As the largest alpine lake in North America and the second-deepest lake in the United States (Crater Lake is the deepest), Lake Tahoe has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. The lake is 22 miles across and 72 miles around, which provides endless opportunities to explore its four shores, all of which have their own unique characteristics featured in spectacular views.
Home to the Shakespeare Festival and countless breathtaking sunsets, Sand Harbor is an iconic beach situated on the east shore of the lake. Its shores are dotted with boulders that are ideal for sunbathing, jumping off and paddling through to reach the open waters of the lake.
Bonsai Rock earned its name due to the miniature trees that reside on the top of the boulder and this colossus has been captured in hundreds of photographers’ and videographers’ work. The hike to the rock may require a steep hike depending on where you start from – but the trouble is worth it for a glimpse of this beauty.
Tip: If you reach Sand Harbor, you’ve gone too far! Bonsai Rock is just south of the park.
Credit: Rod Hanna
Perhaps the most recognizable landmark at Lake Tahoe is Emerald Bay. This picturesque bay features Fannette Island and its tea house, as well as Vikingsholm Castle, which was the home of millionaire Lora J. Knight. Vikingsholm tours are available to the public through the Sierra State Parks Foundation. Those looking for a day on the beach or a challenging, yet rewarding kayak or paddle, will find both at Emerald Bay, in addition to incredible sunrises and sunsets.
Credit: Rachid Dahnoun
Lupines in Tahoe City
Every spring and summer, something magical happens in Tahoe City: vibrant purple lupine flowers blanket an entire meadow for what may be the best photo opportunity of the year. Lake Forest Beach is home to these purple beauties. Grab your selfie stick, because this is a must-see iconic spot for visitors and locals alike.
Credit: Whiskey Tango Globetrot
This boulder’s name was derived from the fact that, well, it looks like a monkey! This fun and easy hike can take as little as 30 minutes to arrive at the ape-shaped boulder, or as long as two hours depending on the trail you take. Take in the views from Monkey Rock – and oh, what views they are!
Which vista will you visit?
New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to maintain – and even more so when vacationing. While on holiday, it’s easy to say yes to dessert, yes to sleeping in and yes to that extra cocktail while forgoing any previous commitments to eat healthy or workout among other goals.
A new year begins at Lake Tahoe. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun
Fortunately, when visitors choose to stay at The Ridge Tahoe they can focus on their resolutions with amenities and features that allow them to pursue their accomplishments. Read on to find out how the Ridge Tahoe helps guests maintain and meet their resolutions.
#1. Work Out More: Exercising more is a popular resolution for many – and for many, this resolution falls to the side in only a couple of weeks, especially if a vacation occurs during this time. The Ridge Tahoe offers work out facilities and much more, including swimming pools, an indoor sports complex with tennis and basketball courts, outdoor tennis courts, water aerobics and indoor racquetball. There’s no excuse not to work out with the variety and convenience of the facilities offered at the resort.
Swim laps or just splash – your choice at The Ridge Tahoe!
#2. Eat Better: Eating healthier goes hand-in-hand with exercising more and also presents a challenge to the food lovers that can’t wait to experience new cuisines while traveling. One and two bedroom condominiums on property include a fully equipped kitchen for the home chef that wants to maintain a healthful diet while on the road. Guests are encouraged to bring their own groceries to cook up in their private kitchens. The Hungry Bear also offers tasty healthier options like the Portobello burger and artisan salad among others.
#3. Explore the Great Outdoors: Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to fulfill this New Year’s resolution: with miles and miles of trails, as well as a large, wide lake to explore, the Basin has enough outdoor adventure to last a lifetime. The Ridge Tahoe is located within walking distance to the Tahoe Rim Trail. On this trail, visitors can hike or mountain bike. The resort is also close enough to the lake that visitors can easily access the water for kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is easily accessed from The Ridge Tahoe. Credit: Tahoe Rim Trail
#4. Experience New Things: There is no shortage of activities at The Ridge Tahoe and the adventurous will certainly find a new hobby or two from our various options:
- Evening with the Chef Cooking Series hosted by Executive Chef Stephen J. Moise
- Casino Gaming Classes
- Craft Classes
- Group Snow Shoe and Trail Hikes
- Tennis Clinics and Private Lessons
- Dermalogica Skin Care Classes
- Cooking Demonstrations
- Wine Tasting Classes
- Rock Climbing Class (On Natural Rock)
- Bingo Nights
- WallyBall Mixer
#5. Make More Time for Yourself: A vacation isn’t truly a vacation without rest and relaxation. If a New Year’s resolution involves making more time to take care of one’s self, The Ridge Tahoe has an on-site full service spa with an indoor/outdoor year-round heated pool, eucalyptus steam room and a Roman soaking tub. Treatments include massage therapy, facials, body treatments and waxing. Call (775) 588-3553, ext. 6000.
Good luck to all that have taken on New Year’s resolutions! Reserve a room now to work on these at The Ridge Tahoe.
With Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows open to the masses, winter is official under way in Lake Tahoe. But what if a visitor doesn’t ski or snowboard? With countless must-dos and sees, guests will certainly be looking beyond their skis for winter fun.
Fancy Fannette Island in the Winter: Emerald Bay is one of the most visited sites in the world – and the visitors don’t stop coming just because it’s winter. Covered in a blanket of white, the pristine blue lake and Emerald Bay’s accompanying Fannette Island are a sight to behold in the colder months. However, before venturing out to Emerald Bay, please check current road conditions as the highway closes during storms.
It may be possible that Emerald Bay is even more striking in the winter. Photo credit: Brad Scott
Cruise Big Blue: The M.S. Dixie II rides the waves throughout the year and offers an alternative way to spend a winter’s day or evening in Tahoe South. The M.S. Dixie II departs daily on a sightseeing cruise and on Saturday evenings for a dinner cruise. Cruise guests will visit the iconic Emerald Bay during the day trips, which allows visitors to strike off two must-sees in one trip.
Dashing Through the Snow: Since 1967 Borges Sleigh Rides has delighted visitors of Tahoe South with sleighs that go “over the meadow and through the woods” with incredible snowy views of the lake. The ride even takes guests on the original Pony Express. Available for parties of two to 20, Borges will entice a feeling of holiday magic and child-like whimsy.
Trace portions of the original Pony Express aboard the horse drawn carriage. Photo credit: Jamie Kingham
Check Off Your Holiday List: The Shops at Heavenly Village offer something for everyone with retailers like Patagonia, Earthbound Trading Company, Up Shirt Creek, Village Toys, What a Girl Wants and many others. Visitors will easily finish shopping for their holiday list in this one-stop shopping and entertainment center. Other retailers for unique and personal gifts include GaiaLicious Boutique and Wildwood Makers Market on Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe.
See the World Differently on Snowshoes: For those that prefer the flatland when it comes to winter sports, snowshoeing is a delightful option for individuals of all skill abilities. Camp Richardson is one option for snowshoe exploring along the lake’s Southwest shores and forests. Guests of the Ridge can also take advantage of the terrain around the Ridge to find quiet trails of untouched snow on the Valley View Hike (weather permitting).
Gain a different perspective on snowshoes. Courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Ridge Activities for All: A winter retreat can easily be spent at the Ridge Tahoe with activities to fill each day. The Activity Guide is updated weekly with new programs and adventures that all Ridge guests can take advantage of while visiting. Wallyball, pilates, dermatology seminars, movies in the Ridge Tahoe Theater and many other activities are offered on-site and complimentary for guests.
How will you explore Tahoe this season?
New to Tahoe or just interested in brushing up on some fun facts and new ideas for exploration? There is a ton to see when visiting the Jewel of Sierra. Come prepared with fun facts, myths and the best plan of attack to discover Lake Tahoe.
Put on your adventure pants because it’s time to discover Tahoe! Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun
- Lake Tahoe gets 275 days of sunshine a year, which explains why everyone is happy to be here.
- Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the US and tenth deepest in the world, with its deepest point being 1,645 feet.
- It’s also the largest alpine lake in the US!
- Tahoe is so deep that it could cover the entire state of California with 14 inches of water.
- Celebrities that have called Tahoe home include Shirley Temple, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Cher, Robin Williams, Alanis Morissette and Leonard Nimoy. The Hunger Games star Jena Malone grew up here!
- The Godfather Part II was filmed at Lake Tahoe, specifically at Fleur du Lac Mansion on the west shore.
Fleur Du Lac Mansion can be viewed from the water, as it is currently private residences. Courtesy Pinterest
- Speaking of the mafia, the area has seen its fair share of mob activity. Many believe that hidden in the depths of Lake Tahoe are hundreds of preserved bodies that were “offed” by mob affiliations.
- Lake Tahoe is rumored to be inhabited by a monster similar to the Loch Ness Monster. Her name is Tahoe Tessie and photos are sought for a glimpse of her emerald skinned silhouette.
Best way to see Tahoe? On the water! Courtesy South Tahoe Standup Paddle
Tahoe Done Right
- Explore: The waters of Lake Tahoe bring endless adventures. Try your hand at a new water sport that will get your adrenaline pumping and the waves kickin’!
- Find: There are many Hidden Beaches perfect for off-the-beaten-path fun.
- Hike: The Tahoe Rim Trail is just steps away from the Ridge, but there are a multitude of trails and paths easily accessible in the Basin.
- Fall in love: Named one of the best places in the US for a mountain wedding, Tahoe is no stranger to romance. Regardless if you’re planning to pop the question, celebrate a milestone or or get married at 7,500 ft, Lake Tahoe is the best place for love.
- Bring the family: Tahoe and the Ridge help create magical family vacations. Many of the Ridge activities are kid-friendly. (P.S. If you need a break from the kiddos, consider our Activity Club!)
- Take a day trip: Venture over the hill for historical locales or get in some fall fixings.
Make your home base at The Ridge Tahoe for a central location to explore all areas of the Basin.
The leaves are turning, falling and breezing all over Tahoe South signaling the coming of October. It’s hard to believe that we’re nearly done with the year, but there is still so much to experience when you visit Lake Tahoe. This month brings events and festivals to the area that celebrates the Autumn season. It’s a great time to get outside, spend time with the family and drink apple cider – or a giant stein of beer if you’re so inclined!
Cheers to Oktoberfest, Oct. 1-2! Courtesy: Camp Richardson Resort & Marina
Does Fall really start until you’ve relished some authentic German fare and giant mugs of brew? For many, the season kicks into gear with the annual Oktoberfest hosted by Camp Richardson, Oct. 1-2. The two-day festival packs in fun and fare with something for everyone, including craft booths, a pumpkin patch, face painting, balloon art, a climbing wall, a bouncy house and live music. Guests can enter contests such as beer stein holding, yodeling and owner and dog dress up. A popular element of the fest is the beer and wine garden.
Occurring on the same Saturday and Sunday, the Fall Fish Fest at Taylor Creek Visitor Center is an annual celebration of the fall migration of the Kokanee salmon. This weekend is one of the most educational wildlife viewing events in Northern California with plenty of great activities for the whole family. Kokanee salmon come to spawn in Taylor Creek after a long journey. Bears are often spotted in the area Avid runners can also join the Kokanee Trail Run during this action packed weekend. Sign up for a half marathon, 5k and 10k runs.
Push your boundaries during the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Credit: Dan Thrift
If you crave more physical activity, sign up for the Lake Tahoe Marathon. The marathon has become a premier, 3-day festival of running, swimming and kayaking, Oct. 6-9. There are events available for any age group beginning with toddlers.
The colors are popping off in Tahoe region and the Alpine Aspen Festival honors the beauty of the season Oct. 8-9. It also celebrates the vital role of aspen groves in providing water to millions of residents in California and Nevada. Located in the picturesque Hope Valley, Alpine County hosts the headwaters of five major rivers: American River, Stanislaus River, Mokelumne River, Truckee River and Carson River. This area not only hosts great opportunities for fly fishing, but also horseback riding, hikes, disc golf and star gazing. Try out a new hobby during the festival or simply appreciate the splendor of your surroundings.
Amazing fall colors await you in Hope Valley. Credit: Merick Rickman
As always, the Ridge is packed with endless opportunities and adventures for all ages. Catch one of two Blockbuster movies shown every day in the cozy theater. Try one of the Valley View Hikes with incredible mountain scenery or take tennis lessons with the family to improve that swing. The complimentary Kids Club offers hands-on activities and fun learning experiences, while parents get treated to a relaxing spa treatment at Elevation Spa. The Ridge offers incredible amenities in any season so grab that Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy!