Are you visiting South Lake Tahoe for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in “Tahoe South.”
When I have a visitor from out of town, the first place they want to see is Emerald Bay, but I also take them a short hike above Emerald Bay to Eagle Falls, or even further into Desolation Wilderness for those more adventurous. There are so many little lakes within miles of each other and you feel like you are on top of the world!
When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. Again, there are so many trails that lead to lakes and beautiful views.
Where the locals eat in Lake Tahoe
If you are looking for typical Tahoe cuisine, there are a few restaurants I would recommend. Freshies has the best fish tacos I have ever tried! Their salads are incredible and they have quite an array of different meals including fresh fish, organic chicken, Hawaiian Style ribs and more. If you come between Memorial Day and Labor Day, be sure to sit outside on the deck for stunning views of the lake. Another local’s spot is the Getaway Café in Meyers. Their burgers are “quite possibly the best on the planet!” For breakfast, a must try is the Deluxe Benedict – sautéed spinach, onions and tomatoes with Canadian bacon and home fries. Be sure to save room for dessert too!
Sugar Pine Bakery has a wide variety of pastries and muffins fresh-baked daily. They have a cinnamon croissant that is to die for.
For cheap food, be sure to check out Steamers. Sat-Mon they have $3 parmesan crusted tacos with chicken, beef, or veggies. This place is packed with locals on the weekends. Another great hidden favorite of the locals is Taqueria Jalisco, who just opened a second location called Jalisco Grill. You can get a super burrito with the works for under $6 and it can feed two! The same family has owned it for at least 20 years now. They also have a California Burrito with French fries inside for those who don’t like authentic flavors.
The best spot for late night dining is Lakeside Inn. There are two restaurants to choose from, Latin Soul & the Timber House.
For an expensive, yet quality meal, the Chart House can’t be beat. About a mile up Kingsbury Grade, the views of the lake are incredible.
There’s more to gambling and skiing in South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe has long been known best for gaming and skiing. More recently, people have begun ice climbing, bouldering & rock climbing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, hiking, camping and fishing. It is the perfect place to experience the great outdoors. Be sure to get your picture taken on the lake. Any beach you are on will offer a panorama of mountains, trees and the tri-color blue water. The gondola at Heavenly Observation Deck offers a great vantage point of Lake Tahoe, or for the more adventurous, take the 4.5 mile hike to the top of Mount Tallac for 365 degree views of wildflowers, the lake, mountains and desolation wilderness.
The newly created Lakeview Commons is the best place to watch the Annual Labor Day Weekend Fireworks display. Thousands of locals and tourists fill the beach to watch this spectacular show. Before the fireworks, be sure to visit Tahoe’s only Farm-to-Fork Festival, Sample the Sierra, Labor Day Weekend in South Lake Tahoe. Featuring fresh local produce prepared by the best restaurants in town, paired with El Dorado County wine or brew, this festival is a food, wine and art lovers dream.
Night life in Lake Tahoe
TahoeSouth has no shortage of entertainment for the night owls. There are dance clubs in almost every casino and live music for everyone’s tastes. Cabo Wabo, inside Harvey’s was recently renovated and offers live music 7 nights a week. Opal Ultra Lounge at MontBleu has become the new local spot, offering free drinks for ladies on Friday Nights. The Outdoor Summer Concert Series has become one of the main draws for tourism. From Toby Keith to Journey, Maroon 5 to Sugarland, the summer concert series is generally held 2 nights a week during the summer.
Be sure to pick up a copy of the Action or the Tahoe Daily Tribune to keep posted on what’s happening in TahoeSouth.
What are your favorite things to do in Lake Tahoe?
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Tahoe Chamber on Twitter and like them on Facebook.
Thanks to Jessica at the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce for assistance with this post. Top photo courtesy of Nancy D. Brown. Sample Sierra photo courtesy Tahoe Chamber. Skiing photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. Mountain bike photo courtesy of Ben Fish. South Lake Tahoe photo pulled from Lake Tahoe South Facebook page.