Your days on beautiful Lake Tahoe will be action-packed and full of adventure. Choose from a host of exciting activities, including a bike ride around the rim of the lake, kayaking through its vast cerulean blue waters, or tubing with a side of beer-drinking along the Truckee River, just to name a few.
For your time spent in the area’s scenic, waterfront towns, I’ll tell you about the best spots to taste craft beers, as well as a couple of foodie locales that defy the lake’s lackluster culinary reputation. While all of the waterfront RV parks are fully booked for your travel dates, I’ve found one north of the lake with availability. Goose Meadows is located on the Truckee River, which is perfect for swimming, and 10 miles north of Tahoe City, one of the lake’s dining and nightlife hubs.
Close to Home
Before plunging into the Lake Tahoe region, park your ride at Goose Meadows, an RV park located about 10 miles north of the waterfront town of Tahoe City. This serene spot is set away from the hustle and bustle of the lake’s tourist hubs and right on the Truckee River, where you can cool off with a dip after each day’s adventures.
On this travel day, stay close to home and explore the area around the north shore of the lake. You’re in an especially great position to hike through Burton Creek, which has been called Tahoe’s “secret state park.” Located on the northeast side of Tahoe City, this protected area was established so that the land could replenish itself after years of logging. The result is a beautiful area of recovering forest and meadowlands with six miles of unpaved roadways that are ideal for hiking.
Before or after hiking and exploring, relax in Tahoe City at the Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. This local brewery has a tasting room, brew pub, and artisanal bottle shop. While its food is not the most celebrated on the lake, this spot is great for beer lovers.
Consider having dinner in downtown Truckee, the small city just to the north of your campsite. This charming and colorful town is the area’s culinary hot spot. Standouts here include Cottonwood, a nouveau-American spot with a patio that hosts live music on summer nights, Stella for the best (and priciest) food in town, and FiftyFifty Brewing Co., for an outstanding beer list.
Out on the Water
This morning head into Tahoe City, cooler in tow. Stock up on drinks at Tahoe Mountain Brewing’s bottle shop or at Lakeview Wine & Spirits and pick up picnic foods at Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet. At this deli/bakery you can grab gourmet sandwiches and salads and irresistible pastries to enjoy on the lake.
Saturday is the perfect day to get out on that turquoise blue water that you’ve been eyeing. In the summers, especially on weekend afternoons, a party scene often pops up around boaters who anchor in the stunning Emerald Bay. If you want to join, rent a boat from Tahoe City Marina Boat Rentals and head to the southwest corner of the lake.
If you’re looking for a more active day, traverse the lake via kayak or stand up paddleboard instead. You can rent them at Tahoe City Kayak, located a couple of doors down from the brewery in downtown Tahoe City.
If you decide to go with the motorboat option, take advantage of the access you’ll have to dining options outside of Tahoe City. There are a number of boat-friendly restaurants where you can dock and dine. Among the best options is Chambers Landing, the oldest bar and grill on Lake Tahoe.
Ride the Rim
Fuel up this morning with breakfast at the Fire Sign Cafe, which dishes up the best eggs benedict on the lake, as well as great handcrafted coffee drinks. Don’t miss the chai latte!
Next, stop by Olympic Bike Shop, where you can rent some wheels for a ride through the region. Even if you already have bikes, the staff here can provide you with trail maps, as well as recommendations on their favorite rides. With careful planning, ambitious riders can do the 72-mile road trip around the lake in a day.
For a more relaxing afternoon opt for one of the paved paths, like the West Shore Path, which deposits riders at the beautiful beaches of Sugar Pine Point State Park. If you choose this option, also consider going a little further down the road to the Eagle Lake Trailhead. This hike is four miles round-trip and takes you to an inviting lake in the mountains where you can cool off with a refreshing swim.
Adventurous riders may want to tackle one of the famous mountain-bike trails in the hills above the lake just across the Nevada state line.
After your ride, reward yourselves at one of the best restaurants on the lake. The Rustic Lounge at Cedar Glen Lodge is located just down the road from Tahoe City in Tahoe Vista. Reservations are an absolute must at this small and popular restaurant. If you can’t get in here, try Christy Hill Restaurant in Tahoe City, which boasts panoramic views over the lake.