The best things in life are meant to be savored, and Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to do that. When retirement or hard-earned vacation time grants you the extra time to do it, then that’s a perfect time to come enjoy the gems of Lake Tahoe.
Linger as you like near crystal blue waters and snow-capped mountains, and take your time exploring the amazing adventures found in this special place. Read on for our picks that you can experience year-round.
Incline Village organizes 55+ snowshoe hikes from March to December on Tuesdays for light to moderate outings. After the hike, you can relax and chat with fellow hikers while you grab lunch at a local restaurant. You’ll need to provide your own gear and pay a small $21 fee covering the hike, guides, transportation and lunch.
One Friday a month, there’s also a Community Twilight Snowshoe Hike where you can enjoy the sights at sunset. It’s $50 and includes the hike, guides, a glass of wine or beer and an appetizer. Grandkids are also welcome at a lower price switching the drink to a hot chocolate, of course.
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Early spring to late summer is prime fishing time. Nestled in a scenic forest of lodge pole pine and fir trees, Goose Meadows Campground is a popular spot for fishing and hiking. It’s near Tahoe City and not far from Lake Tahoe. One of the best things about the area is that you can fly fish for rainbow trout in the Truckee River. Swimming and tubing are options too.
If you’d prefer a show-up-and-go approach, contact Sierra Fin Addicts Guide Service. It’s a fishing charter specializing in shallow water and light table applications for Mackinaw, Rainbows and Browns in Lake Tahoe. Plus, they can show you the best spots.
If you’d like to fly fish or get better at it, Johnson Tackle & Fly Fishing Service is an excellent option. You can learn quality tactical and easy-to-master techniques from professionals who can advise on every part of the experience.
You don’t have to go far to soak in that peace that only nature brings in North Lake Tahoe. Pine Drop Trail is a great example of that. It’s only 2.6 miles out and back and is generally considered an easy route. It takes about an hour to complete, and it’s paved, which makes it popular for road biking, running and walking. It easily accommodates wheelchairs and scooters too.
Olympic Valley Bike Trail is another popular paved, relatively short trail at only 2.2 miles point-to-point. It’s great for cycling, running and walking. Dogs are welcome but need to be on a leash.
Truckee River Trail is also considered easy but is much longer at 10.6 miles out and back. It takes just over three hours to complete on average. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
Stand-up paddle boarding is a very relaxing yet adventurous way to take in the uniquely peaceful beauty of Lake Tahoe. With 72 miles of shoreline, the Lake Tahoe Water Trail has several public launch and landing sites to choose from. You can bring your own gear or rent paddleboarding gear from local businesses.
We highly recommend using the Water Trail website, it’s mobile-friendly and lets you plan your route with an interactive route-finding map. It shows real-time weather conditions and even has downloadable paddle routes to match your ability and interests.
Forget Disney and head to North Lake Tahoe for a real Star Tour. Summer is the best time of year. Take in a sky full of stars and learn all about them at the same time. With renowned star guide and poet Tony Berendsen at your side and powerful Celestron telescopes at the ready, you’re in for an evening of stargazing, star poetry, lectures, trivia with prizes, and so much more.
You’ll find some incredible shopping up here too. There are 12 unique towns located all around the lake, each with its own personality and treasures. You’ll find more details in our shopping guide, but here’s an idea of what you’ll find in the five areas that make up our 12 towns.
Tahoe City – You’ll find it all in this district, including art galleries, museums, gift shops and local interest shops.
Olympic Valley – The Olympic playground, this district is mainly known for its resorts and slopes, but you’ll also find shopping with an eye on luxury gear, gifts, chocolate shops, art galleries and bath shops.
Northstar California – This especially family-friendly district has a mix of shops offering athletic gear, designer shoes, handmade jewelry and children’s toys.
Kings Beach – Fun and quirky, the shops here offer a more intimate shopping experience. Stroll and shop among locally-made goods like furniture, pottery, stand-up paddle boards, jewelry and even hand-carved black bears.
Incline Village – A local favorite, this district offers several locally-owned boutiques and discount shops, all infused with that Lake Tahoe charm.
You can explore rich local history at the Gatekeepers Museum, including a large Native American exhibit, pop culture, art, and more. This three-acre site also includes a gift shop and a beautiful, secluded lakefront lawn.
The Watson Cabin Museum in Tahoe City dates back to 1908 and is the oldest log structure still standing in the North Lake Tahoe area. It’s officially on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public seasonally. It’s free to tour.
Another unique museum to explore is the Tahoe Science Center, Lake Tahoe’s only science center. Learn the latest findings from the world-class UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) team, check out interactive exhibits, and learn about the lake’s ecosystem.
Located at High Camp, the Olympic Museum pays homage to the 1960 Olympics with a unique memorabilia collection, news articles, and a 5-minute historical film. Admission is free with your Aerial Tram ride.
EXPLORE NORTH LAKE TAHOE
With all the savings on your trip, try your hand at the slots or tables for some gaming fun. To ensure you’re able to enjoy the above options and more, extend your stay into the week to enjoy more deals and more time to roam.