Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Tucked between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe has it all. On the North Shore enjoy world-class skiing; in South Tahoe try your luck at a casino. By the time this trip’s over, everyone’s happy.

Photo By: Daphne Hougard

Photo By: MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

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Photo By: Larry Miller, flickr

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Dawn Ellner, flickr

Photo By: Resort at Squaw Creek

Photo By: Hyatt Hotels

Photo By: Karen Peacock, flickr

Photo By: Robyn Scarton, Courtesy of Homewood Mountain Resort

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Photo By: ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Photo By: ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Hit the slopes at Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. With 65 trails, and 121 miles of skiable terrain, the property is the largest cross-country ski resort in all of North America. Find it in Soda Springs, California, roughly 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe.

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

For a little gambling fun, head to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Nestled on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, the resort doubles as a casino and health spa, where you can indulge in saunas, whirlpools and eucalyptus steam rooms. The resort is also a great place to catch a live show.

Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Come summer, rent a stand up paddleboard and paddle around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. You’ll get in some good exercise: The lake is the 27th largest lake (by volume) in the world, with a perimeter that stretches 72 miles long.

Burger Me

Grab a burger and onion rings at Burger Me. This family-owned-and-operated burger joint in nearby Truckee, California, serves everything fresh and made to order. Hearty options include the “Dirty Bird” (made with 5-oz. free-range chicken) and a good ole hamburger, except this one grass-fed, with no antibiotics. Fast food just got a little healthier.

Hiking (Tahoe Rim Trail)

Lace up your boots for a hike along Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile-long hiking trail that forms a loop around Lake Tahoe. Other great hikes include Bayview Trail, a 4- to 5-mile-long trail for experienced hikers, southwest of Lake Tahoe; and Eagle Falls Trail, a family-friendly, 1.5-mile hike in Tahoma, California, located right by Lake Tahoe.

Vikingsholm

Find this 38-room mansion on the shore of Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe. Built in 1929, Vikingsholm is one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture not just in America but in the entire Western Hemisphere; among its striking features are round granite boulders fixed in mortar, something commonly found in stone churches and castles built in the 11th century in southern Sweden.

Resort at Squaw Creek

The kids will love the Resort at Squaw Creek. This luxury ski resort in Lake Tahoe offers a host of family activities, from snowshoeing and sledding to ice skating in the resort’s outdoor exhibition rink, where you’ll find the Sierra Nevada mountain range just beyond. Ask about Mountain Buddies, a supervised outdoors program for kids ages 4 to 12.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Bed down for the night at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. With a spa, casino and 500 feet of private lakefront beach, this AAA Four Diamond-property is on the pricier side, but if it’s alpine lodge luxury you seek, you’ll find it here. The 421 guestrooms, including 24 lakeside cottages, come decorated with natural pine, distressed wood and leather furnishings.

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge

For something a bit more on the budget-friendly side, try the Franciscan Lakeside Lodge. Located on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, the property is home to lakefront and lakeside cottages, in a relaxed setting. Stroll along the nearby beach and take in the Tahoe sunset, or kick back in an Adirondack chair on your very own deck or porch.

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

Enjoy ski runs with epic views of Lake Tahoe at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. This ski area, on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, comprises 1,260 acres of skiable terrain and eight lifts. Among Homewood’s 64 runs, experienced skiers will want to try “Rainbow Ridge” -- at 2 miles long, it’s the resort’s longest run.

Emerald Bay

Located on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park features the Scandinavian-style Vikingsholm mansion; California’s first underwater shipwreck park (scuba-dive to see this final resting place of many boats, launches and barges, used in the lake before the turn of the century); and Fannette Island, the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. Get here by boat; spots six and 21 are the best places to dock.

Gar Woods Grill and Pier

Dig into the daily seafood special at Gar Woods Grill and Pier. The waterfront restaurant, nestled in Carnelian Bay in North Lake Tahoe, features a menu of hand-cut steaks, fresh Pacific seafood and the famous “Wet Woody” (ask the waiter). The restaurant’s large deck and balconies, meanwhile, offer great views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras.

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay.

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay.