Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite summer vacation spots. From the sandy beach and water sports to hiking and mountain biking, there is something for everyone. Not to mention the amazing weather!
My parents have been going in mid-July for almost 15 years. We are fortunate enough to go with them as often as we would like! Today I’m sharing my favorite things to do and see in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer. We hope to go this winter and I’ll share those with you then.
About Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is partially in California and partially in Nevada. We stay on the Nevada side so most of my experience is there. Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine lake in North America and the second deepest as well. The water is so clear and so blue! Once you see it, you’ll understand the local motto: Keep Tahoe Blue! The Nevada side has several casinos but gambling is not allowed in California. There are 12 ski resorts for winter fun.
Where to Stay
We stay in Incline Village at the at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino. We typically stay in Hyatt condos. They book up early if you are not an owner so start planning now for next summer. We’ve also stayed in the hotel and really loved it. They have great family rooms that are very large and have a king bed, built-in bunk beds and a window seat the size of a twin bed. It was perfect for the 5 of us for a week.
The Hyatt has the best beach on the lake and great activities for the kids as well as a water sports center where you can rent kayaks paddle boards, etc. They also have a huge catamaran you can book a cruise on. Sunday mornings are discounted, fyi. Note: Don’t let the ‘casino’ bother you at all. This is truly a family oriented resort. It is set off to the side and we forget it is even there…
Rent a home – I only know Incline Village very well but I do think this is the most family friendly location on the Nevada side. Tahoe City is a cute town but there can be a lot of traffic because it is a thorough fare between Incline and Squaw Valley.
Where To Eat
Sunnyside – This is a great casual restaurant on the water with a gorgeous view of the lake. You are fine in a Tshirt and shorts here. They have a dock and it is fun to stop there for lunch if you are on a boat or just to watch them come it. There is also a Lodge here that looks very nice.
Gar Woods Grill and Pier – This restaurant is a bit more upscale but nice shorts and a summer dress are still fine. This is a great place for a special occasion dinner as well. Many weddings are held here. Can you imagine! Gorgeous! It is named for all the beautiful, classic wooden boats that are all over Lake Tahoe.
Austin’s – A very casual restaurant in Incline Village. Great for salads and burgers. We eat here when we arrive each year and also pick up take out as well.
Plumpjack Inn – This Squaw Valley restaurant and inn hosted us for dinner this year. Their menu is upscale and inventive. We had an amazing time with my parents. They also have a lively lobby bar.
Tunnel Creek Cafe – This is a “hole in the wall” type place with great food at the trail head of the Incline Flume Trail (see hikes below.)
Beach Barbecue – If you are staying at the Hyatt condos you are an “owner” for the week and can get a pass to go to one of the local beachfront parks. We love to cook out at Incline Beach. If you rent a home, this is probably the case well. Be sure to check with the owners. We always make my husband’s famous Frozen Margaritas!