South Lake Tahoe Summer


This must-read South Lake Tahoe travel guide, California, features everything you need to know about South Lake Tahoe.

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South Lake Tahoe is located in the southernmost part of Lake Tahoe. It is known for its breathtaking views and unbridled natural beauty. This is a popular spot for snowboarders and skiers in winter, but it also makes a great summer destination due to its clear blue waters and miles of sandy beaches and tons of outdoor activities.

How to get to South Lake Tahoe?

If you don’t plan on taking a road trip to South Lake Tahoe, flying into Reno is the best way to get there. After that, rent a car. Jet Blue flew me from Long Beach to Reno (I love the unlimited snacks and WiFi!) The drive from Reno takes approximately an hour.

You can also choose to take the bus or a shuttle from Reno Airport that takes you to South Lake Tahoe.

How to get around South Lake Tahoe?

Renting a car is the best way to get around South Lake Tahoe. There is so much to do and very little public transportation. If you don’t want to drive, there are shuttle services that can take you to the parks and back to your hotel. Or you could rent a bicycle with Lime Bike Rentals.

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  • Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay State Park, located twelve miles north from South Lake Tahoe, is a beautiful oasis with stunning crystal-clear waters, spectacular vantage points and some of the most scenic hiking trails in the area.

Cascade Falls Trail is a great option for those who love hiking. The walk lasts 40 minutes and is filled with stunning scenery. It ends with gorgeous waterfalls.

  • East Shore

According to some, the East Shoreline of Lake Tahoe is the most beautiful drive in America. The entire trip is a delight for the eyes, with its beautiful beaches, mountains, trees, and miles of scenic views,

As you travel up the East Shore, make a stop at Sand Harbor. Here you will find cool rock formations and crystal-clear water. You can picnic under the shade, swim or take a kayak out to Sand Harbor.

Bonsai Rock, another worthwhile site to visit on your East Shore drive, is also worth mentioning. The site is located just south of Sand Harbor and features a unique-shaped boulder with trees growing from it. This spot is very popular with photographers, so bring your gear!

  • L. Bliss State Park

D.L. Bliss, located on Lake Tahoe’s west shore near Emerald Bay, is an amazing park. The park is made up of hiking trails, lighthouses, campgrounds, and silky sand beaches. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset.

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D.L. The Rubicon Trail is a must-see while you’re in D.L. The trail is a 5-mile one-way and starts in Bliss. It ends in Emerald Bay. There are incredible views of Lake Emerald Bay along the way, as the trail sticks to the shoreline.

  • Heavenly Gondola & Mountain Resort

Heavenly Gondola & Mountain Resort covers 4,800 acres and is the largest ski resort on the continent. The resort is equally magical in summer and winter, regardless of whether you are a slope-lover.

The gondola gives you the most incredible view of South Lake Tahoe. It stops at 9,123 feet above the ground. You have two options: you can stop here and enjoy a drink on the observation deck or you can continue climbing the gondola for a few more minutes to reach the summit of the mountain.

To get the Ultimate Adventure Pass, I recommend it highly. It includes access to the rollercoaster and ropes course, tubing as well as the gondola and zip line.

  • Magic Show at Loft Theater

The Loft Theatre’s Magic Show is a unique and awe-inspiring show. The Magic Show at the Loft Theatre is a nightly magic fusion show featuring award-winning magicians from all over.

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  • Kayak on the Lake

Renting a kayak is a great way to truly enjoy Lake Tahoe. Clearly Tahoe provides kayak rentals and will deliver directly to your hotel or Airbnb. You will also receive a cooler, snacks, boxed water, reef-safe sunblock, Bluetooth speakers, and the option of guided daytime or evening tours.