Top 10 Things To Do In and Around Lake Tahoe

Find your dream vacation in Lake Tahoe! As an area split into a few different slices (North and South, California side and Nevada side), Tahoe has plenty to keep even the most adventurous people happy.

Lake Tahoe is an ethereal, shimmering blue water oasis surrounded by magnificent mountains and nestled between national parks and nature reserves.

Here, life is a little more lush regardless if you choose the city side or simply set down a tent for the night. Wherever you go in Tahoe, you are sure to never forget the views!

To help with slimming down the options, here are some of the top things to do during your time in paradise.

1: Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Take the road frequently traveled by! Emerald Bay State Park is a large nature preservation area dedicated to providing some of the best views in all of Tahoe.

Here you’ll follow trails up and down the mountain that open up at some of the most breathtaking lookout points on all the West Coast.

Emerald Bay is a popular attraction and even if you aren’t up for hiking, it’s definitely worth the drive up the mountain for a few birds eye views of the lake down below. Wherever the path leads you, it won’t steer you wrong!

Address: 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150


2: Heavenly Mountain

Heavenly Mountain
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/jcookfisher

It’s all in the name: this is heaven! Heavenly Mountain is a resort and an entertainment park all wrapped into one impressive expanse of fun.

During the winter time, the trails and paths here are dotted with enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders all shredding the freshest snow in the city.

Even in the summer, this resort does not close its doors: but rather transforms into a summer hotspot! Complete with two zip lines, a rollercoaster, a rock wall, and several other thrill seeking adventures.

Not to mention a gondola ride with a view of the entire Lake which will you leave you stunned from start to stop.

Address: 4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd, CA 96150

3: Donner Summit and Hike

Donner Summit and Hike
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Alice Chen

While this may not be the most uplifting story to follow, the Donner summit and hike is not to be missed.

This will take you through a town with the history of the Donner party on display as well as lead you onto the path where many have trailed.

Visitors leave raving about the chilling, yet fascinating story about this families trek through the wilderness.

Address: Donner Summit Rd, California


4: El Dorado Beach

El Dorado Beach
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/MrPlow5

Everybody loves a good beach! And this is the beach where everybody comes together. El Dorado Beach is a golden coast with a wide expanse of golden sand to rest upon, and a grassy area that looks over the water too.

This beach is mostly known for its famous ‘live @ lakeview’ concerts, as well as special holiday parties such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day. This is a great place to sit back and relax, or maybe try your hand at a famous California Slack line.

Address: 1004 Lakeview Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

5: Vikingsholm

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/m01229

Dating all the way back to 1929, Vikingsholm is one of the oldest establishments in the area. Here, you will take a long winding hiking path that will open up right as you approach the old Scandinavian architecture.

Walk around, peruse, and marvel at the way such beauty has survived the testament of time surrounded by the forests.

Address: CA-89, Tahoma, CA 96142


6: Chimney Beach

Chimney Beach
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Trevor Bexon

A secluded beach without being desolate. And pretty accurately named as well, considering in the center of the sand sits an old chimney.

Here you will have to take a short path down a trail leading up from your parking spot and down to the patch of sand that meets the water just below.

While it may not formally be a dog park, it is dog friendly and often includes many locals and tourists alike looking to soak up some sun.

Address: Carson City, NV 89703

7: Lake Tahoe Boat Tours

Lake Tahoe Boat Tours
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Reno Tahoe

What better way to see the lake than to ride it? Considering Lake Tahoe’s big claim to fame is the lake itself, taking a boat tour is one opportunity you won’t want to miss.

There are many independent buyers with private boats and guides, and also the opportunity to rent one out yourself and explore.

Check out the docks for exclusive deals, and maybe look into a paddle board or two while you’re at it.

Address: South Lake Tahoe, CA

8: Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/wikiphotographer

The snow-lovers paradise! Squaw Valley is famously known in the area for being one of the longest running ski and snowboarding facilities, as well as offering a state of the art aerial tram.

While it is not open year round, you can count on some of the best and freshly fallen snow in Tahoe to be found on these slopes from September to May.

Address: Olympic Valley, CA 96146

9: Lower Eagle Falls

Lower Eagle Falls
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ken Lund

A truly stunning view with a short hike that is well worth the effort! Lower Eagles Falls not only includes a magnificent waterfall, but also views from the cliffs of both the town of South Lake Tahoe, and the reflective lake itself.

All patrons who take this hike give it some of the highest marks for being one of the best places in Tahoe for a sunset with a view.

Address: Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe, CA

10: Tahoe Rim Trail

Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jeff Moser

The ultimate hike! Cover all corners of Lake Tahoe by traversing the famous ‘Tahoe Rim Trail’ which will literally take you 360 degrees around the outline of the lake.

Some paths go as far down as the beach whereas others lead you all the way to the peaks of mountains, and yet the one constant is that the beauty never fades no matter where it leads you.

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