Here is a guide to some of our favorite things to do in South Lake Tahoe this summer.
Kristin Rust / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
- Tahoe Rim Trail: This 165-mile hike around Lake Tahoe is the ultimate trek. Hike the entire thing or hike bits and pieces of the trail. The options are endless. You can choose to hike any of eight sections of the trail. Check out the Tahoe Rim Trail website to find more information, maps, and trail conditions.
- Wildflower Hikes: Due to the heavy snow pack from this past winter, wildflower season this year is going to be fantastic. It is expected that wildflower peak will be in the middle of July at low-to-mid elevations, and at the beginning of August for mid-to-high elevations. One of the best places to see them around Lake Tahoe will be at Carson Pass which is south of the Lake Tahoe basin.
- Taylor Creek area: This area, along the 2.2 mile Taylor Creek which runs from Fallen Leaf Lake to Lake Tahoe, is home to numerous walking trails that go through the trees to Kiva Beach or that go along Taylor Creek from the Taylor Creek Visitors Center to the Stream Profile Chamber.
- Mt. Tallac: The five mile one-way trek up Tahoe's most iconic mountain, is nothing short of difficult. The views from the top are incredible and make for very good photographs. As of now, there is still too much snow on this trail to make it passable but, as the snow melts this becomes one of the best hikes in the Tahoe Basin. Park at the Mt. Tallac Trailhead, across from the entrance to Baldwin Beach.
- Rubicon Trail: This trail goes along the lake's West shore. Highlights of this trail are between D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay, where you will pass coves, cliffs, panoramic views, and even an old lighthouse.
Check out the list of our six favorite hikes in Tahoe South.
For more information on hiking, discover our waterfall guide.
Merrick Rickman/ Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Fishing is a fun thing to do in Lake Tahoe during the summer and in the rivers and smaller lakes in the region. With the water levels higher than normal this year, take caution when being near rivers as the water is very cold and moving very fast. Some ideas for fishing in Tahoe:
Lake Tahoe is a top notch destination for mountain biking. There are lots of bike trails, both paved and dirt, around Lake Tahoe to explore. Here are some of the more popular bike routes in the area. To discover more trails visit the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association website.
- Flume Trail: This trail is approximately 14 miles one way, and averages between 7000’ and 8100’ elevation, sitting above Lake Tahoe’s North East shore. This trail is moderately difficult and offers sweeping views of the area. For more information on the Flume Trail, check out our blog post about mountain biking the Flume Trail.
- South Shore Bike Path and Pope-Baldwin Bike Trail: This paved bike trail goes through Camp Richardson and passes Pope, Kiva, and Baldwin Beaches. This trail is very popular during the summer months.
- Tahoe Rim Trail: While most of this trail is open to biking, some parts are restricted. Mountain biking is not allowed in the Desolation, Granite Chief, or Mount Rose Wilderness Areas. There are other small areas of the 165 mile trail that are restricted to biking. These can be found on the Tahoe Rim Trail Website.
Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
- D.L. Bliss: Located on the West shore, just North of Emerald Bay, this state park, campground, and beach boast spectacular views of the lake. Turquoise water, towering cliffs, and coves set this beach apart from the others.
- Baldwin Beach: Located between Camp Richardson and Emerald Bay, Baldwin is known its open and expansive sandy beach with stellar views of Mt. Tallac.
- Kiva Beach: This large beach on the South shore sits at the mouth of Taylor Creek. This is one of the few beaches on the lake that has free parking and that is dog friendly. Enjoy Taylor Creek and the Taylor Creek Visitors Center which are both a short walk from the sand.
- Pope Beach: Located just East of Kiva Beach, Pope Beach is known for its shallow and warmer water ( not actually warm just warm compared to other areas in Tahoe). This beach is very long, with easy access parking.
- Regan Beach: Somewhat secluded in a neighborhood, Regan beach is one of Tahoe's oldest. While it does not have a sandy beach, there is a nice grassy area making it perfect for picnicking with a view.
- El Dorado Beach: Located right along the highway, in the center of the city of South Lake Tahoe, this beach is very popular in the summer, known for its easily accessible location, live music, barbecues, and availability of water activities.
- Nevada Beach: This beach is quieter and compliments the Nevada Beach Campground which is tucked in the pines behind the beach. This beach is clean and offers views of Mt. Tallac which sits directly across the lake.
- Zephyr Cove: This beach is the place to go when looking for activity. Very crowded all summer, it is possible to rent boats, rent jet skis, go parasailing, kayak, dine, and take cruises out on Tahoe on boats like the M.S. Dixie II, which docks in the Zephyr Cove Marina.
- Round Hill Pines: This beach sits in cove on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and is perfect for laying on the beach, kayaking, and getting married.
- Sand Harbor: Although this beach is located in Tahoe North, it is perhaps the most famous beach on the lake. Famous for its giant granite boulders, Caribbean color waters, and panoramic views of the mountains, there is no place in the world quite like Sand Harbor.
Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
This has become one of the most popular activities on Lake Tahoe. The waters and scenery at Tahoe make it one of the best ranked paddleboard destinations in all of the world. Our Summer Paddleboarding Guide has everything you need to know.
This is one of the most exhilarating activities at Lake Tahoe but, also one of the best views. The views while parasailing above the waters of Lake Tahoe are unmatched. You can try parasailing at three different locations in Tahoe South, Action Water Sports, Zephyr Cove Marina, and the Ski Run Boat Company.
Boating and Jet Skiing:
- Tahoe Sports at Tahoe Keys Marina and Ski Run Marina
- Action Watersports at Lakeside Marina, Camp Richardson, and Timber Cove Marina
- Zephyr Cove Marina
- Round Hill Pines Marina
- M.S. Dixie II and the Tahoe Paradise at Zephyr Cove Marina
- The Safari Rose with Tahoe Cruises
- Rum Runner Cruise out of Camp Richardson
- Tahoe Bleu Wave
- The Party Boat (for charter)
- Thunderbird Lodge Cruise and Tour
- Windsong Sailing Yacht
Epic Discovery at Heavenly Mountain:
Discover summer on Heavenly Mountain by doing ropes courses, riding zip lines, climbing rock walls, going tubing, and taking in the views from the Gondola. Visit the Heavenly website for information on how to spend your summer atop one of the largest ski resorts in America!
Golfing in Lake Tahoe comes with spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the waters of the lake.
- Edgewood: Edgewood Tahoe is an 18 hold golf course located near Stateline, Nevada on the South Shore of the lake. Edgewood is an iconic golf setting, famous for its views of Tallac and its beachfront location. Edgewood hosts one of Lake Tahoe's most famous summer events, the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. Celebrities come to Tahoe this July 11th through the 16th to compete in an epic golf tournament, the most prestigious celebrity tournament in the sport.
- Lake Tahoe Golf Course: This course sits in a meadow beneath the break taking Sierra Nevada mountains. The course is known for its amazing views, ample amounts of water, and trees.
- Tahoe Paradise Golf Course: Tucked among towering pines, this scenic 18-hole executive course features tree-lined fairways and good views. Located a few miles outside of town in Meyers, this course is both beautiful and relaxing.
- Bijou Golf Course: This is a small, 9- hole course and belongs to the city of South Lake Tahoe. It is perfect for a quick game or for beginners.
Aramark / Rachid Dahnoun
Lake Tahoe has many old and historic estates dating back to the early 1900s. Exploring their properties is a must while visiting Lake Tahoe. Many of these properties were summer retreats for the richest families of San Francisco.
- Tallac Historic Site: This site located on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, is home to the Baldwin Estate, the Pope Estate, and the Valhalla Estate. The entire site is open during the summer months, the parking is free, and there are paths for walking winding across the whole property.
- Vikingsholm: Considered one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States, this summer estate is a castle located in Emerald Bay. Open all summer , you can explore the grounds or book a paid tour to see the inside of the home.
- Hellman-Ehrman Estate: This property is located on the West Shore of the lake, near Sugar Pine Point. This summer house was completed in 1903 and offers tours.
- Thunderbird Lodge: This mansion located on the North Eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, near Incline Village, is one of the lake's most famous properties. The Thunderbird Yacht, located at the property, is one of America's most famous and most expensive wooden speedboats. Tours are available on their website.
Lauren Lindley / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Summer in Tahoe means outdoor music, with concerts at Lakeview Commons, Harvey's and at the Heavenly Village.
- Live at Lakeview Commons: Starting on June 22nd, there will be weekly outdoor concerts on the bear at Lakeview Commons/ El Dorado Beach right in South Lake Tahoe. Music ranges from Afro-Funk to Rock n' Roll. Check out our Free Summer Concert Series Blog for more information and for the 2018 schedule of events.
- Harveys Summer Concert Series: Confirmed lineup. The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys Lake Tahoe is the place to be to catch great live music by world famous artists. This years' includes Kenny Chesney, Pitbull, Slightly Stoopid, Phish, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Steve Miller & Peter Frampton, Charlie Puth, Donny & Marie, Scorpions and Dave Matthews.
- Heavenly Village Summer Concert Series: The Heavenly Village Summer Concert Series The Shops at Heavenly Village will host free outdoor concerts every Friday and Saturday evening through Labor Day from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at their main stage. Concerts are held either between Gunbarrel Tavern and Fire + Ice or in front of Azul Latin Kitchen.