I grew up just an hour or so south of Lake Tahoe, and have spent many summer weekends at the lake. I am always drawn to the north shore, as the best hikes and great lake spots are here. The crystal-clear water of the lake is the ultimate place to dip in during the summer heat. The food is good, with low key all-American spots, cooking up homestyle meals. There’s something about a drive up to Lake Tahoe that frees your mind for a good weekend getaway.
See where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and the best views in my quick summer guide to Lake Tahoe.
Navigate Northern California Like a Local!
Unlock the best-kept secrets of Northern & Central California with my curated Google Map, showcasing 600+ accommodations, eateries, coffee shops, and unique experiences. Get the map here!
A Quick Summer Guide to Lake Tahoe
Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe
- The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe sets the standard for luxury accommodations in the region, offering an escape nestled in the woods. During the summer, the hotel offers plenty of activities like games around the resort, hiking trails, and s’ mores every night!
Where to Eat in Lake Tahoe
- Get the real-deal burgers at Burger Me in Truckee. It’s so good it’s worth the drive. (Order sweet potato fries too!)
- Elevated dining finds itself at the Manzanita inside the Ritz Carlton. A meal worth the splurge, and a menu centered around classics with modern technique.
- For a cheap eat, the Char-Pit is your go-to, down, and dirty burger spot. Their milkshakes are a hit, too.
- Brunch at: Fire Sign Cafe, Old Post, and Rosies.
What to Do in Lake Tahoe
- Stand up paddleboarding with Tahoe Adventure Company. If it’s your first time, they offer guided tours which is an incredible introduction.
- Hike, hike, hike. Favorite trails: Cascade Creek Falls, Loch Leven Lakes Trail, Donner Lake Trail.
- Bliss out at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe Spa. The facilities are stunning and make for a great way to spend an entire day in treatment, whirlpools, and then by a saltwater pool.
- Chill at the beach. Favorite Beaches: Sand Harbor, Speedboat, Kings Beach, Secret Cove, and Skunk Harbor.
- Take a drive around the lake. Be sure to stop for the views in Emerald Bay!
- Rent a boat, and hang out on the water.
Best Views in Lake Tahoe
- For a hike, Monkey’s Rock is the ultimate view over the lake.
- Grab sunset drinks in Incline at the Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt Regency. It’s on the water, and their cozy fire pits are almost always on.
- The top of NorthStar offers panoramic views for hiking.
PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: