Lake Tahoe Essentials

Do as the locals do with helpful essentials you must learn when visiting Lake Tahoe. Be in the know, and enjoy some of the area's best offerings and hot spots.
Sailing on Lake Tahoe

Sailing on Lake Tahoe

Sail around the lake on a chartered boat out of Tahoe City. The sunset cruise is breathtaking with snacks and alcoholic beverages provided. Book in advance for best availability and enjoy some time on the water.

Photo by: ARAMARK Parks & Destinations

ARAMARK Parks & Destinations

By: Tawnya Schultz

Food and Drink Essentials: Best Places to …

Buy Fresh Fish and Meat 

Overland Meat & Seafood 
2227 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 
Find high-quality cuts of meat and fish at Overland Meat & Seafood. A local hot spot, Overland prides itself on freshness and variety. They also have a great selection of wine and local products.

Buy Organic Veggies 

Farmers' Markets 
There are many Farmers' Markets in Tahoe throughout the week, making it easy for you to stock up on fresh local produce and goods. 
Tuesday: South Lake Tahoe, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., at the American Legion and in Truckee, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., at Truckee River Regional Park 
Thursday: Tahoe City 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Commons Beach Road and North Lake Blvd. 
Friday: South Lake Tahoe 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Ski Run Blvd.

Drink Some Coffee 

I.V. Coffee Lab 
907 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village, NV 89451 
I.V. is a newly opened, locally owned, European-style coffeehouse with delicious homemade treats. There's free Wi-Fi and friendly surroundings to work in and hang out.

Enjoy Happy Hour Deals

10096 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
Pianeta has great drink and appetizer specials in a cozy, Italian-inspired environment. Try the caprese salad and great wines for just $4.

55 U.S. 50, Stateline, NV 89449 
Pick up a Player's Club card and enjoy $1 tacos and margaritas from 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. every day. It's one of the best deals on the lake and the tacos are dang good.

Buy Wine 

Truckee Winery 
11467 Brockway Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
Not only is the wine worth a try, the atmosphere at Truckee Winery is down-home fun. Enjoy a picnic or choose from a variety of food available, and spend an afternoon with friends and family. The Truckee Winery has a nice outside grassy area with tables, bocce ball and badminton.

Drink Beer 

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company 
475 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 
Try an array of local handcrafted brews and pair with a burger and sweet potato fries or flat-bread pizza. The Brewery has cheap happy hour specials too and a solid outside deck for people watching.

Go Out for a Fancy Meal 

10918 Broackway Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
The highly raved-about Stella is not to be missed. This upscale establishment goes above and beyond with its quality and preparations. Located in the Cedar House Sport Hotel, Stella stands out from the rest with its own garden, creative take on food and overall savoriness.

Have Sunday Brunch 

Fire Sign Cafe 
1785 W Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 96145 
Yummy omelets and eggs Benedict. Try the coffee cake of the day with your mimosa. Fire Sign has a fun, casual feel and is located directly across the street from the lake on the West Shore.

Eat Vegetarian 

Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe 
3123 Harrison Ave., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 
Sprouts has lots of tasty veggie options and a super-friendly staff. The portions are big and leave you feeling full and guilt-free. Sprouts also has an extensive fresh juice and smoothies menu and locally brewed coffee to get you going. 

Entertainment Essentials: Best Places to …

Entertain the Kids 

Kings Beach Mini Golf in Kings Beach, Calif.

Kings Beach Mini Golf in Kings Beach, Calif.

Located just across the street from Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach Mini Golf has been keeping kids entertained for more than 50 years.

Photo by: Tawnya Schultz

Tawnya Schultz

Kings Beach Miniature Golf (Summer)‎ 
8693 N. Lake Blvd., Kings Beach, CA 96143 
Kings Beach is a fun and interactive 18-hole old-school miniature golf course, located right across the street from the lake. Players get to choose their own color ball and dance around with music while they're playing.

880 Northwood Blvd., Incline Village, NV 89451 
For just $10 for a day pass, kids under 10 years old can utilize the kids' climbing wall and burn off some energy. Fifteen bucks gets anyone older than 10 years old access to the big wall and the entire gym facility.

People Watch 

The Village at Northstar 
3001 Northstar Drive, Truckee, CA 96161 
In the busy months, the village is packed and a great place to people-watch. Find a spot in a cabana next to the ice/skate rink, roast some marshmallows and take in the sights.

Catch a Band 

Crystal Bay Club 
14 State Highway 28, Crystal Bay, NV 89402 
Most nights of the week in the Red Room, deejays and bands play for free. Lots of talent rolls through CBC and there are cheap drinks too.

Have Fun for Free 

Music in the Park 
During the summer Wednesday evenings at the Truckee Regional Park, Fridays in Kings Beach, and Sundays at Commons Beach in Tahoe City provide nights of fun for zero dollars. Bring a blanket and chairs, some snacks and beverages, and enjoy a rockin' good time. 

Nightlife Essentials: Best Places to ...

Have a Cheap Beer 

Tourist Club 
10110 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
Check out this dive bar if you're in downtown Truckee. The drinks are already reasonably cheap, but Tuesday night's "Beat the Clock" is where you can really have some fun. PBRs start at 50 cents, and go up 50 cents every 30 minutes when the bell is rung. You may need a driver.

Have a Premium Beer 

Himmel Haus 
3819 Saddle Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 
Do as the Germans do and drink big beers. Put down a boot (that's one liter of beer) and be well on your merry way. The Himmel Haus is rowdy and friendly, loved by the locals and tourists alike.


Peek Nightclub at Harrah's Casino 
15 U.S. 50 Stateline, NV 89449 
The newly opened Peek Nightclub inside Harrah's Casino is a Las Vegas-style club in Lake Tahoe. Dress to impress and get ready to dance the night away. VIP bottle service is available and world-renowned deejays play the best in dance club hits.

Outdoor Essentials: Best Places to …

Take a Short and Scenic Hike 

Fire Lookout 
From the Biltmore Casino in Crystal Bay, follow the signs on the road behind the casino. About a half mile up, park your vehicle where the fire road begins. It's a quick 20 minutes up on a paved road to overlook the entire lake. There are lots of photo ops.

Rent a Kayak/Paddleboard 

Waterman's Landing 
5166 N Lake Blvd., Carnelian Bay, CA 96140 
Grab a bite and some coffee from the cafe, then head out on the lake. The guys who run Waterman's are professional paddleboarders and can lend tips for a great time on the water.

Go Rafting 

Tahoe Whitewater 
303 Alpine Meadow Road, Tahoe City, CA 96146 
Go on an adventure along the Truckee river through the wilderness and get some whitewater. It's such a great bonding experience and the guides are awesome. Opt for the lower Truckee with less crowds and more action.

Other Essentials: Best Places to … 

Treat Your Dog 

Scraps Dog Bakery 
950 N Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 96145 
10344 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
This dog bakery has everything you could imagine to treat your pup. From baked goods to toys to organic raw food and supplies, dogs are always welcome.

Shop Natural and Organic 

New Moon Natural Foods 
11357 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161 
This locally owned grocery provides all your organic and natural foods needs. There is always a solid selection of fruits and veggies and lots of vegan and gluten-free products, as well as herbs and supplements.

See Shakespeare 

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Held at Sand Harbor State Park, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival produces professional plays for more than 22,000 patrons each summer.

Photo by: Jeff Dow

Jeff Dow

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival 
State Rt 28, Incline Village, NV 89452 
Overlook the lake at Sand Harbor and relish in an afternoon or evening with Shakespeare. There are shows six nights a week during the summer featured in an open-air venue unlike anywhere in the world. 

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