Experience South Lake Tahoe in the Summer!

Wonderguide by

Christy Woodrow

Experience South Lake Tahoe in the Summer!

South Lake Tahoe is a resort city known for stunning nature and great views. While this may be a popular winter destination, I love coming here in the summer to experience the crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, and hiking! Here are my picks for the best things to do in South Lake Tahoe!

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There are tons of things to do in South Lake Tahoe. Here are some great ways to fill your itinerary!

Image - Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park
Christy:Emerald Bay State Park is the place to go for clear waters and great hiking trails. My favorite trail in this park is Cascade Falls Trail -- it's just a 40-minute walk and is filled to the brim with beautiful views waterfalls!
Image - Lake Tahoe - East Shore Forest
Lake Tahoe - East Shore Forest
Christy:The drive up the east shoreline of Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. Here you'll find sandy beaches, mountain views, and lush forests.
Image - Sand Harbor Beach
Sand Harbor Beach
Christy:While driving up the east shore of the lake, you must stop in at Sand Harbor. Not only does it feature crystal clear waters, but you'll also find some really cool rock formations. I recommend using coming here for a mid-day picnic and a swim!
Image - D L Bliss State Park
D L Bliss State Park
Christy:Located on Lake Tahoe's west shore, D.L. Bliss State Park consists of silky sand beaches, hiking trails, a lighthouse, and campgrounds. The park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset, and gets somewhat congested in the early afternoon. I recommend coming here early or wait until after the midday rush.
Image - Heavenly Gondola Vista Point
Heavenly Gondola Vista Point
Christy:To take in the best view of South Lake Tahoe, hop on the gondola at Heavenly Mountain Resort — the first stop is at 9,123 feet high. From there, you can choose to either rest for a while and have a drink at the observation deck or continue up the gondola until you get to the top of the mountain.
Image - The Loft Theatre-Lounge-Dining
The Loft Theatre-Lounge-Dining
Christy:For something a little different at South Lake Tahoe, check out the magic show at the Loft Theatre. This nightly how features award-winning magicians from all over.
Image - Clearly Tahoe
Clearly Tahoe
Christy:Renting a kayak from Clearly Tahoe is one of the best ways to experience South Lake Tahoe. Not only does the company deliver straight to your hotel or Airbnb, but they also prepare a cooler filled with snacks and boxed water, reef-safe sunscreen, Bluetooth speakers for music, and options of daytime or sunset guided tours!
Image - Rubicon Trail
Rubicon Trail
Christy:Starting in D.L. Bliss State Park, Rubicon Trail is a 5-mile (one way) trail that starts in Bliss and then ends in Emerald Bay. The trail sticks shoreline most of the time and has absolutely unreal lake views along the way.
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Delicious Eats

South Lake Tahoe is home to some seriously mouth-watering grub. These are my faves!

Image - Sprouts Café
Sprouts Café
Christy:If you're looking for fresh, healthy food sure to fuel you up for your adventures, then Sprouts Natural Foods Café is the place to be. The cafe features amazing vegan selections and fresh juice.
Image - Cold Water Brewery and Grill
Cold Water Brewery and Grill
Christy:A relaxed environment with great handcrafted beer, Cold Water Brewery brews their all-grain beer on-site and hosts awesome weekly events. Not to mention, they have a great dining selection!
Image - Lake Tahoe AleWorX
Lake Tahoe AleWorX
Christy:Tahoe AleWorx is where outdoor adventure meets craft beer. The Taproom here features 30 taps -- including three for wine, one for kombucha, and one for nitro coffee! Also, while you're here, you have to try the pizza!
Image - Azul-Latin Kitchen
Azul-Latin Kitchen
Christy:Azul Latin Kitchen in Heavenly Village features a fresh take on traditional Mexican and South American food options. Not to mention, the food here is predominantly organic and sustainable!

Best Accommodation

I recommend splitting your time between both of these accommodation options for best access to all points of interest.

Image - Camp Richardson Hotel
Camp Richardson Hotel
Christy:Part of the Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina, this hotel features 27 rooms decorated in Old Tahoe Style. The hotel truly is charming and is a great option while you're on the South/West shore of the lake.
Image - Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa
Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa
Christy:Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge is a beachfront resort that features both lake and mountain views. The hotel is also home to the wonderful Elements spa - the perfect day to wind down and relax after a long day outside.

Wonderguide map

  1. Emerald Bay State Park
  2. Lake Tahoe - East Shore Forest
  3. Sand Harbor Beach
  4. D L Bliss State Park
  5. Heavenly Gondola Vista Point
  6. The Loft Theatre-Lounge-Dining
  7. Clearly Tahoe
  8. Rubicon Trail
  9. Sprouts Café
  10. Cold Water Brewery and Grill
  11. Lake Tahoe AleWorX
  12. Azul-Latin Kitchen
  13. Camp Richardson Hotel
  14. Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa

Like these tips?
High Five Christy