Things To Do In North Lake Tahoe
ACTIVITIES & RECREATION
With the water warming up for the season and the sun beaming down, summer marks the perfect opportunity to splash into Tahoe’s water-based activities. Interested in human-powered sports? Grab a friend and enjoy the rush of kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding—you can rent equipment from outfitters like Wild Society who specialize in completely transparent kayaks, or go on a kayaking/paddle boarding tour with the Tahoe Adventure Company.
If motorized activity is more your speed, there are a number of regional companies that can get you on the lake in no time. Hop on the Tahoe Gal for an iconic paddle boat ride, enjoy a chartered lakeside cruise through Tahoe Sailing Charters or grab the rope and water ski and wakeboard your way across the lake through Obexer’s Water Sports.
Home to miles upon miles of breathtaking Sierra Nevada wilderness, hiking and exploring trails on foot is one of the best ways to access the untouched beauty of North Lake Tahoe. North Lake Tahoe hiking will bring you up into the blue sky at 10,000 feet or down to the shore along Emerald Bay. Spend a day in the sun meandering along the Five Lakes trail or follow the path to the captivating spray of Shirley Canyon waterfalls. Every turn has options for taking in secluded forests and Sierra wildlife, from the outskirts of Tahoe City to the peaks of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
If you’re looking for a little uphill assistance, check out Northstar California for a gondola ride up the mountain to the perfect picnic spot along with a variety of easily accessible hiking trails, or The Village at Squaw Valley where you can climb over 2,000’ on the Aerial Tram with 360° views of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra.
And for those looking for some extra adventure, explore Squaw Valley’s most iconic rock face, The Tram Face, on the all new Tahoe Via Ferrata routes operated by local guide service, Alpenglow Expeditions. Via Ferrata is a protected hiking and climbing experience using permanent steel anchors and cables to safely attach participants to the rock throughout the entire experience, making rock climbing accessible to a wider audience.
All summer long, Tahoe’s peaks and valleys are alive with the sound of music. Almost every night in the summer starting in early June, Tahoe visitors can catch live music at various epic locations during Tahoe’s summer long celebration of music. Events run from June - September, and vary from free music on the beach to world-class music festivals in the mountains. The music is fantastic and the views can’t be found anywhere else!
Lake Tahoe biking offers up some of the best views of North Lake Tahoe. Best seen on two wheels, choose from miles upon miles of road biking paths, to nationally-rated mountain biking trails offering panoramic views of the Lake.
The Northstar California Bike Park leads the gravity-born downhill, cross-country and freeride industry with the largest, lift-served bike park on the West Coast. Having nearly 60 percent beginner and intermediate trails, the park is ideal for learning and growing while more advanced trails, like the iconic Livewire, offer experienced riders a range of technical challenges and a smooth flow.
Or experience the renowned 14-mile Flume Trail’s breathtaking lake views. Although those afraid of heights be forewarned, the ride taking place at 7,000’ to 8,000’ in elevation with over 1,000’ of climbing in the first four miles is truly exhilarating.
Health & Wellness
Thanks to longer days and fabulous weather, the summer solstice marks the perfect opportunity to focus on personal wellness. Take advantage of this time of year by visiting Tahoe’s numerous spas and indulge in some much-deserved pampering, or staying atop your Tahoe fitness routine with yoga or other activities.
Summer marks the perfect time to touch Tahoe’s roots and learn about the region’s rich history. Why not take a step off of the beaten path to check out the ever-enchanting Thunderbird Lodge, whose sturdily constructed stone house and gorgeous grounds evoke the magic of a bygone era?
Other points of interest include the Watson Cabin Museum (the oldest building constructed onsite in Tahoe City), the Tahoe Maritime Center’s museum and gardens (home to watercraft, engine and small object exhibits that detail Tahoe’s aquatic heritage), and the Gatekeeper’s museum (a historically accurate recreation of the century-plus old cabin which once housed Tahoe’s watermasters—people who controlled the flow of water out of the lake).
And the perfect year-round activity for the inquisitive and curious is the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center where visitors of all ages can explore interactive exhibits, learn about the lake ecosystem, and why it’s changing, and find out how you can keep Tahoe blue.
With a veritable bounty of delicious local brews and dining options all around the region, there’s no shortage of things to eat, drink and enjoy in North Lake Tahoe.
Grab a seasonal brew and plot out a North Tahoe adventure that takes you from Homewood to Chimney Beach, and everywhere in-between. The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail provides the perfect pairing of hiking, biking, and paddling trails with local breweries and alehouses at every town sprinkled around the northern shore. Discover what trail and brew combos are available with an interactive map and video series that points out all the hot spots at North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail.
Or tour around the lake using the Tahoe Rum Trail as your guide, where you can find an abundance of watering holes serving different variations of iconic rum beverages.
With the stunning blue expanse of Lake Tahoe as a backdrop and 50 golf courses within one hour’s drive, North Lake Tahoe is one of the most majestic and diverse golf destinations on the planet.
The variety of golfing options from North Lake Tahoe is truly world class. Whether you are looking for mountainous, pine-studded fairways or open, desert-fringed doglegs; whether you want to tee off in front one of the world’s most majestic alpine lakes, play 18 at the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics or explore the hidden gems north of Truckee, you can do it all from North Lake Tahoe.
Another part of what makes North Lake Tahoe so special, is its entrepreneurial community of makers and doers. Their goods and services contribute so much of what makes the North Shore unique, which is why you should make sure to shop around while you’re in the area. That way, not only will you get a special, up-close look at local culture; you’ll get to take a piece of it with you, too. Check out this interactive shopping map which gives you information on the distinct shopping districts within the region.
About North Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a crown jewel of the Sierra. Formed approximately two million years ago, it is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest in the United States. North Lake Tahoe spans two states and boasts two dozen beaches, twelve ski resorts, hundreds of miles of biking trails, half a dozen communities, and a growing number of nationally recognized human-powered events, races and festivals. North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. For the latest deals, check out the Deals tab on www.gotahoenorth.com.
The North Lake Tahoe Planner comes out once a year and showcases all seasons, things to do, dining, and lodging. Flip through the digital version and get started on planning your trip to North Lake Tahoe.
Published semi-annually, the Summer and Winter publications dive into detail and provides information on the many different businesses located throughout the North Shore along with activity ideas for your stay.
North Lake Tahoe Digital Press Room
This page on the GoTahoeNorth.com website will have the most up-to-date press releases, fact sheets, etc. It’s always a good resource for current information.
North Lake Tahoe has created a variety of sample itineraries for visitors to the North Lake Tahoe region. Itineraries cover a single day in the region to up to 5 days and span all seasons.