Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine lake in North America and is known for its crystal clear blue water and year-round activity. While Tahoe is probably more known for it's winter activities, I love Tahoe in the summer. It is incredibly beautiful and a trip to Tahoe in the summer can be anything from relaxing to rugged depending on how you like to travel. Here are twelve suggestions for what to do in Tahoe during the summer months:
In my opinion, Emerald Bay is the single most beautiful part of Lake Tahoe. It's a rather small offshoot of the lake where, from above, you can see boats funneling in to cruise around the green and blue water. There is a tiny island directly in the middle that you can visit and climb to the top of. At the top of the island you'll find the ruins of a small tea house. On the shore of Emerald Bay, you'll also find Vikingsholm, which is beautiful Scandinavian mansion built in 1929. Whether you're seeing Emerald Bay from above of water level, it is sure to impress!
Just a few miles south of Tahoe City is Eagle Rock. Just a short 20 minute hike gets you to the top and from Eagle Rock you'll get amazing views of the lake, trees and even the highway below. It's a great photo-op and it's so low commitment time-wise that it's a great quick addition to a Tahoe trip.
Start at the Camp Richardson Corral and ride through beautiful scenery. There are a couple of options as far as packages goes, but I've done the "Extended Trail Ride" which is a two hour ride to Fallen Leaf Lake. It was stunning and a great alternative to hiking and water-activities.
Camp Richardson is awesome for a number of reasons, but to me, the ice cream shop is a standout! This is 100% a priority on any summer Tahoe trip of mine. This cute, soda fountain-like ice cream shop is known for their gigantic scoops of classic flavors. Grab a cone and enjoy the rest of what Camp Richardson has to offer.
This is always a highlight on a summer Tahoe trip for me. Starting at the highway above Emerald Bay, this moderate hike leads to another incredible lake. The trail itself is beautiful with waterfalls and amazing Emerald Bay views along the way, but Eagle Lake at the end is the star! Eagle Lake is clean and beautiful. You can pack and lunch and hang out on the rocks and shore or jump right in and swim out to a small island in the center. It's a relatively steep hike, but very worth the trek!
Kings Beach is where a lot of the action is in Tahoe. Certain parts of the lake are more quiet and secluded, but Kings Beach is really where the people are. And I don't mean that in a negative way. Kings Beach is super unpretentious and laid back. There's a ton to do from swimming and relaxing on the beach to mini golf and enjoying occasional live music.
Okay, maybe this seems like an obvious one, but there's really no better way to enjoy the actual lake than to rent a boat and get out there! It's worth noting, the lake is quite cold so be prepared for that. The average temperature of the lake during the summer is 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius). Don't be afraid to jump in and enjoy it, but know that it's not for the faint of heart.
Kayak rentals are everywhere - especially at the popular public beaches like Kings Beach or Commons Beach in Tahoe City. Kayaking on Lake Tahoe is fun and pretty easy. One of my personal favorite things to do is kayak along the shore and check out the incredible homes and properties along the lake.
Located just north of Emerald Bay, D.L. Bliss State Park is gorgeous. There's hiking, camping, a visitor's center and a beautiful beach. You can choose from a handful of nice trails like the Rubicon Trail, Lighthouse Trail or Balancing Rock Trail (which features, you guessed it, a cool balancing rock).
Built for the 1960 Winter Olympics, High Camp is cool step back in time to learn about Tahoe's Olympic History. You start by taking a tram ride up to the camp where you'll get incredible views. Once up at High Camp, there are trails to stroll, activities like disc golf and the Olympic Museum. It's a fun excursion if you're interested in learning some history. You might even experience some summer snow packed all the way up at 8,200 feet!
Tahoe City is a great little town. There are cute shops and restaurants, Commons Beach, bike paths, golf courses and historical sites to explore. It's a nice place to stay or visit for an evening to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the lake.
If you're already in Tahoe City, consider rafting down the Truckee River. Unlike white-water rafting, this river rafting experience is leisurely and incredibly safe for the whole family. If you're looking for an extreme activity, this probably isn't it. It's more of a chill float down about five miles of the river, but it's fun nonetheless. You can pack and lunch and stop when you want or get out and splash around. It's self-guided, laid back and totally enjoyable!
The Bridge and River tour is a scenic 3-hour bicycle tour will take you from the Upper West Side of New York City up and over the George Washington Bridge for a ride along the river on Route 9W. Get the full touring experience and leave New York City for a few hours. During the ride, we make stops at Grants Tomb Memorial on the Upper West Side.