Discover Lake Tahoe

Nestled between Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is a famous tourist destination known for its incredible beauty, outdoor recreation, and vibrant dining and nightlife scene. As the second-deepest lake in the United States, with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet, this impressive body of water draws visitors worldwide to experience its crystal-clear waters and surrounding scenic landscape.

In addition to its colossal size, Lake Tahoe offers a variety of activities for all kinds of visitors. There’s something for everyone in this picturesque region, from the ski slopes during winter months to hiking trails and watersports in the summer. In between outdoor adventures, guests can enjoy unique dining experiences, shop at local boutiques, and attend various events and festivals throughout the year.

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Top 3 Facts about Lake Tahoe

01

Record-Setting Depths

Lake Tahoe is so deep that the Empire State Building could be submerged in it with over 100 feet to spare before reaching the surface.

02

Ponderosa Pine Aroma

The air around Lake Tahoe is often filled with the sweet scent of Ponderosa pines. Some say the smell is reminiscent of vanilla and butterscotch, making a walk around the lake feel like stepping into an old-fashioned candy shop.

03

Snowy Extremes

The lake has a reputation for extreme winter sports, but it’s not just about the ski slopes. Tahoe once received a whopping 67 feet of snow in a single season, which is enough to bury a six-story building!

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Must-See Attractions

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Vikingsholm Castle

Architectural Gem

This 38-room mansion, completed in 1929, was built as a summer home and is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. Tours of the historic home reveal intricately carved dragon beams, massive fireplaces, and period furnishings.

Emerald Bay State Park

Natural Landscapes

Emerald Bay State Park is a crown jewel of Lake Tahoe, offering postcard-worthy views. The bay’s unique shape and stunningly blue water make it a photographer’s paradise, while the surrounding trails and picnic spots invite nature lovers to linger in this slice of Sierra Nevada heaven.

Sand Harbor

Natural Landscapes

With its soft, sandy beaches and clear, shallow waters, Sand Harbor is a favorite for both relaxation and recreation. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore hidden coves or soak up the sun on its expansive shores.

Annual Events and Festivals

June – October, 2024

Valhalla Art, Music, and Theatre Festival

Set against the historic backdrop of the Tallac Historic Site, this summer-long festival invites you to enjoy numerous artistic performances. Whether it’s a sunset drama by the water, an interactive comedy with the Tahoe Improv Players, or an inspiring workshop, every show promises a delightful array of creativity and nostalgia under the open sky.

July – August, 2024

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

With the scenic backdrop of Sand Harbor State Park, watch classic Shakespearean plays during the warm summer evenings. Top off your evening with a gourmet meal from Shakespeare’s Kitchen or a self-prepared picnic, all while soaking in a breathtaking sunset. This festival is all about fine dining, culture, and nature converging into a celebration of the arts.

December, 2024

Merry Days & Holly Nights

As the snow blankets Lake Tahoe, Merry Days & Holly Nights ushers in the holiday spirit with various events. There’s something for everyone, from spectacular dance and music performances to winter-themed yoga. While the lineup changes every year, you can always look forward to spotting Santa, watching family-friendly shows, and ringing in the New Year with fireworks.

Top Hiking Trails

Eagle Lake Trail

Eagle Falls Trailhead, Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Set off on the 1.8 miles out-and-back trail and let the uphill journey reward you with sweeping views of Lake Tahoe’s crystalline waters. Those with an appetite for exploration can continue past Eagle Lake and connect to the Bayview Trail. Plus, this trail is dog-friendly if you have a furry friend along.

Cascade Falls

Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, United States

If you’re looking for a gentle hike that promises grand vistas, this 1.4-mile-long hike is the perfect fit. Its highlight is an overlook where the falls, Cascade Lake, and the expansive landscapes of Lake Tahoe converge in spectacular fashion. We won’t give away its other splendors. 

Five Lakes Trail

Tahoe National Forest, Alpine Meadows Rd, Olympic Valley, CA

The 6.3-mile out-and-back Five Lakes Trail is a treasure hidden in the Sierra Nevada’s lush landscape, perfect for those looking for a more challenging hike. While its steep incline might leave you breathless, you’ll be well-rewarded with enchanting views of a series of five lakes. Bring a picnic lunch and linger alongside one of the lakes for a picture-perfect afternoon.

Best Golf Courses

Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course

180 Lake Pkwy, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448, United States

This world-class course is situated on the shores of Lake Tahoe, offering incredible views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Designed by George Fazio and refined by Tom Fazio, its greens have been the stage for major tournaments like the US Senior Open, and Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer have played here. But beyond this, Edgewood is a great place for all levels to play.

Tahoe Donner Golf Course

12850 Northwoods Blvd, Truckee, CA 96161, United States

Tahoe Donner Golf Course is a favorite amongst golfers in the Sierra Nevada, voted as the “Best Golf Course in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee.” Only a short journey from downtown Truckee, this par-72 championship course weaves through the pines, presenting scenic vistas and challenging play. End your day at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub, and reflect on your round amidst the tranquil beauty of the mountains.

Incline Village Championship Golf Course

955 Fairway Blvd, Incline Village, NV 89451, United States

Immerse yourself in the splendor of mountain golf at the Incline Village Championship Golf Course, a public course designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones Sr. With its complete renovation in 2003, the par-72 course has received praise from GolfPass, GolfAdvisor, and Golf Digest. On-site, you’ll also find The Grille at The Chateau for post-game dining and a full-service Golf Shop.

Water Sports

The Marina at Zephhr Cove Resort

Rentals

Located on a sandy beach near the Stateline casinos, Zephyr Cove Marina offers everything from SeaRay boat rentals and Yamaha Waverunners to kayaks and family-friendly pedal boats. Or, if you have your own boat, they also offer boat moorings and fuel services.

Boat Tahoe

Boat tour

If you’re seeking a memorable day out on the water and prefer to let someone else take the wheel, Boat Tahoe is your go-to. With private, captained tours for up to 10 guests, your day can be tailored to your desires—be it a serene cruise visiting iconic spots like Emerald Bay and Rubicon Bay or an exhilarating day packed with tubing and wakeboarding.

Truckee River Rafting 

Family Friendly River float

For those with younger ones along, consider a day with Truckee River Rafting. This family-owned company has been operating since 1973 and offers commercial-grade rafts for use on self-guided floats. The trip takes 2 to 3 hours, and you’ll enjoy a gentle float through picturesque meadows and playful rapids.

Winter Activities

Downhill Skiing

Hit the slopes at world-class resorts such as Heavenly, Squaw Valley or Northstar. With a range of terrains for all levels of expertise, there’s something for everyone to enjoy: the excitement of gliding down groomed slopes or tearing through powder-filled bowls.

Cross Country Skiing

If snowshoeing isn’t your thing, why not give cross-country skiing a try? Move effortlessly through the landscape, feeling the refreshing touch of air on your face. The smooth gliding motion of your skis propels you forward, allowing you to explore the ground and venture deeper.

Snowshoeing

Lake Tahoe offers more than skiing and snowboarding. Strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis and venture into the winter wilderness. Explore the backcountry trails and marvel at the tranquil beauty that surrounds you.

As you embark on your snowshoeing adventure, you’ll immerse yourself in a winter wonderland. The refreshing air will fill your lungs as you navigate through the snow. The only sounds are the crunching of your footsteps and birdsong from perched birds on branches.

Where to Eat

Jake’s On The Lake

$ – $$ • New American

Za’s Lakefront

$ – $$ • Italian & American

Spindleshanks Tahoe Restaurant

$$ – $$$ • American Bistro

Where to Shop

On Tahoe Time

Gift Shop

Little Blue House Lake Tahoe

Clothing Store

Savvy of Lake Tahoe

Women’s Clothings Store

Where to Sleep

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Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Lake Tahoe

Choose a Side

The north side of Lake Tahoe is perfect for those seeking to take advantage of the region’s many outdoor activities, while the south side offers more bars, shopping, and casinos.

Plan Activities

Lake Tahoe is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and vacationers alike–which means there is an abundance of activities to pick from. Circle a few activities in advance and book them if you can. You don’t want to miss out once you’re here.

Pack and Wear Layers

Lake Tahoe’s climate is a story of contrasts, with brisk mornings and warm days, even at the height of summer and the middle of winter. To comfortably navigate the many swings in weather, you’ll want to layer up.

Cost and Budget

If you’re visiting on a budget, book during the shoulder season (spring and fall) for better deals on accommodations and activities. You can also take advantage of free or low-cost attractions such as hiking trails, public beaches, and parks.

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Going Deeper on Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe holds the impressive title of the second deepest lake in the United States, surpassed only by Crater Lake. Plunging to depths of 501 meters (1,645 feet) and averaging 300 meters (1,000 feet), it also stands as the world’s 16th deepest. Adding to its intrigue, the Lake Tahoe Basin, which cradles the lake, has a floor sitting at 4,580 feet in elevation – remarkably lower than the nearby Carson Valley floor in Nevada!

Frequently Asked Questions About Lake Tahoe

There are a variety of attractions for you to enjoy in Lake Tahoe, depending on your interests. In the summer, the lake’s beautiful sandy beaches, hiking trails, and biking paths offer outdoor adventures. South Lake Tahoe is known for its vibrant nightlife, with casinos and restaurants to explore. During winter, world-class skiing and snowboarding are available at numerous resorts in the area. Don’t forget to consider a breathtaking helicopter tour for a unique bird’s eye view of the picturesque landscape!

There is no wrong time to stay in Lake Tahoe, known as a “year-round playground.” The best season for you to visit depends on your preferred activities. Summertime allows beach visits, hiking, and biking, while winter offers incredible skiing and snowboarding opportunities. No matter what time of the year you choose, you’ll surely enjoy the range of outdoor activities and spectacular natural beauty Lake Tahoe offers.

Lake Tahoe is home to a cornucopia of fish, including native and introduced species. Two native species that you’ll find in the lake are the Lahontan cutthroat trout and the mountain whitefish. Non-native species, such as the brown trout, rainbow trout, and lake trout, have also been introduced to the lake, providing a diverse ecosystem for recreational and professional anglers.

Lake Tahoe is absolutely one of the world’s largest, deepest, and clearest mountain lakes, making it a true national treasure. The lake is approximately 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, with a surface area of 191 square miles. In terms of depth, Lake Tahoe reaches its maximum of 1,645 feet, and the impressive purity of its water is estimated at 99.9%.

If you’re flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport, your drive to Lake Tahoe will take around 35 minutes to reach the north shore and approximately 90 minutes to get to South Lake Tahoe. However, be prepared for longer drive times during heavy snowfall. The airport offers various transportation options, such as rental cars, shuttles, and taxi services to help you reach your destination in the Lake Tahoe area.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

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