Things to do in Tahoe (besides skiing)

If I’m being honest, the winter here at Lake Tahoe has been monumentally disappointing so far. We’ve seen one storm since I arrived 5 weeks ago, and that snow has all but melted after a slew of balmy 50º days. Resorts are considering closing for the season, bars and restaurants are doing layoffs and cutting shifts, and the city itself feels a bit…empty.

I have a friend who calls it “unseasonable depression”, and he wouldn’t be wrong. There’s a certain gloominess that’s descended on the town, but only in a strictly literary sense. Literally, it’s blue skis every day.

It’s easy to feel myself sliding into unseasonal depression. I came to here ski, damnit! But, as another friend reminded me, we live in the midst of unparalleled beauty. Lake Tahoe is a wonderfully magical place, full of hidden gems with unlimited options for exploration.

So, without further ado, I present to you my continuously evolving list of things to do in Lake Tahoe (besides skiing):

  1. Catch the sunset on East Lake. Recommended spots include:
    • Secret Cove: also a nude beach during the summer. A nice trail runs along the slope above the cove and connects several beaches.
    • Hidden Beach: Located just near the mouth of the Truckee River, Hidden Beach is a beautiful, long stretch of sandy shore.
    • Chimney Beach: Tucked behind a steep slope, the large and flat boulders on this beach make it perfect for sunset gazing.
  2. Catch the sunrise on West Lake. Admittedly, I’ve only made it over to West Lake on two occasions so far to watch the sunrise, but I would argue the sunrise in Lake Tahoe is even more lovely than the sunset. The locations I’ve traveled to are:
    • Skylandia Beach: Once a dog-friendly beach, this stretch of sandy shore has some pretty outstanding views of the lake and west shore. You’ll find it hidden in the back of Lake Forest in Tahoe City.
    • Hurricane Bay Beach: Hurricane Bay Beach extends across a half mile of shoreline with great North Lake Tahoe views and amazing crystal clear water. Plus, it’s dog-friendly!
  3. Grab a beer (or glass of wine!) There’s plenty of bars and pubs around town, but some of my favorite North Lake watering holes are:
    • Whitecaps: Known for its pizza, Whitecaps also boasts some of the best beer in town, in my professional opinion. Located in Kings Beach.
    • Alibi Ale Works: Craft brewery in Incline Village, NV. Dog-friendly and all their beers are brewed from Lake Tahoe water!
    • Spindleshanks: Good food, even better happy hour. Located in Kings Beach.
    • Pete and Peters:  $3 wine for ladies night on Wednesdays. Need I say more? Plus, I can almost guarantee that no matter how many $3 glasses of wine you have, you will NOT be the drunkest skunk in the room.
  4. Go on a hike. Tahoe is known for endless hiking or walking trails, many of which are going to be covered in snow this time of year, but I’ve been doing my best to follow the lower-elevation trails on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
  5. Rock climb. The gym I joined, High Altitude Fitness in Incline Village, has an indoor rock climbing wall that’s pretty sweet.
  6. Go check out some live music. Granted, coming from Seattle, the music scene in Tahoe doesn’t exactly stack up. That being said, there is still good music to be found:
    • South Lake Tahoe often will play live music at the Hard Rock (Murs is coming to town next week!) or Whiskey Dicks (yes-you read that right. I saw Deltron 3030 there last month!)
    • Truckee often has live bands playing at The Bar of America or Moody’s. I was at Moody’s on Friday and the crowd was, well, older, but the vibes were still great!
    • Crystal Bay Casino in Incline Village will occasionally have fun acts come through. Anderson East is coming in March.

So there you have it, folks! Despite the disappointing ski season, there’s still plenty of entertainment to be had in this beautiful city I call home. Time to make the best of it 🙂


stay lovely humans,


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