The summer season may be coming to an end – especially if you have school-age children – but there’s still time to enjoy the beaches, water sports, concerts, festivals and more in Lake Tahoe.
Don’t pack away the flip-flops and sunscreen just yet. Check out these Lake Tahoe summer activities to enjoy before Labor Day.
MAKE A LAKE DIFFERENCE THIS SUMMER
Tourists head to North Lake Tahoe, in part, because of the lake’s crystal-clear water and the majestic mountain peaks. Protecting its natural beauty is not easy, so visitors and locals alike are expected to keep it clean and safe for future generations.
Everyone is asked to take a sustainability travel pledge to protect and preserve the environment, but there are specific ways you can get involved and make a difference.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Use the TART Connect App to get around the area.
- Pack a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle.
- Bring a reusable water bottle and drink Tahoe Tap.
- If you bring your own personal watercraft (such as a kayak or standup paddleboard), please ensure they are clean, drained and dry for 20 minutes prior to launch to protect the lake from invasive species.
- Pick up your trash and dispose of it correctly.
- No glass on beaches.
- Before you head out with your pet, make sure the area is dog-friendly (especially beaches), and always pick up after your pet.
- If partaking in activities like the Ale Trail or the Rum Trail, please don’t drink and drive.
- Check out and support local businesses while you’re here.
The communities of Lake Tahoe are working to improve the experience for all locals and visitors. Learn more about how we’re turning shared vision into shared action with our Destination Stewardship Plan here.
LAKE TAHOE BEACHES, PARKS AND OUTDOOR SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Spending time on North Lake Tahoe beaches is an excellent way to soak up the sun, build sand castles and relax. Many feature open picnic areas, easy access on TART Connect and views of the crystal blue water of Lake Tahoe. No matter which North Lake Tahoe town you visit – from North Shore to West Shore – you’ll find inviting beaches to enjoy. Check out our “Lake Tahoe Beach Party” playlist on Spotify to get you in the mood.
Emerald Bay’s beautiful beaches are accessible via the Rubicon Hiking Trail or by boat. One beach is in front of the Vikingsholm Castle, which was built in the late 1920s and is considered one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture outside of the Nordic countries. The property on which the castle is built features the only waterfall that flows directly into Lake Tahoe. Tours run daily during the summer.
Another one-of-a-kind attraction is the Maritime Heritage Underwater Trail at Emerald Bay State Park. Scuba and snorkel diving enthusiasts can explore watercraft and barges that rest below the surface of Emerald Bay. The “trail” is the final resting place for recreational boats, launches and barges as far back as the early 1900s. Divers should prepare for extreme cold-water conditions year-round.
A mile north of Meeks Bay is Ed Z’berg – Sugar Pine Point State Park, featuring two miles of lake frontage and dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper. The campground is open for reservations, and you can swim, hike and fish to your heart’s content.
An additional park attraction at Sugar Pine Point is the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, also known as Pine Lodge. The mansion, built in 1903, was a summer home considered one of the finest in the region. Daily tours are held through September, providing an intimate look at the lifestyles of the wealthy of Lake Tahoe. A Nature Center, featuring bird displays and other exhibits, is located in the day use area by the mansion.
LIKE A DUCK TO WATER
Before the Lake Tahoe water cools down, rent a watercraft that you enjoy or one you’ve always wanted to try, but never did. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices, from kayaks to parasails. North Tahoe Watersports, with locations in Tahoe City and Kings Beach, has Aqua-Cycle Water Trikes, three-wheeled water trikes that are a favorite of kids and adults alike. For a visually cool time, check out the crystal kayaks by Wild Society in Kings Beach. They give you a fully transparent view of the turquoise water and the glaciated boulders beneath the surface.
If you want to add a little speed to your day on the lake, there are several boat rental businesses throughout the North Lake Tahoe area. Rent A Boat Tahoe offers Cruiser, Sport and Premier boats, water toys and more from their Tahoe Vista location. North Lake Tahoe Boat Rental, also in Tahoe Vista, features a variety of boats, including luxury deck boats for a roaring good time.
Prefer someone else to drive the boat? North Tahoe Cruises offers daily sightseeing tours aboard the Tahoe Gal. The paddle wheeler cruises to Emerald Bay and along the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe. Or take a two-hour morning, afternoon or sunset public cruise on the sailing yacht Tahoe Cruz, a 50-foot monohull that seats up to 25 people. The cruises are run by Tahoe Sailing Charters.
A TRAIL MIX
There are plenty of biking and hiking trails in the area, but the North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail and the Tahoe Rum Trail are certainly worth an extra “cheers.”
The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail runs from Homewood to Chimney Beach, with several stops in between. The perfect pairing of hiking, biking and paddling trails, as well as local breweries and alehouses, are highlighted on an interactive map and video series that point out all the hot spots along the trail.
The Tahoe Rum Trail is a collection of six restaurants and bars in four towns around the North Lake Tahoe shoreline. Each stop – located in Incline Village, Carnelian Bay, two in Tahoe City and two in Homewood – features specialty rum cocktails. Rent a boat and visit each stop in style.
THAT’S (LAKE TAHOE) ENTERTAINMENT!
Sing, dance or listen to a wide spectrum of outdoor concerts and festivals sure to please the whole family.
The 2023 Classical Tahoe festival features a series of summer concerts. The concerts are held at the Classical Tahoe Ricardi Pavilion at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe in Incline Village. Top orchestras, jazz ensembles and chamber music will be presented against a backdrop of Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.
Head to Palisades Tahoe for the Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest, held on Aug. 12. An incredible lineup of live music will be featured on two stages, including Alo, Monophonics and Sal’s Greenhouse. (Get in the jamming mood with our Spotify playlist.) In addition to music, enjoy beer from 10 breweries spread throughout The Village at Palisades Tahoe. Reserve your tickets now before they’re all gone.
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival’s Showcase Series is a widely anticipated group of events each year, and 2023 is no exception. Held at the Warren Edward Trepp Stage at scenic Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Check the remaining performance dates, which include orchestral music, ballet and tribute bands.
You’ll be able to find live music practically any day of the week in North Lake Tahoe. Check out the following lineup that’s guaranteed to entertain:
Bluesdays | Tuesdays at Palisades Tahoe, through Aug. 29
Music on the Beach | Fridays in Kings Beach, through Sept. 1
Concerts at Commons Beach | Sundays in Tahoe City, through Sept. 3
Northstar’s Summer Music Series | Fridays and Saturdays, through Sept. 3
UP, UP AND AWAY
Even without the snow, chair lift rides are a blast for the whole family. Northstar California offers daily chairlift rides through Oct. 1. Take in the fresh mountain air, enjoy nature’s perfection, and capture fantastic photos as you reach the top at 8,610 feet above sea level. Take a 10-minute tram ride to Palisade Tahoe’s High Camp 8,200 feet above sea level – and for those traveling with children, kids 12 and under ride free. At High Camp, learn about the 1960 Winter Olympics – the only time the winter games have been held in California – at the Olympic Museum. See memorabilia, official Team USA uniforms, video presentations and more.
SPORTS FOR A CAUSE
Although you’ll find practically every possible sport to play in North Lake Tahoe, we have a few suggestions on how to participate while benefiting a great cause.
Whether on skates or bikes, join the 19th annual Skate the Lake on Aug. 5 and 6. The event, which benefits Boarding for Breast Cancer’s education, prevention and survivorship programs, is an 8- or 28-mile course that begins at Sugar Pine Point Park in Tahoma. All ages and abilities are welcome to join, with prizes for the top fundraisers.
Paddle enthusiasts – as well as first-timers – are invited to join the 17th annual Ta-Hoe Nalu Lake Tahoe Paddle Festival on Aug. 12 and 13. Held at Kings Beach State Recreation Area, the event is more than just competitive races. The festival will feature guided paddle tours, live music, a Kona Brewing Beer Garden, a food court and local vendors. If you don’t own a paddleboard, stand-up (SUP) paddleboard rentals will be available at the festival.
Some of the world’s finest wooden boats will be on display at the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance on Aug. 11 and 12 at Obexer’s Boat Company in Homewood. The boats will be judged and awards presented. Sip wine from selected wineries, shop luxury brands and listen to live jazz as you dine. The event will benefit the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation, which helps preserve the environment and history of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
ENJOYING THE GREAT OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER IN LAKE TAHOE
There are several North Lake Tahoe restaurants and bars that feature outdoor seating. Enjoy the beautiful weather at Chambers Landing in Homewood. The oldest bar on Lake Tahoe, Chambers Landing offers grilled sandwiches and salads, as well as seafood, steaks and more, with plenty of lakefront tables.
Pints & Pies Pizza Company, a new eatery at the Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City, features classic Italian dishes, pizza and craft beer. Enjoy their food and a cocktail against a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe. Also in Tahoe City is Za’s Lakefront, which serves American-Italian seasonal fare at affordable prices. The mountain casual atmosphere is matched by one of the best views of the lake.