One of the world’s iconic lakes is just 15 minutes from Mountainside, and this turquoise jewel is a year-round delight, offering stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and boating. Enjoy more than 100 restaurants between Incline Village and Homewood, CA.
Be The Beach
There’s an app for Lake Tahoe, and it’ll be your best friend this summer. The genius Lake Tahoe Beaches app – another brainchild of the non-profit Tahoe Fund – helps you find beaches, gives you driving directions and tells you every feature, from campsites to fishing to transit to pet-friendliness and dozens of other essential bits of information. It’s free on the App Store.
The Tahoe Water Trail
Lake Tahoe is a paddler’s paradise, and the view from the lake is a transformational experience. With more than 72 miles of shoreline, 41 public launch/landing sites and 16 day-landing sites, there’s a sandy beach or rocky inlet for every kayaker, canoer and paddleboarder. The Lake Tahoe Water Trail makes the vast shoreline accessible; since 2005, community volunteers have helped paddlers find their way – for day trips or more challenging overnight outings – with a constantly updated travel guide.
Head to laketahoewatertrail.org, pick a crystal blue trail, purchase the Water Trail’s waterproof map and start exploring. Whether you want to truck around the lake to bird watch, picnic on a beach, paddle on Sunday to listen to music at Commons Beach or stop off for some lakeside dining, the Water Trail is a uniquely authentic way to connect with the spectacular nature of the Lake of the Sky.
Get Geared Up
Rookies, step this way. You’re going to need stuff – a waterproof map, a little orientation, advice from a kindly local, maybe some lessons, a tour and other essentials. Truckee’s Tahoe Sports Hub hosts Saturday evening demo nights starting July 12 on Donner Lake, a super way to find the perfect board for you. While you’re in Truckee, check out Start Haus, another source of all things paddle (and ski, because winter’s never far away) and The Back Country. On Big Blue (that’s Lake Tahoe) are two shops that sell, rent and offer paddleboard lessons and tours. Willard’s Sport Shop in Tahoe City also offers paddleboard yoga; Waterman’s Landing is charmingly subtitled Tahoe’s Beach Café and Paddling Headquarters. Adrift Tahoe, in Kings Beach, bills itself as Tahoe’s original surf shop, “celebrating the spirit of Polynesia 6200’ above sea level.” Besides sales and rentals of stand-up paddleboards, as well as kayak and canoe rentals, the shop crafts its own boards and has its own surf wear.