You probably have been to most of the famous places around California, such as Yosemite National Park, San Francisco Downtown, Alcatraz Island, forests of giant sequoias and ancient redwoods, Lake Tahoe…
Oh, you have not seen Lake Tahoe yet! Then you will certainly be missing one of the most extraordinary and beautiful sights in the country. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, where part of it is in California and part in Nevada. The North Shore is a stunning 180-degree panorama, whilst Tahoe South Shore is deeper, wider and bluer than blue. Surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, iconic ski resort, Lake Tahoe calls all romantics and outdoor enthusiasts.
And traveling and sightseeing around the Lake is part of the experience. There are many points of interest you will see along the way including the famous Emerald Bay, Rubicon Bay, Meeks Bay, Cave Rock, Crystal Bay, Zephyr Cove, marinas, state parks and much more. It’s an alpine paradise – a winter wonderland November through April, then gorgeous mountain spring, summer, sandy beaches, and fall after that, with an average 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.
Heavenly Scenic Gondola Rides
A 2.4 mile ride up the Heavenly Mountain Gondola will leave you breathless as you take in panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. On your way up, stop at The Observation Deck – a 14,000 square foot mid-station observation platform, located at 9,123 feet. Take in views of the Carson Valley, Desolation Wilderness and shore-to-shore views of Lake Tahoe.
Inspiration point vista
Inspiration Point towers 600 feet above Lake Tahoe and is one of the best spots to stop and take in the view of Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, Vikingsholm Castle and more! Bring your camera for some dramatic Lake Tahoe photos and take advantage of the gorgeous backdrop that is perfect for family shots. Set in the tall pines overlooking Emerald Bay this vista point is well designed with wheel chair paved paths that meander along and offers great views at every turn. Paved walkways make every aspect of Lake Tahoe picture-frame perfect.
If you want to spend the more time in the area, you can hike the Cascade Falls Hiking Trail or Bayview Hiking Trail. Parking for these two hikes is just across the street from Inspiration Point at the end of the Bayview Campground. You can also make another stop to hike to Vikingsholm Castle or hike up the Eagle Falls Lake just down the road from Inspiration Point. Or book a private tour worry free to experience majestic Lake Tahoe like a local -you will not be disappointed.
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay was designated an underwater state park in 1994. It is the resting place for many boats, launches and barges used in the lake before the turn of the century, during the heyday of Emerald Bay Resort and used in the construction of Vikingsholm. Vikingsholm is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere and the “Tea House” on Fannette Island is the only island to be found in all of Lake Tahoe.
The scenic Rubicon foot trail wraps around Emerald Bay, with trailheads at Eagle Point campground, Vikingsholm, and DL Bliss State Park. There is no vehicle access to the lakeshore of Emerald Bay or Vikingsholm. Visitors walk to the lake from the Vikingsholm Parking Lot (1 mile walk) or via the Rubicon Trail. Some visitors even arrive by kayak or private boat.
Apart from the incredible sights of majestic Lake Tahoe, visitors to Emerald Bay State Park can enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, sightseeing and touring Vikingsholm in the summer months.
For a different view of this magnificent lake, you can take a scenic flight around the Lake, either by plane or helicopter. See the “Jewel of the Sierra” like you have never seen it before… snow-capped peaks, cascading waterfalls, crystal clear water, beautiful sand beaches, Emerald Bay, Cave Rock, Thunderbird Lodge, Sand Harbor and all the towns and villages that surround the lake.
Schedule a few well-deserved days to enjoy the radiant light, incredibly blue water, white snow, and explore the towns, whilst traveling in the multiple variations of sights found only at Lake Tahoe. If you are a first-time visitor to California, Lake Tahoe is a must-do for any trip in this region.