Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake that straddles the state line between California and Nevada and it’s estimated to be 2 millions old. It is a wonderful destination that can be enjoyed all year round – you can do winter sports during the cold months or go for a swim in the lake in the summer.
When we booked our trip to South Lake Tahoe, little did we know that it would be the weekend with the heaviest snow of the season! (we were there on the 2nd week of March). It was truly challenging to drive amidst a heavy snow storm but it was all worth it in the end! The following morning we were in winter wonderland.
On this trip, we wanted to relax and decided to skip skiing/snowboarding – counterintuitive I know, given the perfect snow conditions. But the beauty of South Lake Tahoe is that you can have an amazing time whether you ski or not. On this post, I thought I’d share some ideas on how to spend a weekend if skiing is not on the agenda.
5 fun ways to enjoy Lake Tahoe even if you don’t ski
#1 Take a gondola ride
For the best views of the lake, take the Heavenly Gondola up to the observation deck. After snapping a few pictures, you can have a break at Café Blue or continue up to the top of the mountain, where you can do snow tubing and walk around watching the skiers.
Gondola ticket: $42 per person
#2 Try snow tubing
For those who are not familiar with snow tubing (I didn’t know what it was until I tried it), it entails getting on top of a snowy hill and ride an inflatable inner tube. You can ride one on your own or loop two tubes together as in the picture below.
Heavenly Ski Resort’s snow tubing hill is apparently one of the best snow tubing hills in the California and rightfully so! First of all, it has an amazing travellator that allows you to get to the start point quickly and effortlessly. Secondly, the guys pushing the tubes are super friendly and they are spinning pros! You can ask for a mild or strong spin depending on how brave you feel. We enjoyed it so much, we did it 5+ times! Money well spent.
#3 Trek along the lake
No Lake Tahoe trip is complete without a walk along the stunning lake. We chose to walk from Ski Run Blvd towards Bijou Creek. The views were incredible and presented endless photo opportunities! We saw people flying drones and which gave me serious envy – the footage must be spectacular.
#4 Go beer tasting
After a long day walking in the cold, your body will surely be craving carbs & a beer, probably! We absolutely loved the German restaurant Himmel Haus. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed and they have an amazing selection of beer, mainly imported from Europe.
(No photos here because we were so eager to drink we forgot to take pictures)
#5 Drive around Lake Tahoe’s epic vista points
If you’ve got a bit of free time before you head back home, I highly recommend checking out some of the vista points along the lake. The most prominent ones are: Inspiration Point in Emerald Bay, Cave Rock Drive, Logan Shoals and Sugar Pine State Park, among others. Unfortunately we couldn’t get into these trails because of the heavy snow, but would love to come back in summer to experience some epic hiking.
Where to stay
We stayed at Tahoe Seasons Resort not far from Heavenly Village. It is slightly outdated (currently undergoing major renovations), but the rooms were big and functional. The concierge was super helpful and gave us great tips and recommendations. If you are not fussed about decor, I really recommend this hotel!
Are you heading to California soon? Check out these articles for more trip ideas!
- How to spend a weekend in Yosemite National Park
- Planning a perfect day in Sonoma Valley
- Mission District Murals Tour (San Francisco)
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