A Lake for All Seasons
This Sierra Nevada wonderland presents a plethora of outdoor activities, from skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing in the winter to swimming, hiking, and kayaking in the summer.
The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe has impressive stats: 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, 1,645 feet deep, and 37 trillion gallons of water. Plus, the pristine turquoise lake straddles the California and Nevada border.
South Lake Tahoe in California offers a vibrant nightlife and is located near the casinos in Stateline, Nevada. North Lake Tahoe, including Tahoe Vista and Truckee in California and Incline Village in Nevada, has a more laid-back and bucolic feel.
Must-Do: Enjoy Emerald Bay State Park’s vistas in South Lake Tahoe. The park is home to Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian-inspired castle built for Lora Josephine Knight in 1929 (tours are given in the summer from June through September).
Eat: Executive chef Jimi Nakamatsu’s The Bistro at the Corner opened in 2022 at The Crossing at Tahoe Valley in South Lake Tahoe. The restaurant’s open kitchen offers caviar service and dinner entrees such as herb ash elk chop and a surf and turf hamburger topped with lobster and Gruyère. Weekend brunch is also available.
Day-Trip: Relive the harrowing 1846 journey west of a group of pioneers — the Donner party — from Springfield, Illinois, who were traveling on ox-drawn wagons and ended up trapped in snowstorms before making it to their destination. The newly restored 1918 Pioneer Monument in Truckee honors their frontier spirit, while the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center details the Sierra Nevada calamity, along with the history of the native Washoe Tribe and Chinese immigrants who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad.