Feel the cool alpine breeze and the warm sun kissing the lake’s surface while gliding on the freshest blue waters in a kayak, boat or on top of a paddleboard. With an abundance of rentals available in the Lake Tahoe area, you’ll be on the water and exploring the Lake of the Sky in no time.
A sunset cruise on the lake is a true Tahoe experience. Photo credit: Brad Scott
‘Yaks & SUPs
Kayak Tahoe provides kayak and paddleboard rentals from five different locations in Tahoe South, so you’re never too far from a pick up or drop off location for ultimate convenience. Make your own path or opt for a guided tour, such as the Emerald Bay Tour that takes you around the famed Fannette Island.
For more experienced explorers, the Lake Tahoe Water Trail is the perfect resource for self-guided tours. The trail outlines 72 miles of sandy beaches and rocky inlets, with 30 public launch/landing sites for kayaks and paddleboards. Bring personal watercrafts that meet cleanliness standards or rent from local shops.
Get a little competitive on your SUP and race! Photo credit: South Tahoe Standup Paddle
South Tahoe Standup Paddle offers a selection of paddleboards available for rent, with boards available for every age and skill level. Lessons are available for any ability, from covering the basics to improving paddle technique and building confidence on the water. Guests have the option of attending a guided paddleboarding tour that includes history and trivia about the Tahoe Basin.
Another great location for kayaking is Fallen Leaf Lake. Hourly and daily rentals are available for this hidden gem near the Camp Richardson area.
A useful starting point for boating beginners is Lake Tahoe Boating. This website is a helpful tool in discovering the marinas, boat rentals and launching points around the lake to ensure the most enjoyable experience for all experience levels.
Accessible at ten locations, Tahoe Sports is a family-owned business that provides boat and watercraft rentals. A day of sightseeing on the water with fully fueled power boat rentals, equipped with VHF radio and Coast Guard approved safety equipment, ensure proper safety and loads of fun. Tour guides are also available.
Round Hill Pines Beach Resort hosts a marina with several boating services and rentals. The resort offers guests the opportunity to moor personal boats or rent 10-12 passenger vessels.
Feel the need for speed on the water. Photo credit: Lake Tahoe Boat Rides
An intriguing learning experience for the is available from Lake Tahoe Boat Rides with guided boat tours and cruises accompanied by knowledgeable captains. The powerboats, sailboats and yacht options will stop at several locations along the way, allowing for passengers to sightsee, swim and even take a leap off of a cliff.
For a Lake Tahoe tour on an iconic and historic vessel, visit Zephyr Cove Beach and Resort. Day, evening and dinner cruises are offered on the award-winning fleet that includes the MS Dixie II and the Tahoe Paradise yacht.
The Ridge’s concierge services are always prepared to help with more information and to create memorable Tahoe vacations. Visit Organized Activities for opportunities that may arise for deals for your next adventure on the water.
Helpful Travel Apps Make a Lake Tahoe Trip Even Easier
When travelling to Lake Tahoe, the trip is made simpler and more fun with resourceful tools that help plan the perfect outing. The Ridge Tahoe has a mobile friendly site that makes reserving a room faster, alleviating some of the stress involved with coordinating a vacation. Luckily, there are also a number of free mobile apps ideal for a Tahoe stay!
Take a relaxing trip to Tahoe Courtesy: The Ridge Tahoe
The Tahoe Beaches app helps guests find nearby beaches and driving directions, utilizing the phone’s GPS ability. Personalize searches for features such as barbecues, boat rentals, campsites, public bathrooms and shade availability. Each beach has a profile with useful information including hours and directions.
A map of Lake Tahoe beaches Courtesy: Tahoe Beaches App
Lake Tahoe Visitor Guide
The Lake Tahoe Visitor Guide is an interactive app that provides daily itineraries allowing users to learn more about Tahoe history and ecology. Interested in discovering fun facts about the lake or local plant species? Use the app while at a specific location for this information and more.
A visit to Tahoe is incomplete without a nature walk, hike or bike. AllTrails is a great app for finding detailed information on all of the hiking, biking and running trails in the region. Users can filter results to cater accommodations such as pet and kid friendly or handicap accessible.
Utrip’s app allows users to create personalized itineraries for every budget and type of vacation. Choose one of the popular itineraries crafted by locals or build one from scratch with what appeals specifically to you.
Plan a personalized itinerary Courtesy: Utrip
Lake Tahoe Official
The Lake Tahoe Official app is driven as a social media connector, helping users share photos and content on Facebook and Twitter, as well as a means of checking in with Foursquare. Information provided includes weather reports, live music venues and local business deals and discounts.
Leave a Lake Tahoe vacation with a breadth of new knowledge and personalized memories.
When visiting a new destination, there is always a list of must-see locations which highlight the best features. Yet, sometimes it is worth venturing off the beaten path and exploring more atypical locales. Here are some beaches that will allow for memorable and unique experiences during your stay in Lake Tahoe.
Probably the quietest area of Lake Tahoe, this southwest shore is a peaceful corner. A steep trail leads down to the water’s edge, just off of Highway 89. Another great way to reach this small beach is kayaking or paddleboarding from South Shore.
Chimney Beach is a hidden East Shore gem. Tucked behind a slope, the cove can be reached through trails leading down. A derelict chimney and hearth left from a destructed beachfront cabin distinguishes the stretch of sand. Large, flat boulders populate the beach, making for perfect picnic tables or tanning platforms. Pack some dinner and wine, because as soon as night blankets the sky, Chimney Beach becomes a gorgeous spot for star gazing.
The historic chimney at Chimney Beach. Courtesy: TripAdvisor.
A mile off of the nearest highway, Skunk Harbor can be found by a hike or bike ride down the old fire road. With one main cove and several smaller ones, it is easy to find the picturesque nook that best appeals to each visitor.
Kiva Beach is the quieter and smaller beach that is off of Camp Richardson. If wanting to avoid the crowds, Kiva Beach is the ultimate choice. It is one of the few dog friendly beaches in Tahoe, so bring that furry companion along on a leash. This shore is a bit rocky so water shoes are recommended.
The quiet cove at Kiva Beach. Courtesy: Kiva Beach.
Located in Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm Beach is worth the trek for a brief lesson in Tahoe history. A short hike down to the beach leads past Eagle Falls and to the Vikingsholm Castle, one of the greatest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the Western Hemisphere. Kayaks can be rented to reach Fannette Island and to visit the tea house. Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed locations in Lake Tahoe and a must-see for all visitors.
View of Fannette Island from Vikingsholm Beach. Courtesy: Image found on the Tahoe South Blog.
Don’t forget that the concierge services at The Ridge will help you plan a fantastic day!
Exploring Beyond the Lake Tahoe Basin: Day Trip Ideas
With all that Lake Tahoe has to offer, it’s easy to get swept up in the local fun – yet there is so much left to discover in the surrounding region. When staying at the Ridge Tahoe, you are in the perfect location to access new opportunities at your fingertips. Here are some ideas for quick day trips to nearby cities and towns.
Being the capital city of Nevada, Carson City is rich in culture and history. Just a 20-minute drive from the Ridge, visitors can tour the many government buildings and museums. One favorite for children and families alike is the Nevada State Railroad Museum. Take a short train ride on one of the locomotives and learn the stories behind the Nevada railroads.
All aboard! Courtesy: Nevada State Railroad Museum
If you want to spend a day relaxing while still taking a dip into the past, try the Carson Hot Springs. Since 1849, the Carson Hot Springs has provided water therapy and spa treatments using water enriched with over nine healthful minerals. You have the choice of using the outdoor pool or one of the private pools for the ultimate in relaxation.
Once a thriving heart of the Gold and Silver Rushes, Virginia City still has that spirit resonating through the streets. Just an hour away from the Ridge, you can travel back in time while experiencing a taste of the mining culture. Regardless if it’s panning for gold, touring a real mine or walking through the quaint boutiques, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Find some gold in Virginia City
If you are looking for a thrilling adventure, check out Truckee River Whitewater Rafting. Offering half-day trips, the 7-mile courses take you through pine tree forests and around cottonwood bends. Whether you have been whitewater rafting before or it’s your first time, you will feel at ease with the experienced instructors.
Feel the rush with Truckee River Whitewater Rafting
After your days of exploration in the surrounding region, you will be delighted to return to the Ridge for a good night’s sleep.
For many people vacation is the only time they can truly relax. Whether it’s through spa treatments, delicious meals or hot tubbing, your getaway should be about indulging in your every desire.
Once you get home, however, you may find that you brought home more than souvenirs, photographs and great memories – you might have brought home some extra weight.
Fortunately, when you vacation in Lake Tahoe you have an abundance of activities to keep the pounds at bay and work off those morning mimosas or curly fries. The following activities will help you stay fit on vacation while also exploring the amazing Tahoe region.
Get Out on the Water
When you visit Lake Tahoe, you must plan an adventure on the lake. With crystal clear shores, cobalt blue waters and miles to explore (the lake’s surface area is 191 miles), Lake Tahoe is the ultimate way to stay in shape while on vacation.
Explore Big Blue on a paddleboard. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun
Choose from kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or swimming to burn calories while having solo or group fun. While kayaking works your upper body, including your arms and core, stand up paddle boarding offers a full body workout. Paddle boarding for one hour burns approximately 350 calories and up to 700 without stopping.
If you’re brave enough to dip into the cold waters (water temperatures range from 50 to 60 degrees during early summer and 65 to 70 degrees in August and September), you’ll find a whole new underwater world to explore. We recommend heading to Sand Harbor for some interesting underwater adventuring.
Take a Hike or Ride a Bike
Some of the most popular activities in Tahoe include hiking and mountain biking. Our favorite hikes typically involve waterfalls and lots of wildflowers, but there are many hikes that bring you to new heights while providing exhilarating views. For an easily accessible hike from your accommodations at the Ridge Tahoe, you can begin on the 165-mile long Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). The TRT shares segments with the famous Pacific Crest Trail and promises beautiful vistas of Lake Tahoe.
See Tahoe differently on your mountain bike. Credit: Ben Fish
If you prefer to travel by two wheels, there are also a number of trails designed for mountain biking. The Flume Trail is one favorite, as is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which is accessible via Big Meadow, and Corral, a true Tahoe classic that features jumps, logs and rocks. Read more about the top mountain bike trails in South Lake Tahoe here.
Stay Active at The Ridge
In addition to easy access to the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Ridge Tahoe has facilities for tennis, basketball, racquet ball, Wallyball and even golf. Practice your swing before hitting any one of the great local golf courses or join us for one of our scheduled activities, including water aerobics, dance off challenges, pilates and rock climbing.
Check the weekly Ridge Guide for a list of all activities.
Tahoe may seem like all sunshine, clean air and an abundance of nature, but there’s hundreds of years of history as deeply rooted as its towering trees. Take a journey through history by visiting the following sites located in the Tahoe Basin.
Tallac Historic Site: Containing the Baldwin Estate, the Pope Estate and Valhalla, Tallac Historic Site is a haven of beautiful and original architecture from the the golden age of the 1920s. These impressive structures were owned by some of the most powerful families in Tahoe and have been restored to their former glory for the public’s enjoyment. Sites include the Tallac Resort, formerly known as the “Greatest Casino in America,” the Baldwin Estate Washoe Exhibit and the impressive Valhalla Estate, built in 1924 to entertain guests of the Heller family. Tallac is also home to the Gatsby Festival, which celebrates the height of 1920s decadence with fashion shows, tea parties and more.
“Tahoe’s Hidden Castle” – Courtesy: Curtis Simmons
Vikingsholm: Any trip through Emerald Bay is incomplete without a moment to appreciate the beauty of Vikingsholm and Fannette Island. Vikingsholm, also known as “Tahoe’s Hidden Castle,” was built by Lora Josephine Knight in 1929. The unique Scandinavian building hosted Knight and her many guests during Tahoe summers until Knight’s death in 1945. The property was acquired by the State of California in 1953 and can be seen either by boat or up close after a hike from the Vikingsholm parking lot. Its counterpart, Fannette Island, includes a tiny home that was previously used by Knight and her guests for afternoon tea. It is accessible by boat.
Fleur du Lac Estates: Many know of Fleur du Lac because of its prominent role in “The Godfather II.” Its role in cinematic history notwithstanding, the estate was originally built for Henry J. Kaiser as a venue to celebrate the completion of the Hoover Dam. Heads of powerful companies including the Pacific Bridge Company, J.F. Shea Co., which built the Golden Gate Bridge, and Utah Construction were among the many gatherings that would occur at Fleur du Lac. Fleur du Lac can be seen by boat.
Thunderbird Lodge – Courtesy: Thunderbird Lake Tahoe
Thunderbird Lodge: Another gorgeous estate on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the Thunderbird Lodge was constructed by George Whittell, Jr., an heir to a wealthy San Francisco family. In addition to the Lodge, Whittell owned 95% of the Nevada shoreline on Lake Tahoe. After Whittell’s death in 1969, Jack Dreyfus of Dreyfus of Dreyfus bought the property and the adjacent 10,000 acres, subsequently selling the majority of land to the U.S. Forest Service. Currently the Lodge hosts dinners, weddings and other special events. Tours are available.