Lake Tahoe Attractions

While the lake is a sight to see in and of itself, Lake Tahoe attractions go beyond just the water. The area’s rich environment influences the majority of Lake Tahoe’s attractions: hiking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, sunbathing, paddleboarding and more. Enjoy the great outdoors by visiting South Lake Tahoe’s attractions, including state parks, campgrounds suitable for both summer and winter weather or historic homes. Or let the famous Christmas carol come alive as you go on a sleigh ride through the snow. While Lake Tahoe’s attractions encourage a sense of athleticism, you don’t have to be planning your next 5K to appreciate them. You’ll find the area’s museums, visual arts and beaches are the kind of relaxed fun some visitors hope to find during vacations.

Tahoe Towns’ Attractions

Lake Tahoe attractions also embrace the area’s history. Visit the Truckee attraction where the infamous Donner party is rumored to have fallen to cannibalism. You can also check out one of Squaw Valley’s attractions, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and view the same slopes that welcomed the world’s great athletes decades ago. It might inspire you to channel your inner Heidi Beibl (the 1960 Winter Olympic Women’s Downhill Skiing gold medalist) as you swoosh down nearby mountains.

If you’re in the mood for some visual entertainment, you can attend festivals in Incline Village that will delight the English and history nerds in your group. Tahoe City’s attractions also feature a variety of fun on the beach, including concerts and movies.

The summer seasons are prime time to take advantage of the main attraction: Lake Tahoe! All the towns offer tours for different areas in the Tahoe Basin. After being educated about the lake, dive in – we mean quite literally too – to all it has to offer. Kings Beach attractions let you sign up for a fishing excursion to hook some trout or explore every beach.

Check out the listings below to see what Lake Tahoe attractions will pique your interest during your visit.

Lake Tahoe Attractions by Area

South Lake Tahoe | Truckee | Tahoe City & West Shore | Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows
Kings Beach & North Shore Incline Village & Crystal Bay

Lake Tahoe Attractions by Category

Around Tahoe Tours

P.O. Box 5285, Incline Village, NV
(775) 560-5629

Around Tahoe Tours is your best bet for getting a true feel and knowledge of the local area. Created by Darin Talbot, the tour agency is a culmination of his knowledge that began in 1977 when he moved to the area with his fun attitude and amusing ways of sharing the tales of Tahoe. A musician and storyteller by heart, Talbot is able to create an entertaining and educational tour for the entire family. His tours range from in-person private tours to group tours to CD tours that are self-guiding. The tours focus on all of the various areas of the Tahoe Basin, from South Lake Tahoe to Truckee. Around Tahoe Tours also offers a GPS app to help visitors know the area and see hidden gems.

Homewood Mountain Resort

5145 West Lake Boulevard, Homewood, CA
(530) 525-2992

Homewood Mountain Resort is a fabulous ski hill for beginners, intermediates and those who enjoy smooth groomers. Although Homewood may be small, it has some of the best views of Lake Tahoe, as it is located directly across the street from the lake. The airy view from the ski runs and lifts are unlike any other ski area in Lake Tahoe. Its tiny stature lends to a welcoming feeling, where each person is seen for the skier or snowboarder that they are and want to be.

Tahoe Donner

11509 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-9400

The sprawling Tahoe Donner subdivision and its 6,000-plus homes above Truckee is many things to lots of people. For some it is their home neighborhood; for others it’s where they rent a house for a few days in winter or summer. Locals and visitors all take advantage of the Tahoe Donner Association’s 7,000 acres and equally vast amenities available to homeowners as well as to the public. The association’s clubhouses are members only, but the public can experience Tahoe Donner for free or pay-to-play at top-notch offerings such as the 18-hole golf course, the equestrian center for riding lessons, the cross-country ski center and its 100 km of groomed trails and kid-friendly snow-play area. The downhill ski center is ideal for little kids (and adults) to learn skiing and snowboarding. More than 60 miles of trails and fire roads wind through nearly 3,500 acres of open space and can be explored for free on foot, bike or snowshoes. And after all that exploring, Tahoe Donner has a variety of places to dine. The Lodge Restaurant and Pub has indoor and outdoor dining next to the golf course. Pizza on the Hill also offers other fare plus a full bar and game room for the kids. Also keep an eye open for events open to the public held at various times in the season.

Truckee Bike Park

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District
12200 Joerger Drive, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-7720

Go to the Truckee Bike Park and you’ll see teens and adults pulling off high-flying stunts and toddlers pushing their strider bikes. The bike park was designed for all ability types, so it’s a perfect place to spend several hours while the little ones get a feel for riding on easy tracks and the older and bigger ones take advantage of berms and jumps on the park’s pump tracks, flow trails and dual slalom course. A pump track, by the way, is a small, looping trail system that one can ride continuously without pedaling. It’s an ideal way to master bike handling and have fun at the same time. There are also drops of differing heights to ride over to practice before getting out on the trail. Helmets are required; knee/elbow pads are optional but suggested. 

West End Beach

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District
15962 South Shore Drive, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-7720

Lake Tahoe, 15 minutes away, gets all the attention, but Truckee has a gem of its own: Donner Lake. While not as big and broad as Big Blue, Donner Lake offers up a good bit of watery fun too. One of the best places to access Donner is West End Beach. In summer months during the day, there is a modest admission fee to enter the 10-acre west end area, but the sandy beach and roped-off, kid-friendly swim area is the place to take youngsters to build sand castles and splash in the water all under the watch of life guards. Operated by the Truckee Donner Park and Recreation Department, West End Beach also has paddleboards, kayaks and pedal boats available to rent. There is plenty of free fun once into the beach area: two playgrounds for kids to get their kicks on, a sand volleyball court, tennis court, a basketball court and horseshoe pits. A snack bar serves up soft drinks, hot dogs and ice cream. Get there early and stake out a picnic table and grill. There are shady group picnic areas available by reservation. Local's only tip: If you can wait until after the summer operating hours, access to the beach is free, but gates close at sundown so do your grilling quickly.