Lake Tahoe is one of the United States’ biggest drawcards. Offering swimming, skiing, golfing, shopping, dining, nightlife, and more, it’s truly the best of all worlds rolled into one spectacular destination.
A large, freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe straddles the border of Nevada and California. It attracts visitors from all over the world looking to experience its variety of indoor and outdoor adventures. The best option would be to rent an RV in San Francisco and drive from there to the natural wonder of Lake Tahoe.
In this blog, we will talk to you about the best activities to do in Lake Tahoe. Let’s dive in.
Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum
In remembrance of the Donner Party, the Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum commemorate the renowned pioneers who fell into the clutches of the Sierra Nevada winter of 1846-47.
The park houses a great stone pedestal that stands 22 feet tall, a reference to the sheer amount of snowfall from that winter while the museum will take you through the history and context of the event, detailing the railroad development of the region. Both are great spots for history buffs from all walks of life.
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park was carved millions of years ago by glaciers passing by. A must-see for those with an eye for beauty, this inlet on the southwest shore of the lake is famous for its amazing panoramas and awe-inspiring granite cliffs.
The park is also host to a number of its own attractions. You can take a boat out to Fannette Island and explore evidence of glacial activity or stop in at Vikingsholm, one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States.
Palisades Tahoe encompasses both Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley and is one of the world’s greatest ski resorts. With almost 6,000 acres of terrain and an advanced lift system, it sees more than 400 inches of snowfall annually giving it the longest snowboard and ski season in Lake Tahoe.
This renowned resort was chosen to host the 1960 Winter Olympics and is home to an Olympic Museum as a result. A visit here is a great time for sporting or history enthusiasts.
Kings Beach State Recreation Area
Stretching along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, the Kings Beach State Recreation Area is one of the largest beaches in the area. Encompassing almost 13 acres, the park is great for boating, sunbathing, and swimming. There’s also a playground and picnic area, as well as toilet facilities.
You’re best to get here early to find a park and scope your spot on the beach. Ideal for families and those who enjoy their relaxation, this park is a must-visit if you’re in Lake Tahoe.
Northstar California Resort
Northstar California Resort often appears on lists boasting the top ski resorts in the West. Though it’s only 3,170 acres, it sees a slew of visitors each year, all eager to hit the slopes.
Along with snowboarding and skiing, visitors to Northstar California Resort can enjoy ice skating, swimming, and snowshoeing. There’s also plenty to do for youngsters, with the resort featuring a Kids Adventure Zone as well as a number of kid-friendly slopes.
Homewood Mountain Resort
Homewood Mountain Resort is one of the smaller options in the area but is far more manageable as a result. Located on Lake Tahoe’s west shore, it features 67 runs and 8 lifts, offering a laid-back atmosphere as well as some of the best scenery in the area.
This resort is also a great option for those on a tight budget. Lift tickets are much more reasonably priced in comparison to nearby resorts. It’s also very family-friendly, offering on-site children’s lessons.
D. L. Bliss State Park
This picturesque 744-acre state park houses the deepest part of Lake Tahoe as well as some of the area’s most awe-inspiring sites. Explore several crystalline beaches, hike some of the most beautiful trails in the United States, and take in the Balancing Rock, a 250,000-pound boulder balanced on a tiny sliver of granite.
If you want to visit this awesome attraction, make sure to get in early. Parking is notoriously tricky here.
For those who want a break from Lake Tahoe’s natural peace, Harrah’s Casino is a great place to live it up. Offering plenty of gambling options, the casino is also home to a number of in-house nightclubs, concert venues, and quality dining options. There’s even a spa!
The casino is known for its cleanliness and immensely friendly staff. If you’re looking for a fun escape after some time enjoying Lake Tahoe’s outdoor activities, you can’t go past Harrah’s Casino.
Heavenly Ski Resort & Gondola
Heavenly Ski Resort & Gondola is home to the highest peak in Lake Tahoe, with its summit reaching over 10,000 feet above sea level. It’s also the only ski area based on the southern shores of the lake.
Offering more than 4,600 acres of ski runs and two snowboarding parks, this is the best place to hit the slopes in Lake Tahoe. Those with little ones will also be excited to learn the resort offers children’s ski lessons and daycare programs.
Despite the epic skiing and snowboarding opportunities, the resort’s main draw remains the Heavenly Gondola. Carrying passengers more than 2 miles through mountainous terrain, these suspended cable cars offer some of the best views of Lake Tahoe, hands down.
Camping in Lake Tahoe
Campgrounds in South Lake Tahoe are generally bigger and more family-oriented. They’re more likely to have full hookups, RV turnarounds. If accessibility and ease are big on your list of must-haves while camping then the south shore should be your destination.
Some of the top-rated South Lake Tahoe campgrounds include:
- Fallen leaf campground
- Camp Shelley
- Campground by the lake
The north shore is a more low-key option for campers but keep in mind that there are no RV parks on this side of the lake.
Explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is one of the best vacation destinations in the United States. Whether you’re looking to swim, hike, ski, or party, there’s something for everyone at this lively destination. Now you have a list to start your Lake Tahoe journey off on the right foot. If you’re planning on doing a road trip, don’t forget to check out Yosemite National Park as well!