With Labor Day approaching, the alpine paradise of Lake Tahoe is getting ready for its summer swan song. Now that the kids are going back to school and people are concluding their sunny vacations, a quieter, less hectic period is on the lake’s horizon.
This period, known as the off-season or swing season, takes place from September to November and is one of two times a year when foot-traffic is at a low, bringing fewer crowds, less traffic, better rates for hotels and houseshares and an overall calmer, more relaxed atmosphere. The other stretch takes place during the spring season from March through May.
Although Tahoe is mostly known for its snow and beach activities, the area also offers plenty of fun things to do for the in-between times. From jet skiing, parasailing, boating and hiking to biking, bungee jumping and hang-gliding, Tahoe is the place to be during the spring and fall seasons.
Whether a local living in Tahoe year round or a visitor looking for a relaxing getaway, here are ten of our favorite things to do in Tahoe that don’t involve snow skis or beach umbrellas.
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe as you ride through mountaintops and ridges, upland meadows and hiking trails.
With an abundance of camping sites that each offer a different natural environment, you can be sure Lake Tahoe has a spot that perfectly fits your unique camping style.
A number of fish call Lake Tahoe home, including Lake (Mackinaw), Brown and Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon. You can catch one (or a few) at one of Lake Tahoe’s streams, rivers or other smaller bodies of water.
There’s no better way to explore the Sierra Nevada wilderness than to hike up some of Lake Tahoe’s many trails. You’ll discover what the phrase “close to nature” is all about.
North Lake Tahoe provides six championship and four executive courses to fulfill your golfing fix. South Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, has six distinctive courses, including Edgewood Tahoe, one of the top-ranked (and most scenic) public golf courses in the country. Score some serious points in these expansive and gorgeous spaces.
Ride through beautiful Lake Tahoe in style. With gorgeous views, crystal blue water and a killer vehicle, jet skiing offers a face-paced and fun-fueled way to tour the region.
Enjoy the incredible views of Lake Tahoe from the 20+ zip lines of Tahoe Vista Treetop Adventure Park or as you glide through the sky on Heavenly Resort’s 3,300 foot long zip line. Your adrenaline will be going through the roof!
Hot Air Ballooning
An experience like no other. If you’ve never tried floating above the clouds in a hot air balloon, then Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to lift off. Enjoy views of Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Lake and the Desolation Wilderness.
Explore Tahoe by boat. Charter your own yacht, embark on a sailing adventure or enlist a knowledgeable captain to be your personal tour guide.
Get a taste of Northern California’s great wines by taking a wine tasting adventure! Uncorked Tahoe City lets you sip on a large selection of wines from around the world as you look upon North Lake Boulevard near the beaches and experience epic views of Lake Tahoe. And Tahoe Tastings’ small group, semi-private tours will take you around the area from Tahoe Keys to Emerald Bay in a water taxi as you sip on some delicious wine.
What are your favorite off-season activities in Lake Tahoe? Let us know in the comments below.