30 Fun Things to Do in Lake Tahoe | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: June 30, 2023

Hey there! I'm Natasha, a passionate traveler who has explored the beauty of Lake Tahoe. In this article, I'll share my top recommendations for fun activities in Lake Tahoe, backed by photos to inspire your next adventure. Enjoy your trip to this incredible destination!

Lake Tahoe

Nestled in the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains and on the California-Nevada border, is the largest Alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe.

With its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and endless recreational opportunities, it's no wonder that Lake Tahoe is a favorite destination for adventure-seekers and nature lovers alike.

From its ski resorts and hiking trails to the gorgeous beaches and boat tours, there's no shortage of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe.

The Travel-Lingual team will explore some of the best activities Lake Tahoe State Park has to offer so you can start planning your own unforgettable adventure in this breathtaking destination.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Spectacular lake views, skiing, and outdoor recreation.

Average Temperature

Varies by season; ranges from cold to mild.

Transportation Options

Car, bus, shuttle, bike, walk, boat, taxi, rideshare.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Lake Tahoe, immerse yourself in the natural beauty and serenity of the crystal-clear waters by embarking on a leisurely kayak adventure or indulging in a tranquil lakeside picnic, allowing you to reconnect with nature and find solace amidst the breathtaking surroundings.

To fully embrace the lively atmosphere of Lake Tahoe, explore the vibrant streets of the city by joining a local bike tour or strolling through the charming shops and unique art galleries, where you can discover one-of-a-kind treasures and engage with the friendly community.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Warm clothing
  2. Outdoor gears
  3. Sunscreen

What Not to Miss

  1. Emerald Bay State Park
  2. Heavenly Ski Resort
  3. Vikingsholm Castle
  4. Sand Harbor State Park
  5. Squaw Valley Ski Resort

What to Avoid

  1. Heavy traffic during peak tourist season.
  2. Going off-trail while hiking to avoid getting lost.
  3. Swimming in unauthorized areas with strong currents.

1. Go Cross Country Skiing at Palisades Tahoe

Skiing at Palisades Tahoe

Palisades Tahoe, formerly known as Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Alpine Meadows, is a world-renowned ski resort located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, Palisades Tahoe also offers the opportunity for visitors to go cross-country skiing.

With miles of groomed trails that wind through the beautiful forests and meadows surrounding the resort, cross-country skiing at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is an immersive and serene experience.

Whether you are a seasoned skier or not, this will provide you with an unforgettable way to experience the winter wonderland of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

2. Enjoy Time Alone at Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake is a picturesque alpine lake located in the Lake Tahoe area of California. The serene and peaceful atmosphere of the lake provides the perfect setting for visitors looking to enjoy time alone.

Whether you want to sit quietly by the water's edge, hike on one of the numerous hiking trails, or simply take in the breathtaking views, Fallen Leaf Lake has something for everyone.

The crystal-clear waters of Fallen Leaf Lake offer a tranquil environment that is perfect for swimming, scuba diving, or kayaking, while the lush forests and rugged mountains that surround the lake provide endless opportunities for exploring.

If you enjoy camping, you can also stay at the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground.

3. Revel in Lake Tahoe's Gems at Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park

When planning a trip to Lake Tahoe, you simply can't miss the opportunity to visit Emerald Bay State Park. This stunningly beautiful state park is a true gem of the region and is sure to leave you in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds you.

From the waters of Emerald Bay to the soaring peaks of the surrounding mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking sights to be in. The park has hidden coves that you can explore and several scenic trails. You can grab some lunch and enjoy it at the picnic tables available.

4. Go Camping in Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Memorial State Park

Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountain Range on the North shore of Lake Tahoe, Donner Memorial State Park offers a setting for all camping enthusiasts.

With its stunning natural surroundings, including forests, mountains, and the pristine Donner Lake, the state park provides visitors with a chance to disconnect from the stresses of modern life and immerse themselves in nature.

One of the state park's most popular attractions is the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, which provides a glimpse into the area's rich history.

While at Donner Memorial State Park, you can also visit the Emigrant Trail Museum to learn more about the history of the pioneers from years ago.

5. Visit D.L. Bliss State Park

D.L. Bliss State Park

D. L. Bliss State Park is a breathtaking destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe. One of the main attractions at D. L. Bliss State Park is the stunning overlook of Emerald Bay, offering a panoramic view of the lake and its surrounding mountains.

D. L. Bliss State Park also features several hiking trails, including the Balancing Rock Trail, which leads visitors through forests and along the shoreline of the lake. For those seeking adventure, the state park offers opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Whether you're looking to relax and take in the stunning scenery or get your heart pumping with outdoor activities, D. L. Bliss State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Lake Tahoe region.

6. Experience the Great Outdoors at Eldorado National Forest

Eldorado National Forest

Eldorado National Forest is a wonderful place to experience the great outdoors near Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. This vast forest covers more than 600,000 acres and is home to an array of wildlife such as elk, mountain lions, and black bears.

With countless hiking trails, camping areas, fishing spots, and mountain biking trails for mountain bikers, visitors can explore the beauty of this forest.

The state park is also home to Cascade Lake, which is within walking distance of Lake Tahoe, providing visitors with even more opportunities for outdoor adventures. During your Lake Tahoe summer, you can take a dip in the water.

During winter months, Eldorado National Forest is a popular destination for snow sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

7. Take Skiing Lessons at Heavenly Ski Resort

Heavenly Ski Resort

If you're looking for a fun way to experience Lake Tahoe in the winter, you should definitely consider taking skiing lessons at Heavenly Ski Resort.

Located right on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the many ski resorts that offer breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, making it the perfect destination for skiing enthusiasts.

Whether you're a beginner or an advanced skier, Heavenly Mountain Resort has a wide range of slopes and trails to suit all levels of experience. With knowledgeable and friendly instructors, you'll receive personalized lessons to help you improve your skills and enjoy a safe and unforgettable skiing experience.

After a day on the slopes, you can relax at one of the resort's cozy lodges, with hot cocoa, a dip in a hot tub, and stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Don't miss out on the opportunity to take skiing lessons at Heavenly Ski Resort and experience the beauty of Lake Tahoe in winter!

8. Soar Over Lake Tahoe With a Helicopter Tour

Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour

You should definitely consider taking a helicopter tour over Lake Tahoe if you're looking for a unique experience.

From high above, you'll be able to see the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe and the breathtaking surrounding landscapes in a whole new way. Although Lake Tahoe isn't the deepest lake, it is among the deepest.

The tours vary in length and can take you to different parts of the lake and surrounding mountains, giving you a chance to see hidden gems and amazing vistas.

A helicopter tour is a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or simply to take in the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe from a whole new perspective.

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to soar over Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, and create unforgettable memories.

9. Walk in Athletes' Shoes at the Olympic Museum

Olympic Museum, Lake Tahoe

For sports enthusiasts or people curious about the history of the Olympic Games, a visit to the Olympic Museum in Lake Tahoe is a must.

This unique museum is located in Olympic Valley, and it provides visitors with an opportunity to walk in athletes' shoes and learn about the stories behind some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history.

With interactive exhibits and displays, you can explore the history of the Winter Olympics and learn about the athletes, events, and ven

ues that have made the games so iconic.

The museum also showcases the legacy of the Olympics, including how the games have inspired people all around the world to pursue their dreams and overcome challenges.

10. Snowboard at the Squaw Valley Resort

Squaw Valley Resort

If you're looking for an exciting and challenging way to experience the winter in Lake Tahoe, you should definitely consider snowboarding at the Squaw Valley Resort.

The world-renowned Squaw Valley ski resort offers some of the best snowboarding terrains in the world, with over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain and more than 170 trails to choose from.

With its reputation as one of the best snowboarding destinations in the world, Squaw Valley Resort is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable winter adventure in Lake Tahoe, California.

11. Chill on the Sand at Kings Beach State Recreation Area

Kings Beach State Recreation Area

When visiting Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, you should definitely check out the Kings Beach State Recreation Area off of Lake Blvd.

This beautiful sandy beach boasts clear blue waters, making it the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.

Kings Beach offers a range of amenities for visitors, including picnic areas, barbecue grills, and restrooms, so you can make a whole day of it with friends and family.

If you're just looking to relax, you can take a leisurely walk along the North Shore, enjoy a good book or simply take in the stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, a visit to the Kings Beach State Recreation Area is the perfect way to unwind and take in the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.

12. Visit the Tallac Historic Site

Tallac Historic Site

The Tallac Historic Site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of Lake Tahoe.

Located on the shores of South Lake Tahoe, CA, the site features three historic homes that have been restored and preserved to reflect life in the early 1900s.

The South Lake Tahoe site includes beautiful gardens, hiking trails, and opportunities to learn about the natural history of Tahoe City.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing and educational day out, a visit to the Tallac Historic Site is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Lake Tahoe.

13. Hit the Slopes at the Northstar California Resort

Northstar California Resort

For thrilling North Tahoe adventures in Lake Tahoe, be sure to check out Northstar California Resort.

This world-class ski resort offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding terrains in North Lake Tahoe, with over 3,000 skiable acres, 100 trails, and 20 lifts to choose from.

When you're ready to take a break from the slopes, you can enjoy a variety of dining and shopping options in the Village at Northstar, or relax in one of the cozy lodges on the mountain or take a much-needed dip into a hot tub.

With its stunning natural beauty, world-class skiing and snowboarding, and range of winter activities, Northstar California Resort is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the best of North Lake Tahoe in the winter months.

14. Grab a Beer in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe

If you're looking for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in Tahoe City to enjoy some delicious beer, South Lake Tahoe, CA has plenty of great options.

South Lake Tahoe is home to several craft breweries and brewpubs, each with its own unique selection of beers and friendly staff to help you find the perfect brew.

Whether you're a beer connoisseur or just looking for a place to hang out with friends, South Lake Tahoe, CA has something for everyone. The breweries often offer live music, trivia nights, and other events to keep you entertained while you enjoy your drinks.

Some popular breweries in South Lake Tahoe, CA include the South Lake Brewing Company, Lake Tahoe AleWorX, and Cold Water Brewery and Grill.

So if you're in the mood for a cold and refreshing beer in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, be sure to check out the breweries in South Lake Tahoe.

15. Take a Ride With Lake Tahoe Balloons

Lake Tahoe Balloons

For a unique and unforgettable experience in Lake Tahoe, consider taking a hot air balloon ride with Lake Tahoe Balloons.

You'll float gently above the lake and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests in Tahoe City.

After the ride, you'll be treated to a complimentary champagne toast and breakfast, making the whole experience even more special.

This is a perfect activity for those looking to add a little adventure to their Lake Tahoe trip, or for anyone looking for a unique and romantic way to celebrate a special occasion.

16. Admire the View of the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Taking a trip to see the stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is one of the most popular activities when visiting Lake Tahoe.

Whether you prefer to hike, drive or take a scenic gondola ride, there are plenty of ways to take in the breathtaking scenery.

You can explore one of the many trails in the area and witness the stunning beauty of the mountains up close. The Tahoe Rim Trail takes you around the loop of Lake Tahoe Basin, which will give you a full view of the lake.

However, the Tahoe Rim Trail is 170 miles long, so make sure you are an experienced hiker if you want to try it out.

For a more relaxed experience, you can take a gondola ride to the top of one of the nearby mountains, such as Heavenly or Squaw Valley, and take in the panoramic views of the mountains and the lake from the top.

Regardless of how you choose to experience the view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it's sure to be a highlight when you visit Lake Tahoe.

17. Sunbathe at Sand Harbor Beach in Incline Village

Sand Harbor Beach in Incline Village

If you're looking for a place to relax and soak up when visiting Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor Beach in Incline Village is an excellent choice.

The sandy beach offers stunning views of the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe and the mountain peaks surrounding it.

The water at Sand Harbor Beach is refreshing and perfect for swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding.

If you're feeling more adventurous, try out the Sand Point Nature Trail in Incline Village which offers incredible views of the lake and the surrounding landscape.

18. Go on a 16 Mile Hike on the Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail

For those who love hiking and exploring nature, the Rubicon Trail located on Lake Tahoe's West shore is a must-visit. The trail is a 16.4-mile round-trip hike that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the area.

The trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, the mountains, and the lush forests. The hike is a moderate level of difficulty and is suitable for those with some hiking experience.

Along the way, you'll pass several small beaches and coves, perfect for a quick dip in the refreshing waters of Lake Tahoe. With its stunning views and serene atmosphere, the Rubicon Trail is an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.

19. Explore the Vikingsholm Castle in Emerald Bay

Vikingsholm Castle in Emerald Bay

If you're a history buff, or just love exploring unique and interesting places, then you must visit the Vikingsholm Castle on the western shore of Tahoe City at Emerald Bay State Park.

The castle is a stunning example of Scandinavian architecture and was built in the 1920s by a wealthy philanthropist.

Visitors can take a tour of the castle and learn about its fascinating history and design. The interior of the castle in Emerald Bay State Park is beautifully preserved, with original furnishings and artwork from the period.

The castle's stunning location on the shores of Emerald Bay adds to its charm and appeal. The area around the castle is also great for hiking and picnicking, with several trails and the Emerald Bay lookout nearby.

With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning location, the Vikingsholm Castle in Emerald Bay is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Lake Tahoe area.

So, grab your camera, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to step back in time to explore one of Lake Tahoe's most fascinating attractions.

20. Get Groovy at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena

Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena

Calling all music lovers! The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena is a must-visit destination in Tahoe City.

The arena has hosted many big-name musicians and bands over the years, making it a popular destination for music lovers from all over the world.

The atmosphere at the arena is electric, with a friendly and lively crowd that's always ready to get their groove on.

Whether you're into rock, pop, or country music, there's always something happening at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena.

Related Article: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

21. Sign Up for Rafting at the Truckee River

Rafting at the Truckee River

For those looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure, signing up for a rafting trip on the Truckee River is a must-do activity in Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.

The river offers a range of rapids, from mild to wild, making it a perfect destination for both beginners and experienced rafters.

Whether you're looking for a fun activity with family or friends or an exciting team-building experience, rafting on the Truckee River is a great way to spend a day in Lake Tahoe, California.

22. Spend the Day at Homewood Mountain Resort

Homewood Mountain Resort

If you're seeking a relaxing day on the slopes, Homewood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination for you.

The resort offers a range of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, with stunning views of Lake Tahoe as a backdrop.

To arrive, just drive along Lake Blvd until you reach the mountain. Homewood Mountain Resort has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, making it a great place to spend the day with family and friends.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Homewood Mountain Resort offers other fun activities like snowshoeing on Lake Tahoe's most beautiful mountains, making it a perfect destination for a winter getaway.

23. Ride the Zipline at Heavenly Ski Resort

Heavenly Ski Resort

From Heavenly Ski Resort, you will not only be able to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but you'll also get to experience the thrill of soaring through the air like a bird.

Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, the zipline at Heavenly Ski Resort is an absolute must-try.

Along with zip lining, Heavenly Mountain also offers ice skating at its village during certain months, so if you enjoy ice skating, make sure to go when it's in season.

24. Go Fishing at the Tahoe Trout Farm

Tahoe Trout Farm

Located in the heart of Lake Tahoe's beautiful countryside, the Tahoe Trout Farm offers a peaceful and serene setting for people of all ages and skill levels.

With a well-stocked pond featuring a variety of trout, including rainbow and brown trout, you're sure to reel in a catch or two in Tahoe City.

If you're not a seasoned angler, don't worry! The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide tips and tricks to help you make the most of your fishing experience.

25. Relax on the Sand at Pope Beach

Pope Beach

With its crystal-clear water, soft golden sand, and stunning mountain views, Pope Beach is the perfect place to soak up the sun.

Located in South Lake Tahoe, CA, Pope Beach has everything you need for a perfect day at the beach.

Whether you're in the mood for a refreshing swim, a game of beach volleyball, or simply a good book and a cold drink, this beach in South Lake Tahoe, CA will keep you entertained and relaxed.

26. Cruise Through Emerald Bay by Boat

Emerald Bay by Boat

Just a short drive from South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, you can find the opportunity to take a cruise through Emerald Bay by boat.

You'll be able to relax and take in the scenery, snap some stunning photos, and learn about the fascinating history of the area from the knowledgeable and friendly crew.

From the boat, you can also visit the small Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe City.

27. Go on a Day Trip to San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

San Francisco is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and plenty of exciting things to see and do.

If you're visiting Lake Tahoe and have a day to spare, a day trip to San Francisco is definitely worth considering.

The drive from Lake Tahoe takes around 3.5 hours, but the stunning scenery along the way makes it well worth the trip.

There are many iconic places to visit in San Francisco, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman's Wharf.

With so much to see and do, a day trip to San Francisco from Lake Tahoe is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

28. Go on the Tahoe Treetop Ropes Course

Tahoe Treetop Ropes Course

If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Lake Tahoe, the Lake Tahoe Treetop Ropes Course is an exciting option.

This ropes course is set in a beautiful forest and offers a variety of challenging obstacles to test your courage and agility.

The Lake Tahoe course features suspended bridges, ziplines, and other aerial challenges that require you to navigate between tree platforms high above the ground.

As you make your way through the course, you'll be rewarded with gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe.

Whether you're an experienced climber or a beginner, the Lake Tahoe Treetop Ropes Course is a fun and exhilarating experience that is sure to get your heart racing.

Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you're an art enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful things, then a visit to the Marcus Ashley Gallery in Lake Tahoe is definitely worth considering.

The gallery is home to an extensive collection of artwork, ranging from contemporary paintings and sculptures to traditional Western pieces.

The gallery features work from a variety of renowned artists, including Stephen Holland, Michael Godard, and Fabio Napoleoni.

Making time for a visit to the Marcus Ashley Gallery is a must when visiting Lake Tahoe.

30. Get Lucky at a Casino

Casino at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is known for its vibrant casino scene, and a visit to one of the many casinos in the area can be a thrilling experience.

Whether you're a seasoned gambler or a curious beginner, there are plenty of options to choose from in Lake Tahoe, including Harveys Lake Tahoe, Harrah's Lake Tahoe, and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa.

Each Lake Tahoe casino offers a variety of games, from slot machines to table games like blackjack and poker.

So, if you're feeling lucky and want to try your hand at winning big, a visit to one of the casinos in Lake Tahoe may be just what you're looking for.

FAQs about things to do in Lake Tahoe

Let's look at some frequently asked questions about things to do in Lake Tahoe.

What is there to do in Lake Tahoe besides gambling?

There is a lot to do in Lake Tahoe besides gambling. You can go on a hike, explore the water sports options available, and visit the Tallac Historic Site for some culture.

What do people do at Lake Tahoe?

Most people who visit Lake Tahoe get out on the lake for some fishing or boating. Moreover, people like to be with nature at Lake Tahoe.

What can you do in one day in Lake Tahoe?

In one day at Lake Tahoe, you can easily visit a museum, grab a Tahoe beer and go on a nature walk. If you prefer to be less active, you can also visit a Tahoe casino.

Summing up: Fun Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the variety of activities available in Lake Tahoe is simply unbeatable.

From ziplining to fishing, from sunbathing on the beach to exploring Emerald Bay by boat, there's no shortage of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe.

With its natural beauty, fascinating history, and welcoming community, Lake Tahoe truly has it all. So pack your bags, round up your friends and family, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories at Lake Tahoe.

Make sure to book any tours, accommodations, and transport you will need before you go so you can create the ultimate Lake Tahoe itinerary.