7-Day Itinerary in Lake Tahoe, CA

7-Day Itinerary in Lake Tahoe, CA

Are you planning a trip to Lake Tahoe and wondering what to do in this stunning destination? Look no further! In this 7-day itinerary, I will guide you through the best attractions and outdoor activities in Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or seeking adventure, Lake Tahoe has something for everyone.

During your week-long stay, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the breathtaking beauty of Lake Tahoe and its surroundings. From scenic spots to charming towns, this itinerary will ensure you make the most of your trip.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe with its crystal clear waters and picturesque landscapes.
  • Engage in a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and water sports.
  • Explore charming towns like Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe, known for their scenic beauty and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Don’t miss the chance to visit neighboring attractions such as Yosemite National Park, Virginia City, and Carson City.
  • Plan your trip in advance and make the most of your time in Lake Tahoe with this comprehensive 7-day itinerary.

Getting to Lake Tahoe

If you’re planning a trip to Lake Tahoe, you’ll need to consider how to get there. Fortunately, there are several transportation options available to make your journey convenient and hassle-free.

Flying to Lake Tahoe

If you prefer to travel by air, the most convenient airport to fly into is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Located just a short distance from Lake Tahoe, this airport offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. Once you’ve arrived, you can easily rent a car at the airport to continue your journey to Lake Tahoe.

Driving to Lake Tahoe

Driving to Lake Tahoe is another popular option, especially if you’re coming from nearby cities like San Francisco or Sacramento. The drive from these cities typically takes around 3-4 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Along the way, you’ll be treated to scenic views as you approach the breathtaking beauty of Lake Tahoe.

Route to Lake Tahoe

When driving to Lake Tahoe from Reno or San Francisco, there are different routes you can take. From Reno, you can follow Interstate 80 East and then take the Interstate 395 South towards Carson City. From there, you can choose either the US-50 West route through the South Shore or the NV-431 West route through the North Shore to reach your destination.

If you’re driving from San Francisco, you can take Interstate 80 East all the way to Reno and then follow the same routes mentioned above. Whichever route you choose, be prepared for stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe throughout your journey.

Whether you decide to fly or drive, getting to Lake Tahoe is just the beginning of an unforgettable adventure. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful region and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions.

North Lake Tahoe

Start your 7-day itinerary in North Lake Tahoe, specifically in Tahoe City. Experience the natural beauty and outdoor activities that this region has to offer.

Tahoe City

Tahoe City is the perfect base for exploring North Lake Tahoe. Stay at the charming Sunnyside Lodge for a cozy and comfortable accommodation experience.

Outdoor activities in North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the scenic paved bike path that runs along the lake, renting your bike from the Olympic Bike Shop for convenience. Embark on a leisurely bike ride or challenge yourself with a more rigorous cycling adventure.

After an active day, satisfy your appetite at Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay. Indulge in delicious lakeside dining while enjoying panoramic views.

Evening entertainment

For those seeking some evening entertainment, head to the nearby Cal-Neva Casino located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Test your luck at the gaming tables or enjoy live entertainment in a vibrant atmosphere.

Attraction Location
Sunnyside Lodge Tahoe City
Olympic Bike Shop Tahoe City
Gar Woods Grill & Pier Carnelian Bay
Cal-Neva Casino Crystal Bay

Immerse yourself in the beauty of North Lake Tahoe and enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities and entertainment options available.

South Lake Tahoe

After exploring the scenic North Lake Tahoe, it’s time to head south to experience the wonders of South Lake Tahoe. This vibrant destination offers a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to every traveler’s taste.

Emerald Bay

A visit to South Lake Tahoe is incomplete without exploring the breathtaking beauty of Emerald Bay. Marvel at the deep blue waters surrounded by towering mountains and pristine forests. Take a hike along the trails to get closer to nature and capture mesmerizing photos of this iconic spot.

Zephyr Cove

For a relaxing lakeside experience, make sure to spend some time at Zephyr Cove. Enjoy a tranquil picnic by the crystal-clear waters, unwind on the sandy beach, or rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the lake. Take in the stunning Lake Tahoe scenery and let the calmness of the surroundings rejuvenate your soul.

Lakeside Dining in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe offers a plethora of dining options, with many establishments offering scenic lake views. Indulge in delectable cuisine while enjoying the serene ambiance of the lakeside. Some popular lakeside dining spots include Riva Grill and The Beacon Bar & Grill.

MS Dixie II

To explore the lake from a different perspective, embark on a scenic cruise aboard the MS Dixie II. Marvel at the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe while soaking up the sun on the deck or enjoying a delicious meal onboard. The MS Dixie II offers various cruise options, including daytime sightseeing cruises and sunset dinner cruises.

Heavenly Resort

For adventure seekers, a visit to Heavenly Resort is a must. Whether you choose to hit the slopes during the winter months or participate in outdoor activities like hiking or mountain biking during the summer, Heavenly Resort offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a scenic gondola ride to the top and be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Casinos in South Lake Tahoe

For those seeking evening entertainment, South Lake Tahoe is also home to several casinos. Test your luck at the slot machines or try your hand at poker, blackjack, or roulette. Some popular casinos in the area include Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Attraction Description
Emerald Bay A stunning bay with deep blue waters, surrounded by mountains and forests.
Zephyr Cove A peaceful lakeside spot ideal for picnics, beach relaxation, and water activities.
Lakeside Dining Enjoy delicious cuisine with picturesque lake views at various restaurants.
MS Dixie II Take a scenic cruise on Lake Tahoe aboard the MS Dixie II.
Heavenly Resort A popular destination for skiing, hiking, and enjoying panoramic views.
Casinos Try your luck at the casinos for an evening of entertainment and excitement.

Yosemite National Park

Embark on an unforgettable day trip from Lake Tahoe to the magnificent Yosemite National Park. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this iconic park offers breathtaking natural wonders and thrilling outdoor adventures.

Begin your journey by driving through the scenic beauty of Mono Lake, a unique body of water known for its striking tufa formations. Marvel at the ethereal landscape and capture stunning photographs of this natural wonder.

Continue your drive and enter Yosemite National Park through the awe-inspiring Tioga Pass, granted it is open and accessible. The scenic vistas along the way will leave you in awe as you make your way into the heart of the park.

Once inside Yosemite, consider staying at the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel or explore other lodging options available within the park. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and embrace the serenity that surrounds you.

Valley Floor Tour

For a comprehensive experience of Yosemite’s grandeur, take a guided Valley Floor Tour. A knowledgeable guide will accompany you, providing valuable insights and showcasing the park’s iconic landmarks, such as El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall.

Hiking in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering a wide range of trails to suit all levels of experience. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure through the picturesque wilderness. One notable hiking destination is the stunning Desolation Wilderness, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of untouched nature.

Whether you choose to hike to towering waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, or serene alpine lakes, the trails of Yosemite will reward you with unforgettable memories and a deep connection with the natural world.

Indulge your senses in the awe-inspiring beauty of Yosemite National Park. From the tranquil lakes to the towering granite cliffs, this natural wonderland will leave you spellbound.

Virginia City

Venture outside of Lake Tahoe and visit the historic town of Virginia City. This charming destination offers a glimpse into the rich history of the area and is filled with fascinating attractions that will captivate visitors of all ages.

One of the key highlights of Virginia City is the infamous Comstock Lode, a historic silver mining district that played a significant role in the development of the American West. The Comstock Lode is renowned for its immense wealth and the significant impact it had on the growth of Virginia City and the surrounding region.

When exploring Virginia City, be sure to visit the V&T Railroad, which offers scenic train rides that provide panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings. The Washoe Club is another must-visit attraction, where you can learn about the town’s intriguing past and even experience paranormal activities on ghost tours.

For a deeper understanding of the town’s mining history, explore the Chollar Mine, where you can descend into the depths and witness the challenging conditions miners faced during the peak of Virginia City’s silver boom.

After a day of exploration, take a break at the iconic Bucket of Blood Saloon. It’s a historic drinking establishment that offers a unique ambiance and a taste of the Old West. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing drink while soaking in the authentic atmosphere.

Virginia City is a treasure trove of historical attractions that will transport you back in time. It’s a captivating place that seamlessly blends the old and the new, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and those seeking a unique experience.

Virginia City Attractions:

Attraction Description
V&T Railroad Scenic train rides offering beautiful views of Virginia City and its surroundings.
Washoe Club A historic building that offers a glimpse into the town’s past and offers ghost tours for those seeking the supernatural.
Chollar Mine A historic mine that allows visitors to explore the underground world and learn about the mining process.
Bucket of Blood Saloon An iconic drinking establishment with a rich history and a unique atmosphere.

Carson City

Welcome to Carson City, the capital city of Nevada! While often overshadowed by its neighboring destinations, Carson City has its own unique charm and attractions to offer. From exploring the fascinating Nevada State Museum to indulging in relaxation at Carson Hot Springs, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Nevada State Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Nevada at the Nevada State Museum. Discover exhibits and displays that showcase the cultural heritage and significant events that have shaped the state. From Native American artifacts to mining exhibits, this museum offers a comprehensive look into Nevada’s past.

Carson Hot Springs

After a day of adventure, take a rejuvenating dip in the natural healing waters of Carson Hot Springs. Let the mineral-rich waters soothe your body and relax your mind. Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor pools, Carson Hot Springs offers a serene oasis for total relaxation.

Shoe Tree Brewing Co

Quench your thirst at the Shoe Tree Brewing Co, a local craft brewery known for its delicious beers and vibrant atmosphere. Sample a variety of handcrafted brews, from hoppy IPAs to refreshing lagers. Sit back, enjoy the lively ambiance, and savor the flavors of Carson City.

Kit Carson Trail

Embark on a journey through history as you explore the Kit Carson Trail. This self-guided walking tour takes you through the historic district of Carson City, where you can admire beautifully preserved Victorian-era homes and learn about the city’s rich heritage. Follow the trail markers and let them guide you through the city’s fascinating past.

Kings Canyon Waterfall

For outdoor enthusiasts, a hike to Kings Canyon Waterfall is a must-do. Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the rugged beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trail rewards you with breathtaking views of the cascading waterfall, surrounded by the stunning natural landscape that Carson City has to offer.

Attraction Description
Nevada State Museum Learn about the history of Nevada through exhibits and displays.
Carson Hot Springs Relax and rejuvenate in natural healing hot springs.
Shoe Tree Brewing Co Enjoy handcrafted beers in a lively craft brewery.
Kit Carson Trail Explore the historic district of Carson City on a self-guided walking tour.
Kings Canyon Waterfall Embark on a scenic hike to a beautiful waterfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


This 7-day itinerary is the ultimate Lake Tahoe travel guide, providing a comprehensive overview of the top highlights in the area. From the breathtaking natural beauty of the lake to the rich history and charm of Virginia City and Carson City, this itinerary offers something for every traveler.

Throughout your week-long journey, you’ll have the opportunity to explore outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and picnicking in North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. You’ll also get to witness the stunning views of Emerald Bay and experience the excitement of the casinos in South Lake Tahoe.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Take a day trip to Yosemite National Park for a glimpse of its iconic landscapes, venture back in time in the historical town of Virginia City, and discover the charm of Carson City with its museums, natural hot springs, and local breweries. The diversity of experiences will leave you captivated and inspired.

So, whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, historical discoveries, or simply a relaxing getaway surrounded by natural beauty, Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination. Plan your trip using this itinerary, and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.


What are some outdoor activities in Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, boating, fishing, and paddleboarding. You can also enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.

What are some scenic spots in Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe is known for its breathtaking beauty. Some scenic spots to visit include Emerald Bay, Zephyr Cove, and the picturesque views from Heavenly Resort.

How do I get to Lake Tahoe?

The quickest way to reach Lake Tahoe is by flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport and renting a car. Alternatively, you can drive from San Francisco or Sacramento.

What are some attractions in North Lake Tahoe?

In North Lake Tahoe, you can visit Tahoe City, stay at Sunnyside Lodge, and enjoy outdoor activities like biking along the scenic paved bike path. You can also dine at Gar Woods Grill & Pier and visit the Cal-Neva Casino for evening entertainment.

What are some attractions in South Lake Tahoe?

South Lake Tahoe offers attractions such as Emerald Bay, where you can have a lakeside picnic at Zephyr Cove. You can also take a cruise on the MS Dixie II and enjoy the views from Heavenly Resort. For dining, Riva Grill is a popular choice, and there are several casinos for evening entertainment.

Can I take a day trip from Lake Tahoe?

Yes, you can take a day trip from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park. Drive through Mono Lake and enter the park via the Tioga Pass. You can stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel or other lodging options within the park and explore the valley floor with a guided tour or by renting bikes.

What are some attractions in Virginia City?

In Virginia City, you can learn about the famous Comstock Lode and explore attractions such as the V&T Railroad, Washoe Club, and Chollar Mine. Don’t miss the chance to grab a drink at the Bucket of Blood Saloon for a taste of the Old West.

What can I do in Carson City?

In Carson City, you can visit the Nevada State Museum to learn about the state’s history. You can also take a relaxing dip in the Carson Hot Springs and enjoy a drink at the Shoe Tree Brewing Co. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the city on the Kit Carson Trail and go for a hike to Kings Canyon waterfall.

What can I expect from a 7-day itinerary in Lake Tahoe?

A 7-day itinerary in Lake Tahoe allows you to experience the best of the area. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the lake, enjoy outdoor activities, visit scenic spots, learn about the region’s history and culture, and experience the charm of nearby towns like Virginia City and Carson City.

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