Few places on the planet are as picturesque and fun-filled as Lake Tahoe come springtime. Idyllic days come in succession for residents and visitors, and the lake literally springs back to life as snow thaws, wildflowers bloom and the water warms.
Memorial Day weekend is cause for celebration here. It’s essentially “Opening Day” at the lake. Sidewalks are bustling, the beaches begin teeming with swimmers and sun-worshippers, and signature drinks are pouring on the multitude of decks dotting the lake’s abundant restaurants and bars.
After a season of snowplay, sometimes a couple of seasons, spring fever can hit hard. Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of activities and extraordinary places to visit, play, dine or imbibe here.
Mix and match adventures and relaxing excursions or explore your own finds and create your perfect spring day every day in Tahoe.
Shredding Into Summer
If you’re sorry to see the snow go, never fear. This year some resorts are staying open well into spring, even summer.
Squaw Valley has the longest ski season, open daily through May 27, then weekends through July 1, with a late-season celebration featuring fireworks, hot tub parties, live music and summer skiing over the July 4th holiday weekend. Operations shut down on July 7. Its sister resort, Alpine Meadows, is also open weekends through May 19, while Heavenly in South Lake has an extended season, open Friday to Sunday through May 27.
Swing into Spring
Prefer expanses of green over white? Then head over to historic Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach, fully open since April 26. Enjoy walking through the towering Jeffery pines with lake views on each and every hole.
Edgewood in South Lake, opens May 17. It’s host to the Celebrity Golf tournament each July, where you’ll surely spot people usually only found on your television or stereo.
Deeper into South Lake you’ll find another haven for golf-lovers, the Lake Tahoe Golf Course, opening May 11. On the other end of the lake, take a swing at the Incline Village Championship Golf Course, opening May 17. Remember, Tahoe’s high elevations may help you make the longest drives of your life.
One of the most enjoyable and relaxing things to do in Tahoe is basking in the sun, gazing at the beautiful Tahoe vistas with an icy cold beverage in-hand. Many places also let your four-legged friends accompany you on their patios, but call first to make sure.
Check out Gar Woods’ stunning deck views, and their signature Wet Woody, a rum-laden frozen concoction that comes in many varieties with equally risqué names.
Across the water is the Beacon at Camp Richardson. Both their patio and their renowned Rum Runner have won awards, and their outdoor area is open throughout May on weekends, weather-permitting, and all week long come Memorial Day.
In Tahoe City, revel in the warmer temperatures at Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge’s Deck Opening Party on May 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Taste their Tahoe version of the classic Hawaiian Duke’s Mai Tai while taking in the offerings on their tantalizing menu and listening to live music.
And a trip down the West Shore isn’t complete without a stop at Chamber’s Landing for a Chamber’s Punch.
Situated at the base of Alpine Meadows along the Truckee River, you’ll find River Ranch serving up their signature River Rum Punch. They’ll be open for summer business starting May 24.
Much like the renowned western television series shot in Incline Village, beer lovers will find a “Bonanza” of craft breweries with scenic views and tasty brews.
On the north end, the Tahoe Ale Trail encourages eco-conscious imbibing with an interactive map that shows you how to find the best beers in North Lake Tahoe by bike, kayak, foot or even SUP. On the south end, check out the Tahoe South Beer Trail Map and hunt for frothy, frosty brews.
Home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches, Tahoe is embraced by sandy stretches and behemoth lakeside rocks to rest on. Sand Harbor on the east shore, Commons Beach on the west, King’s Beach on the north and Pope Beach on the south, you’ll have no trouble finding a waterfront respite. To find a bevy of other beaches with ease, download the free Tahoe Public Beaches app.
Cool Things to Do
Tahoe is an outdoor recreation paradise, where you can parasail, take a paddlewheel cruise, hike and — if you have any energy left — go kayaking in the same day.
Northstar California’s Specialized Academy can teach you how to take on the largest lift-served mountain bike park in the region. It opens, weather permitting, on June 14. Afterwards, explore the many shops and restaurants in Northstar’s Village and get in some stargazing from 6,400 feet when evening arrives at the Dark Skies Cosmoarium.
Head for the hills on horseback from Zephyr Cove Resort, rent a SUP at Tahoe Adventure Company, or take a crystal clear kayak tour with Wild Society. Tahoe Sports rents jet skis and power boats if you’re in need of an adrenalin boost.
Spring ushers in a plethora of local events. Here’s just a sample of what’s happening around the region this Spring:
May 16 | Tahoe City’s Farmers Market on Commons Beach Thursdays beginning
May 11-12 |Reno River Fest
May 25 | Heavenly Village’s Summer Concert Series Friday and Saturday evenings
May 31-June 2 | Granlibakken Tahoe’s Restorative Arts & Yoga Festival
June 1-2 & 8-9 | Valhalla Renaissance Faire at Camp Richardson Resort
With so much to do, it’s near impossible to list them all. No matter your event appetite, you’ll find something to sate it in Reno-Tahoe.