Many West Coast-based families have been to Lake Tahoe at least once. Yet families come from all over the country to experience this well-known tourist attraction. Here are a few tips every family should follow when planning a visit to Lake Tahoe.


Anyone arriving at Lake Tahoe can fly into airports in Reno or Sacramento. Those families who live in San Francisco and surrounding areas can take the Bay Area Ski Bus, which only runs during the winter months. Once in Lake Tahoe, the local bus service is reliable. However, most families prefer to rent a car for the duration of their stay.

South and North Lake Tahoe

The area is divided into South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe. The first tip for families planning a vacation is to decide which one they’d prefer to visit. North Lake Tahoe is known as the calmer area and is a popular place to go hiking. Those that vacation in North Lake Tahoe can stay in a luxurious cabin during their visit.

When it comes to South Lake Tahoe, there is much more to do. The biggest attraction is the Heavenly Ski Resort. From there, visitors are close to many shops, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.


There is no lack of activities in Lake Tahoe, but certain attractions are the most family-friendly. For those that enjoy hiking, popular choices include Tahoe Meadows, the East Peak Trail, and the Emerald Bay.

Tahoe Meadow is the ideal hiking trail for families with young children. The hike includes views of streams, meadows, and forests. Both wheelchairs and strollers can be used to navigate this trail. The East Peak Trail is a popular choice because hiking is not physically demanding, and it offers up breathtaking views. The roundtrip hike spans 1.6 miles. While exploring this trail, many families choose to make their way to the Heavenly Village Gondola Center for a ride everyone can enjoy.

Emerald Bay is a slightly longer hiking trail, measuring two miles. Most visitors take this hike to get an up-close glimpse of the Vikinsholm Norse Castle, dating back to 1929.

Other popular activities include Baldwin Beach and Zephyr Cove. At the cove, visitors of all ages can take a steamship cruise and ride on a pedal boat.