The sun is out, but that doesn’t mean the fun is out at Lake Tahoe. You may associate Lake Tahoe with its awesome skiing, and you’d be right — it’s the perfect winter destination. But turns out there are stacks of awesome stuff to do in Lake Tahoe year round, especially in the summer.
Whether you hit the lake itself or take in the spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountains around it, Lake Tahoe never disappoints.
So come and explore with us the best ways to have a fun-filled weekend in Lake Tahoe this summer!
Family Fun – Explore Fannette Island
What kid — big or small — doesn’t love exploring a secluded island, accessible by kayaks?
If you’re heading to Lake Tahoe with the kids for the weekend, then you should consider pitching up in the Emerald Bay State Park on the California side of the lake.
It’s a gentle kayak ride of about 10 minutes out to this historic island, complete with a ruin to explore. Known as the Fannette Island Tea House, it was built by the owner of the Vikingsholm estate in the late 1920s. As the name suggests, its eccentric owner had it built for the sole purpose of service high tea to her guests.
It’s a ruin now, but the family will love kayaking out and exploring. And don’t forget to ask your guide about the legend of Captain Dick “Them’s my toes” Barter — one the kids will never forget!
It’s $10 for parking, and expect to pay around $55 for a double kayak for two hours.
You can combine it with a trip to Vikingsholm itself, a beautifully preserved example of how the other half lived almost a century ago. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for kids, which includes an hour-long tour.
Hit the Lake in Your Personal Watercraft
If you’ve got something a little heftier than a kayak to hit the water in, then there’s no better place than Lake Tahoe to ride a PWC.
Lake Tahoe authorities are keen to preserve the peace of the lake while protecting wildlife. But follow their requirements and you’ll soon be out in the middle of the vast stillness of Tahoe, breathing in the crystal clear air and enjoying views of the Sierra Nevada mountains that you can only achieve on the water.
Get yourself a California or Nevada fishing license, depending on where you’re headed, and you can spend a great weekend hauling in several varieties of trout and even the odd Kokanee salmon.
If you don’t happen to have your own watercraft to hit the lake in then never fear, there are plenty of great options available for hire…
Jet Ski on Lake Tahoe
An awesome activity for a couple or a pack of buddies, jet skiing allows you to experience the thrills of high speed on the water while taking in the scenery.
You can head out on your own or rent a jet ski that can accommodate up to three people.
Prices range from around $100 for 30 minutes, so it’s not cheap. But there’s no other type of watercraft that can give you the cornering ability and exhilaration of a jet ski.
This is something to try at least once, and there’s no better place to try it than the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe.
White Sandy Beaches
How does a weekend on a wide sandy beach sound?
You don’t need to head to the Caribbean, Lake Tahoe has more than its fair share. The best thing about a weekend at the beach is that just about everybody loves one – young and old, there’s fun for all.
Our top picks include Conolley Beach in Lake Tahoe South, which has safe, shallow water providing plenty of fun for the kids, but also allows for kayaking and watersports.
Lake Tahoe North’s top pick is Meek’s Bay Beach. Not only is a easily accessible and great for swimming, but you can also camp nearby and explore the local hiking trails if you grow tired of the water.
Which leads us onto…
Hike the Sierra Nevada Mountains
If you’re more of a landlubber than a waterbaby, then the trails around Lake Tahoe are calling your name.
They’re perfect for a weekend getaway, whether you’re a novice hiker or are ready to hit the difficult trails.
New hikers can enjoy the gentle Tahoe Meadow Trails, which take you on a gentle walk through wildflowers and stunning vistas, and is perfect for all ages, even young children. Plan to spend an hour or so, depending on how little the legs of your youngest member are!
But if you’re ready for a challenge, head to Mount Tallac. Situated in the suitably scarily named ‘Desolation Wilderness,’ it offers trails of up to 10 miles in roundtrip length and varying levels of difficulty.
If you’re up to the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe in all its majesty, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada range.
It’s a tough climb, so expect to spend at least six hours completing the trail.
Time for a Little Culture
If you’re more of a culture vulture than an outdoorsman, then Lake Tahoe will not disappoint.
Fancy some shoreline Shakespeare? July and August are packed with lakeside performances of Shakespeare plays and more, including rock and roll tribute band ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’
Head to the Sand Harbor State Park on the Nevada side for one of the more surprising things to do in Lake Tahoe this summer!
The natural beauty of the Lake Tahoe area has long attracted artists of all descriptions, and galleries like North Tahoe Arts are well worth a visit this summer.
Why Head to Lake Tahoe This Summer?
Lake Tahoe really is the ultimate summer weekend destination.
Whether you want to explore with the kids, spend alone time with the one you love or have a blast with some of the guys or gals, it’s got it all. Watersports, scenery, hiking trails, fishing, and even a thriving art scene. What’s not to love?
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