Lake Tahoe is the perfect holiday destination all year round - summer, winter, spring or fall. In winter, you can go skiing, snowboarding, skating and sledding and in summer, the activities are fantastic, including boating, cruising, rafting, golfing and fishing. Come springtime and you can go skiing, water-rafting, hiking, fishing, golfing and biking. Autumn offers spectacular scenery all around the lakeside. If nothing else, you can just have a lazy stroll or camp beside the lake, viewing sunrises and sunsets and exploring the region’s historical heritage.
Lake Tahoe lies in an area covering two states California and Nevada. Surrounded by three national forests and several state parks, there is unlimited opportunity for outdoor fun. Surrounded by mountains, the present day lake sits in a valley of elevation of 6,229 ft. It is the highest lake of its size in the U.S. and also the tenth-deepest lake in the world. The beautiful shoreline is 71 miles, with the California shoreline being 42 miles and the Nevada part being 29 miles. The waters of the lake are a clear, crystalline blue, thanks to the thin, clear mountain air. 63 streams flow into the lake but Truckee River is the only river that flows out of it.
Come summer and it is great loads of fun in Lake Tahoe. Boating is favourite activity. You can even enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Lake Tahoe’s majestic peaks from a watercraft out on the lake. Lake Tahoe’s fresh waters also offer great opportunities for both amateurs as well as experienced anglers. Within a 750-mile radius of Lake Tahoe, there are over 450 lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. All year round, the lake offers a wonderful variety of fish. There are at least eight varieties of trout, like golden trout and cam loop trout. Add in other species like salmon, bass, catfish, perch, and white fish. There is enough choice for sport fishing as well as fly-fishing.
For avid golfers, there are as many golf courses in Lake Tahoe as there are ski resorts. During winter, these courses may close and some may open for snowboarding. Most courses are 6000 ft above sea level and this elevation will get you more than 6 to 10 more distance than at sea level. Another way to have fun in Lake Tahoe is to hit the casinos. Inside the casinos, enjoy all the excitement of Las Vegas, with games, entertainment and fine dining. The casinos are open 24 hours a day. Spin your roulette wheel or try poker. On share the hi-tech video arcades with your children.
Lake Tahoe is great for a family vacation, as children are welcome everywhere, with interesting activities for them. There is a Tahoe Amusement Park in South Tahoe open to all from 2 to 92. It has snack bar, video arcade, rides of all kinds and a picnic area. For a family vacation, especially attractive are the beaches, where you can have a picnic or a barbecue, a quiet morning or evening stroll, wade in the cool water as well as bask in the sunshine or get a tan.
There is also an opportunity for an enjoyable carriage ride on the Borges Family Carriage. This antique European carriage will take you on a ride into the culture, history and geographical wonders of the Lake Tahoe area. The Borges family also organizes a Hayride to taste the history, fun, nostalgia and cuisine of the region. It is a 60-90 minute scenic ride through Carson Valley, with spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
More summer fun is there in the form of bowling, miniature golf, movie theatres and swimming pools. But lake cruises are the ultimate for enjoying the scenery. There are many lake cruises providing different lake experiences for you. For example, there is the M.S. Dixie-2, which has been there since 1942. It was a family pleasure boat but in 1972, it became the region’s first public paddle wheeler . In 1994, it became a public 570-seater cruise vessel. You can start early with a breakfast or champagne brunch cruise. Or delight in an Emerald Bay sightseeing cruise with luncheon or early dinner, or romance with the famous sunset dinner cruise featuring a live band. The cruise liner caters to all kinds of functions from weddings to parties.
For art and culture aficionados, there are plenty of art galleries displaying local art, history and culture. For those hungering for nightlife, there are some exciting nightclubs with live action till late night and early morning. There are massage therapy spas to indulge your body and soul. Live music is featured in clubs like Blu Nightclub and Evans.
Outdoor activities in the various state parks and nature resorts are the icing on the cake. Lake Tahoe Basin firstly has enough hiking trails to keep an avid biker or hiker busy for years! Mountain biking has graduated from being a sport to a way of life, with plenty of scenic and mellow rides. Hummer and jeep trails take you to wild and pristine paths full of magical scenery.
Sporting activities include kayaking and jetskiing. Kayak Tahoe is a touring shop located at Timber Cove Marina. You can also enjoy river rafting and parasailing. The Borges and Birkholms water-ski schools give lessons for those who wish to learn water-skiing.
D.L. Bliss and Emerald State Park covers six miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline. From the crest of Eagle Falls in this park, you can see a spectacular panorama of Emerald Bay, Fannett Island, Lake Tahoe and the distant Nevada shore. Donner Memorial State Park, situated in east of Donner Pass in Sierra Nevada, has opportunities for hiking, camping picnicking, boating, fishing, waterskiing, and nature hikes. Grover Hot Springs State Park attracts people to its two hot mineral spring pools. Sugar Pine Point State Park lies at the heart of Washoe Indian territory and has an interesting nature center.
Cave Rock State Park on the East shore has good opportunities for fishing. Long sandy beaches, rocky coves and scenic views attract people to Sand Harbor State Park on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. It is suitable for swimming and scuba diving. Hidden Beach is nearby and popular for sunbathing and swimming. The Spooner Lake trails through 2.5 miles of meadows and forests. It is attractive for its wild life.
Wilderness areas in Lake Tahoe region are also exceptional tourist attractions for camping and hiking. Desolation Wilderness is the most used wilderness area per acre in the U.S.A. It contains sub-alpine forests, granite peaks and glacial lakes and valleys. Other wilderness areas include Granite Chief Wilderness, Meiss County, Mokelumne Wilderness and Mount Rose Wilderness.
Winter is a new story altogether, as sheets of ice cover the wilderness and powdery snow blankets the scenery. Lake Tahoe is ideally situated in the High Sierra, the snowiest region of the North American continent. Such that each year, it gets blanketed by a tone of white gold, more than even Utah or Colorado.
Skiing at Lake Tahoe dates back to mid-1800, when John Shoesnow Thompson crossed what is now Heavenly Resort on his 90-mile route from Northern Nevada to Northern California, crossing a portion of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
In Tahoe, you can ski from zero to 100 miles per hour. You can ski or use a snowboard. You can slide down using a snowmobile or a horse-drawn sleigh. You can hike around in boots or snow shoes. But a unique experience would be a five-mile ride on a sled pulled by a team of huskies. For ice-skating there are year-round rinks, some of Olympic Games caliber, like the Olympic Ice Pavilion in Squaw Valley.
Children can enjoy sledding and snow-tubing. At the Boreal Mountain Playground, there are sledding lanes for children of all ages. There are beautiful and historic sleigh rides organized by the Borges family as well as the Kirkwood Stables. The main attraction in winter is the Lake Tahoe snowmobile tours. You will be guided through alpine forests, mountain streams and stately trees. Snowshoeing is also gaining popularity.
At Lake Tahoe you are in the middle of the largest concentration of Alpine ski-resorts in North America. The Alpine Meadows Resort is on 2,000 acres and has fun snow activities for children and adults. Diamond Peak is 665 acres, offering breathtaking views and 1840 vertical ft. of terrain. Homewood Mountain Resort covers 1,260 acres of terrain, available for all ages whether you prefer open, groomed runs or steep chutes.
Mount Rose-ski Tahoe offers panoramic views of Lake Tahoe to the West and Nevada to the East. It benefits from being closest to the international airport at Reno/Tahoe. North Star-at-Tahoe covering over 2,000 acres, has been voted as the best family ski resort. Squaw Valley, with 4,000 acres, is the biggest and most famous ski resort in Lake Tahoe. It spans six sierra peaks, gets an average snow pack of 450 inches and is one of the most ski-able terrains in Lake Tahoe. Sugar Bowl is the classic Alpine village, which had the first chair lift in California and the first gondola in the nation. It has been renovated with a number of attractive features that brings in the crowds.
Heavenly in south Lake Tahoe has a tram that’s worth a million rides. It gives you a quick lift of 3,000 ft above the lake and you can drink in the grandeur of Tahoe and its snow-capped mountains. The Heavenly gondola is a not-to-be missed item in the itinerary of a Lake Tahoe tourist.