North Lake Tahoe's sterling reputation as an ideal meeting locale and outdoor enthusiasts' haven is bolstered by its friendly atmosphere, striking surroundings and family-friendly activities. The entire region is literally built around the world-famous Lake Tahoe. The largest alpine lake in North America and the second-deepest lake in the United States at 1,645-feet-deep, Lake Tahoe measures 22 miles long and 12 miles wide and is known for its water clarity and panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.
The Lake Tahoe region is situated within the Sierra Nevada Range with an average elevation of 6,000 feet. Approximately two-thirds of the Lake Tahoe shoreline lies within California, with the remaining one-third in Nevada. North Lake Tahoe is dominated by Tahoe City along the northwest shore.
Lake Tahoe is nothing short of a national treasure with a rich past built on respect of the beauty of the lake. The region was first inhabited by the peaceful Washoe Indians, who considered Lake Tahoe to be a spiritual site and conducted sacred ceremonies along the south shore. The serenity of the region was disturbed with the 1844 arrival of American explorers. Droves of fortune-seekers flooded the region in the 1860s after silver was discovered in the Sierra Nevada, bringing with them major development. By the turn of the century, word of the region's natural beauty reached the elite families of San Francisco, who flocked to stay in Tahoe's new elite hotels and then built their own summer homes along the shoreline. By the 1950s, the region's roads were plowed year-round, enabling access to permanent residences. Lake Tahoe was placed on the global map in 1960, when the winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley.
The vast majority of Lake Tahoe's attractions and sites celebrate the region's natural beauty as outdoor and indoor recreational options can be found at every turn, as well as the area's rich early twentieth-century summer estate era. Visitors frequent the beautiful Vikingsholm Castle; built in 1929, Vikingsholm was one of the first opulent Lake Tahoe summer homes constructed, as well as one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture throughout the U.S. today. Another shining example of Lake Tahoe luxury, the Hellman-Ehrmann Mansion operates as a house museum in the Sugar Pine Point State Park. The mansion, completed in 1903, was built using local building materials and was equipped with the latest early twentieth century utility systems, such as electric lights and indoor plumbing.
Lake Tahoe's many outdoor attractions offer world-class skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, boating, camping, and fishing. The Donner Memorial State Park, located along Donner Lake in Truckee, features hiking and nature trails, as well as the Emigrant Trail Museum, which honors those who immigrated to California from the east coast in the mid-1800s. The museum includes an exhibit on the Donner Party, one of the earliest and most famous pioneer wagon trains (which fell victim to tragedy in 1847).. Visitors can scuba drive in crystal clear waters among unusual rock formations at the Sand Harbor Nevada State Park, or explore Lake Tahoe from the lake itself aboard the Tahoe Gal via North Tahoe Cruises.
North Lake Tahoe is also home to six championship golf courses and four executive courses. Another 14 courses are located within an hour's drive of North Lake Tahoe. The area's fantastic courses are designed around Tahoe's spectacular scenery and set around glacially-etched valleys to the shorelines of Lake Tahoe itself.
Lake Tahoe's rich culinary scene includes a variety of California and global cuisine options, as well as a number of beautiful lakefront restaurants. Voted as one of North Lake Tahoe's most romantic restaurants, Christy Hill sits 100 feet above the Lake Tahoe shoreline and uses the freshest and finest seafood in its seasonal California and Mediterranean cuisine. Specializing in French-California fare by award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins, Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton utilizes organic, seasonal ingredients, all served in a warm atmosphere of natural materials and an open kitchen. Serving world-class cuisine at the beautiful Northstar at Tahoe Resort™, Baxter's Bistro & Lounge serves fresh California cuisine set to the soundtrack of live jazz.