The Discoverer
The Discoverer
Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Edition 138   |   3:16 read time
Lake Tahoe | @alphawanderlust
What do you get when you mix the rolling hills of California with Nevada’s rugged beauty? Lake Tahoe, which straddles the two states for 72 miles of pristine shoreline. America's second-deepest lake is also its most dynamic, with different experiences waiting on each shore. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or revelry, you can find it here.
Fun Fact:
Lake Tahoe is farther west than Los Angeles.
#laketahoe | @manikrathee
June — July
Given the location, there’s really no bad time to visit — summer is more crowded, but it’s also sunny and warm, while winter is ideal for skiers. That said, June and July are the sweet spot in terms of weather, with blue, cloudless skies and an abundance of sunshine.
Eagle Falls Lake Tahoe | @mrubelowsky
The Other Lake in Tahoe
Visiting Lake Tahoe itself is a given, but it isn’t the only body of water worth your time. There’s also Eagle Lake, which you can reach via the beginner-friendly, arrestingly beautiful Eagle Falls Trail. You’ll walk alongside pine trees as you make your way to the water, sure to see other hikers (and their pups) along the 1.8-mile route. It’s both a communal and personal experience, the kind adored by all nature-lovers.
Donner Memorial State Park | @paulhamillphotos
Indomitable, Unafraid
The tragedy of the Donner Party is a vital part of this area’s history, and it’s movingly remembered at Donner Memorial State Park. A National Historic Landmark that's home to both the Emigrant Trail Museum and Pioneer Monument, it honors all those who traveled west to the Sierra Nevadas — including those whose journeys were ill-fated. (The monument is particularly moving, with a plaque that reads, “Virile to risk and find; kindly withal and a ready help. Facing the brunt of fate; indomitable — unafraid.”) The area is also great for hiking, fishing, and camping.
Vikingsholm | @saramizzay
Scandinavian Hospitality
Most of the world’s best Scandinavian architecture is in, well, Scandinavia. A rare exception is Tahoe's Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion first opened as a summer home in 1929. Located alongside scenic Emerald Bay, it’s now open to the public and part of the National Register of Historic Places. Daily tours run from June to September and provide a highlight reel of the property's 232 acres, which include the only waterfall that flows directly into Lake Tahoe and the lake’s only island. Come prepared, though — Vikingsholm is only reachable via boat or a one-mile hike.
Inspiration Point | @twelve.twenty
Buena Vista
Towering 600 feet above Lake Tahoe is Inspiration Point Vista, which is perhaps the best place to take in the area’s natural beauty. It’s also an ideal way to end your trip to Lake Tahoe, not least because you’ll be able to see several of the spots you’ve visited. From Vikingsholm to Emerald Bay and beyond, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of Lake Tahoe’s best. (Bonus: No hike required!)
Diana’s Discovery
"Lake Tahoe is a perfect place to visit in any season, but go in July or August to take full advantage of the lake, hiking trails, and camping opportunities. One particular summertime activity that's not to be missed is kayaking or boating out to Fannette Island, climbing to the top, and exploring the abandoned tea house."
West Shore Cafe and Inn | @westshorecafe
Fire Up the Grill
Eat like the locals do at Fire Sign Cafe, where down-home cooking has been on the menu since 1978. It has all the old favorites — omelets, waffles, BLTs — but also puts a unique spin on the likes of Reuben sandwiches and a kielbasa scramble. The muffins, cobblers, soups, biscuits and gravy, and hamburger patties (to name just a few) are all made from scratch. Also not to be missed is the West Shore Cafe, whose chef-inspired menu includes chicken katsu, crispy calamari, and other refined goodies.
Edgewood Tahoe | @edgewoodtahoe
Home Base
Keep the outdoorsy vibe going at Basecamp Tahoe City, a boutique hotel just five minutes from the lake by foot. It’s as rugged as it is relaxing, with an emphasis on connecting you to the trails and mountains when you step outside while also keeping you comfortable when you return. If five minutes is too far, opt for Edgewood Tahoe. The alpine lodge is situated right on the shore of South Lake Tahoe and is at its most beautiful in the winter, when snow covers the many trees on the property. There's no bad time to stay here, though — it's always a treat.
Cascade Lake | @brian.walker
Morning Glory
"I would have to say, visit in the off season and early in the morning. Otherwise you will have to deal with the locals, tourists, and boats in the water… Also, the water is the calmest early in the morning." – @alphawanderlust
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