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things to do in south lake tahoe
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Things To Do

Things to Do in South Lake Tahoe

Choose your winter or summer adventure on Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a truly unique destination whether you enjoy crisp winter days or the warm summer sun. With more than 300 days of sunshine you won’t have to worry about being stuck inside. For those looking for indoor activities, discover year-round entertainment with boutique shopping excursions, casino gaming, concerts and shows starring your favorite artists and celebrities, and inspired gourmet dining experiences. No matter when you visit, you are guaranteed to fall in love with all the things to do in South Lake Tahoe.

family on ski lift in south lake tahoe

Winter in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a winter paradise averaging over 380 inches of snow. Stay at Forest Suites Resort and you are only 100 yards from the Heavenly Ski Resort Gondola and their abundance of world class trails. Shuttle service is available if you are looking to visit any of the other ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. Other winter activities in Lake Tahoe include ice skating, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, sledding, tubing and cross-country skiing. Take the family out for a day of sledding or ice skating and come back to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by one of our outdoor fire pits. Learn More >

Summer in South Lake Tahoe

Planning a summer visit to South Lake Tahoe? Enjoy the unlimited fun offered on the lake, such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and fishing. You may also find yourself on the golf course, looking down on the lake from a hot air balloon ride, biking through lush mountain trails or hiking one of the various scenic trails around town. Learn More >

The Weekender

How to spend 36 hours in Lake Tahoe, with Forest Suites as your base camp.

 

Friday

4:30 p.m. | Take a Dip in Lake Tahoe
At 191 square miles, stretching nearly 22 miles between California and Nevada, this is the largest alpine lake in North America and a Shangri-la for nearly every imaginable watersport. Start your immersion with a simple swim at Pope Beach, offering incredible views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

6 p.m. | Basecamp Pizza
With fresh California-style pizza, daily happy hour, and live music, Basecamp is the perfect spot for the whole family. If you feel like sitting on their comfortable outdoor patio, feel free to bring the dog along for some crust.

7 p.m. | Paint & Sip Studio
For those who haven’t already found inspiration in the Lake Tahoe scenery, this studio pours some extra creative juices. A two-hour session, ranging from $25 to $50, includes all painting supplies for a masterpiece along with a variety of drinks.

Saturday

9 a.m. | Heavenly Ski Resort
Get in an early morning run on the mountain at Heavenly Ski Resort during the winter months, or take advantage of all the summer fun on the mountain, like the gravity-powered Alpine Mountain Coaster. The coaster takes you on a scenic tour through the natural rock formations and forest of the mountain.

12 p.m. | Lunch at Freshies
Back in South Lake Tahoe, enjoy the Hawaiian atmosphere of this organic restaurant, which cooks up island-style plate lunches, curry dishes, and noodle bowls along with sandwiches. 

2 p.m. | Cruise Lake Tahoe
Head to Zephyr Cove for a two-and-a-half-hour scenic cruise around Emerald Bay and beyond aboard the M.S. Dixie, one of the biggest vessels on Lake Tahoe.

7 p.m. | Dinner at Riva Grill
Watch the sun go down over Lake Tahoe from the Riva Grill patio. It’s more than just ambience Riva has in spades: they also have a world-class menu which you can savor while you sip on their famous Wet Woody. With a number of tantalizing seasonal variations, this renowned beverage is sure to satisfy even the most discerning cocktail drinker.

9 p.m. | An Evening at The Loft
Take in a show right in Heavenly Village – a magic show, that is. Prepare to be wowed by the illusion of it all at The Loft. Enjoy a glass of wine in the theater, adorned with classic red drapery and a stunning overhead chandelier.

12 a.m. | Arty the Party in Harrah’s
Ready to tie a bow on a perfect day? Spend the late-night hours dancing to Arty the Party at Harrah’s. This one-man band is the best disco, R&B, and soul act in Lake Tahoe. It’s dancing room only at Center Stage when he plays on Friday and Saturday night.

Sunday

10 a.m. | Brunch at Cold Water Brewery
This contemporary space with plank and wood walls features a build-your-own–Bloody Mary bar, filled with everything from capers and Old Bay to pickled green beans and A1 steak sauce – the antidote to a late night at Harrah's. Fuel up for your next adventure with the huevos rancheros or the eggs Benedict.

11:30 a.m. | Hike to Van Sickle Bi-State Park
Head over to Van Sickle Bi-State Park for show-stopping views of Lake Tahoe and a trail that will take you up to the base of a waterfall. If you are in the mood to extend the adventure, hike or bike all the way to the scenic Tahoe Rim Trail connector.

The Adventurist

When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do. 

 

Photo Courtesy of Tahoe Spots

Parasailing South Lake Tahoe | Tahoe Sports

Fly high above the twinkling waters of Lake Tahoe with two friends by booking a ride with this outfitter, which offers heights of 200, 350, and 500 feet above the lake for $65 to $75 per person.

 

Photo Courtesy of Truckee River Rafting

Whitewater Rafting the Truckee River | Truckee River Rafting

Ready for a self-guided rafting trip of two to three hours? The 1973-founded Truckee River Rafting equips adventurers with rafts that hold up to 10 people and has paddles, vests, and a shuttle bus that will take you back to the start of your journey.

 

Photo Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort

Summer Adventure Zone | Heavenly Mountain Resort

An all-day adventure pass at this ski resort in the summer includes the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, tubing, multiple ropes course, a climbing wall, and a gondola ride; there are zip lines and a canopy tour available, as well.

 

Like a Local

Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.

Fallen Leaf Waterfall

Found right off Highway 89 in the Desolation Wilderness, Fallen Leaf cascades over stair-step-like ancient granite stones for 65 feet. An overlook point allows you to sit and watch the water flow, but for those who are adventurous, you are permitted to scramble down to the small rocks to the water below.

Himmel Haus

More than 30 imported German and Belgian beers, pretzels and other Bavarian fare, and a Stein Club make this “bierhaus” with long tables and a game room a favorite hangout for Tahoe residents.

Steamers Bar & Grill

Snag a seat on the back patio of this local watering hole, which pours cold pitchers of beer and hot comfort food, such as mushroom balls, fish tacos, and potato skins for sports-loving fans (there are plenty of TVs). But what the locals truly come for: the Monday- and Saturday-night taco bar and Friday-night steak dinner special. 

Skunk Harbor

With gigantic, rounded, smooth granite boulders along the teal-blue waters of Lake Tahoe, this secluded beach is North Lake Tahoe’s best-kept secret. Reached by a wooded mile-and-a-half-mile hike on a trail that is peppered with the remains of an old railroad grade, the cove is a beloved destination for sunbathers and swimmers. 

Flavor of…

The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.

 

Photo Courtesy of Overland Meat &Seafood Company

Overland Meat & Seafood Company

This South Lake Tahoe butcher offers homemade chorizo and homemade free-range beef jerky alongside a smorgasbord of all-natural meats, free-range poultry, and fresh seafood, including live lobster.

 

Photo Courtesy of Ski Run Farmers’ Market

Ski Run Farmers’ Market

Held Friday afternoons from June through August, this farmers’ market features more than 25 vendors who sell organic heirloom tomatoes, multi-colored carrots, blueberries, jam, and more. There is also a bounce house, beer garden, and live music, too.

 

Photo Courtesy of The Cork & More

The Cork & More

Since 1976, this Napa-style market in the heart of Lake Tahoe has been serving gourmet foods and fine wines. Take home a bottle of California wine after treating yourself to a sample of Manchego cheese.

 

Photo Courtesy of Sugar Pine Bakery

Sugar Pine Bakery

This small bakery hidden off a side street off Lake Tahoe Boulevard is well worth searching for. Go early as the fresh-made pastries – from cinnamon rolls and cheesecakes to macaroons and meringues – sometimes sell out. 
 

 

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