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Lakeside fun in Tahoe, California

SmarterTravel

Lake Tahoe draws thrill seeking skiers and snowboards to the surrounding mountains in winter, but summer offers a more relaxed vibe, rich in nature, adventure, history, and culture.

On the California side of Lake Tahoe, my favorite place to picnic is on the grassy hill between the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion and the shore of the lake at Ed Z’berg-Sugar Pine Point State Park. Before you go, stop at the PDQ Market in nearby Tahoma for one of their giant (two people can easily share one) and delicious sandwiches. After lunch, stroll down to the dock, take a swim, tour the historic house, or just pull up a rocking chair on the mansion’s back porch and enjoy the view of the lake.

From Sugar Pine Point, there’s a bike trail that stretches all the way to Squaw Valley. It traces a path through woods, along the road, and follows the shoreline and later the banks of the Truckee River. Along the way, you can pause at Fanny Bridge in Tahoe City and join the crowd watching the giant rainbow trout. You’ll also pass the launch spot for leisurely raft rides down the Upper Truckee River.

Events all summer long offer even more reasons to head to Tahoe. This summer, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in Sand Harbor will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream and other plays. Squaw Valley is throwing its annual Art, Wine and Music Festival in July. Northstar has outdoor movie nights throughout the summer. And, other ski resorts have more summer events and activities.

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for the lake Tahoe region, or another great getaway within California? Post your comment below!

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