Month Visited: August
We enjoy seeing new places and trying new things, but we also try to add educational stops and fun activities for the kids. Most of our days are jam packed full but there are times when we want to slow down a little and relax as well. We enjoy day at the beach or a weekend at a luxury hotel when we are not finding remote areas and learning about new places and cultures. Our children at the time of this itinerary: 3 children-Boy age 17 years, Boy age 12 years, Boy age 10 years.
Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Description: Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake that is located in both California and Nevada, right along the state line and with parts in either state. This is the biggest alpine lake on the North American continent and it is surrounded on all sides by majestic mountains. Lake Tahoe is also extremely deep, and there is only one other lake in the USA which is deeper. The level of the lake is controlled by a dam. This lake is a very popular recreation area and tourist attraction because of the natural beauty of the surroundings and the crystal clear water. During the summer months water sports are very popular, and in the winter skiing and other snow activities draw large numbers of tourists.
Our Experiences: We spent the first part of the day at Lake Tahoe, and we all had a lot of fun. Windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boating are all offered by vendors in the area, and there were many people laying on the beach and swimming in the water as well. The water was very clear and quite deep in areas so make sure to keep an eye on kids who can not swim well. This was a nice stop and we enjoyed it immensely.
Address: Hwy 89, CA 96145
Hours: Visitor’s Center Open Daily 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Admission: Adults $5, Children $3, Parking $10 per Vehicle
Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Description: Emerald Bay State Park is amazing any time of year, though the spring and summer hold special charm. Whether coming in as day trippers or camping overnight, any family will love seemingly endless trails and areas to explore, coupled with an air of tranquility and peace high above the hustle and bustle of daily life. Most areas can be accessed by car or on foot to provide options. Be sure not to miss famous Vikingsholm which, while called a “castle,” is really a marvelous estate house which offers tours and amazing views.
Our Experiences: For our next stop after we the lake area, we wanted to enjoy some “dry land” activities. We were able to take a really nice hike as a family, and the views at this state park were the best of our entire trip. There were a ton of activities available like kayaking, fishing and bike riding to name a few, which we thought was really important. We spent half a day here but could have easily stayed longer. It was nice to be able to drive some of it so the kids didn’t get too worn out. Just be aware that the more popular lookouts and photo ops do get crowded so you may have to wait a bit for your family’s turn. On the plus side, it makes it easy to find someone to take a nice whole family photo.