When it comes to vacations and memorable adventures, Lake Tahoe is a great option. This natural wonder offers some of the country’s best ski resorts, sandy beaches, outdoor activities, beautiful views, and epic attractions.
The endless amount of things to do in Lake Tahoe makes it a perfect place to bring your family members, including grandparents. Thinking about a family vacation to Lake Tahoe? Here are some family-friendly activities near Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area.
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Best Things to Do in Lake Tahoe with Grandparents
1. Ski Getaway at Palisades Tahoe
Palisades Tahoe is a world-class ski resort boasting amazing views and housing the Olympic Valley, Alpine Meadows, and about 6,000 acres of terrain. The 1960s Winter Olympics was hosted here and the area currently operates one of the best ski and snowboard areas in Lake Tahoe.
If the grandparents are not up to snow tubing or skiing, you can head to the Olympic Valley. Here you will find the Olympic Museum, where they can relive the 1960s Olympics, or head to Palisades Tahoe village, where you will find a lot of restaurants and shopping.
2. Taylor Creek Visitor Center
One of the best places to visit in Lake Tahoe with grandparents and young children is Taylor Creek Visitor Center. This is the place to go for hiking and the center has resources to help plan your excursion. There is also an underground viewing chamber, where you can catch a glimpse of aquatic animals like salmon, trout, and frogs.
3. Sleigh Rides
One of the perfect activities for a family vacation in Lake Tahoe is a sleigh ride through the beautiful landscapes. This horse-drawn sleigh ride was established in 1967, operates from November to March, and offers opportunities to take in scenic views while listening to storytelling.
4. Attend Movies on the Beach Event
Nature lovers will enjoy this beach event in Tahoe City, held every Wednesday in summer. There are a variety of movie options, including thrillers, comedies, and rom-coms, so come with your blanket and enjoy the show. There’s a snack bar with drinks and snacks you can munch on while watching the movie.
5. Baldwin Beach
There are many beautiful beaches in Lake Tahoe, and one of the most visited is Baldwin Beach. This beach is known for its stunning views, soft sand, and calm waters with a view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Baldwin Beach, unlike most Lake Tahoe beaches, has no rocks making its clear water a perfect place for swimming. Other summer activities are windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. You can also head to the nearby trail, which is perfect for walking, hiking, and bike riding.
6. Learn About The Region’s History
The Lake Tahoe area has a rich history, interesting stories, and a lot of historical sites where you can learn about the region’s past. You can take tours of the Tallac Historic site, Thunderbird Lodge, Donner Memorial State Museum, and Tahoe Science Center.
For more active pursuits, you can plan a tour with Tahoe Adventure company or another organization that offers tours in the Tahoe area.
7. Take a Helicopter Tour
What could be more beautiful and exhilarating than viewing Lake Tahoe and its surroundings while seated in a helicopter thousands of feet above it? The beauty is out of the world, and you get to see Lake Tahoe, the breathtaking mountains, and the sparkling waters from a different angle. We recommend this helicopter tour for the whole family; you are sure to enjoy a great time!
8. Tour Vikingsholm Castle
At Vikingsholm, grandparents can enjoy learning the local history from Lake Tahoe’s resident castle. One of the highlights of this attraction site is the Scandinavian architecture that dates back to the 1920s.
This castle was built as a summer home and is now one of the most stunning historical sites here in Lake Tahoe. Vikingsholm boasts about 38 rooms, a visitor center, a gift store, and a swimming beach that visitors can tour in the summer months. Guided tours usually take 30 minutes, but you can also tour the exterior alone.
9. Cruise at Emerald Bay
Emerald Bay State Park is a great spot to visit in Lake Tahoe, especially if your family members love natural beauty and stunning views. This park boasts towering trees, turquoise waters, and colorful granite cliffs.
You also have the option to take a private cruise to enjoy panoramic views. There is usually space for up to 6 people on the ship, or you can take a group cruise with other visitors.
Other activities to enjoy in Emerald Bay State Park include touring Vikingsholm castle and hiking on nearby trails. If anyone in your group scuba dives, they can explore the Underwater State Park at Emerald Bay.
For those who want to stay above water, consider renting a kayak and gliding along the beautiful coastline of Emerald Bay with your grandparents.
10. Eat Dinner Onboard M.S Dixie II Paddle Wheeler
Enjoy dinner and sightseeing on the M.S. Dixie II Paddle Wheeler, the largest boat cruising vessel operated by Zephyr Resort. This tour package offers boat guests the opportunity to take in unforgettable views of the lake and the beautiful sunset.
Seniors will love the atmosphere, the live music, and the delicious dinner menu with options like trout and fish. If booking a cruise is out of your budget, you can rent a boat and go cruising alone!
11. Explore Northstar California Resort
Located in North Lake Tahoe, this ski resort is one of the best places to be, especially in winter. This resort receives 351″ of snowfall on average and even has a snowmaking system, if that isn’t enough. This is a great place to enjoy activities like ice skating and snow tubing. Northstar California Resort also has a village where you can shop for souvenirs, a movie theatre, and accommodation options to stay overnight.
12. Ski or Snowboard at Palisades Tahoe
If your senions enjoy skiing and snowboarding, head over to Palisades Tahoe, a haven for skiing and snowboarding for all skill levels. Palisades Tahoe offers about 245 trails and is perfect for scenic walking, hiking, and roller skating. There are also accommodation options with modern amenities like a full-service spa, miniature golf courses, hot tubs, and shops.
13. Picnic at Sand Harbor State Park
One of the most scenic destinations for sightseeing and picnicking with your grandparents in Lake Tahoe is Sand Harbor Park. We recommend you arrive as early as possible to get a parking space and have the beach to yourself before the crowds arrive. This park has picnic tables under fragrant Jeffrey Pines, beach chairs, and concessions where you can hang out and enjoy family fun.
Aside from picnicking, you can also enjoy water sports like kayaking, boating, and sightseeing. Sand Harbor also hosts the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. If you’re here around July or August, it’s a wonderful place to bring grandparents. The Shakespeare Festival highlights Shakespeare’s famous works and other contemporary performances.
14. Spend time at the driving range
If your grandparents love golf, they are in luck as there are dozens of courses in the area. Find a place with a driving range and grandparents and grandkids can hit balls together.
Some of the best courses in the area are Edgewater Tahoe, Old Brockway, Incline Village, The Links at Everline, and Clear Creek.
There’s also miniature golf in Kings Beach, South Lake Tahoe, and Carnelian Bay if you want something a bit more fun and relaxing.
15. Take a Gondola Ride at Heavenly Lake Tahoe
Heavenly Lake Tahoe offers opportunities for many activities and adventures. We recommend taking a gondola ride for panoramic views of the lake. This cable car ride also offers a view of sugar pine trees and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Afterward, you can have a treat at Café Blue, get a souvenir at the Gondola Sports shop, or a hike at one of the nearby trails.
16. Explore Truckee
For a relaxing day in Lake Tahoe, consider exploring Truckee, a former gold mining town. The downtown area has charming shops and restaurants all ages are sure to enjoy.
If you’re looking for something unique, we would also recomment renting a raft and floating down the river. It’s a slow ride and perfect for all ages.
17. Dine and Wine at Lake Tahoe’s Best Restaurants
The best way to enjoy Lake Tahoe is to try out local bites and international cuisines. Luckily, there are many dining options here, so ensure you explore as many restaurants as possible with the grandparents.
One of the best spots to eat in Lake Tahoe is Heavenly Village, which boasts a lot of restaurants like California Burger Company, Azul-Latin Kitchen, and Driftwood Cafe, among others.
Some of our favorite restaurants in the Lake Tahoe area include: Gar Woods Grill & Pier (great views overlooking the lake), Old Post Office Cafe (delicious breakfast), The Burrito Window, Beacon Bar & Grill, and Riva Grill.
18. Stay at a Vacation Rental
If you are coming to Lake Tahoe with your grandparents, we recommend renting a vacation home in the area. Look at Donner Lake, Incline Village, and South Lake Tahoe,
Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination with adventures and activities for people of all ages, including grandparents, adults, and kids. Grandparents will enjoy rafting, riding horses, and, of course, relaxing at the beach. It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit as the largest Alpine lake has something for everyone.