Summer in Lake Tahoe – Considered one of the most spectacular lakes in the entire country, Lake Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada. Its northern region offers a more serene and sophisticated experience, while its southern counterpart is known for its pleasant atmosphere. Despite being renowned as one of the top winter skiing destinations, summer brings with it the opportunity to have lots of fun activities to do as well.
Find 10 Fun Activities on Summer in Lake Tahoe
Below, we’ve compiled ten fun and exciting summer activities on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
1. Ride the Gondola by Lake Tahoe
The first Fun Activities on Summer in Lake Tahoe is riding the Gondola. Heavenly Ski Resort is one of the top ski resorts on Lake Tahoe, but if you don’t come when the soaring slopes are covered in snow, the warmer months offer the opportunity to take a gondola ride and take in the stunning panoramic views of the lake. There are plenty of other summer activities here, including zip line tours and 4X4 mountain tours. You can start your morning enjoying the best views of the lake, and then enjoy whizzing on the zip line, playing on the ropes, and hiking the scenic trails.
2. Sierra Cloud Cruise
Another one of the best views of Lake Tahoe comes with being above the sparkling blue waters. While there are several options for doing this, one of the most enjoyable is to take a sailing boat tour to enjoy the beautiful views of the north and east shores of the lake.
Go on an adventure relaxing on the webbed webs as you gaze out over the waters below, though you can always switch and enjoy panoramic views of the dramatic mountain peaks and unspoiled coastline from the loveseats on the deck. The two-hour ride departs from Incline Village near Thunderbird Lodge and includes a few drinks and snacks.
3. Kayaking on Lake Tahoe
The next Fun Activities on Summer in Lake Tahoe is Kayaking. It is another popular option for playing on the lake, with about 75 miles of coastline to explore. The east bank of the lake is world-famous, dotted with boulders that reflect the calm waters. Best done early in the morning, before the afternoon breeze hits, there are two excellent options, including the 6-mile paddle from Cave Rock to Nevada Beach and the 13-mile paddle from Sand Harbor to Cave Rock.
Another popular paddle is to kayak to Fannette Island, the only island on the lake, which sits in the stunning Emerald Bay. The granite beauty that rises 150 feet above the water has a rock structure on top that looks like a mini castle. The “Tea House,” was built in the 1920s and was once used as an actual tea room, complete with a small fireplace, large dining table, and chairs.
4. Jet Ski at Lake Tahoe
Jet skis will allow you to get around Tahoe at top speed, with the wind against your face and the sun warming your skin. As you circle around so fast, you’ll be able to see more of the lake you might not otherwise be able to experience, explore the shoreline for wildlife, and then perhaps seek out one of the hidden beaches where you can enjoy a secluded spot to relax.
Chimney Beach on the East Shore is a true gem, with each south-facing side of the bay featuring a rocky stretch of beach with several large flat stones making for the perfect picnic or sunbathing platform. The Eagle Point area on the southwest coast is often completely empty. Jet skis can be rented at a number of places on Lake Tahoe, including Action Watersports located at Timber Cove Marina on the South Shore and Incline Village on the North Shore.
The next Fun Activities on Summer in Lake Tahoe is Paddleboarding. The crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe offer unrivaled opportunities for all kinds of water sports, but its spectacular natural beauty is arguably best appreciated through non-motorized silent sports. Apart from kayaking and the other option is paddleboarding. The North Beach is ideal, with its waters calm and clear as glass.
Exploring anywhere along the nearly 75-mile coastline offers an intimate experience that no other type of boat can match. Go in the early morning or late afternoon, when the lake is at its peak and the wind is usually light, especially if you are a beginner. There are a number of beaches where you can rent standing planks, including Kings Beach on the north side, Meeks Bay on the west side, and El Elado Beach on the south side.
6. Hiking by Lake Tahoe
If you have traveled by gondola, you have a good idea of what awaits. The Lake Tahoe region is famous for its impressive views around the coastline and in the surrounding mountains. Hiking to the top of Mount Tallac, you’ll get views of Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Lake, Wilderness Desolation, and South Lake Tahoe, and from the tops of Mount Rose, Reno, Carson City, Washoe Valley and all of Lake Tahoe comes into view.
Other popular trails include the Emerald Bay Trail, Glacier Meadow Loop, Squaw Valley Trail, and the famous Tahoe Rim Railroad.
7. Enjoy the Waterfalls by Lake Tahoe
This spring and summer are excellent times to see the magnificent waterfalls that dot the area, with large amounts of water flowing over the ancient stone and granite shelves at incredible speeds, due to the abundant spring runoff. If you want to see more than one, consider a one-day “waterfall.” Eagle Falls is one of the best, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Emerald Bay.
An easy walk to Lower Eagle Falls for only about a mile, where you’ll see the 60-foot and 90-foot cascades. Horsetail Falls is just off Highway 50 on the way to South Lake Tahoe, has an 800-foot drop that makes it the largest waterfall in the Tahoe area, while Glen Alpine Falls has 65 feet of layered drops and sits directly above Fallen Leaf. Lake, easily accessible from Highway 89 north.
8. Visit Vikingsholm Castle
Vikingsholm Castle is a spectacular 38-room house that is considered a rare masterpiece of Scandinavian architecture. Originally built to be the summer residence of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. Knight traveled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland to research ideas for his magnificent Lake Tahoe home, including old wooden churches and an ancient stone castle, before construction on Vikingshol began in 1929.
Visitors can explore the castle by taking tours, offering several times each day in the summer months, to admire the detailed stonework, handcrafted metalwork, and intricately carved wooden beams that end in a dragon’s head. Look for the rare Scandinavian antiquities Knight found in his travels and highly accurate reproductions by skilled craftsmen.
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9. Horseback Riding
Sailing along the coastline on horseback offers a unique perspective of the lake and the surrounding area. The trails through the Tahoe region are some of the quietest, allowing riders to jog through the lush meadows and take in the incredible forest views.
Camp Richardson Corral offers sturdy horses for peaceful trots around Fallen Leaf Lake. Meanwhile, Zephyr Cove Resort Stables provides opportunities for horseback riding in some of the region’s most beautiful areas, with animals snaking through pine trees, boulders, and near streams.
The next Fun Activities on Summer in Lake Tahoe is Parasailing. This activity offers a very thrilling way to enjoy the stunning views of Lake Tahoe. You don’t need any prior experience, as the captain will do all the work for you so you can sit back and have fun.
You literally have a bird’s eye view during the 8 to 10-minute experience, as you float behind the boat and enjoy Tahoe from above. North Shore Parasail offers this adventure, located on Kings Beach on the North Shore.