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19 Awesome Lake Tahoe Summer Activities & Visiting Lake Tahoe in Summer Information

Lake Tahoe, California

by Coco Tran On February 24, 2024

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Looking for the perfect summer getaway? Look no further than Lake Tahoe! Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is a stunningly beautiful destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, hike through the mountains, or try your luck at the casinos, Lake Tahoe has it all.

One of the best things about Lake Tahoe in the summer is the weather. With warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights, it’s the perfect place to escape the heat and enjoy the great outdoors.

And with so many outdoor activities to choose from, you’ll never be bored. From boating and fishing on the lake to hiking and mountain biking in the surrounding mountains, there’s always something to do in Lake Tahoe. Plus, with its close proximity to South Lake Tahoe, you’ll have access to all the amenities you need to make your vacation unforgettable.

My Top Picks Lake Tahoe Summer Activities:

photographing lake tahoe
via Jess Wandering

Clear Kayak Rental On Lake


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Lake Tahoe in Summer & Information about Lake Tahoe in summer

lake tahoe summer 2023

Lake Tahoe Summer Weather and Climate

Lake Tahoe in summer is known for its warm, sunny days and cool nights. The average temperature ranges from 70°F to 80°F during the day and drops to the 40s and 50s at night. The lake’s elevation of 6,225 feet means that the air is thinner, so it’s important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. The water temperature in Lake Tahoe is average 75 °F.

Best Times to Visit Lake Tahoe in Summer

The best time to visit Lake Tahoe in summer is from June to August. During these months, the weather is warm, and the lake is perfect for swimming, boating, and other water activities. Just know these are also very busy times as the water is nice and refreshing! September and October are also great months to visit as the crowds start to thin out, and the fall foliage is breathtaking.

Getting To Lake Tahoe by Transit and Accessibility 

If you’re traveling to Lake Tahoe by transit, Amtrak and Greyhound both offer service to the area. Once you arrive, there are several transportation options available, including taxis, shuttles, and buses. If you have a disability, many of the hotels and resorts in the area offer accessible accommodations and activities. You should rent a car at Reno the nearest airport. Although. in Lake Tahoe there is public transport available, it is not convenient as having a car.

Flying Into Lake Tahoe

The closest airport to Lake Tahoe is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is about a 45-minute drive from the lake. Several airlines, including Southwest, Delta, and United, offer service to the airport.

Rent your car from Discover Cars, reserve your car now and pay later! They have flexible cancelation policies and a huge selection of rental car companies to choose from.

Where To Stay In lake Tahoe In Summer

Lake Tahoe offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly motels to luxurious resorts. Some of the most popular areas to stay include South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, and Tahoe City. No matter where you stay, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the lake and mountains.  

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Lake Tahoe during the summer, you have plenty of options. If you’re looking for a resort experience, consider checking out Heavenly Village. This resort offers a variety of accommodations, from hotel rooms to condos, and is conveniently located near the lake and other popular attractions. Other popular resorts in the area include The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino.

If you prefer something more low-key, there are plenty of vacation rentals and cabins available for rent. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO offer a wide range of options, from cozy cabins to luxurious lakefront homes.

I  like to Stay on the South of Lake Tahoe in the summer since it’s close to a lot of food and attractions. It is closer to the Nevada side where a lot of the pretty coves and beaches are located. There are options for cabins on VRBO and Hotels and motels. Here are some options I recommend:

Best Hotels in South Lake Tahoe Summer:

Budget friendly lodges and motels in South Lake Tahoe:

Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in the Summer & Lake Tahoe Summer Activities

If you’re looking for summer activities in Lake Tahoe, you’re in for a treat. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination in the summer offers a wide range of outdoor activities that are perfect for all ages and skill levels. Here are some of the best Lake Tahoe activities in summer:

photographing lake tahoe
Photo Via Jess Wandering

1. Enjoy Water Sports in the Crystal Clear Lake Tahoe Summer Water: Kayak Rental in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a paradise for water sports! You can enjoy a variety of activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, and more. The crystal-clear waters of the lake are perfect for swimming, and there are plenty of beaches where you can soak up the sun. If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, consider renting a paddleboard or kayak and exploring the lake on your own.

Clear kayak Lake Tahoe summer

2. Rent a Boat in Lake Tahoe or go on a Yacht in Lake Tahoe 

During the summer at Lake Tahoe, a really fun thing to do is to rent a boat or go on a fancy yacht. Lots of people love this activity. The lake is super clear, and it’s surrounded by big, beautiful mountains. It’s like being in a postcard! You can drive your own rented boat to find cool quiet spots or join a yacht ride with friends and family. Feeling the nice breeze and warm sun while you’re out there is amazing. The shoreline is really long, so you can swim, fish, and just hang out in the sun. Doing this stuff on the water is not only fun but also lets you enjoy the awesome nature and cool vibes of Lake Tahoe.

3. Hiking Trails to Explore lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is also known for its stunning hiking trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there are plenty of trails to choose from. Some of the most popular hikes include the Tahoe Rim Trail, Mount Tallac Trail, and Eagle Falls Trail. These trails offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains, and are a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. 

Here is one of my favorite and popular Hiking Trails in Lake Tahoe in the Summer:

Rubicon Trail | Miles: 9.2:

  • This trail holds a special place in my heart because it’s the one that made me fall in love with Lake Tahoe. The journey begins up in D.L. Bliss State Park – a cool spot to camp if you get the chance – surrounded by tall cliffs and pine trees. As you walk, you gradually make your way down to the lake, and the whole time, you’re treated to amazing views of Lake Tahoe.
  • Once you’re down by the water, you pass by these little hidden spots along the shoreline that are perfect for enjoying the beach and even taking a swim.
  • Then, you’ll walk right through a campsite you can only reach by boat, go through flowery meadows, and finally end up at Vikingsholm, this awesome castle that looks like it’s from Norway.
  • And guess what? Vikingsholm has its own beach and a little shop where you can grab some ice cream – the perfect treat for the middle of a long hike! You can take a breather, chill out, and then either hike back up or make things easy by having a car waiting for you at the end to drive back.

4. Summer in Tahoe is perfect for Biking

If you’re looking for a fun way to explore Lake Tahoe and see the epic views of some of the most beautiful bike trails in Lake Tahoe. You can rent a bike and cruise around the lake, check out the East Shore Trail. I did this trail with our pups recently and we had the best time. We brought a bike trailer that we towed our pups in and it was perfect !

Reserve your bike rental ahead of time, you can choose an EBike or a regular one. Lake Tahoe has a variety of bike trails that are perfect for all skill levels. Some of the most popular Lake Tahoe bike trails include the Truckee River Bike Trail, the Flume Trail, and the Tahoe City Bike Path. These trails offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, and are a great way to experience the beauty of Lake Tahoe.

east shore trail biking in lake tahoe

Awesome Mountain Biking: Visit Northstar Resort for a thrilling mountain biking adventure. You can rent a bike and explore the mountain’s trails. The best part? You don’t need to pedal uphill because a lift takes you and your bike up. They have trails for different levels, so everyone can enjoy the ride.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

5. Via Ferrata Challenge

For a unique experience, try Via Ferrata at Squaw Valley. It’s like a mix of hiking and climbing. You’ll have expert guides and be safely attached to the rocks at all times. Climb the rock faces while enjoying incredible views without worrying about falling.

6. Take a Gondola Ride

Head to Heavenly Resort for a cool gondola ride. It’s like a big cable car that takes you up the mountain and back down. While going up, you’ll get a fantastic view of Lake Tahoe. Once you’re at the top, you can grab a bite to eat or some coffee. And if you’re up for it, you can even access hiking trails on the mountain using the gondola.

7. Scenic Alpine Coaster

Imagine a roller coaster but on a mountain. At Heavenly Resort, you can hop on an Alpine coaster during the summer. No skiing required – just sit in the coaster and zip down the mountain, taking in the stunning views of Tahoe.

8. Soak Up the Summer in Lake Tahoe Camping in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, a stunning outdoor paradise, offers fantastic summer camping options that draw us in every year. Sleeping under the open sky amidst nature’s wonders is a must. For instance, our top pick, D.L. Bliss State Park, boasts a private beach and serves as a starting point for the Rubicon Trail, a favored hike. However, securing a spot here requires early booking, so stay alert on Reserve California for weekend cancellations.

Here are our preferred camping spots around Lake Tahoe:

  1. D.L. Bliss State Park: Situated on the West Shore, this park offers seclusion, a private beach, and access to the Rubicon Trail. Booking in advance is crucial due to high demand.
  2. Meeks Bay Campground: Found on the West Shore close to D.L. Bliss, this spot offers a beautiful beach, an adjacent resort, and proximity to Desolation Wilderness and trails. Supporting the Washoe Tribe, the original inhabitants of Lake Tahoe, by spending here is a commendable choice.
  3. Lake Forest Campground: Perfect for those seeking a balance between wilderness and town convenience, this site is near Lake Forest Beach and Tahoe City. A short walk or bike ride gets you to town, and a boat ramp provides easy water access.
  4. Nevada Beach Campground: Crossing into Nevada, this spacious campground near a beach is surrounded by tall pine trees. It’s pet-friendly, and the neighboring Nevada Beach features an off-leash area.

Camping Tip: Remember, Lake Tahoe nights can get chilly. A warm sleeping bag and a cozy sleeping mat are essential. If you prefer extra comfort, consider an RV rental through RVShare. Staying warm ensures a memorable camping experience in the enchanting Lake Tahoe region.

9. Go on a Scenic and  Beautiful Drive around Lake Tahoe

While you can totally choose to stay in one part of Lake Tahoe and have tons of stuff to do, summer is also the best time for taking really nice drives around the area (especially on roads that get blocked by winter snow). Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, which means there’s a lot of shoreline to check out!

Here are two really awesome drives that will make you remember the Sierra Nevadas forever:

Drive Around the Outside of Lake Tahoe: You can easily drive all the way around Lake Tahoe in just one day, and you’ll still have plenty of time to stop and look around. It’s about 72 miles to drive all the way, and you might spend around 3-4 hours driving (if you don’t take side trips or stop too much).

lake tahoe summer activities things to do

Along this drive, you’ll see lots of beaches where you can go swimming, rent a kayak, or have a picnic. You’ll also go through a few state parks: Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point, D.L. Bliss, Emerald Bay, and Sand Harbor. These places are awesome for hiking, picnicking, and spending time at the beach. And don’t forget, you’ll also drive through different towns around Lake Tahoe: like Incline Village, Kings Bay, Tahoe City, and South Lake Tahoe. These places are cool to explore, and you can find good food to eat while you’re driving around!

Enjoy The Crystal Clear Lake Tahoe Beaches: Spend a day on the beach in Lake Tahoe in Summerlake

lake tahoe summer vacations

If you’re planning a Lake Tahoe summe Vcation, you’ll definitely want to spend some time at the beaches. With crystal-clear water and stunning mountain views, Lake Tahoe beaches are a must-visit destination. Here’s your guide to the best beaches in Lake Tahoe during the summer.

Travel Tip for Dog Parents: Many of the big public beaches around Tahoe don’t let dogs come or they have tough rules about dogs needing to stay on leashes. However, there are some spots at Lake Tahoe where dogs are welcome: the Bijou Dog Park (it’s in South Lake), Coon Street Beach (this one’s at King’s Beach, up in North Lake), Kiva Beach (it’s also in South Lake, near Highway 89), and Nevada Beach. Remember, they make sure dogs stay on leashes, so watch for signs and follow the rules!

10. Lake Tahoe East Shore Beaches

  • Zephyr Cove: This beach is known for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear water. There are plenty of activities to enjoy here, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and parasailing.
  • Round Hill Pines Beach Resort: This awesome beach spot offers a complete package for an amazing day in the sun. You’ve got it all – from renting kayaks, stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), and comfy lounge chairs, to enjoying delicious bites and drinks at the restaurant and bar. For those aiming high, there’s the option to rent boats and jet-skis, or even indulge in a luxurious yacht cruise. Keep in mind, there’s a $12 fee for parking, and just a heads-up, no furry friends allowed.

  • Secret Cove: A hidden gem nestled along Lake Tahoe’s shore, Secret Cove is a secluded beach that offers a peaceful escape. With its calm waters and soft sands, it’s a perfect spot for relaxation and swimming. The cove is surrounded by picturesque nature, making it a great place for a quiet and serene beach day. It is also known as a nude beach as it’s clothing optional. Dogs are allowed on this trail but it’s not easy to get to as parking is hard to get.

  • Chimney Beach: Situated on the stunning Lake Tahoe, Chimney Beach is a unique destination with its own charm. The beach gets its name from an old stone chimney near the shore, adding a touch of history to the natural beauty. The clear blue waters invite you for a refreshing swim, and the surrounding rocky terrain makes it an interesting place to explore. Chimney Beach is a wonderful spot to enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe while discovering a piece of its past.
lake tahoe summer activities
  • Sand Harbor: This beach is one of the most popular in Lake Tahoe, and for good reason. The water here is crystal-clear, and the beach is surrounded by towering pine trees. There are plenty of activities to enjoy here, including paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling and there is. restaurant on site. See my full guide how to visit  Sand Harbor .

Lake Tahoe South Shore Beaches

South Shore beaches are some of the most popular in Lake Tahoe, and for good reason. Here are a few of the top beaches to check out:

  • Nevada Beach: Located near the town of Zephyr Cove, Nevada Beach is a great spot for families. The beach is wide and sandy, with plenty of space for kids to play.

  • Baldwin Beach: Nestled between Emerald Bay and South Lake Tahoe lies Baldwin Beach. With its expansive stretch of sandy shoreline and gently sloping shallows, the water here maintains a pleasant warmth. The convenience of reaching the beach from the parking area is notable – transport all your beach paraphernalia without concern. Additionally, the option to rent kayaks is available for those inclined. It’s important to be aware, however, that a parking fee of $8 is requisite.

  • Pope Beach: Offering a splendid expanse of sandy coast, Pope Beach is a haven for sunbathers, swimmers, kayakers, and paddleboard enthusiasts alike. Here, you’ll find the option to rent kayaks or indulge in on-site food purchases. A noteworthy regulation is the prohibition of dogs on this beach, and parking incurs a fee of $8 (unless you opt for the cost-free Pope/Baldwin Bike Path to cycle in).

Lake Tahoe West Shore Beaches

The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is known for its rugged beauty and stunning scenery. Here are a few of the top beaches to check out:

  • Chamber’s Landing: Picture a spacious, sandy beach with plenty of grills. But hold on, because right beside the beach is the historic Chamber’s Landing Bar & Grill, the oldest bar around Lake Tahoe, going all the way back to 1875! Imagine spending a whole day at the beach and then relaxing on the outdoor patio. Sip on a refreshing Chambers Punch and enjoy some delicious lobster ravioli or scallops and abolone while watching the sun go down over the stunning Sierra Nevadas.
  • Meek’s Bay: Ever heard of Meek’s Bay? It’s this awesome sandy beach right next to the Meeks’ Bay campground and resort. You can easily spot it off Highway 89 in the beautiful Meek’s Bay area. This place has everything – kayak rentals, yummy food, bathrooms, and even picnic tables. Guess what? The beach and the resort are taken care of by the Washoe Tribe, the original people of Lake Tahoe. You can even buy cool Native American crafts and books here to support the tribe.
  • Lester Beach: If you’re in D.L. Bliss State Park, you’ve got to check out Lester Beach. It’s not packed with people usually, but the parking lot can fill up early. You can do some cool stuff here, like launching paddleboards, kayaks, and small boats. Just so you know, there’s no special area for swimming, and you’ll need to pay $10 for a day pass. But guess what? If you’re camping in the state park, this beach is like your own private paradise. Oh, and remember, no dogs allowed on this beach.

Lake Tahoe North Shore Beaches

The North Shore of Lake Tahoe is known for its quieter, more laid-back vibe. Here are a few of the top beaches to check out:

  • Secret Cove: This secluded beach is known for its crystal-clear water and stunning mountain views. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.

  • Kings Beach State Recreation Area: Considered the largest and most impressive beach at North Lake Tahoe, this spot is a real gem. The beach boasts a vast sandy area, perfect for setting up and enjoying a fantastic beach day. Located right in the town of Kings Beach, it’s conveniently close to restaurants and places where you can rent water sports equipment. Just keep in mind that there’s a parking fee to access this beach: $10 for an entire day or $3 per hour.
east shore trail

Summer Lake Tahoe Events and Entertainment

11. Lake Tahoe Summer Music Events

Lake Tahoe is a hub of music events during the summer season. Whether you prefer classical, jazz, or rock, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular music events in the area include:

  • Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series: This concert series features a variety of artists and genres, including rock, pop, and country. The concerts are held at the outdoor Harveys Lake Tahoe Amphitheater, which offers stunning views of the lake.
  • Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival: This festival features a mix of music, theatre, and art events. The performances are held at the historic Valhalla Tahoe estate, which is located on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
  • Lake Tahoe Music Festival: This festival showcases classical music performances in a variety of locations around Lake Tahoe, including outdoor venues and intimate indoor settings.

12. Lake Tahoe Summer Art Exhibitions

If you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss the many exhibitions and galleries in Lake Tahoe during the summer. Some of the top art events in the area include:

  • Art, Wine & Music Festival: This festival features over 30 artists showcasing their work, as well as live music and wine tastings. The event takes place at the Village at Squaw Valley.
  • Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: While primarily a theatre event, this festival also features art exhibitions and vendors. The festival takes place at Sand Harbor State Park, which offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.
  • South Lake Tahoe Art Walk: This self-guided art walk takes you through the streets of South Lake Tahoe, where you can view the work of local artists in a variety of mediums.

13. Photographing Lake Tahoe in Summer

Lake Tahoe is a stunning locations and known for the turquoise and clear water. There are tons of unique and beautiful photo locations. Check out my guide on photographing lake tahoe here.

Summer Lake Tahoe Dining

14. Enjoy Al Fresco Dining at Lake Tahoe Restaurants

Lake Tahoe is home to a diverse range of restaurants, so you’re sure to find something to suit your taste buds. For a fine dining experience, check out Edgewood Tahoe Restaurant, which offers stunning lake views and a menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients. Other popular options include Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe and Cafe Fiore, both of which offer delicious food in a cozy atmosphere.

Some of my favorite restaurants in Lake Tahoe are:

Oysters Bar at Hardrock Cafe: If you’re a seafood lover you’ll love this small oyster bar in the casino. They have only counter seats and serve oysters and other medly’s of seafood dishes.

Beacons Bar: This is a local and well established lake side restaurant known for their amazing fish and chips and Rum Runners. The rum runners are declious and will creep up on you very quickly!

If you’re looking for something more casual, there are plenty of options to choose from as well. Basecamp Pizza Co. is a popular spot for pizza and craft beer, while The Red Hut Cafe and Tunnel Creek Cafe is a local favorite for breakfast and brunch.

15. Hit Up Fun Beachside Bars

After a day spent exploring Lake Tahoe, you’ll likely want to unwind with a drink or two. Luckily, there are plenty of bars and lounges to choose from. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, check out McP’s Taphouse Grill, which offers a large selection of beers on tap and live music on the weekends. For a more upscale experience, head to The Loft, which offers craft cocktails and stunning views of the lake.

Lake Tahoe Summer Outdoor Scenery

If you’re looking for a summer getaway, Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning scenery and endless outdoor activities, Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone. Here are some of the top outdoor spots to visit during a summer trip to Lake Tahoe.

16. Visit Lake Tahoes Parks and Picnic Spots

Lake Tahoe is home to several parks and picnic spots that are perfect for a summer day out. Some of the top parks to visit include:

  • Sand Harbor State Park: This park is located on the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the lake. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
  • Emerald Bay State Park: This park is located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and is home to Emerald Bay, one of the most photographed spots in the area. The park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and camping sites.
  • D.L. Bliss State Park: This park is located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a great spot for hiking, swimming, and picnicking.

17. Go to Lake Tahoe Summer Top Sightseeing Locations

Lake Tahoe is also home to several sightseeing locations that offer breathtaking views of the area. Some of the top sightseeing locations to visit include:

  • Heavenly Mountain Resort: This resort is located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the lake and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a great spot for hiking, mountain biking, and sightseeing.
  • Squaw Valley: This ski resort is located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a great spot for hiking, mountain biking, and sightseeing.
  • Tahoe Rim Trail: This trail is a 165-mile trail that circles Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the lake and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a great spot for hiking, mountain biking, and sightseeing.

No matter what your interests are, Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone during the summer months. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable summer vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Shopping in Lake Tahoe and Local Attractions

18. Shops and Boutiques in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is home to a variety of shops and boutiques that offer everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. You can find unique handmade products, locally sourced food items, and stylish clothing options. Some of the best shopping destinations in Lake Tahoe include:

  • The Shops at Heavenly Village: This outdoor shopping center offers a range of stores, including fashion boutiques, souvenir shops, and outdoor gear stores.
  • Tahoe City: This charming town is known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and specialty stores. You can find everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing here.
  • Kings Beach: This beach town has a variety of shops that offer beach gear, souvenirs, and local art.

19. Check out Popular Local Attractions in Lake Tahoe

In addition to shopping, Lake Tahoe has a variety of local attractions that are worth checking out. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. Some of the top attractions in Lake Tahoe include:

  • Casinos: Lake Tahoe is home to several casinos that offer gaming, entertainment, and dining options. Some of the most popular casinos include Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
  • Vikingsholm: This historic mansion is located on the shore of Emerald Bay and offers guided tours of the property. You can learn about the history of the mansion and its owners while enjoying the stunning views of the lake.

The Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

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