From the snow-capped peaks to the crystal-clear waters, North Lake Tahoe is a captivating alpine paradise. Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, there are so many incredible things to see and do in this stunning region! We’ve rounded up our top ten things to do in North Lake Tahoe to take the guesswork out of planning your vacation to the Sierra Nevadas! 


Check Out One of the Many Ski Resorts 

You may think that North Lake Tahoe’s many ski resorts are best visited in the winter – but in fact, these incredible resorts offer fabulous year-round recreation! The two most popular resorts in the region are Palisades Tahoe and Northstar California Resort. In the winter, these resorts transform into snowy paradises, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding. Come summer, the slopes become a playground for hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts where you can explore lush mountain trails and bask in breathtaking panoramic views.

Beyond traditional mountain activities, these resorts host lots of events and festivals, attracting visitors throughout the year. From music festivals and yoga retreats to food and wine events, there’s always something for everyone! Whether you’re booking a winter vacation to spend time on powder-covered slopes or a summer getaway to enjoy a plethora of outdoor summer adventures, North Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts provide an all-season playground for both nature lovers and thrill-seekers!


Spend Time on the Lakes

When the summer hits in North Lake Tahoe, there’s no better way to spend a sunny day than exploring the refreshing, pristine waters of Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake. On Lake Tahoe, you can checkout the beautiful, popular sandy shores of Kings Beach and Tahoe City offers an idyllic setting for a day spent on the Lake! Although Lake Tahoe’s turquoise waters are appealing, if you want to avoid the thronging crowds of Lake Tahoe and still enjoy a relaxing day on the water, Donner Lake is a fantastic option! 

Whether you’re looking for a launching point for kayaking or paddleboarding expeditions, the perfect boating and jet skiing adventures, a fantastic day of fishing, or the perfect beach to spend a day swimming in the warm mountain lakes, guests can find all this and so much more in North Lake Tahoe! 


Go Golfing

If you’re looking for a stunning golf destination, North Lake Tahoe should be on your list! In the warm months, golf enthusiasts can find an array of world-class courses that offer a perfect blend of alpine landscapes and pristine fairways, making North Lake Tahoe a golfer’s paradise. Notable courses like the Old Brockway Golf Course, near Kings Beach, a historic gem dating back to 1924, offer players a unique experience with narrow fairways and towering pines. The beautiful course at Schaffer’s Mill beckons with its mountainous layout, providing both a scenic and challenging round. For those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere, the Northstar California Golf Course provides a family-friendly setting amid the Martis Valley. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual player, North Lake Tahoe’s golf courses promise an unforgettable combination of challenging sport and natural beauty!


Explore State Parks

North Lake Tahoe’s state parks offer guests stunning year-round adventures with their diverse landscapes! In the late spring, summer, and early fall, these parks transform into hiker’s paradises, boasting a network of trails that wind through lush forests and along the shores of pristine lakes. Wander through the towering pines of Donner Lake Memorial State Park or explore the rugged terrain of D.L. Bliss State Park, each offering a unique and picturesque hiking experience. As winter blankets the region in snow, these parks transform into a snowshoeing paradise! Trails that once showcased the vibrant hues of  summer are blanketed by glistening snow, providing the perfect winter landscape to explore on snowshoes. No matter when you visit, North Lake Tahoe’s state parks promise challenging and stunning outdoor adventures.


Explore Historic Downtown Truckee

Along the banks of the picturesque Truckee River, and cradled in the stunning Sierra Nevadas, Downtown Truckee is a charming blend of history and contemporary flair. Once a bustling railroad town during the late 19th century, Truckee has gracefully evolved into a quaint, progressive mountain town that preserves its rich past while embracing the present. Strolling along the riverside streets, you’ll discover a captivating array of shops, offering everything from unique artisan crafts to fashionable boutiques. The dining scene is equally eclectic, with a diverse selection of restaurants from fine dining to charming dive bars and cozy coffee shops allowing guests to get a real ‘taste’ of the area. Art galleries and museums like the Truckee Railroad Museum add depth to the experience, showcasing the town’s vibrant artistic community as well as honoring its heritage–it’s a perfect, laid back mountain town to explore! 


Go Mountain Biking

If you’re looking for an epic mountain biking destination, North Lake Tahoe should be at the top of your list! Bikers can find an abundance of thrilling trails all throughout the rugged terrain that cater to all skill levels! Plus, if you’re traveling without your own equipment, you can find numerous rental shops throughout the region, ensuring that riders can easily find top-notch gear, whether you’re looking for a traditional mountain bike or powerful e-bikes. 

As far as trails go, the Flume Trail stands out for its breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, while the Tahoe Rim Trail offers an extensive network of paths, showcasing alpine meadows and dense forests. For a challenging ride, the Northstar Bike Park features a variety of downhill trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Whether you’re a seasoned rider seeking an adrenaline rush or a beginner looking for a scenic cruise, North Lake Tahoe’s mountain biking scene, coupled with readily available rental options, promises an unforgettable ride through the heart of the Sierra Nevada!


Go White Water Rafting

While Lake Tahoe is renowned for its crystal clear, serene waters, in the surrounding rivers adrenaline seekers can find exhilarating white water rafting adventures! The Truckee River, flowing from Lake Tahoe, offers a thrilling white water experience with sections suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. As you navigate through the scenic landscapes, the river alternates between exciting rapids and calmer stretches, providing a perfect balance of heart-pounding action and breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re cascading through Class II rapids with family or conquering more challenging stretches with friends, white water rafting in North Lake Tahoe promises an adrenaline-fueled journey! Professional outfitters in the region offer guided trips, ensuring a safe and enjoyable rafting experience for everyone, check out our favorite white water tours here


Check out the Dining Scene

North Lake Tahoe may be known for its incredible natural beauty and endless outdoor recreation but it also has a vibrant dining scene! In this region, the dining scene reflects a vibrant tapestry of flavors and a commitment to local and sustainable ingredients. From fine dining establishments offering exquisite, upscale dishes, to casual eateries that offer classic comfort food options and family-friendly warmth, the region caters to every palate. Dive into the local craft beer movement as you explore renowned breweries like Alibi Ale Works and Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. No matter where you go in North Lake Tahoe, you can find conscientious dining experiences, where farm-to-table practices and friendly service define most menus. Whether you’re enjoying the apres-ski ambiance after a day on the slopes or grabbing a bite at the local dive bar, in North Lake Tahoe, the dining scene transcends meals; it’s a celebration of community, sustainability, and the rich tapestry of flavors.


Find your Favorite Coffee Shop

Everyone loves a great cup of coffee and North Lake Tahoe’s coffee scene is filled with delightfully cozy retreats offering incredible brews and delicious eats. With a focus on quality beans and artisanal brewing methods local coffee shops such as Coffeebar and Zuri curate an inviting ambiance, and provide not only a caffeine fix but also a warm, community-centric atmosphere. Whether nestled in the heart of a charming mountain town or along the lakeside, visitors can relish a cup of expertly crafted coffee while enjoying the laid-back ambiance North Lake Tahoe’s coffee shops that are an essential part of the region’s culture and community, adding a flavorful touch to the mountain lifestyle.


Visit Cultural Centers

North Lake Tahoe is undeniably beautiful and offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in pristine natural beauty all year-round. However, there is more to the region than just natural beauty! North Lake Tahoe has a rich, fascinating history that can be explored through its cultural centers and museums. You can visit The Old Jail Museum in Truckee that offers a glimpse into the town’s early days as a pioneer town with exhibits showcasing artifacts and stories from the late 19th century. In the Donner State Memorial Park the Emigrant Trail Museum is where visitors can find a poignant exploration of the tragic Donner Party expedition and the resilience of those who ventured into the Sierra Nevada, providing insight into pioneer life and the challenges faced during westward migration through exhibits and artifacts. Nestled on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm is a Scandinavian-style castle that serves as a living museum, allowing guests to step back in time and experience an interesting chapter in Lake Tahoe’s history. These are just a few of the cultural treasures in North Lake Tahoe where you can find a profound connection to the heritage and stories that have shaped the region.