The Lake Tahoe Basin, situated on the California and Nevada borders, offers a wide variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. The area features over 300 days of beautiful, warm sunshine and an annual average of 396 inches of snowfall. The breathtaking blue Lake Tahoe is an attraction in itself.
Long ago, Washoe Indians spent their summers on the beaches of the big waters which they called da-ow. Outsiders mispronounced this, and it came to be known as Tahoe. Lake Tahoe was a summer retreat then, and now it is that and more. With 300 days of sunshine each year, Lake Tahoe has become a year-round playground for couples looking to get married, spend a honeymoon, celebrate an anniversary or other milestone, or simply get away for a magical few days on the shores of one of America’s cleanest lakes.
Winter Activities For Couples In Lake Tahoe
Many of us associate Lake Tahoe solely with winter sports and activities. We remember the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, one of Tahoe’s 18 ski and snowboarding resorts. We watch ski competitions on television with the clear, blue lake lying in the background below. And every year, we hear about the incredible amount of snow that falls on the Tahoe region, usually near 400 inches.
Fun in the snow
In addition to the aforementioned sports, Tahoe is certainly a winter playground for couples. Tahoe offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobile rides. Couples will enjoy snuggling on romantic sleigh rides and frolicking like children on the inner-tubing hills. In the evenings, they’ll find candlelit dinners in fine restaurants and a variety of entertainment from local playhouses to world-class entertainers in the many casinos. Lodging options include everything from budget motels to luxury resorts to cosy cabins and romantic inns.
Skiing and Snowboarding
There are 18 world-class ski and snowboarding resorts in North and South Lake Tahoe. Beginners and experts alike rank the ski resorts at Lake Tahoe among the best they’ve ever skied. The ski and snowboarding resorts in the Lake Tahoe area include:
- Alpine Meadows Ski Resort
- Boreal Mountain Resort
- Diamond Peak Ski Resort
- Donner Ski Area
- Donner Ski Ranch
- Heavenly Lake Tahoe
- Homewood Mountain Resort
- Kirkwood Ski Resort
- Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
- Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort
- Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort
- Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort
- Soda Springs Winter Resort
- Spooner Lake XC Ski Area
- Squaw Valley USA
- Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
- Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area Tahoe
Summertime Activities For Couples In Lake Tahoe
Summertime in Tahoe is full of both mountain and water activities to delight every couple who visits. Trails for hiking and mountain biking abound in the mountains and through the valleys around the lake, and nearly all offer spectacular views. Horseback riding, camping, fishing, and rafting are other popular mountain activities. If sunshine and boating are more to a couple’s liking, the same beaches revered by the Washoe Indians are now beckoning us to stretch out and enjoy the sun and sand.
Sailboats and Paddleboats
Both sailboat and paddleboat rentals are popular, and every couple must check out one of the summer sightseeing or dinner cruises on Lake Tahoe. If more refined sports are desired, tennis courts and golf courses are found all around Tahoe, and of course, swimming is always available, whether on the lake or in one of the many hotel swimming pools.
A day out on the lake
Why not take the family out on the lake for a day? Boating is very popular on Lake Tahoe, especially in the summer months. Lake Tahoe’s shoreline spans 71 miles, and the lake is 22 miles long. There are marinas and boat ramps along the lake. Many boating and fishing opportunities are available; you can rent a boat or go along with a chartered tour.
Also, you can rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, and jet skis for your fun-filled day. More adventurous tourists to the Lake Tahoe area will appreciate the Truckee River whitewater rafting adventures and the chance to try parasailing high above the lake. Tourists who are more comfortable out of the water can bask in the warm sun on any one of Lake Tahoe’s smooth, sandy beaches.
Hiking and Mountian Bike Trails
Lake Tahoe is surrounded by hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that range from short nature hikes to longer hikes into pristine forests. There are horseback riding facilities that will take guests on guided riding tours of the wilderness. Backpacking is also popular among visitors to the area. The United States Forest Service and the California State Parks operate several campgrounds around the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Lake Tahoe has beautifully landscaped golf courses, and with the warm sunny weather in the area, it offers the finest golfing excursions. The Mountain Course at Incline Village and the Resort at Squaw Creek are two of the most popular golf locations in Lake Tahoe. Rest assured, there are plenty of others in the area that will challenge your skills. In fact, the mild winters allow golfers to play a few rounds and then hit the slopes for an afternoon of skiing.
Mountain Art Galleries
When summer outdoor activities have been exhausted, couples might want to venture toward some of the cultural charm offered at Lake Tahoe. Walking hand-in-hand through some of the mountain art galleries dotting the area will carry visitors into another time and place. Annual attractions such as the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, the Great Gatsby Festival, and the Festival of Fine Arts are exciting events that bring entertainment, art, music, drama, and great food to the valley. The Fourth of July fireworks will dazzle couples as they sit on the beach and watch the colourful lights burst over the lake.
If casinos are your idea of excitement, Lake Tahoe has several large casinos and casino resorts to choose from. You can try your luck at the slots – or the tables – at Caesar’s Tahoe, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harvey’s Resort Casino, the Lakeside Inn and Casino, the Horizon Casino, the Cal-Neva Resort Spa Casino, and the Biltmore Tahoe Lodge and Casino.
A fun place to visit any time of the year is the Cal-Neva Hotel and Casino, which illustrates the distinct line down the middle of Lake Tahoe, separating California from Nevada. The state line actually runs directly through the middle of the building, including through the middle of a swimming pool, where couples can swim back and forth from state to state.
Casinos abound right up to the state line on both ends of the lake. Some are simple rustic establishments with wood floors and country and western music. Others rival the fanciest casinos in Las Vegas. Couples will find the smaller casinos, cabins, and mountains living on the north end of the lake, while the tall buildings, flashing lights, and city life can be found on the south shore.
Outdoor wedding destination
For a couple just beginning their lifelong adventure together, Lake Tahoe is the perfect backdrop for an outdoor wedding. Wedding possibilities range from traditional chapel ceremonies and sunny beachside services to the extraordinary and unusual options of exchanging vows on hot air balloons or on snow-covered ski slopes. Newlyweds will find that their honeymoon spot can be right outside the back door of the church or at the end of the ski run, depending on their preference!
With abundant sunshine, crystal blue waters, fresh mountain air, and a plethora of options for romance, couples will find that Lake Tahoe is the place where dreams come true.