your guide for all things fun
our local recommendations
There is no dearth of dining options in Tahoe City and the surrounding area. The North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce lists most of them on its website, and we have no intention of duplicating that effort here. Instead, we are simply going to name a few restaurants that our guests have repeatedly mentioned as providing a superior meal. Evidently, many excellent restaurants have been omitted, but their omission should not be taken as judgement. By all means explore, and if you wish, let us know what you find. We’ll update this list when the feedback we get from our guests suggests that we should.
In Tahoe City at 521 North Lake Boulevard.
Phone (530) 523-0402
The Pioneer offers great food and drink, and is also pioneering in that there is no need to tip! They’ve already added a 20%gratuity to your bill, which allow the Pioneer to pay their employees a fair wage.
In Tahoe City, at 115 Grove Street.
Phone (530) 583-8551.
Overlooking the lake. It is best to reserve. A high quality, low key establishment. Here you can celebrate discretely, and most enjoyably.
In Tahoe City at 65 West Lake Boulevard.
Phone (530) 583-3342.
Lunch outside at a table along the Truckee River is a summer time must.
In Sunnyside, at 1785 West Lake Boulevard.
Phone (530) 581-5400.
Reservations not accepted. A small place with a small number of tables. BYOB. Got to love the prices. Our guests tell us that the food is quite good too.
55 West Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145.
Beautiful and calming view of the Truckee River from right below Fanny Bridge. If the ribs are on the menu get 'em. If they're not stay, but come back again another time.
You can hike on these trails all the way to Truckee, so be attentive to your route! The wildflowers in Antoine Meadows are marvelous in the late spring and early summer. The tranquility is there year round. We have personally seen bears, coyotes, does and bucks while walking on these trails.
Mountain Bikes can be rented from Tahoe XC. There are miles of trails. Please visit Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition to view an interactive map for Tahoe bike paths.
Immediately across North Lake Boulevard from Tamarack, this is a great visit for kids, but adults will learn plenty too! Get informed on how science is being used to protect and restore Lake Tahoe.
The lake is especially beautiful from this beach or its pier, but is best in the early morning or late afternoon. Exit left from Tamarack and take the first right turn. You’ll be on Lake Forest Drive. Walk past the campground and then turn right following the signs to the Coast Guard and boat launching ramp. Ten minutes farther to the east (walking) is Bristlecone beach, which is better for swimmers because it lacks the boats.
Immediately across the street from Tamarack is a bike path that can be taken east or west. If you go east, it will end in about a mile so for now go west! Keep abreast of plans for the whole Lake Tahoe Bike Way by visiting Lake Tahoe Current Bicycle Projects. The path goes to Tahoe City, and then either down the west shore of Lake Tahoe to Meeks Bay, or along the Truckee River to Squaw Valley. Both rides are lovely and on a dedicated bike path, so you can ride with the kids. Bring plenty of water.
(6 miles from Tamarack, or an 11 minute drive)
A brief stroll – yes, with stroller if you wish- (1 mile round trip) on a paved walkway. Great views! (10 miles from Tamarack, or a 17 minute drive)
Just north of Tahoe Pines on the West Shore, and an 11 minute drive from Tamarack. A relatively new trail (2011) allows for easy access to the top in about 20 minutes. The shortest breathtaking hike in Tahoe.
Spend a quiet afternoon there and visit Ehrman Mansion. Go the last Saturday in July for Living History Day. (11 miles from Tamarack, or a 20 minute drive)
(18 miles from Tamarack, or a 32 minute drive) This absolutely stunning hike practically overhangs the lake at times. It presents no particular difficulties, although you do have to duck your head occasionally. There is limited parking below, so get an early start if you want to start your hike at the trailhead instead of walking an additional 15 minutes to get there. Bring a picnic lunch for when you get to Calawee Cove Beach, then go for a swim. The lake gets deep very quickly here, and you feel it.
If there is one thing you must see if you’ve never been to Tahoe before, it is Emerald Bay. (20 miles from Tamarack, or a 33 minute drive.) The Eagle Falls trailhead is 3/10th of a mile further, and is perhaps the most popular hike in Tahoe. If you are here in the summer, try to avoid being here on the weekends.
Some favorite beaches that are a little further away are Sand Harbor (18 miles/29 minutes to the east), Baldwin and Pope Beaches (both are 25 miles/45 minutes from Tamarack, but only 6 miles/13 minutes from Emerald Bay). Sand Harbor is well known for its soft, light colored sand. Baldwin and Pope beaches have granite sand, which gives the water exceptional clarity even for Tahoe. Use the Tahoe Beaches App to find these beaches and others.
A popular if strenuous hike. Plan for 6 to 8 hours round trip, and carry plenty of water. A great hike with a great view, but the effort is non-negligible. (27 miles from Tamarack, or a 55 minute drive to the trailhead.)
A popular hike, about 10 miles round trip, of intermediate difficulty. Count on 4 to 6 hours. (Trailhead is 20 miles from Tamarack, or a 32 minute drive.)
Plays are in a natural amphitheater in Sand Harbor. A wonderful summer tradition at Tahoe. (18 miles from Tamarack, or a 29 minute drive.)
Winter play at Tamarack Lodge
With a little snow on the ground, Tamarack becomes a great winter play spot. Without leaving the grounds, you can build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build a snow fortress etc. Conditions permitting, it is nice to enjoy a fire at our outdoor fireplace.
The park abuts Tamarack property, and is a great snowshoe destination. The truly intrepid can tackle the non-groomed cross-country ski trails, but if you proceed as far as the groomed Tahoe XC Ski Area trails you’ll need to have a pass.
Sledding, ice skating, and cross-country skiing are all right here. Please note: the cross country skiing trail here is a simple loop circumscribing the golf course. Skiers looking for more varied terrain should go to Tahoe Cross County (https://tahoexc.org/). See below.
Alpine Skiing at Palisades Tahoe
Created when Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley resorts came under the same ownership, Palisades Tahoe is the closest downhill skiing to Tahoe City. Lift tickets are valid at both locations which are about 9 miles (15 minutes) from Tamarack on highway 89 north. To get there, exit the Tamarack Parking lot right and drive straight. Turn left at the first traffic signal after the Tahoe City round-about for Palisades/Alpine Meadows. Turn left at the second traffic signal after the round-about for Palisades main location. A gondola connecting the two sites is being built. Tamarack guests can buy discounted lift tickets during the ski season.
Homewood is roughly the same distance away, along highway 89 south. Smaller. Less expensive. Lake Views.
Mount Rose has the highest base elevation in Tahoe (8260'). 23 miles or 35 minutes away
Diamond Peak has good prices and great views. 15 miles or 29 minutes away.
A five-minute drive from Tamarack Lodge, the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area is a great place for Nordic skiing. Rentals and lessons are available, check their website for details. Snowshoes are also available for rent. Some trails are dog friendly.
As stated above, you can go sledding in Tahoe City across from the Transit Center, or at Granlibakken. The former is free, the latter is fast.
You can also go sledding/cross country skiing/snowshoeing at Mount Rose Meadow. Free, but bring your own sled/skis/snowshoes. The 8000 foot altitude often offers great conditions when other sledding places are not operating. Take highway 28 east out of Tamarack. Just before Incline Village, take the Mount Rose highway (highway 431) towards Reno. In about 10 minutes – and before the pass -you’ll arrive at a long relatively flat area. Sledding is done on the left side of the road, with snowshoeing and cross country skiing on the right.
For snow and powder reports, please visit OpenSnow.