The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Best Places in Lake Tahoe

best places in lake tahoe

For an amazing getaway any time of year, have you checked out Lake Tahoe? Famous for more than just wedding chapels and the Olympics, this freshwater lake boasts a community that offers a huge range of entertainment, natural beauty, and fun.

Located in the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe is on the border between California and Nevada. It has the best of both states, from watersports and camping options to gambling and festive nightlife.

If you are thinking of visiting or even moving to this area, here is a list of the ten best places in Lake Tahoe. No matter what you enjoy doing, you will find this gorgeous location is the best place to do it.

1. Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley was the site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.

It is considered one of the finest ski resorts not just in California, but in the world. It has 29 ski lifts, more than 170 trails, and is suitable for all skiing abilities. The views are out of this world!

You can also ice skate, snow tube, cross-country ski and snowshoe if downhill is not your thing.

If you don’t ski at all, you can still visit the resort’s beautiful restaurants and shops. During the summer, there are often musical performances and yoga conventions.

2. Crystal Bay Casino

Rated one of the best casinos in the area, the Crystal Bay offers the best in gaming and nightlife entertainment in a region where there is lots of competition.

You can see performances by the hottest bands playing a wide range of genres, like electronica, country, and rock. There are fabulous dining options available as well.

Of course, you can play the slots and myriad other games: who knows, you may hit the jackpot!

3. Eagle Falls Trail

Some of the benefits of traveling include the chance to slow down, appreciate nature, and reduce your stress.

There is no better place to get back in touch with the natural world than a hike along Eagle Falls Trail. Near South Lake Tahoe, this area offers a range of trails for different abilities, so it’s a nice place to go with the whole family. You can even bring the dog!

Eagle Lake is pretty cold, but you can still take a dip there or in swimming areas at the Velmas, Dicks, and Fontanillis lakes.

4. North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe is where the celebrities live, and you can tell when you see some of the amazing lakeside homes. Comprised of five small towns, this area has a funky, artistic vibe.

There are lots of pubs and excellent eateries, in addition to beaches and parks galore. Stroll along the charming streets and check out some of the unusual art galleries.

Warning: exploring this community may make you fall in love! You may start searching for lakefront homes for sale so you never have to leave this area.

6. Vikingsholm

Located on Emerald Bay, Vikingsholm is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. It actually resembles a European castle.

A 38 room mansion, it harkens back to an earlier era of upper-class summer homes. Now everyone can see how the other half used to live with guided tours of this architectural masterpiece.

Vikingsholm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

7. 1862 David Walley’s

Outside of Lake Tahoe, you can find opportunities to soak in the therapeutic hot springs which surround the region. They are rich in minerals and also provide steamy relaxation for a true spa experience.

David Walley’s Hot Springs is 20 miles south of Lake Tahoe. It has five hot mineral pools in addition to an outdoor heated pool, a steam room, and dry saunas. This is where you want to be for the ultimate R&R, soaking with a drink in hand.

After the soak in the waters, you can indulge in some other libations at Genoa Bar and Saloon, known as Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor!

8. Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course

This golf course has been called one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest magazine. Some of the sport’s greatest players have golfed here, like Lee Trevino, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.

It’s awe-inspiring to hit the links in a setting like this, with the lushly manicured lawns set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

In addition to world-class golf, you can stay at the resort and enjoy luxurious accommodation, fine dining, and an excellent spa as well.

9. Kings Beach

Kings Beach was named after a card shark who won the property in a poker game. Nowadays the area on the North shore of the Lake is home to restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and beaches.

This beach is great for kids, but grown-ups can find plenty of ways to play as well. There are waterskiing and parasail options. You can rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards to explore the scenic coastline.

There are several boat companies that give tours, like the classic wooden sailboat named the Wild Goose II.

10. Donner Memorial State Park

In a region replete with amazing state parks, this one has the beautiful flora and fauna, crystal clear waters and breathtaking views that its neighbors do. However, this park is unique because it is dedicated to one of the most disturbing chapters of California history: the Donner party.

These luckless pioneers were forced to drastic measures to survive in the wilderness back in 1846.

Kids may thrill to the gruesome tales, but the onsite visitor center displays historical exhibits and a 25-minute film which places the terrible events in the context of the challenges of the times.

Best Places in Lake Tahoe: Too Many to Count

To try to confine the best places in Lake Tahoe to a list of ten would not do justice to the wide variety and abundance of exciting things to do in this spectacular part of the United States.

If you visit for a week, you will only scratch the surface of the many things there are to do here. If you only visit during one season, you will have to return again and again, because this community has many things to offer all throughout the year.

If you are curious about traveling and other pursuits, check out our blog.

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