Discover the Best Things to Do in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, is a beautiful vacation destination that offers a wide range of outdoor adventures and family-friendly activities. Here are some of the best things to do in South Lake Tahoe.

Outdoor Adventures in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoor Adventures in South Lake Tahoe best things to do in south lake tahoe

One of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of South Lake Tahoe is by embarking on an outdoor adventure. Whether you prefer to hike, bike, ski, or snowboard, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Hiking Trails for All Levels

With its stunning mountain vistas and sparkling bodies of water, South Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are trails that cater to all levels of ability. Some of the popular hikes include the Eagle Falls Trail, Mount Tallac Trail, and Van Sickle Bi-State Park Trail.

For a more challenging hike, check out the Rubicon Trail, which stretches for 22 miles along the shore of Lake Tahoe. This trail offers incredible views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Water Sports on the Lake

South Lake Tahoe is known for its crystal-clear waters, which make it the perfect destination for all sorts of water sports. Whether you want to go swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing, there are plenty of options available.

The lake is also a popular spot for boating, and there are plenty of rental companies that offer a range of boats and watercraft. You can also take a scenic cruise on one of the local sightseeing boats.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Winter

If you’re visiting South Lake Tahoe in the winter, you’ll be delighted to know that it’s one of the top skiing and snowboarding destinations in the world. With multiple ski resorts to choose from, including Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Sierra-at-Tahoe, you’ll find runs that cater to all levels of ability.

Heavenly Mountain Resort, in particular, offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains while you ski or snowboard down the slopes.

Biking Trails and Parks

During the summer months, South Lake Tahoe transforms into a paradise for mountain bikers. With miles of scenic trails and well-maintained parks, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful terrain on two wheels.

The Bijou Bike Park is a popular destination for bikers of all levels, offering features like jumps, berms, and pump tracks. For a more relaxed biking experience, check out the Tahoe Rim Trail, which offers stunning views of the lake and the mountains.

Scenic Drives and Overlooks

For those who prefer to admire the natural beauty of South Lake Tahoe from the comfort of their car, there are plenty of scenic drives and overlooks to explore.

The Emerald Bay State Park, located on the southwest corner of the lake, is home to one of the most photographed spots in the region, the Emerald Bay Overlook. Other popular drives include the Kingsbury Grade, which offers stunning views of the Carson Valley, and the Luther Pass, which takes you through a beautiful meadow filled with wildflowers.

Family-Friendly Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Family-Friendly Activities best things to do in south lake tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is not just for adventure seekers – there are also plenty of family-friendly activities that kids (and parents) will love.

Beaches and Picnic Spots

The lake is home to multiple beaches that offer public access and plenty of activities for kids. You can swim, build sandcastles, or simply relax in the sun. Some of the popular beaches include El Dorado Beach and Pope Beach.

For a more relaxed experience, pack a picnic and head to one of the many parks around the region. The Regan Beach Park and Bijou Community Park are both popular spots for families to gather and enjoy a meal.

Mini Golf and Go-Karting

If your kids have a need for speed, head over to Magic Carpet Golf and Arcade or the Tahoe Amusement Park for a round of mini-golf or go-kart racing. Both locations offer a range of activities that will keep kids entertained for hours.

Kid-Friendly Hikes and Nature Walks

South Lake Tahoe is home to many kid-friendly hiking and nature trails, such as the Rainbow Trail and the Powerline Trail. These trails are perfect for kids who want to explore nature and learn about the local flora and fauna.

Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park

For a more adventurous outing, take your kids to the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park. This park offers a range of activities, such as aerial courses, zip lines, and climbing challenges, that are sure to keep your kids entertained and active.

South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena

If you’re visiting South Lake Tahoe in the winter, consider taking your kids to the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. This indoor ice rink offers public skating sessions, ice skating lessons, and hockey games for kids of all ages.

Relax and Unwind

Relax and Unwind best things to do in south lake tahoe

After a day of adventure and fun, it’s time to relax and unwind. Luckily, South Lake Tahoe has plenty of options for those who want to slow down and enjoy the quieter side of the region.

Local Spas and Wellness Centers

If you’re looking to pamper yourself, check out one of the many local spas and wellness centers in the area. The Sierra Soul Wellness Center and Tahoe Yoga and Wellness Center offer a range of services, such as massages, yoga classes, and wellness programs, that will help you relax and unwind.

Yoga and Meditation Classes

South Lake Tahoe is known for its yoga and meditation scene, with plenty of studios and classes available for those who want to de-stress and center themselves. The Tahoe Yoga and Wellness Center and the Full Circle Yoga and Pilates Studio are both popular destinations for yogis of all levels.

Wine Tasting and Craft Breweries

For those who enjoy a good drink, South Lake Tahoe has multiple options to satisfy your thirst. Check out one of the local wineries, such as the Madrona Vineyards or the Boeger Winery, for a wine tasting experience.

If craft beer is more your style, head over to the South Lake Brewing Company or the Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company for local brews and a laid-back atmosphere.

Art Galleries and Workshops

Finally, for those who want to explore their creative side, there are plenty of art galleries and workshops in South Lake Tahoe. The Eloise Art Gallery and the Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery both feature local artists and beautiful works of art.

You can also take a workshop at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema, which features classes in painting, drawing, and ceramics.


With its stunning natural beauty, numerous outdoor adventures and activities, and family-friendly attractions, South Lake Tahoe is the perfect vacation destination. Whether you’re looking to hike, swim, ski, or simply relax and unwind, this region offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, and start planning your next adventure in South Lake Tahoe.