What I love about Lake Tahoe is the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal with picture-perfect views of the icy blue lake. Several shops offer gourmet food options to go, including a full picnic basket with all the goodies you need for a delicious al fresco meal in the woods, near a waterfall, at a scenic overlook, or on the beach.
I also love getting out on the water on a dining cruise or pulling up to a dockside restaurant. Plenty of lakeside restaurants also offer dining with that sparkling view you came to see. Here’s how foodies can spend three days tasting the best of Lake Tahoe.
Temperatures in sunny Tahoe dip at night, even in summer. In winter, bundle up for snow.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a dining experience with a view of Lake Tahoe.
Start with a photo tour of the most iconic Tahoe sites with a local guide. Or, more active adventurers should opt for a bike tour. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy out in nature or at a scenic overlook. Head to the Cork & More in South Lake Tahoe for picnic baskets to-go or to the West Shore Market in Tahoe City for gourmet sandwiches.
In the afternoon, rent a boat and head to Emerald Bay. Afterwards, stop for food and rum runners at Beacon Bar and Grill by the beach in South Lake Tahoe. Alternatively, opt for the sunset dinner cruise on the M.S. Dixie II from Zephyr Cove.
Take to the air to get a birds-eye view of Lake Tahoe. Options include parasailing, hot air balloon rides, and helicopter tours. Afterwards, enjoy a meal with a view at a lakeside restaurant, such as the Boathouse on the Pier in South Lake Tahoe or Gar Woods Grill and Pier on the north shore.
After seeing Tahoe from the air, get a closer look in the afternoon. In summer, opt for a hiking, biking, or paddleboard tour. In winter, head out into the woods on a snowshoe tour. Or, enjoy a sleigh ride with an included dinner.
No trip to Tahoe is complete without some time on the mountains. In winter, enjoy a day of skiing or snowboarding, and prebook rentals to save time. In summer, take the aerial tram at Palisades Tahoe or the sightseeing gondola at Heavenly. All ski resorts offer on-mountain restaurants where you can grab a bite while savoring mountain, and sometimes lake, views.
End your day in the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake and enjoy a gourmet meal at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen at Harvey’s or Friday's Station in Harrah’s. Or, for a more local experience, opt for a sustainable food tour in Truckee.