Lake Tahoe During the Summer

Lake Tahoe during the summer: A local’s guide



Lake Tahoe is known for their cascading white powder (cue the Deadpool Trailer) snowy mountains and ski resorts. I’m sure it’s magnificent in the wintertime. However, if you grew up in the heat and never had the opportunity to try winter sports and now you’re thinking “dear Lord, please don’t let me break every bone in my body because I have no balance”, do not fret. Lake Tahoe is also stunning in the summertime.

The massive lake divides the neighboring towns into North Shore and South Shore. Which side do you choose when planning a vacation? Do your research, but below are a few of the things that I loved.

I felt super blessed in Tahoe because I got locals (aka my bf’s friends) to show me around for my first visit. Without the snow, I was able to witness the wonderful things about the lake itself.

1.  North or South Lake Tahoe?

If you’re a young adult looking for a good time with friends, aka ballin’ on a budget, the Southend is the place for you. It has numerous restaurants and bars and a livelier nightlife. The North side is still going to be beautiful and just as fun as you make it out to be, but it tends to be pricier and a little boujee. I would suggest North Tahoe for more settled, mature adults, well off financially looking for a more relaxed vacation.

You could even rent a car from Reno and visit both sides. Regardless of which shore you pick for your vacation, Lake Tahoe is absolutely stunning.  It feels like you’re secluded from the rest of the world while you’re there.


2.  Sunsets:

If you make the most of your day and nights in Tahoe, you most likely will be sleeping through the sunrise. But for the love of avocados the sunsets are unbelievable. Pictures don’t even do it any justice.

It must be something about the fresh mountain air and crisp weather that just allows the sky to always paint a perfect picture.

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Favorite places to watch the sunset:

The Tiki Bar at Timber Cove Beach:

It’s a tiny little tiki bar right on the beach so you can enjoy a cocktail with your toes in the sand as the sun goes down.


This is a more upscale restaurant and bar with a pathway leading to the shore. You are able to rent boats from here as well.

Cave Rock:

It’s a short and steep little hike up towards a massive rock that overlooks the entire lake. The views are breathtaking.



3.  Restaurants:


Coldwater Brewery and Grill:

This restaurant is a bit on the pricier side, but has amazing local draft beers. They offer a wide range of lunch, dinner, and brunch options; including their signature bloody mary. They also have a tasting room where you can try their brews in a more relaxed location.

MacDuff’s Pub:

This pub has beyond fantastic pizza and chicken nuggets. If you’re one of the weirdos (like me) who likes pineapple pizza, I basically had the whole pie it was so dang delicious. If you’re looking to splurge a little on your vacation I highly recommend it.

Off the Hook:

A local told me that Off the Hook and Naked Fish are the two greatest sushi restaurants in Tahoe. Naked fish is slightly more expensive, so I went to Off the Hook this time around.  I ordered “The Flying Tiger” sushi roll and it was bangin’!

T's Rotisserie:

On the North Shore of Tahoe and known for their giant burritos, T's is a tiny little hole-in-the-wall joint. It’s very reasonably priced and extremely satisfying. We ordered them to go and had a little picnic at the top of Cave Rock.

Riva or Beacon Bar and Grill:

Located on opposite sides of South Lake Tahoe, these two restaurants are right on the water. Riva’s is more upscale for a dress up and go out kind of night. You can float up to Beacon by boat and be in your beach clothes if you wanted to. They both have competing Rum Runners, but I personally believe that Riva’s is better; plus they call it a "Wet Woody" so the name takes the cake anyway.

Key’s Café:

This adorably small café is the perfect way to begin your days. I went here at least 3 times on my trip and I still want to go back. Their lavender latte is to die for! Besides coffee, they also have food options, beer/wine selections, as well as numerous smoothies. The “Purple People Eater” seems to be a crowd favorite.

4.  Activities:

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Rent a Boat:

I was fortunate to have my boyfriend’s friends show us all around. We spent an entire day on the lake hitting up nice spots to chill at and eat. It was still a little too cold to swim for a long period of time. It was definitely a great perspective seeing Tahoe while being ON Lake Tahoe. It really makes you feel like you’ve made the most of your trip. We rode to Sand Harbor, which has beautiful crystal clear blue water surrounding it. We also rode through Emerald Bay.

Rent kayaks, paddle boards, or jet skis:

If a boat isn’t your style, then rent some form of water transportation that will get you on the lake. You will regret it if you don’t.

Rent LimeScooters or Bikes:

When you’re not on the water and you don’t want to wait in the summer tourist traffic, then hop on (and hold on; those little babies go fast!) a lime scooter/bike and ride to your destination. Or just ride around and take in all the views. You pay by credit card, so watch how many miles you go!

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If you’re looking to whack a few golf balls, Tahoe is home to a few golf courses. Edgewood Golf Club is classy af and also $275 person. However, my bf’s buddy works there and he’s a great guy, so I know you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time. Lake Tahoe Golf Course is a fraction of the price and is positioned on the Truckee River; it is surrounded by the amazing views of the Eastern Sierra's.


There are tons of hikes to do in Tahoe. Make sure you look them up and do your research on which ones will be best for you. I only did two of them.

Cave Rock:

I mentioned this one a few times. The hike itself is like 5 min long, but the view is well worth it.

Cascade Falls:

This hike was just plain awesome. Make sure you wear good shoes because there are a lot of rocks and steep sides you might have to climb on. My favorite part about this hike is once you reach the falls (which are beautiful, obvi) you can venture out and get lost. We found a spot to hang our hammocks, lay out picnic blankets and jump in freezing cold river water. I would love to do this hike again.



You’re in Tahoe for fox sake. Take your time, put your phone down and look around you because there is so much to see and you do NOT want to miss it!

Much Love,