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What to Pack for Lake Tahoe (Summer)

As one of the deepest lakes in the world, Lake Tahoe is worth seeing with your own two eyes. The large, beautiful freshwater lake is tucked between the California and Nevada border and features picturesque beaches as well.

Have you been planning to take your family on a summer vacation to Lake Tahoe? Ahead, I’ll share all the must-have items to pack so you can make the most of your vacation!

What You Need When Visiting Lake Tahoe

Summer Clothing

In the summer months, the weather in Lake Tahoe is warm in the daytime and slightly colder at night. You’ll want to pack mostly summer garb since most of your excursions will occur during the day.

Be sure to bring at least one hoodie or a light jacket and maybe some long pants if you’re out after sunset.


No trip to Lake Tahoe is complete without swimming and watersports. Pack a couple of your favorite swimsuits, including trunks for the fellas and bikinis or one-pieces for the ladies.

To safeguard sensitive skin, you might consider bringing a rashguard as well. A swim cap can protect your hair if you don’t want to wash it after each time you go swimming.

For the kids, make sure you pack floaties. Don’t forget the towels as well!


The type of shoes you wear during a vacation matters a lot. A wrong choice in footwear may spoil your time in Lake Tahoe.

Depending on what you’ll be doing, you’ll need different types of footwear, such as hiking shoes for a hike or strenuous walk, water shoes and flip-flops for the beach and lake, everyday shoes for sightseeing, and formal shoes for any dinners out.


You never want to embark on a vacation without your credit card, debit card, driver’s license, and passport if you’re traveling outside of the country. Please don’t leave any of these at home!


Your hotel or resort might have toiletries, but it’s best that you bring them yourself.

You’ll need hand sanitizer, sunblock or suntan lotion, bug repellent, sunburn lotion, bug bite lotion, everyday lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, face wash, and moisturizer.

Beach Equipment

You can’t have a fun day on the beach without any equipment! I recommend packing a beach umbrella, beach chairs, a bottle opener, sandcastle molds (if you have kids), beach toys, a portable radio, a shovel, a cooler, and plenty of beach bags.

First-Aid Kit

Although you hope that no one will get hurt on your family vacation, you have to plan just in case.

You can buy a first-aid kit from your favorite online retailer or in a store. You can also make your own.

Make sure the kit has bandages of several types, medical-grade adhesive tape, antiseptic ointment, cotton balls, cotton swabs, tweezers, gauze pads, aspirin, and gloves.

What You Need To Know When Visiting Lake Tahoe

For the best experience at Lake Tahoe, it helps to plan your trip in advance so you know what to expect when visiting.

Here is everything Lake Tahoe visitors should know before they head out.

The Best Time To Visit

The best time of year to go to Lake Tahoe is undoubtedly the summer. The weather during this time of year is peaceful and perfect for outdoor activities.

The only downside of summer visits is that the place is usually crowded and prices are high.

Getting Around

Public transportation is the most common means of transport in Lake Tahoe but is slow during the evening.

Taxis are also available at any time and could be a better option, as is Uber or Lyft.

On the South Shore, you can walk to most shops and restaurants.

Where to Stay

If you’re planning to visit Lake Tahoe for more than a day, you will need a place to stay. The area has several towns, but the common ones are on the North Shore and South Shore.

The South Shore has cheaper accommodations.

What To Eat and Drink

There are plenty of dining options on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore or South Shore. Both shores boast great restaurants whether you like organic dishes or the best American cuisines.

You also don’t have to worry if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free eater because most restaurants prepare special foods for people with dietary issues.

Things To Do In Lake Tahoe

The list of activities you can participate in while at Lake Tahoe is endless. Here are a few recommendations.

Boat Cruises

Lake Tahoe has some of the best views you’ll ever experience, and the best way to see them is by taking a boat cruise.

You have many cruising options, but the Dixie II paddle wheeler is the most popular.

Depending on your preference, you can choose a daytime sightseeing cruise or a sunset one and enjoy your dinner on the water.

If you want a more private boat cruise experience, you can hire a luxury yacht.

Beach Exploration

Lake Tahoe has over 70 miles of stunning shoreline and more than 35 beaches to explore.

Sand Harbor Beach is an ideal spot if you want to soak yourself in the sun. The beach boasts many amenities and offers watersport rentals for all water activities. This beach is also home to the Shakespeare Summer Festival.

If you love live music, consider exploring Common Beach, which is in Tahoe City, and dance your heart out as you enjoy local drinks from the beach bar.


Hiking is part of Lake Tahoe’s culture, confirmed by the national forests, parks, wildernesses, rivers, and hundreds of miles of trails the lake basin boasts.

You will be treated to incredible views of lakes, forests, waterfalls, and mountains as you hike. Some of the best hikes for locals and visitors include Rubicon Trail, Mount Tallac, Five Lakes, and Eagle Lake.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

One of the best ways to experience Lake Tahoe is by paddle boarding. This activity is not only a great way to exercise but also the best means of accessing beaches and hidden coves.

The best time to set out is in the morning because that’s when the lake is calm.

The other way to experience Lake Tahoe is by kayaking. This is for those who want a near-the-water experience. Both kayaking and paddle boarding equipment is available to rent.

Visit The Tallac Historic Site

The Tallac Historic Site is located in South Lake Tahoe, and it’s another incredible thing to do while here.

The site was initially known as the Grandest Resort in the World, and its remains have attracted thousands of visitors. It’s known for snowshoeing and skiing activities. You can join heritage programs as well and learn more about the region’s history.

Lake Tahoe is one of the most alluring destinations in North America. While visiting during winter and fall may be good, a summer visit is the best. Now that you know what you need to pack for Lake Tahoe’s visit, plan to enjoy the summer activities and make lasting memories.