For approximately 20 of the past 30 years, I have spent the Fourth of July at Lake Tahoe. My family stays in a log cabin on the West Shore in a little community called Tahoe Pines, a few miles south of Tahoe City. We do all sorts of fun and relaxing things while visiting the “Best Shore.”
One of the main attractions of the holiday weekend, of course, is watching the magnificent fireworks display over the lake from the beach in Tahoe City. We do this every year, and this year’s show was especially spectacular, with new illuminations that made my family applaud and yell, “Wow!” and “Yea!” Some of them seemed like they were coming right at you, and the dramatic finale was astonishing. You can simultaneously watch the fireworks launched from North and South shores. The crowd grows with every passing year.
Another awesome place we frequent is Meeks Bay Beach on the West Shore along Highway 89. It’s a scenic cove and one of the more popular beaches at the lake, with lots of sand, a snack shack, a volleyball court, a marina with boat rentals and an adjacent campground. The area is well kept, and a happy crowd – ranging in age from babies to college students and seniors – can be found partying, swimming and playing volleyball, Baggo, Frisbee and other games.
During summer trips to Tahoe, we like to hike the short trail up Eagle Rock, located between Tahoe Pines and Sunnyside. The trailhead is off Highway 89. It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the top, and once you do, you’re rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the Tahoe Basin – and a fabulous photo op with the mountains and lake in the background.
Adventurous families may enjoy off-roading on the area’s many trails. You can ride dirt bikes, quads and 4x4s in many places, but Blackwood Canyon, with the sparkling Blackwood Creek running through it, tops our list of favorites. We take Jeep rides on some of the trails, and it’s cool to escape civilization for a while and appreciate nature. Of course, remember to tread lightly. The gorgeous gorge, west of Eagle Rock, also boasts camping facilities.
Rafting down the Truckee River from Tahoe City to River Ranch is another sensationally relaxing – and mildly exhilarating – Tahoe highlight. Many people like to rent rafts or float down the river in inflatable inner tubes.
No summertime visit to Tahoe is complete without enjoying an outdoor concert on the beach. The free Concerts at Commons Beach series in Tahoe City features different types of artists and music Sundays through Sept. 7.
Approximately 6 miles south of Tahoe City, the West Shore Cafe and Inn in Homewood offers live musical entertainment on Fridays.
This year’s Lake Tahoe Music Festival, a five-day series of concerts by the Academy Orchestra, runs through Saturday at different locations, including Tahoe City, Tahoma, Homewood and Truckee.
Summertime in Tahoe offers natural beauty, a festive atmosphere and activities for a host of ages.