9 Things You Shouldn’t Miss at Lake Tahoe

Visiting Lake Tahoe is a favorite summertime activity for Americans. The large lake, divided between California and Nevada, is among the most scenic places to visit in North America. Boasting the title as the second deepest freshwater lake in the country and being surrounded by mountains, it’s easy to understand why Tahoe is so popular. Combine this with the wide selection of Lake Tahoe cabins and you have a top destination. If this sounds appealling to you, check out the following nine must-visit places and must-do experiences at Lake Tahoe.

1. Make the Most of the Trails

Hiking is one of the all-time favorite activities at Lake Tahoe in the warmer months. Several trails ranging in length and difficulty stretch through the mountains leading to secret viewpoints. From spending an hour or two walking around the water’s edge to going on strenuous hikes to the peak of the mountains, any outdoor enthusiast will appreciate what’s on offer. The best time is to catch either the sunrise or sunset. Just be aware of the wildlife that live in the forests and mountains including bears.

2. Have a Picnic

In today’s day and age, having a picnic can seem like something from the past. As people snap selfies on their smartphone or try to record every moment on video, the simplicity of sitting outside and enjoying a picnic can sound absurd to millennials. But with such incredible views of the mountains and lakes, few things in life are more rewarding than sitting down with your special someone or family for an hour or two while making the most of what’s around you. However, because the presence of bears, it’s essential that you exercise caution when you eat and where you throw any leftovers.

3. Savor the Views

Saying a place has breath-taking views can be somewhat of a cliché. But few would argue that Lake Tahoe is among the most beautiful places in the United States. Picture rugged mountains, sometimes covered in snow, juxtaposed against the green-blue water of the lake. Visit in spring and see bursts of green and color as the trees and flowers sprout and the snow starts to thaw. Fall has the famous reddish-brown blanket of leaves. Whichever time of the year you visit, you’re certain to witness amazing views of both the lake and mountains. Just remember to bring your camera to capture the memory of this incredible beauty forever.

4. Visit Lake Tahoe’s Towns

Several small towns line the road stretching around the lake. Some are residential while others have interesting historical stories associated with them. Few tourists take the time to explore outside of where they stay, and many miss out. What can be nicer than passing through charming mountain villages or lakeside settlements? At the very least it will provide the chance to take a few photographs.

5. Go on a Boat Trip

Almost every lake around the world offers boat trips to tourists, and Lake Tahoe is no different. Several options are available from quick 30 minutes trips to riding traditional Mississippi-style paddleboats. If this is something that appeals to you, it’s a good idea to research your options to find the best tour package. And beware: Most boat trips follow seasonal timetables and be prepared to miss out if you come outside of the warmer months.

6. Enjoy the Water Sports

If you’re planning to visit Lake Tahoe to enjoy the great outdoors, why not check out some of the water sports? A range of activities from canoeing and kayaking to fishing and sailing are available in the summer. Instructors can provide lessons to teach the basics of any activity you’re unfamiliar with, and it’s a great way to get a different perspective of the lake.

7. Sunbath on the Beach

Yes, you read that correctly – Lake Tahoe does have a beach. Small stretches of beach line some sections of the lake and have places to sit and spots to lie on the ground. Don’t expect the same quality as the Maldives or Caribbean, but you will have the chance to sunbath next to the lake. After all, it’s said that Lake Tahoe has sunny weather on 75% of its days. Even if sunbathing isn’t for you, take a dip and go for a refreshing swim in the freshwater.

8. Visit Both Sides

The Californian side of Lake Tahoe provides tourists with a range of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, and horse-riding. But Nevada’s part has a completely different vibe. Expect to find a much more active environment with casinos and all-night entertainment. The contrast between both sides is quite striking and gives tourists very different experiences. If you have the time, try to visit both.

9. Take the Opportunity to Go Horse Riding

One of the often overlooked highlights at Lake Tahoe are the number of horses within a short drive of most tourist areas. Not only can you visit some of the stables but it’s also possible to arrange a tour of the region on horseback. A typical trip would follow some of the trails and takes riders through the countryside. If you have a passion for horses and want the chance to explore and enjoy the beautiful environment from the saddle, make the most of the opportunity at Lake Tahoe. Expect a tour to be pricey. 

Having the Best Experience at Lake Tahoe

As you have read, Lake Tahoe isn’t just a lake. There are a wide variety of experiences, both on and off the water, that should be on the to-do list of every traveler.

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