10 Best Attractions and Activities in Lake Tahoe

Lovers of the outdoors are in luck on both sides of Lake Tahoe. In one day at the lake you can ski, hike, bike or just sit around on the beach. These 10Best attractions at the lake start at the very top with Emerald Bay or the summits of Mount Tallac on the South Shore or from Mount Rose on the North Shore. Other great views of the lake can be seen in the winter with trips to the top of Squaw Valley and the Heavenly Gondola.

For some unique views of the lake, take the family to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center for a underwater peak at the spawning salmon that swim out of Tahoe and into Taylor Creek. For an evening view, go to Zephyr Cove and take a trip on the paddleboat, the M.S. Dixie II to Emerald Bay. If you want to get a nice view of another lake, head to Donner Lake near Truckee for some dock swimming or kayaking.

Other attractions and activities include kayaking the Tahoe Kayak Trail around the water's edge or heading back up into the hills to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail, which circumnavigates the entire lake and even meets up with the famous Pacific Crest Trail.



Sand Harbor is considered the most beautiful beach in Lake Tahoe. It is located on the Nevada side of the lake in the Lake Tahoe National Park. The beach has a small museum and store, bathrooms, showers, parking, a boat launch, picnic tables and...  Read More



D.L. Bliss State Park is located just a few miles past Emerald Bay on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. It consists of several hundred acres of granite hillside and pine forests and a large and family-friendly campground. The bottom of the park is...  Read More



The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is located near Camp Richardson on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. It is free to enter and offers both adult and children an up-close view of the local flora and fauna. The paved trails and bridges throughout the...  Read More

Donner Lake
Photo courtesy of Anenome Jones/Flickr


This beautiful lake north of Lake Tahoe is just a quick drive West of the small town of Truckee, California. This lake is great for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and fishing. There are free public docks on the North side of the lake, a...  Read More

Squaw Valley USA
Photo courtesy of Rajiv Patel/Flickr


The second largest and likely the most beautiful ski resort at Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics and has only grown since then. The 4,000 acre resort consists of the Olympic Village where there are several inns...  Read More



The Gondola at Heavenly is open during the winter for skiers and non-skiers and open all year long for visitors to the lake who want a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe. The ticket to the top is a little pricey ($38), but you can stay at the top as...  Read More



Mount Tallac is one of the tallest peaks in Tahoe at 9,735 feet and the loop from the Glen Alpine Trailhead at 6,500 feet is a long, strenuous 11.6 mile hike. However, the views are so worth it. There is free parking at the trailhead and a...  Read More



The Tahoe Rim Trail follows the shore of Lake Tahoe and is one of the world's premier trails. It passes through two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas. This...  Read More



Mount Rose is the 3rd highest peak in Lake Tahoe. It is easy to drive to, but not so easy to climb. It is located next to, looking down and over Mt Rose ski resort, Reno/Sparks/Carson City/Washoe Valley and Lake Tahoe. Mount Rose is a...  Read More



Emerald Bay State Park on the southwest area of Lake Tahoe is home to park is home to Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. The views from any...  Read More


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina