Can you imagine a place where the waters are as clear and blue as the sky, where the mountains reach proudly toward the heavens in hopes of touching its lowest bow, where the weather is great year-round? In the mountains on the border of Nevada and California such a place exists. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination with the clearest waters in the United States. The water is so clear that it looks like a piece of the sky has broken off of its blue body and fallen into the crevice of the mountains, liquefying to form a beautiful lake surrounded by proud mountains. Many tourists visit the Lake Tahoe area throughout the year, but it is not overcrowded.
There are many activities surrounding this gorgeous lake. Yes, there are casinos located right along the border of Nevada for the indoor crowd. But for the active family like mine, outdoor activities rule.
The Lake Tahoe Basin has hundreds of miles of trails that take hikers through beautiful mountain landscapes to many breathtaking views (www.tahoebest.com/Hiking/shorthikes.htm). I, the photographer of the family, was in a dream world. I only wish we could have hiked around the whole lake. Beautiful Emerald Bay State Park (www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=506) features a hike down to a lovely blue-watered bay where boaters dock along the beach, kids swim in the cool waters and history buffs enjoy Vikingshom, a thirty-eight room replica medieval Scandinavian castle. The guided tour of the Scandinavian castle provides interesting stories that play up the charm and history of this 1920s home.
We didn’t settle for just hiking the mountains though. No, we needed more excitement. Whitewater rafting, biking and horseback riding gave us all the adventure we needed on this vacation get-away. Whitewater rafting with the Tributary Whitewater Rafting group (http://www.whitewatertours.com/lake-tahoe.htm) was a great experience for our first-time-rafter family. The personable guide taught our novice family how to paddle through class 2 and 3 rapids and pointed out some animal species that we had never seen before. We got wet and sore, but it was great fun for the entire family. There are many biking trails surrounding the Lake Tahoe area. We rented bikes for the afternoon from Camp Richardson (http://www.camprichardson.com/) and greatly enjoyed riding bikes to the edge of the lake and wading into the lake. To really get off the main route, we enjoyed horseback riding. There are many horse stables in the mountains. We chose to ride with Zephyr Cove Stables (http://www.zephyrcovestables.com) and really enjoyed our personally guided trail ride through the mountains of Lake Tahoe. We enjoyed the up-close look at the various ecosystems we traversed as we went through the mountain forest regions.
From hiking to horseback riding, biking to whitewater rafting, Lake Tahoe offers a wide range of activities that will entertain families. While my family thrived on the outdoor physical activities, others will find pleasure in the local casinos and beaches. The activities and beauty of Lake Tahoe make it a vacation get-a-way the whole family will enjoy.
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