Lake Tahoe Summer Guide: Where to Go and What to Eat
By: Valeria Ramos
Welcome to the stunning beauty of Lake Tahoe during the summer, where crystal-clear waters meet majestic mountains and outdoor adventures await at every turn.
As the snow melts and the sun shines brightly, this iconic destination transforms into a playground for nature enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, and food lovers alike.
Top Things to Do in Lake Tahoe This Summer
Hike Echo Lake
Echo Lake is an underrated Tahoe gem! The trail for this hike begins across the street from a parking area where you will find a lodge offering cabin rentals and a small store with water, snacks, souvenirs, and more.
You’ll embark on the trail just uphill from the edge of the lake and find yourself in awe of the wind-sculpted trees, stones, and granite boulders lodged into the mountainside. Keep an eye out for the jaw-dropping cabins that adorn the lake’s edge.
Pro-Tip: Take plenty of water and snacks for your hike. At about 2.25 miles in, a signed trail splits off to a boat dock, where you can take a speed boat back to the trail entrance for $20.
Ride America’s most beautiful bikeway
A trip to Lake Tahoe is not complete without a visit to Incline Village—a northeast town with incredible lake views and beaches. Here, you can rent a bike at Vista Trail Bikes for the ride of a lifetime.
Known as “America’s most beautiful bikeway,” the East Shore Trail has stunning views and direct access to several beaches and coves. You can rent an electric bike for a smoother sail, or take it slow with a traditional bicycle.
Paddleboard and take a dip in the lake
Lake Tahoe is full of paddleboard rentals, so find one near you and get on the water! SUP Tahoe offers two-hour rentals for only $30. If you want the lake to yourself, rent your board early in the morning and head out for a peaceful paddle before the summer crowd shuffles in.
Pro-Tip: Don’t let the cool air and water fool you—be sure to apply plenty of SPF and drink water or risk leaving the lake with a burn and a slight headache.
Take a sunset cruise to Emerald Bay
With its turquoise waters and majestic mountain backdrop, Emerald Bay is the crown jewel of Tahoe. Located within Emerald Bay State Park, this destination is home to Vikingsholm Castle, a 38-room mansion known for its history and architecture.
Vikingsholm Castle was built in 1929 by Mrs. Lora Knight and still holds some of its original Scandinavian features. The castle offers daily summer tours if you want to take a closer look. Across the castle, a stone structure sits mysteriously on Lake Tahoe’s only island, Fannette Island. This was once Mrs. Knight’s opulent teahouse.
While it’s best to take a cruise around Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay on a private boat, a more economical option is a sunset dinner cruise on the M.S. Dixie. For $130/person, you can enjoy dinner, drinks, and 360-degree views of Emerald Bay.
Go to a farmer’s market
Enjoy your weekend like the locals and enjoy one of the many farmer’s markets that Lake Tahoe has to offer.
Here is an updated list to find one near you.
From fresh berries and roasted nuts to local art and jewelry, this is a great spot to do some shopping and support small businesses.
Bring your appetite, as most farmer’s markets here also have plenty of food trucks and, if you’re lucky, live music!
Top Things to Eat & Drink in Lake Tahoe
Going to Bert’s Cafe is a Tahoe classic. Stepping into this quaint diner will take you back in time and the homemade breakfast will keep you coming for more.
Bert’s is family-owned, open seven days a week, and they serve both breakfast and lunch.
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu—it’s all homemade and delicious. They’re famous for their over-the-top hot chocolate that will make your inner-child smile with glee.
Izabella Ristorante Italiano
Red wine, warm garlic bread with butter, olive oil, creamy pasta, and roasted veggies. Need I say more?
Izabella provides a taste of Italy in Tahoe and is loved by locals for this very reason. This cozy restaurant has first-class service and a mouth-watering menu that will fill you up after a long day of hiking.
Pro-Tip: The best way to adjust to Tahoe’s high elevation is with plenty of water and carbs, so head to Izabella’s for your welcome feast.
Lone Eagle Grille
Take a trip to the northern part of Lake Tahoe and visit Incline Village, Nevada—home to the one percent.
Located in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, the Lone Eagle Grille is a great place to sip some prosecco and share a charcuterie board on a private beach area that looks straight out of a fairytale.
The breathtaking views, cool lake air, and calm scenery are incredibly soothing to all the senses.
The Getaway Cafe
While this cafe is a local favorite for brunch, they’re open for every meal of the day from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm.
The Getaway Cafe is owned and operated by a Texas native, but their Mexican-style dishes are more delicious and authentic than traditional Tex-Mex. Good luck browsing their menu without getting hungry.
Pro-TIp: Order some Maple Bacon Glazed French Toast for the table!
The Idle Hour
This lakefront wine bar offers a large selection of wines for tasting, plus small bites and desserts. The Idle Hour is a great spot for evening drinks, watching paddle-boarders, and taking in the sunset.
They typically have live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, but it’s worth a visit here any day of the week just to witness the sights and sounds of beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Enjoying Summer in Lake Tahoe
These are just a few must-see sights and bites that Lake Tahoe has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Tahoe, I hope you take in all its beauty, nature, and fresh air. It’s guaranteed you’ll find yourself itching to go back!