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How to Spend 1 Day in Lake Tahoe

How to Spend 1 Day in Lake Tahoe

From forested peaks to the lakeshore, Lake Tahoe is all about nature. In summer, that means cruising the lake on a boat, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak. In winter, grab skis or a board to carve turns on slopes, or bundle up for a cozy sleigh ride through the woods. Here’s how to enjoy one day in Tahoe.

 

Morning: Get Cruisy

Get an early start on the day to catch morning light on the Sierra peaks—the wide-open landscape makes for expansive views. If it’s summer in Lake Tahoe, head out on the water, choosing from options that include boat cruises, kayak rentals, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboards.

 

When snow blankets the mountains, pre-book lift tickets for a morning of skiing and riding; one money-saving option is to book tickets, rentals, and a ski or snowboard lesson all in one. To experience the mountains without the crowds (and steep descents), consider renting cross-country skis or opting for a guided snowshoe tour.

Afternoon: Sierra Mountains Slow Travel

After going into town for lunch, head back outside for more activities. In the winter, sleigh rides are an old fashioned way to see the lakeshore to the sound of jingling bells. For a leisurely summer afternoon, rent a bike to ride on the paved bike path that wraps around the lake. In any season, a helicopter tour means spectacular views of the lake and mountains— whether you’re looking down at towering snow drifts or sails on Emerald Bay.

Night: Sunset and South Lake

Make the day count by adding one more outing to your Lake Tahoe adventure. In warm weather, sunset cruises catch the last rays of light as the lake quiets down, with some tours combining dinner with time on the water. No matter the season, the South Lake Tahoe casino scene heats up after dark, or you can snag a coveted spot at Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe, where the rock-and-roll vibe meets woodsy chic.

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3 Tours and Activities

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Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

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Take a boat tour on Lake Tahoe to soak up the alpine beauty of Emerald Bay, one of the lake’s most scenic spots. As you glide across the water on the M.S. Dixie II, admire the surrounding Sierra Nevadas, and cruise past Emerald Bay’s Fannete Island, the lake’s only island, as well as Vikingsholm Castle, a unique home on the shore. Plus, watch a video on board about the interesting underwater features of the lake.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.75
From
$69.75

Lake Tahoe Small-Group Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour

Lake Tahoe Small-Group Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour

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572
Tahoe photographic tours offer a unique way to enjoy Lake Tahoe’s natural wonders and receive photography tips as you are led by an experienced photo guide who provides tips and shares information about the area. Whether you’re looking to snap a poster-worthy shot of snow-covered mountains, towering trees, wild flowers or the glassy lake itself, you’ll learn how to shoot in the great outdoors and see some of Lake Tahoe’s most beautiful natural sights, including Emerald Bay. Select either a half-day or full-day tour.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$189.00
From
$189.00

Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake Tahoe

Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake Tahoe

Go cross-country skiing in South Lake Tahoe, and enjoy the winter wonderland scenery while getting an excellent workout. With this cross-country ski rental package, you’ll receive the equipment you need to explore the mountain trails of the Sierra Nevada. Get fitted for boots, poles, skis, and bindings—plus you can rent or buy outerwear, if you need it. Reserving your rental in advance ensures you won’t miss out during the busy ski season.
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  • 1 to 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.80
From
$34.80