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Lake Tahoe, CA

Beautiful Lake Tahoe stretches as far as the eye can see.

Lake Tahoe, California Family Travel Destination

Tucked up high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains straddling the borders of California and Nevada is panoramically majestic, Lake Tahoe. This family vacation destination is attractive to anyone looking for fun and adventure as there are so many ways to experience the changing scenery year round. At an altitude of 6,225 feet above sea level, Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake. The lake extends 22 miles north to south and is 12 miles across at its widest point. With 72 miles of shoreline the Tahoe area offers family vacationers a wide variety of hotel and lodging options that are family-friendly, affordable and conveniently located. Whether you’re looking for a family wilderness experience or the 24/7 excitement of the casinos, your vacation desires are sure to be fulfilled at Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe History

Scenic Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe Basin was formed by shifting tectonic plates and seismic activity some 2 million years. Glaciers moving through the area during the last ice age finished the geological formation by scouring the basin that would become Lake Tahoe. The earliest inhabitants were the Washoe tribe, who would gather here each spring celebrating winter’s end.

The North Shore of Lake Tahoe includes an approximately mile area beginning just south of Tahoe City, CA to just past Incline Village, NV. With the discovery of gold in 1848, many families headed west to make their fortunes. Silver was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada in 1858 and soon thereafter, timber, made from logs felled in the Tahoe Basin, was used to support the underground mine shafts. By 1864 Tahoe City, CA became a resort destination for the population working in these industries surrounding Virginia City. Tourism brought economic development that has now been controlled in order to preserve both the environment and natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.

South Lake Tahoe is the largest incorporated community in the Tahoe Basin. The city caters to tourists and families who want to experience the natural beauty offered by the majestic surroundings as well as the excitement of the casinos in Stateline, Nevada. The eastern end of the city is defined by the state line between California and Nevada.

A favorite sport is Kayaking the cool blue waters of Lake Tahoe There are many tree lined hiking trails to be found at the lake.

Things To Do In Lake Tahoe

Depending on when your family takes their vacation, the seasons will determine how you’ll have fun. Remember not to plan too rigorous a schedule the first day as most individuals need to take time for their lungs to become accustomed to life at a higher altitude. This might be an excellent time to visit some of the historic mansions, lodges, museums and art galleries to familiarize your family with the people and circumstances that made Lake Tahoe the desirable vacation spot it is today. The Thunderbird Lodge and the Cal-Neva Lodge are both fine examples of seclusion and luxury enjoyed by the rich and famous of a bygone era. The Tahoe Maritime Museum is popular with families as there are interactive displays preserving and educating about Lake Tahoe maritime history and children have the opportunity to design rafts, learn how to tie knots, or just have fun in their own play area.

Outdoor Adventures

Winter

Lake Tahoe is famous for its many notable ski resorts.

With the arrival of winter, family ski vacationers are ready to head for the slopes. There are 15 alpine and 13 cross-country ski resorts to choose from offering a variety of family lodging. The higher you go the more snow there is so the skiing lasts well into spring. The major ski resorts have all the options covered for family vacationing as child care and children’s ski programs are available. With such a variety ski areas, you might decide to ski someplace different each day. The majority of slopes are located on the North Tahoe shore. Squaw Valley, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, also offers snow tubing for vacationers looking for something a little different. Of course, there are also many trails for snowmobiles, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Sled parks are also popular with families and they provide rope tows to get sledders to the top of the hill. Just remember your sunscreen and sunglasses because even though it’s cold you can still get sunburned and kids lose track of time.

Summer

Little girl getting a thrill on a water slide.

After the winter snow has melted families head to the beach to enjoy all the water sports available at Lake Tahoe. Boating and sailing are always popular and with many of the restaurants having lakefront docks you are always welcome to tie up and enjoy a meal or a snack and a cold drink. If you really want to relax you can embark on a guided paddlewheel cruise and simply enjoy the panoramic view. Jet skis, kayaks and motor boats for water skiing are available for rent, though most children must be accompanies by an adult. Anglers can take advantage of Lake Tahoe’s sport fishing fleet and spend some time catching a prize fish. Lake Tahoe has its own Coast Guard Station ensuring boater safety.

The clear waters of Lake Tahoe make it a viable scuba diving location. The great depth of the lake provides wall dives and drop-offs that require advanced diving skills because of the high altitude.

If staying dry is preferable, consider traveling some of the wide range of hiking and biking trails. For really ambitious families you can circumnavigate Lake Tahoe which is a 165 mile trip, but there are trails available for all skill levels making this a perfect family activity with great photo opportunities.

Camping

Campers will find 25 camping areas in and around Lake Tahoe. Please remember that permits are required for campfires. The US Forest Service can provide details on where camping is permitted for those wanting to head into the back country. This is an ideal family activity, affordable, relaxing and good to bring family members together.

Camping offers some spectacular sights.

Golf

For golfers of all skill levels there are many beautiful and historic courses to choose from. The Bijou Municipal Golf Course offers facilities such as an ice arena, swimming pool complex, Seniors Center and Kids Club as well. Miniature Golf, always popular with families, is available in multiple locations in both North and South Lake Tahoe. See the links section for specific locations and times.

Lake Tahoe Shopping

Shopping in Lake Tahoe can be a fun and colorful experience.

Take a break from all that activity and treat yourself and your family members to something new, or find that perfect gift for someone back home. There is the Summit Sierra Shopping Mall which services the Lake Tahoe Reno area with many of the name brand stores you’ve grown accustomed to as well as specialty food shops, restaurants and theaters. The Village at Northstar Stores offers sporting equipment, art galleries, men and women’s apparel and activities like ice skating, bungee jumping , and rope challenges, making it a great spot for the whole family to explore. The Cobblestone Center is a Bavarian-style shopping village that offers unique shops along with its distinctive architecture. It’s also a great place to catch a movie if your family needs little R&R.

Casinos

Lake Tahoe‘s casinos located on the Nevada side of the lake are a great place for vacationers who enjoy gambling or playing the slot machines. But there is more at the casinos than just gambling. There is headline live entertainment available for people of all ages, as well as restaurants and shopping. When the weather outside is uninviting, the whole family will find something fun to do as many of the hotels offer kid’s programs while parents are hitting the tables.

Childcare

If childcare is needed, several licensed organizations throughout South and Lake Tahoe offer hourly or daily childcare to assist visiting families. For more information, including rates and requirements for daycare, please see the links section.

Lake Tahoe Dining

It’s never difficult to find something good to eat while in Lake Tahoe. The difficulty may be deciding where to eat because you want atmosphere, a view, entertainment or a specific cuisine (or maybe you want to take advantage of an affordable buffet for the family or a “kid’s eat free” menu). The choices might seem endless from Lake Tahoe’s abundance of eateries. For families there’s pizzas and wings, great burgers at the Hard Rock Café and other chain style restaurants that families have come to love. But this is just a tip of the iceberg so to speak. You will find a selection of American, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Central European cuisines to satisfy any appetite after a rigorous day on the slopes or whatever adventures your family may have undertaken. There are buffets, especially at the casinos, which are great if you’ve lost track of time as most are open throughout the day and evening. Finding a restaurant with a view shouldn’t be difficult when there is natural beauty all around. Maybe you’ll make this family vacation a food adventure and try something new.

Specials and Packages

There are always specials and family packages to take advantage of as tourism is the primary industry at Lake Tahoe. Many of the resorts that offer skiing in the winter have golf vacations from spring through fall. There are hiking and camping treks available. Camp Richardson offers the camping experience as well as all the amenities of a lodging resort. Forest Suites Resort offers up to 25% off their regular room rates for extended stays, perfect for families who want to experience Lake Tahoe at its finest.

Lake Tahoe one of nature's scenic wonders. When planning your next family vacation consider beautiful Lake Tahoe, a nature lover’s paradise and ideal family destination. Pamper yourself and satisfy your senses with the beauty that surrounds you.

LINKS

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Featured Property

Forest Suites Resort
South Lake Tahoe
United States

Nestled in an intimate alpine environment just steps away from year-round recreation activities, a few minutes walk from casinos, and blocks from the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe.

Contact Information

One Lake Parkway
South Lake Tahoe
California - Near Lake Tahoe
United States
530-541-6655
General Manager: Jeremy Holst
Email:reservations@forestsuites.com Visit Our Web Site
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