So you want to take the family on a vacation to Lake Tahoe. Great plan! There is always something fun and inspiring for adults and children alike. In fact, because of its significance on the historical records of the western United States, it’s been a family favorite for generations. Here is a sample five-day itinerary for your family-friendly journey to North Lake Tahoe.
Day 1: Taylor Creek Visitor Center
This Lake Tahoe attraction proves that you can have a great time as a family without having to smash your piggy bank and count the pennies. There are guided and self-guided tours of the center, and you can even view the Taylor Creek fish and underwater plant life through a glass-enclosed underwater chamber that intersects the creek. There is also an interesting diorama of local plant and animal species. This attraction is open from Memorial Day through Halloween and also offers outdoor trails through a marsh, forest zones, and a historic walkway that passes other Lake Tahoe attractions. Bring binoculars to catch some of the amazing birdlife, wildflowers and the shy animals that wander Lake Tahoe.
Family-friendly tip: Bring hats, sunscreen, and water for all your walking tours in Lake Tahoe, even in you come in winter. The altitude is high, and the protective atmosphere is thin—dehydration and sunburn can happen quickly here.
Day 2: Skating at Northstar Village
This rink offers 9,000 square feet of skating fun and is free to attend. In the winter it’s an ice skating rink, with fire pits around the perimeter and lots of food choices—as well as hot chocolate, a must with outdoor skating. And what about summer? It becomes a roller skating rink. Forgot your skates? No problem, you can rent some there.
Family-friendly tip: When ice skating remember that more socks do not always mean warmer feet. Several pairs of socks mean bigger boot sizes, which can make skating difficult. To stay warm and keep your ankles intact, simply wear one good pair of socks and stop when you’re cold to sit by a fire pit and drink delicious hot beverages.
Day 3: Inspiration Point Vista
Inspiration Point Vista is both a great place to view stunning scenery and have an exciting drive as well. The short trip up Route 89 is rather treacherous—there are no guardrails on some of the more dangerous stretches of road and there are a lot of curves. But your reward will be spectacular scenery at the lookout point over Emerald Bay that even children will appreciate.
There are plenty of interpretive signs for you to read about the geology and landmarks visible from the lookout. It is also close to Bayview Trailhead Campground for families who like to camp.
Family-friendly tip: Always check road conditions if there has been recent inclement weather.
Day 4: Boat Tour Day
It’s true, kids love boat trips, and there are many to choose from for a great family-friendly journey to North Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Boat Rides has a large selection of tours for your family, and each ride includes a captain licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. You can also bring food and beverages onboard. In the summer you may even find a tour that offers a swimming boat side! If your family loves watersports, the company also offers wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, and snorkeling, and equipment is included in the package.
If you prefer a luxury cruise, Tahoe Cruises and Tahoe Emerald Bliss may be more to your liking. Is your family planning a reunion or party at lake Tahoe? Talk to Tahoe Party Cruises can tailor a day to fit your needs.
Family-friendly tip: Always bring water and sunscreen. Most boat tour companies bring bottled water but have your own in case they run out. Also, bring a swimsuit and towel if you plan to swim.
Day 5: Palisades Tahoe Aerial Tram and Historic Downtown Truckee
Make this a two-in-one day with a scenic tram ride that takes you over mountains, waterfalls, and the lake—2,000 feet up! When you land at the 8,200-foot High Camp you can swim in the pool or warm up in the hot tub. For extra fun zip around the roller skating rink that looks over Lake Tahoe.
When you’re down the mountain again, head to downtown Truckee, where you can learn local cultural and geographic history, shop the boutiques (and merchant tents on festival days), sample the wide variety of cuisine, and catch a concert. Before you leave for your family-friendly journey to North Lake Tahoe, check with the Truckee Downtown Merchant’s Association for scheduled activities.
Enjoy a Family Trip to Tahoe
In fact, it pays to plan ahead for your entire vacation. You can save money, time, and disappointment if you know what’s happening—and what isn’t—before you leave home. Always check with your expert advisers at Tahoe Signature properties when you’re planning your trip to North Lake Tahoe.