Considered one of the largest Alpine lakes in North America, Lake Tahoe makes for one heck of a vacation destination. Tourists from all over come to visit the lake year-round, mostly for the beautiful backdrop of the wildlife and the lake’s pristine appearance. Lake Tahoe has the clearest shade of blue water, not to mention the freshest in all of America. People don’t just come for the scenic views though; they also love all the abundant activities the destination has to offer.
Most guests come to Lake Tahoe seeking a sense of adventure and insight into the lake’s rich history. With a slew of water sports, ski trips, hiking trails, and sight-seeing worthy moments to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Here are 10 awesome activities to do at Lake Tahoe this year!
10 The Alpine Village Near Squaw Valley
Lake Tahoe has an endless list of the best hotels, recreational activities and beaches to choose from. A popular lodging spot guests choose is the Alpine Village near Squaw Valley. Given the positive reviews and accompanying pictures of the village, it’s a no-brainer why so many tourists enjoy visiting the place. The Alpine Village is a European-style pedestrian Village that allows guests to sit by a toasty fireplace roasting smores and have access to all eight of their outdoor hot tubs.
Once stepping right outside the hotel, visitors are immediately immersed into the lively entertainment that awaits them. There are several restaurants, après, galleries, gift shops, and ice cream parlors to choose from. Guests may even catch a band or two playing center stage in the Village Plaza. There’s so much to do at the Alpine Village that it would be down-right crazy not to go!
9 Walk The Balancing Rock Trail
With there being so many places to stay at in Lake Tahoe, there’s a number of state parks to visit as well. Many landmarks such as the Balancing Rock Trail in D.L Bliss State Park contain much of Lake Tahoe’s rich history. The trail retains much of the lake’s Native American past through ancient artifacts, such as the remodeled teepee that sits at the head of the path.
Visitors will also encounter massive and famous boulders that have been a part of Lake Tahoe’s geographical landscape for centuries. These rocks are picture worthy moments for the whole family to enjoy but try not to stand too close. There might come a day they’d fall. The trail finally ends by a clear-water lake where guests can kick back and relax by the shoreline.
8 The Heavenly Gondola
The fun doesn’t just stop at the state parks though! At Lake Tahoe, no one is ever left bored. If they are, then it’s only a matter of time before they find an activity that’ll make it impossible to leave. This next excursion takes to the air! Ever wondered what Lake Tahoe looks like from a birds-eye view?
Guests have the chance to do just that by hopping on a 2.4 mile ride up the Heavenly Mountain Gondola. Along the way up, guests can warm with a smooth cup of joe at Café Blue. Those who rather take to the snowy mountain caps, can even buy a new pair skis at The Gondola Sports shop. Once reaching the top of the mountain, guests can head over to the Tamarack Express Chairlift to get a scenic view of all of Lake Tahoe. With unlimited options and a beautiful scenery to look at, what’s not to love about Lake Tahoe?
7 Hike The Shirley Canyon Trail
Those with a more adventurous side who’d rather hike than take a chairlift up a mountain should check out the Shirley Canyon Trail. Past the Squaw Valley lies this 4-mile trail that involves climbing over boulders and up steep hills. Obviously, this trail is meant for the hiking enthusiast but that doesn’t mean guests can’t take a nice morning stroll.
Shirley Canyon Trail isn’t just about getting in a good workout though. It has three pristine waterfalls, flowerbeds and scenic views that’ll take anyone’s breath away. Visitors can also download the Squaw Alpine Summer app that helps track their progress along the trail and lets them know our location if they get lost. That’s pretty cool!
6 Go Paddleboarding!
Hiking a challenging nature trail makes for an adventurous excursion but Lake Tahoe also offers water activities that’ll be sure to excite guests. There are plenty of places to rent paddleboards, such as the South Tahoe Standup Paddle. This location is very accommodating to both experienced and beginner paddlers, as they offer lessons to guests who wish to learn how to paddle, no matter the age.
Additionally, the South Tahoe Standup Paddle hosts water tours on paddleboards, inviting guests to explore the water regions and wildlife that they otherwise wouldn’t see on land. Water sports mixed with a sense of adventure is a definite highlight at Lake Tahoe!
5 Go To Kings Beach
Rather than paddleboarding or hiking a 4-mile trail all day, visitors can also wind down at Kings Beach. It’s almost 1,000 feet along the northern side of Lake Tahoe, providing total relaxation and a chance to soak up the sun. It has a one-day use recreation area which only request a $10 parking fee, nothing that’ll hurt our bank accounts.
They also provide picnic areas under the shade of Jeffery pine trees for travelers who want some time out of the sun. If they get bored making sand castles and staying cool in the shade, they can find many water activities to do, such as parasailing and Kayaking. King’s Beach is the place to go at Lake Tahoe when looking for a place to relax and have fun at the same time.
4 Have A Camp-Out!
When the beach, hiking and water sports get tiring, there’s always more adventure waiting for us at Lake Tahoe. People with a wild side will for sure want to go camping. Nothing beats eating chocolate s'mores in the wake of a fire at midnight. Not to mention all the wildlife sounds that can be heard during the day.
Or even waking up to the fresh mountain air! The southern region of Lake Tahoe holds some of the best rated campgrounds and there are bound to be endless options for visitors. What campers can expect to find at these sites are a constellation of stars in the night sky and a breathtaking mountain scenery that’ll make memories last forever. Just looking at these Instagram photos makes us want to take the next flight out to Lake Tahoe!
3 Visit Leaf Lake
Another popular destination in South Tahoe is the Fallen Leaf Lake. Not only does it offer all the beauty and glory a scenery could ask for, but travelers will also be intrigued by the endless activities offered at Fallen Leaf Lake. Rather than just doing one activity per location, this lake has strenuous mountain hiking excursions, several water sports and walking trails such as the Angora Lake Trail.
Follow it all the way up the mountain ridge, toward Angora Lakes and guests will find a gift shop store. From Memorial Day to October 1, the store will serve up all our favorite summer foodies during lunch hours, including burgers and grilled chicken. There’s nothing better than hanging out at Leaf Lake during those hot summer days!
2 Go Rafting At Truckee River
Lake Tahoe obviously is famous for its nature state parks and more importantly, their trails. Wildlife is the ultimate attraction for travelers. People who love to hike or walk will never want to leave Lake Tahoe. There’s enough land for tourists to trail over, that’s for sure. Additionally, there are several rivers to choose from.
The Truckee River maybe a shorter trail than others but tourists will find golf courses, breezy picnic areas and water rafting activities along the way. The fun really happens when the festivities take place in downtown Truckee city. Every Thursday, during the summer, there’s a street party going on. The festival features a Farmers’ Market, live music, activities for children and even a beer garden. Truckee city sounds like fun!
1 Take A Tour Of The Hellman-Ehram Mansion
One of the best pieces of historical artifacts Lake Tahoe has to offer guests is the notorious 1903 Hellman Ehram Mansion. Lake Tahoe, as everyone knows, is not only filled with abundant nature but also has a rich history. Having preserved this mansion for years, this beautiful piece of architecture is a gem that deserves to be remembered. The house was once owned by a rich Californian man in 1897 who originally called it the Pine Lodge, named after its location in Sugar Point Pine.
The Hellman Ehram Mansion not only had the most up-to-date electricity and plumbing systems, but it was also equipped with adjoining buildings, such as the maids’ quarters, two boat houses and the butlers’ cabin! The wealthy man and his family employed the help of 27 live-in staff members, several helpers and around the clock cooks to prepare meals for both them and their guests. Tours of the mansion are available during summer hours, so be sure to get tickets now!