Lake Tahoe California Travel Tips
Explore endless nature in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Ranked “America’s Best Lake” by USA Today in 2012, its turquoise waters are famous for being clear and clearly unbeatable. Shaped two million years ago during the ice age, Lake Tahoe is the second-deepest lake in the U.S. behind Crater Lake in Oregon, bottoming out at 1,645 feet. When the mountain slopes are covered in snow, winter lovers make their way for skiing and snowboarding. When the sun is hot, there’s no lack of hiking and swimming. For nature lovers, this place is truly your outdoor playground.
Best Things To Do
Ski and Snowboard: Winter brings seasoned travelers from across the world to shred the powdery slopes. Winter sports are huge here - it magnets more than its fair share of tourists, and is frequently named a No. 1 destination for skiing and snowboarding among travel sites. With a wealth of mountains to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect fit for you and your crew. From the terrain parks to the dozens of chairlifts to the backcountry trails - it's clear that Lake Tahoe has it all. On top of that, the rides cater to the best in the globe all the way to first-timers. Come hit the snowy jackpot at Lake Tahoe.
Hiking: Take a day trip to Eagle Falls for spectacular trails and even better scenery. The paths leading to the upper falls are steep but short (only about two miles round trip), so kids can conquer them with no problem. Pack a lunch for a picnic by the gorgeous cascades into Emerald Bay to couple the stunning vistas. Parking can be hard to find, so come during the weekday if your vacation permits. If you work up a sweat after the hike, hop in the shallow pools and streams to cool off!
Fun in the Sun at Kiva Beach: It’s summertime and the sun is shining. Bring the kids for a day at Kiva Beach, which is located just north of U.S. Highway 89. The magnificent shores are clean and usually not crowded, which means it’s high time for sunbathing, picnicking and taking a dip after a long day of hiking. The park is dog-friendly too, so feel free to bring along your furry family members. You haven’t seen crystal clear water until you come to this part of Lake Tahoe, where pristine doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Shakespeare Fest: If you’re a Shakespeare buff or simply looking for a good laugh, the Shakespeare Fest is a must-see. It's located in Sand Harbor, only 15 minutes away from the California border. Boasting physical comedy, top-tier actors and of course, ingenious literary tropes, the performance does justice to the best playwright of all time. It isn’t what you remember grumbling over during 9th grade English either; the stage will come to life before your eyes! Don’t worry about brushing up on your 16th century vernacular, the plays are approachable and wildly entertaining for the modern audience. The festival occurs during July and August with performances so wondrous you’ll feel it was all A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Hitting the Links: Golfers, try to focus. You’re putting for birdie at South Lake Tahoe Golf Course but there’s sweeping views of the snow-capped mountains lining the horizon. You can hear the birds calling from over the treetops, though all you need is this simple stroke to win. Considered one of the most scenic courses in the world, you might be so distracted it could be hard to finish the round.
In the mood for fine dining? Delectable filets and exquisite salmon dishes can be found at Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe, one of South Lake Tahoe’s premier white linen restaurants. Be sure to book reservations ahead of time, as it fills up fast.
Sip and swirl award-winning vintages at Apres Wine Company. With ample-sized dinner and cocktail menu, Apres hits all the bases. It is perfect for romantic couples, and notably does not admit those under 21 years-old.
For a healthy and inexpensive meal, check out Sprouts Cafe. They cook up a mean tempeh burger and offer plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. If you’re craving a delicious fruit smoothie, you’ve come to the right place. There are a dozen different blends.
Sit on the lawn while you fill up on fish and chips at Madcuffs Pub. This Irish watering hole has as many good eats as it does great beers. It is only a few blocks from the southern tip of the lake, and offers a casual ambiance with perhaps the tastiest bread pudding you’ve ever tried.
Winter, spring, summer or fall - whichever time of the year you choose to visit Lake Tahoe, it’s always the right time.