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How To Spend the Ultimate Lake Tahoe Family Vacation

How To Spend the Ultimate Lake Tahoe Family Vacation

Pick a date to go and get the whole gang pumped—your Lake Tahoe getaway is about to be the trip of your summer.


5 min read

August 13, 2021

Lake Tahoe in the summer doesn’t get as much credit as it does in the winter, and we can’t just let it slide because you’re missing out on all the fun! While the weather is still warm and the waters are refreshing to swim in, you should totally make that Lake Tahoe family vacation happen. It’s true, winter activities reign supreme at this destination, but that doesn’t mean that Lake Tahoe offers no summer fun.

Check out our list of Tahoe family adventures, pick a date to go, and get the whole gang pumped—your Lake Tahoe getaway is about to be the trip of your summer.

Lake Tahoe is a popular weekend destination on the West Coast, offering fun outdoor adventures you won't forget anytime soon.

Day 1

Knowing all the fun of biking, hiking, golfing, and water activities await can be tempting to jump into straight away, but checking into a hotel is the first thing on the itinerary. Lucky for you, we have three incredible Lake Tahoe family resorts options lined up. 

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If you want a lakeside stay, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort is the perfect option for you. Generations of families come to this resort every year, and its convenient location and amenities are perfect for those traveling with kids. Granlibakken Tahoe is another family-friendly option, sprawling over acres of forested meadows and offering both traditional hotel rooms and cabin-style lodges. And lastly, Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel is a popular option that you can’t go wrong with. Just minutes away from dining, golfing, shopping, and hiking spots, this Lake Tahoe family resort is a tried and true option loved by many.

Planning a trip to Lake Tahoe? Then we suggest you don’t leave until you have spent a little time at Emerald Bay.

After checking in, it’s time to make the first foodie stop of your Lake Tahoe summer vacation. The Getaway Cafe is a local favorite, offering mouthwatering dishes with plenty of vegetarian options as well. The coconut-crusted french toast is divine and so is practically everything else.

Burn off the delicious meal you had by heading over to one of the Tahoe Treetop Adventures locales. There’s one in Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, and another at Squaw Valley—all are fine options for outdoor adventures. This Tahoe activity is a hit with kids every time.

What’s a Tahoe getaway without Emerald Bay? A popular spot with vacationers, this oasis of shimmering greens is a must-visit on every Lake Tahoe weekend getaway. Drive up to the Inspiration Point, admire gorgeous views, capture the dramatic landscapes, and go kayaking or stand up paddleboarding to enjoy the views from the lake. However you choose to spend your time, make sure you stick around for sunset, you’ll be awestruck.

Explore Lake Tahoe in the clouds and discover what makes it a must-visit destination from up above.

Day 2

The second day of your Lake Tahoe family vacation is all about the lake itself. Have a cup of coffee and breakfast at your hotel, because a day full of adventure awaits you. Start off by booking a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the waters with Lake Tahoe Balloons. The breathtaking ride not only gives you a whole other perspective on the lake, but it’s also a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll love sharing with the family. 

Next up is kayaking at Kings Beach. Wild Society offers clear kayak rentals that are as aesthetically pleasing as they’re fun to navigate. With its crystal clear clarity, the lake’s various shades of blue shores along with the gorgeous coves and hidden beaches envelop you in a totally immersive experience you can’t miss out on. While kayaking at night is also a magical experience that the company offers, embarking on this adventure while the sun is still out is better suited for those on a Lake Tahoe family vacation.

In between all of the adrenaline chasing, check out the many restaurants of the area that offer great food, good drinks, and amazing views.

For a much-needed energy boost, head over to The Beach House on Lakeshore Boulevard. Tasty tenders, fish and chips, sandwiches, and many more delicious meals are served at this lakeside eatery with a side of awesome views. With good company, live music, and delicious eats, The Beach House has Lake Tahoe summer vacation vibes written all over.

Shall we squeeze in an awesome waterfall hike before calling it a day? Less than one-and-a-half miles in length, the Bayview Campground Trailhead leads you to the beautiful Cascade Falls. In addition to the water that tumbles down a 200-foot cliff, the views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe in the background make this hike an awesome activity to add to your Tahoe getaway.

One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Tahoe is to get on it—or in it, depending on your sense of adventure.

Day 3

More Tahoe family adventures await on your last day by this beautiful lake. Start your morning by renting a powerboat from Tahoe Sports. Glide along the glimmering waters towards the beautiful coves and come back refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for the next stop on your Lake Tahoe summer vacation. And that is—drum roll, please—Epic Discovery at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

The aptly named epic mountaintop playground is only accessible by riding the Heavenly gondola. But, it’s totally worth it because you get a full day’s worth of family adventures to enjoy. Find a variety of ropes courses for all levels, two zip lines with incredible vistas, and a fun, kid-friendly mountain coaster that takes you around the edge of the peak with excellent views of the lake below. Tubing, wall climbing, and more awesome activities are also available at this Lake Tahoe weekend getaway destination, so you’re in for a fun ride. Grab-and-go food and drink options are available at Epic Discovery both at Café Blue and Tamarack Lodge—you don’t need to pre-pack snacks either.

Did you really go on a vacation if you didn't relax? That's why going to a spa at the end of your trip will give you all the peace of mind.

After a full day of running around and trying new activities, you and your family are bound to be wiped out. Perhaps it’s time for a little parents-only relaxation as a treat to completing a successful Lake Tahoe family vacation? We think so too.

Tuck the tired kids into their beds, quietly sneak out of your hotel, and pamper yourselves to a quick spa treatment—just the two of you. The Spa at Squaw Creek is nothing short of amazing; they have endless options to unwind. But if you can’t stay away from your children for too long, the Spa at Squaw Creek also offers kid-friendly sessions. The Chillax sessions are designed for customers of all ages to relax, unwind, and enjoy. That’s how you properly end a Lake Tahoe family vacation. 

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