How to Spend 1 Day in Lake Tahoe
From forested peaks to the lakeshore, Lake Tahoe is all about nature. In summer, that means cruising the lake on a boat, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak. In winter, grab skis or a board to carve turns on slopes, or bundle up for a cozy sleigh ride through the woods. Here’s how to enjoy one day in Tahoe.
Morning: Get Cruisy
Get an early start on the day to catch morning light on the Sierra peaks—the wide-open landscape makes for expansive views. If it’s summer in Lake Tahoe, head out on the water, choosing from options that include boat cruises, kayak rentals, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboards.
When snow blankets the mountains, pre-book lift tickets for a morning of skiing and riding; one money-saving option is to book tickets, rentals, and a ski or snowboard lesson all in one. To experience the mountains without the crowds (and steep descents), consider renting cross-country skis or opting for a guided snowshoe tour.
Afternoon: Sierra Mountains Slow Travel
After going into town for lunch, head back outside for more activities. In the winter, sleigh rides are an old fashioned way to see the lakeshore to the sound of jingling bells. For a leisurely summer afternoon, rent a bike to ride on the paved bike path that wraps around the lake. In any season, a helicopter tour means spectacular views of the lake and mountains— whether you’re looking down at towering snow drifts or sails on Emerald Bay.
Night: Sunset and South Lake
Make the day count by adding one more outing to your Lake Tahoe adventure. In warm weather, sunset cruises catch the last rays of light as the lake quiets down, with some tours combining dinner with time on the water. No matter the season, the South Lake Tahoe casino scene heats up after dark, or you can snag a coveted spot at Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe, where the rock-and-roll vibe meets woodsy chic.