Things To Do in Lake Tahoe

With an environment like Lake Tahoe has, it would almost be criminal if the majority of things to do weren’t outdoors.. . . and of course they are! For Lake Tahoe summer activities, you can enjoy the kayaking, SUPing and other water sports that take the lead in Kings Beach things to do. If you’d prefer to frolic in the snow, Lake Tahoe winter activities include ice skating, Nordic skiing and sliding down a snowy mountain in any way you can. Of course all the towns in this part of the woods are known for that, but what about dog sledding? Bet you’ve never done that! It’s a popular Squaw Valley thing to do, so get on it! Lace up your shoes and head out on some of Tahoe’s CIty’s hiking trails that take you on a scenic tour of the beaches and mountains on the West Shore. Several give you amazing views of one of the most beautiful Tahoe City thing to do -- exploring Emerald Bay. You can almost imagine you're in the Caribbean watching this water. Now, if the temps will just rise about 20 more degrees....

Lake Tahoe Things to Do Run the Gamut

If you’re not looking for an athletic vacation, Lake Tahoe things to do provide various other activities that may interest you. Going sight seeing on bus tours that cart you over the entire Tahoe Basin or checking out fascinating exhibits in museums are part of the offerings of the many South Lake Tahoe things to do. Vacation is also the ideal time to take care of yourself, and a visit to one of the spas in Incline Village’s things to do has you feeling pampered and polished in no time. Lake Tahoe also hosts an array of festivals during the warmer months that will appeal to craftsmen, artists, nerds or those celebrating Independence Day.

Check out the listings below to see what summer and winter activities Lake Tahoe things to do has in store for you.

Lake Tahoe Things To Do by Area

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

Lake Tahoe Things To Do 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.

Big Blue Adventure

P.O. Box 2720, Kings Beach, CA
(530) 546-1019

For more than a dozen years, Big Blue Adventure has hosted a variety of sporting events around Lake Tahoe and Truckee. When summer arrives, Big Blue Adventure’s events start rolling so they are perfect for those visiting the area and who want to try out their competitiveness. That said, Big Blue Adventure races are great for people who just want to get out and move while taking in the beauty of the various venues of the events. Try the Emerald Bay Trail Run and it will be hard to keep your eyes on the trail while gazing at the beauty of Lake Tahoe’s iconic bay. Put a few of the running events together for the Tahoe Trail Running Series. Try the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Race on the lake’s North Shore, Xterra (an mountain bike triathlon that includes swimming in Big Blue), various SUP events, adventure racing and triathlons, including the long-running Donner Lake Triathlon in Truckee.

Bowl Incline

920 Southwood Boulevard, Incline Village, NV
(775) 831-1900

Bowl Incline is your one-stop destination for family fun and recreation. The bowling alley sports sixteen natural wood lanes with automatic scoring. For kids they’ve got bumpers and lightweight balls. It’s a great place to host a birthday or other party and lessons are available. Their billiard room contains six tournament-size tables rented by the hour. If it’s snowing outside and you’re dying to golf, bring in your clubs and work on your game in their Full Swing Golf simulator. You can also visit the arcade for video games, pinball or air hockey. They don’t serve food, but there’s a full bar with video poker. They’ve also got a pro bowling shop with fitting and drilling on-site, pool cues and billiard equipment. Bowl Incline is smoke-free and open daily 11 a.m. until midnight except most holidays. They’re located at the intersection of Southwood Boulevard and Incline Way.

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.

Lakeside Casino

Lakeside Inn and Casino
168 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline, NV
(775) 589-2313

The Lakeside Casino offers everything you could want in a gaming establishment, from poker and blackjack and roulette to slots and craps and a sports book. Look for the 3-to-2 odds on all blackjacks and the 10-times odds on all numbers at the craps table. In line with the philosophy of being the friendliest spot in town, there is the University of Lakeside, a weekly class that teaches the fundamentals of the games. The Lakeside is also a brighter, lighter atmosphere than some of the other Nevada casinos. The atmosphere continues the wood-cabin decor of the property with warm browns and earth tones throughout. On the main casino floor is also the Coffee Bar, serving locally roasted Alpen Sierra coffees as well as coffee alcohol beverages, smoothies, salads, bagels and more.

Painted Vine

10770 Donner Pass Road #103, Truckee, CA
(530) 214-8935

Not sure if you swing toward realism or more toward the abstract? The folks at Painted Vine are more than happy to coax out your inner Rembrandt or Picasso — with a little help from Bacchus, god of vino, if you so choose. The Painted Vine is a combination wine bar/painting studio. It’s a well-appointed space where beginner and more advanced painters can take brush and palette to canvas and easel and create their own masterpieces. The no-pressure environment is aided by the well-stocked wine bar and friendly and knowledgeable instructors there to guide painters through the creative process. Painted Vine can host group events and offers a date night, where couples can break out of their normal routines and, perhaps, paint the town red.

Ponderosa Golf Course

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District
10040 Reynold Way, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-3501
Ponderosa Golf Course is a quintessential Truckee story. The nine-hole public course was built more than 50 years ago by the residents of town. The course was family owned for most of that half-century but was kept from being turned into a subdivision when the Truckee Airport District purchased it in 2008. Now Ponderosa is managed by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District with the intention of welcoming duffers for another 50 years. Ponderosa is aptly named because it winds through tall ponderosa pines and other majestic evergreens natural to the high Sierra. With its wide fairways and sloped greens, the course suits putters. With push cart rentals, the course is ideal for walking. There are chipping and practice greens, a five tee driving nets, pro shop and snack bar. With Ponderosa managed by the park and rec district, there is a robust selection of clinics geared toward kids as young as 6. 

Stillwater Spa

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino
111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, NV
(775) 886-6745

Are you ready for a little pampering? Get yourself down to the Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe and prepare to relax. The philosophy of the spa reflects the tranquility of the natural surroundings, incorporating the clear waters of the lake and the pure mountain air balanced with the elements of earth and fire in treating your body, mind and soul. Massage styles include deep tissue, sports and hot stone therapy performed in one of their 16 treatment rooms with alpine views. Other body treatments include detoxing mud or herbal wraps, wellness scrubs and facial treatments. Hair, nails, waxing and airbrush tanning are performed in their salon. Choose from several packages with a combination of services including a couple’s treatment for you and your honey in a fireplace suite. Or maybe you just want to relax, take a steam and a sauna and sip a cup of herbal tea.

Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema

475 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, CA
(530) 584-2431

Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema is not just your regular movie theater. Recently renovated complete with overstuffed leather rocking chairs and comfy couches in the theater and a full bar with seven beers and cider on tap in the entry area, Tahoe Art Haus takes going to a movie to whole new level of fun. The theater was a little rundown when the new owners bought it, but now with its comfortable renovation the Art Haus hosts independent films, ski flicks, locally created masterpieces, motion pictures and environmental films. Art Haus also offers a stage for dance performers, speakers and filmmakers as well as live music. The space is also rentable for a large party or custom film showing. They have a continually changing stream of film nights, so be sure to check their website or visit their location to learn specific details.

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.

Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center

Tahoe Donner
15275 Alder Creek Road, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-9470

One way for almost every person to explore Tahoe Donner’s nearly 3,500 acres of open space mountain scenery is on horseback via more than 100 km of trails. During the summer season Tahoe Donner’s equestrian center offers a variety of guided rides for members of the homeowners association, their guests and the public. Choose from 1-hour to 2-hour trail rides, with the latter best suited for those with riding experience. For the 2- to 6-year-old set the center has pony rides with mom or dad leading the way. Private lessons are also available on weekends only. All rides and lessons require reservations, and helmets are required for all riders younger than 18 and recommended for those 18 and older. Long pants and closed-toe footwear are a must for horse and pony rides. An on-site shop stocks sun screen, bug spray, water bottles and other horse-related accessories and souvenirs.

Tahoe Donner Golf Course

Tahoe Donner
12850 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-9443

Tahoe Donner offers scores of amenities to its homeowner members, and the crown jewel is the championship golf course. What makes the 18-hole course even more special is that it’s also open to the public. Set on 200 acres of high-elevation, pine-shrouded beauty, the 7002-yard, par 72 course is open from spring to fall. But the fun no longer stops when the snow starts to fall, as Tahoe Donner now has a new Winter Golf Academy that offers “virtual” golf via a high-definition, interactive 142-inch screen. The academy offers coaching, swing analysis and an adjacent pub all winter. When the weather is warm Tahoe Donner has available PGA teaching pros for private lessons and a driving range.

Tahoe Gal

952 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, CA
(800) 218-2464

The Tahoe Gal is north shore of Lake Tahoe's funnest cruise. Offering a diverse and full menu of tours, the Tahoe Gal gives the whole family a chance to see the jewel of the Sierra from the bow of a paddleboat. Giving tours that range from a day tour to a sunset excursion, from a full moon or magician cruise to a cruise that celebrates the 4th of July. They also offer on summer Sunday evenings a live music and dinner cruise that brings romance to any Tahoe sunset. The Tahoe Gal is also completely available for weddings, parties or celebrations. The entire boat fits 135 people, and the complete affair can be supported by the North Tahoe Cruises company that runs Tahoe Gal. If your party is smaller the Commodore's Salon is available for up to 30 people.

Tahoe Mountain Fitness

12047 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA
(530) 412-3548

Tahoe Mountain Fitness offers more than 70 fitness, yoga and martial arts classes per week, so there has to be at least one activity that gets you hooked. From “body combat” workouts to mommy-and-me yoga classes and just about every kind of movement activity in between, Tahoe Mountain Fitness has something to offer everyone. Turn those buns into steel with targeted, non-impact Barre workouts or try something more upbeat like indoor cycling classes. Chill your mind and body with a variety of yoga classes. Want to unplug the children? Get them into the Karate Kids program. Tahoe Mountain Fitness offers introduction class passes to make sampling all the offerings easy.

Tahoe Sport Fishing

900 Ski Run Boulevard Suite 102, South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 541-5448
760 Highway 50, Zephyr Cove, NV
(775) 586-9338

Are you ready to catch a 20 pound fish out of Lake Tahoe? Tahoe Sport Fishing can help make it happen. Although it's never a promised thing, this is the place to go to find where the fish are biting. Trained in knowing Lake Tahoe like the back of their hand, the guides at Tahoe Sport Fishing know where to go, when and for how long. They are also talented at getting the entire family involved in having a great time fishing and enjoying Lake Tahoe, winter or summer.

Tahoe Sports Hub

10095 W. River Street, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-4510

The Tahoe Sports Hub is full of gear for every adventure sport for every Sierra season. From watersports, the trail and granite in summer to skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in winter, Tahoe Sports Hub either sells it or rents it. There is an on-site bicycle shop that sells bikes and gear as well as offering bike repair and rentals. Other summer fun can be had with rentals for SUP, kayak/canoe and climbing. Same goes for winter with alpine, backcountry, Nordic ski equipment, snowboard and snowshoe rentals. In addition to rentals and new gear to purchase, Tahoe Sports Hub has a consignment gear area stocked with used winter gear — apparel, skis, snowboards, boots, bindings — and used summer gear — backpacks, footwear and rock climbing gear. Owners and staff are open to sharing not only their knowledge of what they sell but also of the Truckee-Tahoe region. There is also an in-house ski-repair and tuning shop. 

The Village at Squaw Valley

1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley, CA
(800) 403-0206

The Village at Squaw Valley is northern California's example of a ski hamlet, offering a little bit for everyone. The rooms all have views of the mountains and are located a few steps from the various base area ski lifts. Rooms are situated above the plethora of shops and restaurants with balconies looking out over the hustle and bustle below. The variety of restaurants and shops is created to connect with the needs and wants of the variety of guests that visit the area. For example, for the 20-somethings there are three different bars that are busy on weekends and holidays. For couples, there are romantic restaurants and couples activities like sleigh rides to inspire connection. For families, there are a variety of restaurants and shops that keep all ages occupied plus a museum highlighting the area's ski heritage, miniature golf, climbing walls, the Trilogy Spa, Sky Jump (an acrobatic bungee play gym for all ages) and the Wanderlust Yoga Studio. The Village is also the launching place for the aerial tram, which flies another 2,000 vertical feet up, to High Camp located at 8,200 feet. Here you will find hiking, disc golf, the High Camp Pool & Hot Tub as well as dining and bar options. In February, the Village is host to a week-long, kids-focused event, Kid-O-Rama. The non-stop fun that focuses on youngsters offers fire trucks, snowplows and grooming equipment plus dancing to street concerts and children-centric concerts, or they can get artistic at the craft and game room. The entire Village becomes a virtual ghost town during mid-October to early-November. If quiet doesn't bother you, this is an excellent time to get incredible discounts on rooms.

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. 

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District

8924 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-7720

Take a look around and it’s clear that Truckee is a special town: history, mountains, lakes, river and forests. But there are many hidden gems known mostly to locals. The thing is, those gems are kept shining by the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District for the enjoyment of locals and visitors. Some of the amenities and facilities managed by the district are accessible for free, others for a fee. Either way, the district has received awards for its facilities, and after discovering a few it’s easy to understand why. From the nine-hole Ponderosa Golf Course and an ice rink in winter to super-kid-friendly West End Beach and the public piers on Donner Lake, discover what locals keep to themselves. The crown jewel is the 40,000-square-foot Community Recreation Center with, among other things, a two-court gymnasium, indoor running track, exercise equipment and two climbing walls (one is 29 feet tall). Soon there will be a new, state-of-the-art aquatics center attached to the Rec Center. Want to find Truckee’s soul? Head to Regional Park every Wednesday evening in the summer for free concerts in the grassy amphitheater. Also check out the new bike park at Riverview Sports Park and the popular disc golf course and skate park in Regional Park.

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.