The largest Alpine Lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is also the second deepest lake in the United States after Crater Lake in Oregon. This freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is one vacation destination that comes with splendid hiking trails, abundant outdoor activities to indulge in, and great views of the mountains. Basically, the lake itself and the area that surrounds the lake together are referred to as Lake Tahoe. From getting dipped in its outstanding natural beauty to enjoying its many seasonal activities, things to do in Lake Tahoe are aplenty. If you are not an outgoing person, then even its vibrant shopping, dining, and nightlife scenes will treat you in the best way ever. Looking for a unique destination in the US that is equally rejoicing for travelers with every taste? Read out below to know about some of the most beautiful things to do in Lake Tahoe that will help you explore the place in the most fruitful way.
If you love lake, love swimming, boating, kayaking, beaching, and basically everything about a lake destination, a trip to the North Lake Tahoe and Tahoe South must be on your travel bucket list. Love fun-filled travel experiences that are more laid back and relaxing? Or are you always up for some biking and hiking, everything that keeps you active and on your toe? No matter what traveling really means to you – things to do in Lake Tahoe will pretty much satisfy travelers with every taste and choice. A major tourist hotspot in California and Nevada, come let’s explore the magical experience in this lake destination with us.
Top-rated And Most Beautiful Things To Do In Lake Tahoe:
Experience Lake Tahoe’s Beauty At Emerald Bay State Park:
Lake Tahoe’s unfathomable beauty can’t fully be realized until you visit Emerald Bay State Park. Locating on the west shore of the lake, the emerald green water of Emerald Bay looks serene against the backdrop of Tahoe’s west shoreline. And talking about Emerald Bay State Park, it is a cute little sheltered portion bounded by glacier-carved granite cliffs and lush green hilly forest. The park also has a small islet at its center.
Apart from all the other landmarks, the park is most famous for being home to the Vikingsholm Castle which is of great historical and architectural significance. You can not help but admiring its stunning beauty of Scandinavian architecture.
A National Natural Landmark since 1969, the Emerald Bay State Park houses the only island on Lake Tahoe, which is the Fannette Island. The island is still holding strong pieces of evidence of glacial activities that took place in the geological past. The Emerald Bay is also one of the first underwater parks of its type in California that is so colorful and full of underwater treasures. A paradise for nature lovers, Emerald Bay State Park has quite a few lookout points. But the Inspiration Point is the most famous one from where you get a splendid view of the bay and Fannette Island. Summing everything up, we must say that, visiting Emerald Bay State Park is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe.
Experience Alpine Skiing:
Winter through Spring, Lake Tahoe turns into the winter wonderland with its world-class ski resorts that see heavy footfalls. The extensive terrain and excellent powdery slopes make the ski resorts of Tahoe irresistible. Receiving nearly 300 days of sunshine annually, the Lake Tahoe Basin is also nicknamed as the ‘sunshine ski destination’. Among the all, Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in Lake Tahoe with its 4,800 acres of ski terrain. Squaw Valley has a wide variety of terrain and also was the site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.
Apart from ski areas to suit skiers of all abilities, Squaw valley has a wonderful vacation destination, the European-style Village where you might consider staying for a few days. If you love challenging terrains, go ski at Kirkwood and Mount Rose. Northstar California will be a lovely option for you if you are up for an upscale family-friendly ski resort.
If you are in San Francisco and are just planning for a day trip, Sugar Bowl will be the most convenient resort to head to. Lake Tahoe also has cozy accommodations arranged for the incoming skiers. So during your trip to Lake Tahoe, experiencing its magical ski terrains and taking in the sublime Alpine beauty must be on your travel bucket list.
Wonder At The Desolation Wilderness:
A federally protected wilderness area in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Eldorado National Forest, Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre protected wilderness area popular for its rocky terrain and granite rock landforms. The region can be accessed by a number of trailheads and is an excellent place for backpacking and hiking. Among all the trailheads, Tahoe Rim Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Loon Lake Trailhead are very popular. A great place to witness the magnificent views of the surroundings and Emerald Bay, a place that is full of alpine and subalpine forests, glacial valleys, glacial lakes, and also a place to see many plants, fish, and wildlife – Desolation Wilderness is a nature retreat, a rich ecological unit, sure to stun you if you are looking for a forested hiking experience. Note that you need wilderness permits to enter the protected area.
Visit A Tahoe Casino:
When you are all done with exploring the wilderness and rushing down the ski slopes, spending an evening in a Tahoe Casino is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe. Most of the Tahoe Casinos are situated at the Nevada side of the lake and not at the Californian side. Finding a slot machine on the Nevada side is so easy as you get it in the restaurants or in the resorts or even at the individual places. Lake Tahoe’s casinos are themed and some impart a feeling of luxury and the other ones hold on to the region’s trademark landscape and a low-key feel. Even if you are not eyeing for gambling, visit the casinos, eat food, listen to the live musical performances, sip some beverage, and spend some relaxing good time. You may also prefer the nightclub or an indoor pool to pamper yourself right.
Some of the best casinos to find at Lake Tahoe are Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Casino, and many more. These casinos have a lot of activities going on and some of these are also family-friendly where your kids can try their hands on the skee-balls while you play poker. Whether you love gambling or just want to experience something quintessentially Lake Tahoe, head to a casino for a wholehearted feeling of entertainment.
Experience The Funky Little Kings Beach:
A small cute and funky beach town on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, visiting Kings Beach is one of the most beautiful things to do in Lake Tahoe if you are here for a relaxing vacation. It is a place to eat, shop, play, and just have fun. It has traditional restaurants that sell everything from tasty shrimp tacos to seared scallops to clam chowder, Cajun Eggs Benedict to what not.
Most of the restaurants are lakeside and they also welcome your furry friend. Are you looking for the other pet-friendly beaches in the United States? Check out here. Other than that, Kings Beach has different shops, playgrounds, and many more activities to make yourself busy. It has a signature downtown beach and along the beach, there are golf courses like Kings Beach Manicure Golf Course and Old Brockway Golf Course. Kings Beach also is a great place from where you can book your parasailing and kayaking tours. Do kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing on the beautiful North Shore and you will spend a good and fun day in this beautiful town. If you are looking for a year-round destination to indulge in some water sports, leisurely activities, and dining and shopping, this beach town named after card shark Joe King is a must-visit for you.
Enjoy Being In A Hot Air Balloon:
Riding a hot air balloon and enjoying the splendid view of the lake area can be a great option for the adventure lovers out there. The balloon flight tours are organized by Lake Tahoe Balloons which is the home of the Tahoe Flyer, the world’s only U.S.C.G certified balloon launch and recovery vessel. Your hot air flight will begin just after the sunrise and in no time you will be up above the sky admiring the beauty of the alpine scenery and the lake region.
They have knowledgeable pilots who always guide you to locate all the local attractions from that height of the sky. Hot Air Balloon is one of Lake Tahoe’s major highlights and they have brilliant safety records so no need to chew off your nails worrying about the safety issue. Soaring high in the sky and getting to see the Emerald Bay, the Fallen Leaf Lake, and the Desolation Wilderness during this four-hour trip is one of the most unique and remember-worthy things to do in Lake Tahoe.
Visit Tallac Historic Site:
Locating approximately three miles northwest of the City of South Lake Tahoe on the lakeside of Highway 89, this historic site consists of three sites namely the Pope, Baldwin, and Valhalla estates. During the summer season, the entire site is open to the public. You can go for guided estate walks, museum visiting, and building tours to get a better idea of the whole site.
Looking for some free activity here? Head to the Baldwin Museum. Tour the Pope House which is not free though. Children’s tours are also conducted. The site is also a place where many festivals and events are organized. The two-day Gatsby Festival in the month of August, the Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival every summer are some of the major crowd-pullers here. Come here with your family and also get to witness the lovely view of Lake Tahoe from this historical site.
Lake Tahoe is picturesque with its pristine cobalt blue water, ravishing alpine and subalpine landscape, small beach towns, many hiking, and biking trails amidst the forest, and of course its many brilliant ski destinations. A perfect family-friendly destination and a year-round vacation spot Lake Tahoe is for travelers with every taste. Snowcapped peaks and pine forests make this place one of the must-visit in California and these were some of the top-rated things to do in Lake Tahoe that you must consider adding to your travel itinerary when you are visiting this land of amazing landscape and unending activities.