Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in South Lake Tahoe?

Should you spend 1 or 2 weeks in South Lake Tahoe?

Not sure how much time you'll need in South Lake Tahoe, California? Most people spend at least 3 or as many as 5 days in South Lake Tahoe during their visit. After all, the idyllic town will let you take a hike, grab some drinks at a bar, admire the wonderful scenery, and hit the ski slopes.

South Lake Tahoe is a resort town that sits on the edge of the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It's a popular ski destination in the winter, and during the warmer months it makes a wonderful vacation spot for people who enjoy hiking and adventure sports. There are also lake front beaches and casinos in the area.

Do you have one or two weeks to visit South Lake Tahoe? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.


Is one week enough time in South Lake Tahoe?

One week is more than enough time to see pretty much everything in South Lake Tahoe, including the town and mountains. You'll be able to move at your own pace, relax at your hotel or nearby restaurants and parks. You could also use South Lake Tahoe as a base for exploring the surrounding mountain areas. Take the extra time to take a hike, grab some drinks at a bar, admire the wonderful scenery, and hit the ski slopes over multiple days. Also, explore some of the smaller nearby mountain towns on day trips.

How to spend a week in South Lake Tahoe

Known for it's hiking, South Lake Tahoe sees plenty of visitors looking to get outdoors. Spend a day exploring the natural beauty and scenery on a nearby hike. There are miles of beautiful hikes in the area that follow the lake's shore or explore the diverse terrain. Skyline Trail Hike is a favorite. It is accessible by lift and offers spectacular views. For a relaxing stroll check out Fallen Leaf Lake Hike.

The nightlife scene is very popular here. After dark, head out to one of the many venues around town. The resort town has plenty of nightclubs, bars, and music venues. There are outdoor options when the weather is warm as well as indoor settings for cooler weather. You'll also find casinos and live shows.

South Lake Tahoe is a walkable city and easy to explore on foot. With only a day in the town, you'll have no trouble seeing the local sights. Once you get to town, the area is very walkable.

Don't miss the Heavenly Gondola during your trip to South Lake Tahoe, as it's one of this destination's most well-known attractions. You should make sure to set aside enough time to see it.

South Lake Tahoe is known to be such a beautiful destination, so just exploring and taking it all in should be one of the top things to do on your list. The pristine lake and striking natural beauty can be appreciated any time of the year.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Lake Tahoe Sunset Dinner Cruise ($140)

Snow skiing takes the spotlight during the winter season, so set aside at least a day to hit the slopes. There are three ski resorts in the area. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest, but if you're looking for something smaller, head to Kirkwood, which is tucked away and less well known. There's also Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, which is popular with groups and families because it caters to a range of skill levels.

You can't miss out on tasting the fantastic cuisine at one of the best restaurants in town, so make sure you find somewhere special for lunch or dinner. While most resorts have their own restaurants, there are a number of options around town that specialize in "alpine comfort cuisine", which is worth sampling. You'll also find plenty of cafes that serve up a hearty breakfast - the perfect way to start an active day.

Shopping in South Lake Tahoe is very popular, and it's easy to see why. Spend time exploring the many shops and boutiques to find the perfect gift, souvenir, or outfit. Most of the shopping involves retailers selling ski gear or outdoor equipment. There are also clothing shops, gift stores, and some art galleries.

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

After you've explored most of South Lake Tahoe, take a day trip to one of the many beautiful destinations nearby.


A few tour suggestions include:

  • Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe ($250)
  • Wild West Day Trip to Virginia City from Tahoe with Train Ride ($90)

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

With so much time here, you should absolutely take another day trip to one of the many nearby destinations around South Lake Tahoe. Plenty of amazing options are available.

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

With added time, spend another day on the ski slopes. After all, that's one of the main attractions here. You'll probably improve your skills every day, so check out some of the runs you haven't spent much time on yet.

Because the nightlife scene is so popular here, you'll want to take full advantage of it more than once. From the bars and pubs to the nightclubs, there's something for everyone. Or, get some tickets to another show at the theatre such as a ballet or opera.

Is 2 weeks enough time in South Lake Tahoe?

Two weeks provides ample opportunity to explore the entirety of South Lake Tahoe at your own pace to experience the hiking, the nightlife, the beautiful scenery, and the snow skiing. Then you can use the city as a convenient base for venturing out to nearby mountain towns, hiking trails, or scenic viewpoints. There are also many exciting day trip options.

Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe

How to spend 2 weeks in South Lake Tahoe

With 2 weeks in South Lake Tahoe, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy everything the town has to offer at your own relaxed pace. You'll want to spend plenty of time skiing on the slopes, hiking, and hopping around the bars and clubs. You can also relax at your hotel, or casually explore this town looking for hidden gems. Also, consider taking some day trips to nearby destinations where you can explore more of the region.


A few trip suggestions:

  • Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe ($250)
  • Wild West Day Trip to Virginia City from Tahoe with Train Ride ($90)

More Info

If you're looking for more information about South Lake Tahoe, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

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