You may also like 3 day itinerary to Lake Tahoe.
Here are some day trip ideas around Lake Tahoe. If your vacation plans allow San Francisco is a quick week-end getaway from Lake Tahoe.
1. North Lake Tahoe:
A short drive away from South Lake Tahoe and a world apart is North Lake Tahoe. You leave all the commercial sprawl behind when you visit north shore. Plenty of skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. It is far less crowded and has much more beautiful views.The north shore is about an hour's drive from South Lake Tahoe.
2. Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm Castle:
While you are driving to North Lake Tahoe you may want to take West side route and visit Emerald Bay. It is only half an hour drive from South Lake Tahoe and the most pictured spot in Lake Tahoe area. This is one place you do not want to miss while you are in Lake Tahoe area.
Vikingsholm Castle is the best example of Scandinavian architecture in USA. Located about 1 mile from Emerald Bay. You may hike down to this castle that is located on shore of Lake Tahoe, surrounded by beautiful pine trees. During summer months daily guided tours are also available.
3. Virginia City:
A very interesting side trip from Lake Tahoe is Virginia City. Approximately 30 miles east of Lake Tahoe and only about one hour drive. This was a bustling mining town of 30,000 people in the 1860's and 1870's. This will give you an insight into what a real North American western town, looked like.
4. Grover Hot Springs:
These natural hot springs are a favorite getaway from Lake Tahoe. They are an hour drive from South Lake Tahoe. These springs are great for just soaking. There are good hiking trails located in an alpine meadow just outside the town of Markleeville.
5. Sierra City:
Siearra city is a very scenic road trip from Lake Tahoe and it is only hour and half drive. It is nice little village carved out by Yuba river in Nevada Mountains. There are 40 different lakes in 15 minutes from Sierra City and each one with its unique beauty. Beautiful trails and nice cozy cabins available for overnight stay, away from hustle and bustle of big city.
6. Grimes Point Archaeological Site:
This is a 8000 year old archaeological site located near Carson City (Nevada State Capital), about 30 miles from Lake Tahoe. There are self-guided as well as guided tours available. On your tour you can view pre-historic rock art, caves, paintings etc. It is out in the dessert, so make sure you have enough drinking water with you when you visit this place.
7. Stewart Indian School Museum:
Stewart Indian School was established in 1890 to teach Native American trades to get easily assimilated in American culture. It was closed on 1980 and now it is converted to a museum. It is also located in near Carson City about 30 miles from Lake Tahoe.
8. Donner Memorial State Park:
During summer Donner Memorial State Park offers opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking. In winter, it offers cross-country ski. It is about 50 miles from South Lake Tahoe. It is perfact spot for a cheap family vacation or a weekend gateway near Lake Tahoe.
In this park you will find Emigrant Trail Museum and the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's. You can also take a self guided 2.5 miles round trip tour that tells story of wild west.