This popular vacation and recreation destination straddles the border between California and Nevada, with the closest city being Reno. It is especially popular in the summer and winter months, for summer activities that include golf, boating and hiking, and winter activities that include skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating. Activities available to visitors year-round include shopping, gambling, eating, fishing and taking in the scenery.
Other nearby towns include Tahoe City, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Tahoe Vista, Homewood, Incline Village, Kings Beach, and Crystal Bay.
Situated on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City is one of two main towns located on the lake, and offers a relaxed, mountain hippie feel. Truckee is a historic western railroad town located northwest of the lake, and South Lake Tahoe is located near the border between California and Nevada, on the shores of the lake. Stateline is located just north of South Lake Tahoe, spanning the border between both states. Tahoe Vista is a pretty town located on the north shore, as is Incline village, while Homewood is a cute west shore resort town west of Lake Tahoe. Crystal Bay provides gambling in its casinos, while Kings Beach provides good places to eat and see gorgeous lake views. Best of all, it is close to many Tahoe resorts.
The attraction behind Lake Tahoe is its location among beautiful mountain peaks and its crystal-clear waters. As a matter of fact, it has been a popular tourist destination since the turn of the 20th century. The 1960 Winter Olympics, which were held at Squaw Valley in Tahoe popularized winter sports there.
Favorite summer pastimes at Lake Tahoe include horseback riding, for which there are many stables to choose from. A popular one is Camp Richardson’s Corral, which offers guided horse riding excursions and sleigh rides in the winter. Depending on when you go, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered after. For hiking, there are many parks located along the shore and close by, such as Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park, as well as many trails located in the nearby Desolation Wilderness area, such as the Mount Tallac Trail. For those who like to sit and soak in the sun, there are plenty of beaches to pick from. These include Sand Harbor on the northeast shore, Chamber’s Landing on the west shore, south of Tahoe City; Meek’s Bay, located south of Tahoe City; Tahoe City itself, and Emerald Bay, located on the west shore.
For fun on the water, try a daytime scenic sightseeing cruise on an authentic Mississippi-style paddle wheel boat at Ski Run Marina and the M.S. Dixie II at Zephyr Cove Resort. Both offer fun and romantic dinner cruises as well. There are also charter services that offer boat tours as well, to the many mansions located along the lake shore. There is also a party boat available that is popular for weddings as well. Watercraft equipment rentals are available as well, for jet skis, wave runners, houseboats, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards, and water trampolines.
As far as ski resorts go, there are many to pick from in Tahoe for both skiing and snowboarding. Lifts typically open when snow begins to fall, and close when the weather becomes too warm and it stops snowing, usually from mid-November to mid to late April.
In the north shore, these resorts include Alpine Meadows, one of Lake Tahoe’s most well-established resorts, which offers high speed lifts and skiing to satisfy any level of prowess. Next is Homewood, a large resort covering two mountains and offering varied terrain with many different ski runs. It is located directly on the lake, and as such offers some of the area’s best views. Next is Northstar, a popular family-friendly resort perfect for beginners, as its slopes are much less steep than at most other major areas. After skiing, one can head to “The Village” at this resort, located at the base of the mountain and offering shops, restaurants, living spaces and an outdoor ice skating rink. Last but not least is Squaw Valley, a famous California resort and setting for the book Squallywood. It offers varied terrain, a large high-speed lift, and a former Olympic Village.
On the South Shore, resorts include Heavenly, owned by Vail Resorts and located on the state line. It offers beginner and advanced trails, and has hosted World Cup ski races. Next is Kirkwood, located about 45 minutes from South Lake Tahoe and featuring one of the highest base elevations and most consistent snow packs in the Sierra. Then there is Sierra at Tahoe, which offers steep slopes and skiing adventure.
Ski resorts in the Nevada side of Tahoe include Diamond Peak, a family-friendly resort with slopes for all ski levels, and Mount Rose, which offers the highest base elevation in the Tahoe Basin, and the closest major ski area to Reno.