Lake Tahoe is a little paradise nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. To us, Lake Tahoe is stunning no matter the time of year. And, if you are looking to visit, you will not be disappointed.
What is so great about visiting Tahoe is that you can fill your days with an awesome array of activities. Whether you're into sports, outdoor activities or just looking for a charming retreat, Lake Tahoe has you covered. This makes it a prime location for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to check out. And with our 3-day Lake Tahoe itinerary, all we have to say is live it up during the day and relax at night!
You will want to start your day with a hearty breakfast. Luckily, South Lake Tahoe has some wonderful local cafes that we know you will love. If you are feeling like having a classic American breakfast, we recommend the "The Red Hut Café."
Their hashbrowns are perfectly crisp and paired with some bacon and eggs, you will have the fuel you need to start this adventure. We also recommend their delicious waffles if you have room for it. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are also loaded with fresh fruits and berries. They're a sweet treat you will surely enjoy.
Or, if you want more options, "The Getaway Café" has a cozy atmosphere and some delicious American and Mexican breakfast options. You can order delicious Chilaquiles or a Chorizo Quesadilla for breakfast with some kick.
After breakfast, you'll want to check out the lake in all its glory with a Lake Tahoe Boat Tour. This is one of the best scenic cruises of a lake we can recommend. We promise you won't regret it! Just make sure you bring your sunscreen and bring some sunglasses so you can enjoy this all the way. Our top recommendation is the South Lake Tahoe: Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay, but there are also various tour options you can choose from.
If you want to enjoy a lakeside lunch at one of the restaurants in South Lake Tahoe, we recommend the "Riva Grill." This place is known for its delicious American food. They also have a beautiful outdoor patio with some really stunning views of the water and mountains. You can always take your lunch inside, but they also have some patio heating lamps for colder days.
If you are visiting in the winter, you can move on to an exciting outdoor activity. We like hitting the slopes at one of the ski resorts around South Lake Tahoe. Heavenly Mountain Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe are some of the most popular ones. You can choose between skiing or snowboarding, and we promise those views will be amazing.
You could also visit the Gondola at Heavenly Village. This is a very cool 2.5-mile aerial ride up to the top of the Sierra Nevada mountain. It'll take you around 15 minutes to go through it. It also makes a stop midway at the Observation Deck viewing platform. The best part is that this is open year-round!
For dinner, head to "Base Camp Pizza Co." for some delicious pizza. This place has a fun and upbeat atmosphere. But if you're looking for something a bit different, try out Azul-Latin Kitchen or Himmel Haus (German food). They are both highly rated and will bring an extra oomph to the end of your day.
Also Check: Best Things To Do In Lake Tahoe
To begin your day, stop by the "Dragonfly Bagel Co." As its name suggests, their popular bagel sandwiches are the perfect, on-the-go meal for the activity that is to come! Just make sure you stop by early cause they're a small batch locale, and they run out of them pretty quickly.
Today, you'll want to explore a bit of the southwestern part of Lake Tahoe. The best place we have found to go on a hike here is at the Emerald Bay State Park. We recommend hiking the picturesque Eagle Lake Trail.
This trail is great during the warmer months and has fantastic views. You can also try this in the winter, but make sure you come prepared. You will want to bring, at the very least, some spikes or crampons. Eagle Lake Trail is considered moderate and is approximately a 1.8-mile round trip.
If you want to take your lunch al fresco, you can pack your lunch and enjoy a picnic. Lunch surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Lake Tahoe is enjoyable to us no matter the season.
But if you prefer to return to a cozier spot, you can head back into town. We recommend getting some tasty burgers at the Burger Lounge. It's the perfect meal to refuel after an exciting hike.
In the afternoon, explore Heavenly Villa. There is tons of shopping here, and you could even catch a movie if you want. In the winter, you can try out some ice skating at the Heavenly Villa Ice Rink. As a tip, if you go an hour before closing on a weekday, you will find virtually no wait time for the ice rink!
If you are traveling with little ones, we recommend you take them to play at the lake or sledding instead. Baldwin Beach is a lot of fun, and you can enjoy many fun water activities. For the winter, Tube Tahoe is a lot of fun, and they have a very family-friendly sled hill. They provide the tubes and have some of the longest tubing lanes in Tahoe.
Make sure you bring some of your favorite beach toys to play. Something great we have found is that beach toys are basically interchangeable between seasons. They are often marketed that way, so you can enjoy these toys no matter the time you visit Lake Tahoe. We love bringing our sandcastle-building toys to build in the sand or snow.
We know this has been a fun, long day, so we recommend something flavorful and spicy. My Thai Cuisine has some comfort food dishes that make you feel at home. Seriously, you will not regret eating at this place!
But if you are simply too tired after a long day, we got you too! Order take out ahead at the Curry & Grill - Indian Cuisine and take your meal to-go.
Start your day with a delightful breakfast at "Rosie's Café" in Tahoe City. This place has such a fun and quirky vibe to it. They have many random vintage artifacts hanging or decorating multiple surfaces.
You will have fun just checking out all their trinkets while waiting for a delicious, hearty breakfast. Afterward, you can take a stroll at the nearby Tahoe City Public Beach before heading out to do your first activity for the day.
For this day, you'll head to the northern part of Tahoe and the surrounding area. The drive is not too bad or long (about an hour). You also get to see the beautiful Tahoe scenery along the way, so it's a win-win. We recommend trying your hand - or rather your feet - at snowshoeing. A fun and easy trail to go on is the Donner Peak Trail.
We've also found that the cheapest snowshoe rentals are at the nearby Mountain Hardware & Sports Donner Pass location. Their daily rental rate is only $15 per pair, including poles. They also carry snowshoes for men, women, and children. This really is a super fun family adventure and for a relatively low cost. This trail is also beautiful in the warmer months.
After your hike, enjoy a BBQ lunch at "Smokey's Kitchen." Their fried pickles are delicious and a great appetizer while waiting for your meal. You also can't go wrong with either their brisket or pulled pork dishes.
To end this day, head over to Tahoe City and have your pick of activities. In the summer, there's kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, parasailing, wake surfing, and wakeboarding.
Their Winter Sports Park offers sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. Just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time to secure a spot for your activity. And don't worry about equipment; they offer pretty competitive rentals for all their activities.
For your final dinner in Lake Tahoe, visit "Jake's On The Lake." This lakefront restaurant is known for its stunning sunset views and a variety of seafood and grill options.
Lake Tahoe is a true wonderland for anyone who loves charming lake views and outdoor activities. We hope that this 3-day itinerary has allowed you to explore the beauty of the region. With it, we wish to provide a variety of activities and dining experiences to maximize your Tahoe vacation, from thrilling snow and water adventures to serene hikes and the cozy charm of lakeside dining.
Whether you choose to visit South Tahoe, North Tahoe, or somewhere in between, we hope this itinerary gives you a well-rounded experience. With each day, we have offered a unique activity that, hopefully, you can experience. For us, Lake Tahoe is a must-visit destination in California. And we hope you have an unforgettable getaway in 2023!