seven dining outlets.

Guestroom features include mountain, lake, or resort views, flat-screen HDTV, work desk, coffeemaker, Pharmacopia® bath products, iHome speaker system, and a minifridge.

Hotel accessibility features can be viewed on the hotel website. Pet-friendly rooms are available upon request with a $40 per day pet fee.

Activities are offered at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino that include bike rentals, water sports rentals, fishing trips, snowshoe tours, and sleigh and carriage rides:

Big Blue Bike Rentals – There is a hybrid, electric, and mountain bike rental adjacent to the lobby. All rentals include a helmet, bike lock, map and map holder, handlebar bag, and a rear rack to put bags and jackets. The bike rentals are open daily from 8:30AM to 6PM.

Action Water Sports Rentals – Guests can rent a kayak, stand up paddleboard, jet ski, or boat and get lessons from the AWS Incline, US Coast Guard certified captains. Guests can also partake in the Fishable Lake Tahoe program from Action Water Sports.

Snowshoe Tours – Guides from the Tahoe Adventure Company can tour guests through Tahoe’s forest. Complimentary snowshoes are available for hotel guests through the concierge desk at exit 51.

Other features include daily housekeeping, laundry, dry cleaning, ironing, shuttle service to and around Incline Village, self-parking, and valet parking. Secured public parking is available with an electric vehicle charging station. Breakfasts are served at the Lone Eagle Grille.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nevada, United States, 89451
Contact: +1 775 832 1234 / Fax: +1 775 831 2171
Email: resvtvllt@hyatt.com
Website: hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/nevada/hyatt-regency-lake-Tahoe-resort-spa-and-casino/tvllt

The Cedar House Sport Hotel

The Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee CA
The Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee CA

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

The Cedar House Sport Hotel is a walking distance of Tahoe Palisades and Truckee Village. Guests can enjoy an outdoor fireplace and a picnic area. Guestroom features include in-room coffee and tea, an in-room fridge, a USB charging station, LCD TVs with Netflix, and free WiFi.

Dog-friendly rooms are available upon request. However, dogs have to be over 1 year to stay, and breed restrictions apply. The dogs need to be approved for each reservation.

Number of DogsDuration of StayRates
One dogOne night$50
One dogTwo nights or more$75
Two dogsOne night$75
Two dogsTwo nights or more$100

Other features include concierge service and luggage storage. Secured private parking is available with an electric vehicle charging station. Restaurant on-site include Stella, which serve Mediterranean cuisine and is open for breakfast and dinner.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 12PM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 10918 Brockway Road, Truckee, CA 96161
Contact: 530 582 5655
Email: stay@cedarhousesporthotel.com
Website: cedarhousesporthotel.com

Northstar California Resort

Northstar California Resort in Truckee CA
Northstar California Resort in Truckee CA

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

The Northstar California Resort is a family-friendly, dog-friendly ski hotel with a restaurant offering an array of accommodations at Northstar Lodging.

Summer activities available in the Northstar California Resort are mountain biking, golfing, and hiking. The winter activities are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snow biking, and ice skating.

Northstar Lodge features stainless steel appliances and fireplaces, in-ground spas, a fire pit, underground parking, a media theater, ski, and boot valet (winter).

Other features of the Northstar California Resort include shuttle service, child services, and banquet facilities. There is free parking available daily in the Village View and Castle Peak lots on a first-come-first-served basis and paid parking at the Lower Village Premium lot that costs $20 per day Monday to Friday (non-peak) and $40 on weekends and holidays.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 8AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 970 Northstar Drive, Truckee CA
Website: northstarcalifornia.com

Basecamp Tahoe City

Basecamp Tahoe City CA
Basecamp Tahoe City CA

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Basecamp Tahoe City is a 10-minute walk to Lake Tahoe, and biking trails are close by. There is an accessible room located at ground level and is wheelchair-accessible. The accessible room features low towel bars and counters, a roll-in shower with grab bars and an available shower seat, a visual alarm alert, and an accessible closet. ADA seats are available on request, including a TTY set, bed shaker, and portable doorbell.

Guestroom features include air-conditioning, fire pits, intimate bars, and ski/board and cycle-friendly rooms.

Pet-friendly rooms are available upon request and are only bookable over the phone with a $45 pet fee plus tax cleaning fee. Rooms booked via third-party websites are not pet-friendly and may incur a minimum $100 plus tax cleaning fee for pets in non-pet-friendly rooms. Pet Policy includes:

  • Pets must always be on a leash while on the property.
  • Pets must not be left alone or unattended in your room when you leave the hotel.
  • Please use only the designated pet relief area, and be sure to clean up after your pet.
  • Pets are only allowed in appointed pet rooms.
  • Basecamp Tahoe City can discontinue a guest’s stay if the pet becomes overly disruptive or the guest does not adhere to the Pet Policy.

Pet-friendly restaurants include Fat Cat Bar & Grill, Blue Agave, and Jake’s on the Lake.

Other services include daily housekeeping and concierge service.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 955 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Contact: 530 580 8430
Email: frontdesk@basecamptahoecity.com
Website: basecamptahoecity.com

South Lake Tahoe

If you’re looking for adventure and a great nightlife with easy access to famous sights like the Emerald Bay, stay in South Lake Tahoe.

The Landing Resort and Spa

The Landing Resort and Spa South Lake Tahoe CA
The Landing Resort and Spa South Lake Tahoe CA

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

The Landing Resort and Spa is most busy during the Summer.

Hotel amenities include a heated outdoor pool/hot tub with ADA accessible chair and lift, wine cellar bar and lounge, full-service spa, lake view patio with four fire pits, rooftop deck with fireplace, local hotel transportation, fitness center, wireless Internet access, and dry cleaning. Children the age of 17 and below can stay for free.

Guests can enjoy nearby amenities such as the Edgewood Golf Course and Heavenly Gondola.

Amenities at The Spa at The Landing Resort include heated treatment tables, private steam shower rooms, soothing libation, and a comprehensive fitness center. Other spa services can be viewed on the hotel website. The Spa is open from Fridays to Sundays from 10AM to 6PM.

There is a $40 per day resort fee that includes wireless Internet access, fitness center, heated outdoor pool/hot tub, local hotel transportation, beach passes (2 passes per room, per night), champagne toast at check-in, ski/snowboard storage and boot warmers (winter only) and bike rentals (summer only).

Hotel accessibility features include ADA wheelchair accessible public entrance, lobby, registration desk, room corridors, hallways, 32-inch or greater doorway width, and ADA wheelchair accessible dining areas and bar. Other hotel accessibility features can be viewed on the hotel website.

Guestroom amenities include lakeside and garden views, LCD TV, stone gas fireplace, espresso machine, Wi-Fi, heated toilet seat, terry robes, and slippers. All rooms come with a mini-fridge but no microwaves.

Dog-friendly rooms are available, and they are allowed almost everywhere on the property, including on the shuttle. There is a $75 per day pet fee.

Hotel parking is valet only for $15 per night. The restaurant on-site, Jimmy’s Restaurant, offers wood-fired and Mountain Chic California cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In-room dining is available upon request.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11:30AM.

*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 4104 Lakeshore Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: Toll Free: 855 700 5263 / Direct: 530 541 5263 / Fax: 530 545 4052
Email: TheJeffreyHotel@PlayparkHotels.com
Website: thejeffreyhotel.com

Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe

Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe
Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe, is neighboring Lakeside Beach. Heavenly Village, Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, and Mt. Tallac Trail are nearby.

Hotel amenities include an on-site spa and wellness center, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, and whirlpool. The Serenity Spa is open daily from 9AM to 8PM, with reservations required. Amenities include facials and massages. Facilities available at the Fitness Center include locker rooms, sauna rooms, and steam rooms. Elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights, weight machines are available, and clubTHRIVE fitness classes are available.

Hotel accessibility features can be viewed on the hotel website.

Pets are not allowed as the hotel only allows service animals.

Other features include laundry service, dry cleaning, and concierge service. Secured private parking is available with an electric vehicle charging station for a daily rate of $32.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe, California, USA, 96150
Contact: +1 530-542-8400
Website: marriott.com/en-us/hotels/rnogr-marriott-grand-residence-club-lake-tahoe/overview/

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino

Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe guests can enjoy a 24-hour casino with everything from video poker to blackjack.

Guestroom features include a king or two double beds and a flat-screen TV with WiFi available in every room and public area. Angled windows provide lake and mountain views.

Other features include daily housekeeping, dry cleaning, laundry service, luggage storage, and a 24-hour front desk.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
Location: 15 Highway 50, Stateline, NV 89449
Contact: (800) 427 7247
Website: caesars.com/harrahs-tahoe/hotel

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe

Click here for more photos, reviews, rates, and availability.

Guests in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe, can access the Heavenly Ski Resort & Summer Epic Adventure Park via Gondola and the Edgewood Golf Course behind the Hard Rock on Lake Tahoe.

Hotel amenities include an on-site fitness center that offers treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical machines, and free weights. Yoga classes run in July and August and are complimentary for hotel guests.

Hair of The Dog Pet Concierge offers an open play area, daycare, overnight care, complete grooming services, companion walks, in-home boarding, and pet massages. Revolt Tattoos has a team of talented tattoo artists that offer custom tattoos to hotel guests. Powder House, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s in-house activities partner, offers a large selection of winter sports equipment that guests can rent and is open daily from 8AM to 8PM.

Dog-friendly rooms are available upon request with a $65 fee per pet/per night. Pet-friendly guestrooms are located on the second and third floors of Sunset Tower to allow for ease of entry and exit. Other Dog House Rules are:

  • Dogs must be of medium size & under 60 lbs.
  • Includes 1 pet amenity bag with a toy, water cup & treat.
  • Please be respectful to the other guests & always clean up after your pet. Waste receptacles are located throughout the property.
  • We ask that you do not allow pets on the bed or furniture.
  • Dogs are not permitted on the casino floor or in food and beverage outlets.
  • Dogs must always be leashed.
  • Dogs may not be left unattended in a room or vehicle.
  • Housekeeping will not enter a room if the pet is left unattended or not in a crate. Please make the necessary arrangements with housekeeping to schedule service.
  • The property will contact the registered guest if there are any disruptions reported due to your pet. The registered guest will be subject to eviction from the property if there are continual disruptions caused by your pet to other guests.
  • Registered guests are responsible for any damage to the property, which includes and is not limited to any costs associated with the cleaning & repair or replacement of damaged items.
  • Limitations on the number of dogs allowed in the room apply. Each dog will be charged accordingly.

Other features include daily housekeeping and dry cleaning. Secured public parking is available. Hotel guests have several dining options, including Fuel for quick dining, Alpine Union Bar & Kitchen and The Oyster Bar for casual dining, Park Prime Steakhouse for fine dining, and the William Hill Sports Bar Bar for bar & lounges.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 50 Highway 50, Stateline, NV 89449
Contact: 1 844 588 7625 / 775 588 1010
Website: hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com

The Coachman Hotel

The Coachman Hotel is a 6-minute walk to Lakeside Beach. Guests can enjoy hotel amenities that include free WiFi, complimentary evening s’mores, a swimming pool open seasonally, a hot tub open year-round, Malin + Goetz bath products, HD TVs featuring cable and Apple TV, heated toilet seats, and air-conditioning. A central ‘bar’ serves as the reception desk and a traditional bar serving Stumptown coffee/espresso, beer, and wine. Guests can enjoy nearby amenities, including the Heavenly Village, Lakeside Beach, Stateline Casinos, and the Edgewood Golf Course.

ADA accommodations and accessibility features can be viewed on the hotel website.

Pets are allowed upon request, but guests must get in touch with the hotel to accommodate their needs due to the limited availability.

Other features include concierge service and luggage storage. Secured private parking is available with an electric vehicle charging station.

Check-in starts at 4PM, and check-outs are until 11AM.
Location: 4100 Pine Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: 530 545 6460
Email: info@coachmantahoe.com
Website: coachmantahoe.com

Things to do in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe has a plethora of activities to offer. Because Lake Tahoe is a year-round destination, there are activities that people can do during the summer and winter. Below are 5 of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe year-round:

Drive around Lake Tahoe

Drive around Lake Tahoe, get a quaint view of the lake and the mountains, and get a sense of where you’d like to explore. This is 72 miles of scenic drive and can take three hours if you drive non-stop. The most beautiful spots to stop are Incline Village, Zephyr Cove, and Sand Harbor.

Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park Lake Tahoe by Eric Philbin via Wikipedia cc
Emerald Bay State Park Lake Tahoe By Eric Philbin, CC0, cc

The Emerald Bay State Park is the crown jewel of Lake Tahoe. Visitors can simply enjoy the sunset view, but there are other things to do. Some of Emerald Bay State Park’s highlights are the Emerald Bay Beach, Vikingsholm Castle, and the Fannette Island.

The Emerald Bay Beach is one of the most photographed places, and anyone can bask in the sun, kayak, paddleboard, or take a tour of the Vikingsholm Castle.

Vikingsholm Castle by Laoer via Wikipedia cc
Vikingsholm Castle By Laloer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Vikingsholm Castle is a Scandinavian-styled castle used as a summer home by a wealthy woman named Mrs. Josephine Knight. Visitors can explore the castle and marvel at the architectural relic and rare Scandinavian antiques Mrs. Knight found on her travels.

Fannette Island is at the center of Emerald Bay. The Fannette Island Tea House is sitting atop the island, also built by Mrs. Josephine Knight. The only way to access it is by boat, kayak, or paddleboard, rented in Emerald Bay, starting at $25 per hour.

It is advised to arrive at the Emerald Bay State Park early to find a parking spot. There is also a parking fee of $5 for 30 minutes of parking and $10 for that parking all day. Entrance to the Emerald Bay State Park is free, and the park is open daily.

*Rates may change without prior notice.

Donner Memorial State Park

The Donner Memorial State Park is named after the Donner Party, a large group of families trapped in the Sierra Nevadas in 1846 after unfortunate events and bad advice. Journals and records of the Donner Party and the settlers who rescued the survivors show a horrible story of families forced to make unthinkable decisions to ensure the survival of their loved ones.

It is important to note that traveling back then was no easy task, and the pioneers had to walk to cross the country. This was before the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869.

Visitors can see a tree marking the height of the snow in one of the most brutal winters in Tahoe’s history and visit the actual sites where the Donner Party was trapped. Tours of the memorial and museum can be booked.

People can enjoy the picnic area near the lake or fish on Donner Lake and Donner Creek. Swimming is allowed at all State Park access points, and many enjoy a swim in Donner Lake. Paddleboarding is also popular, and equipment can be rented at the State Park concession.

The park is open from 10AM to 5PM daily. Day Use permits can be purchased at the front entrance and are good until sundown on the day of purchase. Day Use parking per vehicle is $6.

*Rates may change without prior notice.

Go Brewery Hopping

Lake Tahoe is filled with breweries, from small nano breweries to larger ones. After a good hike, visitors love to take an ice-cold beer and follow it with a good beer trail crawl.

Some of North Lake Tahoe’s favorite breweries are FiftyFifty and Alibi Ale Works. FiftyFifty opens daily at 11AM and has an on-site restaurant. The brewery releases an award-winning bourbon-barrel-aged stout coveted by beer lovers nationwide every year. Alibi Ale Works brews its beer with Lake Tahoe water and operates three different pubs in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee areas: Brewery & Barrel House, Incline Public House, and Truckee Public House. The brewery is known for its traditional-style beers.

South Lake Tahoe has the South of North Brewing Company that serves live music, light meals, and cold beer in its outdoor beer garden. Cold Water Brewery & Grill brewed their beers on-site and was named “Best of Tahoe” in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant offers experimental and year-round beers with indoor and outdoor seating.

Explore the Hiking Trails

Besides driving, hiking can help first-time visitors explore the lake’s terrain. Many of the hiking trails around and above Lake Tahoe are some of the best for hikers of all levels. Hiking is an inexpensive way to start exploring Lake Tahoe.

A popular and crowd favorite is the Rubicon Trail. It is a 6.6-mile one-way trail and starts at the D.L. Bliss State Park and ends at Emerald Bay. This popular hiking trail offers scenic views of the lake and the distant mountains and can take any hikers past wildflowers and an old lighthouse.

The Eagle Lake Trail is a great hiking trail for beginners and is dog-friendly. Although the Eagle Lake Trail is a short hike, it is located within the Desolation Wilderness and requires a wilderness permit. These are free and readily available at the Eagle Falls/Eagle Lake trailhead. This is a popular hiking trail, so parking will be difficult, so arrive early. The round-trip hike is 2.5 miles.

The Fallen Leaf Lake Hike is a family-friendly hiking trail with gentle curves around the lake that is 1-3 miles round trip. The trail is a simple walk with a breathtaking view of the shoreline and the surrounding mountains.

Some hiking essentials include wearing proper hiking clothes, shoes and socks, water and snacks, sunblock, bug spray, a first aid kit (with an emergency blanket, band-aids, sterile alcohol wipes, waterproof matches, burn and bite treatment, and moleskin patches for when you feel a blister coming on), and a map and compass. It may seem a lot, but one can never be too prepared.

In addition to the year-round activities, we have decided to add five more things to do during the summer and winter in Lake Tahoe:

Lake Tahoe Summer Activities

Take a Lake Tahoe Boat Tour

There are two ways to see Lake Tahoe: from the shore and being out on the lake. When you come to Lake Tahoe, you cannot miss the opportunity to get on the lake itself. There are boat tours offered, and it doesn’t matter which boat tour you take.

Lake Tahoe Boat Tour
Lake Tahoe Boat Tour

The Safari Rose is one of the biggest yachts in Lake Tahoe at 80 feet and is owned by Tahoe Cruises. Visitors can choose from one of Tahoe Cruises’ guided tours of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline and lakefront attractions, including the Emerald Bay Day Cruise and Emerald Bay Sunset Cruise.

The Sierra Cloud, a 55-foot catamaran operated by Action Water Sports, offers two-hour sailing cruises along Lake Tahoe’s Northern and Eastern shores. The cruise includes alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, and light packaged appetizers.

Enjoy the Water Sports

Summer in Lake Tahoe offers its visitors many water sports like swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking, parasailing, and jet skiing. Visitors can go to water sports equipment rentals like Tahoe Sports to rent equipment.

Explore the Waterfalls

The spring and summer are the perfect time to go waterfall hopping. Visitors must see some of the waterfalls: Eagle Falls with 60-foot and 90-foot cascades, Horsetail Falls with an 800-foot drop that makes it the largest waterfall in Lake Tahoe, and Glen Alpine Falls with its 65 feet of layered drops.

Take the Heavenly Mountain Gondola Ride

The gondola ride will give any visitor a chance to get a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, and the Desolation Wilderness. It’s a peaceful way to spend the day for non-adventurous visitors.

Mountain Biking

Lake Tahoe is filled with biking trails for every riding ability. Visitors are encouraged to explore as biking is a sustainable way to explore Lake Tahoe. Tahoe Powerline Mountain Bike Trail is perfect for first-timers. It is easy to navigate with great scenic views and an elevation gain of 700 feet. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride/Saxon Creek is a classic Tahoe biking trail perfect for advanced riders. This trail plunges downhill at a drop of nearly 1,500 feet in less than six miles. Other popular bike trails run in Lake Tahoe are the Flume Trail, South Shore Bike Path, and the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Lake Tahoe Winter Activities

Go Skiing

Ski resorts around Lake Tahoe cater to all levels of skiers of all ages. Some of the most recommended ski resorts are:

Northstar California – Often named one of the best ski resorts in the West, Northstar California offers a lot of beginners and intermediate terrain. Besides skiing, this is a great place for snowshoeing and snow tubing.

Lake Tahoe Winter Activities
Lake Tahoe Winter Activities

Palisades Tahoe – The largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe region has excellent beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain. Palisades Tahoe has excellent snow coverage, and there is a dedicated beginners’ ski area in the resort.

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe – Closest to Reno, Nevada, Mount Rose has many intermediate, and black diamond runs. The terrain is 20% Beginner Green, 30% Intermediate Blue, 40% Advanced Black and 10% Expert Double Black. Mount Rose has the highest base elevation of a Tahoe-region ski resort at about 8,260 feet, and the summit is 9,700 feet.

Heavenly Mountain Resort – This South Lake Tahoe ski resort is one of the biggest in the region. Heavenly Mountain Resort, also known as Heavenly Ski Resort, lives up to its name with sensational mountain and lake views.

Go Ice Skating

Lake Tahoe is not only an iconic skiing region; visitors can also enjoy ice skating. The Lake itself does not freeze during the winter, but skating rinks around the area are. Some of the places to go ice skating are:

Heavenly Village

Operating Hours: 10AM to 8PM, Daily; Ice Rink operates November 1st through Easter Holiday; visitors should call to confirm days and hours of operation.

Location: 1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: (530) 542 4230

Edgewood on Ice

Operating Hours: 5PM to 9PM, Daily, November to April
Rates: Lodge Guest Pricing – $25 Adult, $15 Child; Includes skate rental
General Public Pricing – $35 Adult, $20 Child; Includes skate rental
Discount for Personal Ice Skates – $5
*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 180 Lake Parkway, Stateline, NV 89449
Contact: (775) 588 2787

South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena

Operating Hours: Visitors must visit their website and look for Public Skate times on the Arena Schedule
Rates: Adult – $17 (age 7+) with skate rental, $14 if you bring your own skates
Child – $8 (age 4-6) with skate rental or bring your own skates
Lil’ Child – free with paid adult (age 0-3)

*Rates may change without prior notice.
Location: 1176 Rufus Allen Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: (530) 544 7465

Visit the Heavenly Village

The Heavenly Village offers visitors plenty of things to do. This is an all-in-one place with something to offer everyone, from spas & salons to live theater, ice skating, and mini-golf. The Village lights up during the winter season and provides a spectacular winter experience to the visitors.

Take a Sleigh Ride

Winter Sleigh rides are offered by the Borges Sleigh, and Carriage Rides is open during the winter season, November to March. The Winter Sleigh Ride is located at the Sand Harbor State Park. The rides are on a first-come, first-served basis and are strongly weather dependent. Visitors can make a reservation online or by phone at 775 588 2953. Rates start from $25 per adult and $10 per child.

*Rates may change without prior notice.

Explore the Beauty of Winter by Snowshoeing

In terms of skill level, there isn’t much of a learning curve to snowshoeing. It is an excellent exercise during the winter and increases your exploring opportunities while generally safer than skiing and snowboarding. Some of the popular snowshoeing trails are:

Spooner Lake – This 2-mile snowshoeing loop is a great beginners’ trail that can be completed in an hour.

Tahoe Meadows Trail – This popular snowshoeing trail may seem too populated for first-time visitors, but the great thing about snowshoeing is that you can take your own path. This trail is perfect for beginner to intermediate snowshoers.

Van Sickle Rim Trail Connector – This 8-mile snowshoeing trail is dog-friendly and has an elevation gain of 1,300 feet. It is a popular trail in South Lake Tahoe with a gentle climb.

How to get to Lake Tahoe

Visitors can take the public transit, although limited. To get to North Lake Tahoe, people can take the train from Emeryville Amtrak Station to the California Zephyr Truckee. Once in Truckee, transit can take you to your accommodations. To get to South Lake Tahoe, there is a train from Sacramento and a bus ride that will take 5 hours.

The closest airport to Lake Tahoe is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Visitors can take a variety of travel options from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to their accommodation in the North Tahoe Lake area or the South Tahoe Lake area.

Rideshare Service

Customers Uber or Lyft may drop off and pick up at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Shuttle Service

North Lake Tahoe Express

The North Lake Tahoe Express can be found in the Baggage Claim outside Door D at the airport. Travelers can book 24 hours in advance by phone at (833) 709 8080 or online at northlaketahoeexpress.com.

Number of TravelersRates per Person
1 person, one way$150
2 people, one way$80
3 people, one way$70
4 people, one way$60
5-14 people, one way$50

*Rates may change without prior notice.

South Tahoe Airporter

The South Tahoe Airporter is behind the National Car Rental Counter near Door B at the airport. Travelers can book by phone at (866) 898 2463 or online at southtahoeairporter.com. According to their website, “Reservations are required to guarantee your seat on the shuttle for the specified time. Walk-ons are welcome based on seat availability.

TicketRates
Adult, one way$32.75
Adult, roundtrip$59.50
Children, one way$19.75
Children, roundtrip$35.58

*Rates may change without prior notice.

Taxi and Limousine Service

Taxi and limousine services are available to customers on-site. The passenger waiting area for taxis and limousines is found outside the D Doors located north of Baggage Claim at the airport. The following lists are the taxi and limousine services:

Taxi CompanyContactWebsite
All Star Transportation(530) 448-2552taxitahoe.com
Anytime Taxi(530) 414-4187
Capitol Cab(775) 885-0300
North Tahoe Checker Taxi(530) 546-8844tahoecheckertaxi.com
Reno-Sparks Cab(775) 333-3333renocab.com
Whittlesea Checker Taxi(775) 322-2222taxirenotahoe.com
Yellow Cab of Reno(775) 355-5555yellowcabofreno.com

 

Limousine ServiceContactWebsite
Aladdin Limousine Services(800) 546-6009aladdinlimo.net
Discover Lake Tahoe(530) 542-1080demotours.com
Elevated Transportation(530) 546-8687tahoeitg.com
Executive Limousine Service, Inc.(775) 333-3300exlimo.com
North Tahoe Executive Shuttle(530) 583-7685northtahoeexecutiveshuttle.com
North Tahoe Limousine(775) 832-0100northtahoelimo.com
Reno-Tahoe Limousine(800) 660-4546renotahoelimo.com
Sierra Nevada Transportation(916) 960-9992sntlimo.com
Sunset Limousine(866) 455-5515sunsetlimonevada.com
Tahoe Sierra Transportation(530) 550-5300tahoesierratransportation.com

Our Top Hotel Picks for Lake Tahoe



Booking.com

Lake Tahoe Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Lake Tahoe hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Lake Tahoe? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

Also read: 7 Best Airbnbs In South Lake Tahoe, California.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase or book any travel related services. We only recommend products and companies that we actually use and the income goes to keeping the site supported and updated.


Booking.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.