By: Bailey Gaddis
While the spirit of many ski towns dissolves with the snow, the Tahoe area pulsates with energy all year. When the skiers and boarders skip town, usually after enjoying the snow from November to July, a fresh crop of thrill seekers and wanderlusts emerge to enjoy the hiking, biking, diving, fishing, swimming, and sightseeing in the visually rich environment.
With an overflowing platter of recreational options, this area is ideal for families yearning for adventure, but with a variety of comfort zones.
When planning your summer vacation to Tahoe, pick and choose from the following to craft an epic journey into this astounding pocket of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
1. Bike Riding: If you’re looking for a scenic, safe, and leisurely family bike ride, rent your wheels at Parallel Mountain Sports in the Village at Squaw Valley (or bring your own!) and have them direct you to the path that snakes along the Truckee River all the way to the crisp waters of Lake Tahoe.
Many of Tahoe’s other popular spots (see Sand Harbor below) rent bikes and offer family-friendly paths.
2. Scuba Diving: With excellent visibility and a fantasyland of shipwrecks, forests, and mazes of boulders, the depths of Lake Tahoe provide an optimal yet eerie destination for scuba divers.
Many of the nearest dive shops are located in Reno, Nevada so make sure you pre-plan your dives – and psst… one of the favorites is Sierra Dive Center.
3. Beach Bumming: Stick your toes into the warm silky sand at Sand Harbor, which offers boulders to dive off, rentals for goodies like bikes and SUP boards, hiking trails, and clean facilities. Make sure you arrive early to snag a parking spot, as the allure of this sanctuary is not lost on fellow beach bummers.
4. Fishing Charter: The Hyatt Regency at Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village is now offering a program named Fishable Lake Tahoe that allows families to book a private fishing charter, which includes fishing licenses, bait, tackle, and complimentary beverages and snacks. And, because prepping your catch is often the most unsavory aspect of fishing the resort’s Lone Eagle Grille will prepare and serve your fish for you – but, you can still call it a meal well earned!
5. Paddle Boarding: If you want an ideal way to glide over the clear waters of Lake Tahoe while also giving your arms, core, and legs (OK, every part of your body) a workout, check out the stand-up paddle board rentals, lessons, and tours at Tahoe Adventure Company. If you slip off the board on your journey pat yourself on the back for having a well-rounded Lake Tahoe excursion – because come on, you can’t go on the lake without getting in it.
6. Geocaching: Catch a ride on the Ariel Tram that takes you over 2,000 feet up to High Camp at Squaw Valley and get to searching for the ten geocaches that contain prizes and a log sheet to sign. After you’re done exploring, make your way to the High Camp pool and hot tub perfectly positioned to offer gasp-worthy views of the mountainscapes.
7. Ropes Course: The ultimate family bonding activity lives at the Lake Tahoe Ropes Course, which includes three aerial adventure parks that suit every level of ability. Plan to spend over 2.5 hours navigating this course while diving into the act of team work with your friends and family. Children as young as 5 can participate.