You may think of Lake Tahoe as a winter destination, the place to go for skiing and snow play, and it is. But in fact, it's even more popular in the summer. With almost-perfect daytime temperatures and cool nights, it can be a refuge, where you can get a break from Central Valley heat or coastal summer fog. And there's plenty to do in and around the lake when it's warm.
All of that make it a great place to go for the weekend.
You can plan your Lake Tahoe summer weekend getaway using the resources below.
Scenes from Lake Tahoe
Enjoy some of our best shots in this Lake Tahoe Photo Tour
Why Should You Go to Lake Tahoe in the Summer? Will You Like It?
Lake Tahoe is popular with all kinds of people, especially those who enjoy the great outdoors, but it's also a great place to take a lazy drive along the shore.
Best Time in the Summer to Go to Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe weather is great in summer, but it gets very crowded on holiday weekends. Try to go mid-week if you can.
A ride to the top of the mountain on the Gondola at Heavenly. It offers the most stunning views you can imagine and lives up to the name Heavenly. The only reason not to go is if you suffer from altitude sickness. Or fear of heights. It's at 9,123 feet.
5 Great Things to Do at Lake Tahoe in Summer
- Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: Even if you don't normally like Shakespeare, give this lakeside festival a try for its gorgeous surroundings and laid-back ambiance. Bored? Just lean back and look at the stars.
- Take a Boat Cruise: There's no better way to see the vast lake than to get out in the middle of it.
- Vikingsholm: This Scandinavian-style house, the former summer home of millionaire heiress Lora Knight sitting on the edge Emerald Bay is worth a visit.
- Hang Out at a Resort: Squaw Valley and Northstar are just as beautiful in summer as they are in winter, they offer a full range of summer activities for the whole family, such as miniature golf and roller skating. You will also find excellent prices for lodging.
- Go rafting on the Truckee: If you're as uncoordinated as I am, you might get a little wet, but a raft trip down the Truckee River is a fine way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Annual Lake Tahoe Summer Events You Should Know About
South Lake Tahoe hosts Lights on the Lake, the biggest Fourth of July fireworks display in the western United States.
Tips for Lake Tahoe in Summer
- Lake Tahoe is busier in summer than it is in winter. Plan ahead as much as you can, and if you don't like crowds, avoid holiday weekends.
- We know it's popular, but why spend time inside a smoky, dark casino with all the natural beauty outside? At the very least, try to start your casino time after the sun sets.
- Bring plenty of sunscreen. It's easier to get sunburned at this altitude.
- The lake is especially beautiful and romantic in the moonlight. Plan ahead. Find out when the sun sets and what day the moon is full.
Friends who live in Incline Village say the Hyatt has one of the best brunches in town.
The Log Cabin in Kings Beach at North Lake Tahoe serves great traditional breakfasts, and if you give them a call at 530-546-7109 when you leave your hotel, they'll put your name on their waiting list.
Where to Stay
This handy guide gives you all the driving details.
The nearest airport is in Reno, Nevada.