The city of South Lake Tahoe offers year-round family fun. Set in an incomparably beautiful setting in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in eastern California, the area provides a feast for the eyes and an endless range of activities. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, and water sports. Winter brings its own thrills, with ice skating, sledding, snowboarding, skiing, and other fun in the snow. Here are the top 10 things to do with kids near South Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals.

1. Hit the Beaches

When you think of a vacation rental in the mountains, a sandy stretch of shoreline may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but South Lake Tahoe has beautiful family-friendly beaches close at hand where you can splash in the water, sunbathe, play, and make sand castles. The longest is Pope Beach, just west of town, which has picnic tables, barbecues, and plenty of trees for shade. Emerald Bay Beach in Emerald Bay State Park has a roped-in swimming area and a pier. Dog-friendly beaches along the south shore include Kiva Beach and Nevada Beach.

2. Glide Along the Shoreline

To fully enjoy the beauty of the lake, explore it slowly by paddle board, canoe, or kayak. Rent equipment at numerous locations such as South Tahoe Standup Paddle, Kayak Tahoe, and Zephyr Cove Adventures. Excellent places to launch your watercraft and explore include D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park, a few miles west of your vacation rental at South Lake Tahoe. To the east, the area around Cave Rock offers spectacular rock formations and lovely hidden coves.

3. Play Water Sports

When you and your kids feel the need for speed, take a power boat out on the lake to enjoy waterskiing and wakeboarding. If you bring your own boat, numerous spots around the south shore provide launch ramps. Several marinas, including Round Hill Pines, Camp Richardson, Timber Cove, and Lakeside rent power boats and jet skis.

4. Go Fishing

To enjoy an incomparably exciting recreational and dining experience, charter a fishing boat to head out on the lake to fish for Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow, Brown, and Mackinaw trout. Alternatively, you can head for nearby rivers and streams to try your hand at fly fishing. Once you bring in your catch, numerous local restaurants are happy to cook it up for you. Sawmill Pond is a kids-only fishing site that holds an annual Kids Fishing Derby.

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5. Hike the Trails

The hills and forests around your vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe are full of hiking trails where you can discover spectacular views, hidden waterfalls, and meadows bursting with wildflowers. For an easy hike and a panoramic vista of the lake and surrounding countryside, take the Tamarack Express chairlift to walk the Skyline Trail. Other nearby family-friendly hikes are the trail around Fallen Leaf Lake and the Cascade Falls trail at Emerald Bay. If you like a challenge, hike to the top of Mount Tallac.

6. Ride a Bike

Cycling opportunities around South Lake Tahoe range from easy bike paths around the lakeside to challenging mountain bike trails. Bring your own bike, or rent one from a local bike shop. The pleasant Camp Richardson Bike Path follows the shoreline past several beaches with plenty of stops for ice cream or meals. The Moraine Trail runs through a beautiful forest on the eastern side of Fallen Leaf Lake. For challenging downhill mountain biking, Saxon Creek Trail, also known as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, plunges 6 miles downhill. The Flume Trail on the eastern shore is a strenuous ride through the incomparably beautiful scenery.

7. Have Some Thrills at Heavenly

If you and your kids crave some real excitement, head for Heavenly Mountain Resort. In the winter, it’s a ski resort, and in the summer, it’s a hotspot of thrilling activities. A scenic gondola ride takes you to the resort site where you can enjoy a climbing wall, beginners and advanced suspended rope courses, and tubing down a 500-foot hill. The resort also has multiple zip lines that rush you along over the treetops at various heights and speeds.

8. Skate the Ice

Winter holds its own wonders at South Lake Tahoe, and one of the most popular family activities is ice skating. South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex offers free entry if you bring your own skates. Heavenly Village is a relaxing place to glide along the ice surrounded by holiday lights and pleasant music. For an exciting outdoor skating experience, head to Sawmill Pond after it’s frozen over.

9. Sled the Slopes

Another winter activity for kids of all ages is sledding. Among the resorts with sled hills and sleds for rent are Adventure Mountain and Hansen’s Resort. Sawmill Pond and Kahle Park have hills with gentle slopes that are perfect for younger children. The hills around town abound in steeper slopes for those who want a swifter sledding experience.

10. Learn to Ski or Snowboard

South Lake Tahoe has numerous ski resorts with skiing and snowboarding slopes at various levels of difficulty. If you and the kids are inexperienced, you can easily rent some equipment and join a class to learn how it’s done. Instructors take you through the paces, first explaining the mechanics and equipment, and then accompanying you out for some practice on the snow. You’ll start out on the easy slopes, and even falling down is part of the fun.

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