Best Summer Activities in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a family-friendly destination with a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From outdoor recreation to indoor entertainment, there’s no shortage of things to do in Lake Tahoe with your family.
Take a Road Trip along Lake Tahoe
One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe is by taking a scenic drive. The Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive is a 72-mile loop that offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. You’ll see beautiful vistas, forests, and charming small towns along the way. You can also opt for a shorter drive along the west shore of the lake, which offers some of the most breathtaking views. If you’re planning a road trip around Lake Tahoe, here are some of the best stops to include along the way:
Emerald Bay State Park
In Emerald Bay State Park, one of the top things to do is to visit Vikingsholm castle, a historic mansion that offers tours and a glimpse into the area’s rich history. You can also hike the Eagle Falls trail to see beautiful waterfalls and stunning views of the bay. Additionally, there are several picnic areas and beaches where you can relax and take in the scenery.
Sand Harbor is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Lake Tahoe, especially in the summer. The crystal-clear water and sandy beaches make it the perfect spot for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation. There are several beaches to choose from, and you can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and paddleboards to make the most of your day at the beach. There is parking for $10 which you can pay at the Kiosk, or it’s free if you have a Nevada State Parks Pass. In the summer, Sand Harbor also hosts several events and concerts, including the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. This festival takes place in a beautiful outdoor theater with views of the lake, and features several performances of Shakespeare plays and other plays.
If you’re interested in hiking, Sand Harbor also offers several hiking trails that offer incredible views of the lake. One popular hike is the Sand Harbor Overlook Trail, which is a short and relatively easy hike that offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. There are also several longer hikes that take you through the forests and mountains surrounding the lake. For those interested in water sports, Sand Harbor is a great place to go kayaking, paddleboarding, or even parasailing. Several companies in the area offer rentals and lessons, so you can try your hand at a new water sport or hone your skills. The clear water and calm conditions make it an ideal spot for these activities.
Incline Village is a charming town located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. It’s a great place to explore the local shops and galleries, and to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Incline Village Beach is one of the most popular in the area, and for good reason. It features a long stretch of sand, clear water, and plenty of amenities such as picnic tables, barbecue grills, and restrooms. The Mark Twain Cultural Center & Toccata Guttman Music Hall is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Mark Twain and promoting the arts in the area. There are several exhibits and events throughout the summer, including concerts, lectures, and workshops.
Even in the summer, Diamond Peak is a great place to visit. It offers incredible views of the lake and surrounding mountains, and there are several hiking trails that take you through the forest and up the mountain. You can also take the scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain for even more stunning views. Incline Village offers several scenic bike paths, including the Tahoe East Shore Trail and the Flume Trail. These trails take you through the forests and along the lake, and offer stunning views of the area. Several companies in the area offer sunset cruises of Lake Tahoe, including the Tahoe Gal and North Lake Tahoe Express. These cruises offer a unique perspective of the lake and the surrounding mountains, and are a great way to enjoy the magic of Lake Tahoe at sunset.
This is a quaint town located on the northwest shore of the lake. In Tahoe City, you can take a stroll along the Truckee River, which flows into Lake Tahoe. There are several restaurants and cafes in the area, as well as galleries and boutiques. The Tahoe City Commons Beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. These are just a few of the many incredible stops along a scenic drive around Lake Tahoe. With its stunning natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure, Lake Tahoe is truly a destination that everyone should experience at least once.
Family Friendly Activities in Lake Tahoe
Visit the Magic Carpet Mini Golf
Magic Carpet Mini Golf is a perfect destination for families who are looking for a fun and unique experience while in South Lake Tahoe. It has 18 holes with creative obstacles and challenges that are perfect for both kids and adults. The course is surrounded by a beautiful natural setting, making it an excellent place to spend an afternoon. The snack bar and arcade offer a place to relax and unwind between rounds, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.
Go on a Boat Tour on Lake Tahoe
A boat tour is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe. Several companies offer boat tours of the lake, and they all offer a unique perspective of the lake and the surrounding mountains. You’ll have the opportunity to see some of the area’s most famous landmarks, like Emerald Bay and the Fannette Island Tea House. Depending on the time of year, you may also see some of the local wildlife, like bald eagles, osprey, or even a bear.
Take Family Photographs
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s an excellent location for family photographs. The natural scenery and the crystal-clear water make for a perfect backdrop for your family’s memories. You can choose from several scenic locations around the lake for your photoshoot, and we will help you capture the perfect moments. Starscape Studios offers a variety of Lake Tahoe family photography packages for your vacation or family reunion. Please message us for a quote for availability and pricing and capture this moment for years to come.
Visit the Nevada State Museum
If you’re interested in the history and culture of the state, the Nevada State Museum is a must-visit destination. It’s located in Carson City, just a short drive from Lake Tahoe, and features exhibits covering everything from mining and geology to wildlife and Native American history. The museum also has an extensive collection of historical artifacts and documents, making it a fascinating and educational destination.
Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Stand-up paddleboarding is an exciting and challenging way to experience the lake. Several companies in the Lake Tahoe area offer stand-up paddleboard rentals and lessons, including Tahoe Adventure Company and Waterman’s Landing. It’s an excellent way to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Lake Tahoe. The calm and clear waters of the lake are perfect for beginners, and the experienced staff will help you get started.
Go on a Horseback Riding Tour in Zephyr Cove
Zephyr Cove is a beautiful location on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, and horseback riding tours are a perfect way to experience its natural beauty. Several companies offer horseback riding tours, including Zephyr Cove Stables and Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides. The tours vary in length and difficulty, but all of them offer incredible views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Horseback riding tours are perfect for families and individuals of all ages and experience levels.
Visit the Tahoe Rim Trail
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile trail that circles Lake Tahoe, offering some of the most spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The trail is divided into 15 sections, so you can choose to hike as much or as little as you like. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe with your family. Obtaining permits for the Tahoe Rim Trail can vary depending on your planned activities and the section of the trail you plan to hike. Decide on your itinerary before going and get the necessary permits. Determine which section of the trail you plan to hike, how many days you plan to spend on the trail, and where you plan to camp. The number of nights and campsites needed will determine which permit to obtain.
A Backcountry permit is required for overnight stays on the Tahoe Rim Trail. You can obtain a Backcountry permit through the US Forest Service website, recreation.gov or by calling the ranger station at least 2 weeks in advance. Certain sections of the trail may require additional permits, such as the Desolation Wilderness, which requires a wilderness permit. Make sure to check the requirements for the specific section of the trail you plan to hike. The Tahoe Rim Trail is a popular destination, and it’s important to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting wildlife.
Be sure to check weather conditions and trail closures before your trip, as well as any additional regulations or restrictions that may be in place. By following these steps, you can enjoy a safe and responsible backcountry adventure.