Suggestions for when the weather ruins your Lake Tahoe beach day |

Suggestions for when the weather ruins your Lake Tahoe beach day

When the weather crushes your plans you can always find refuge at one of Tahoe’s casinos.

Ah, Memorial Day weekend — a glorious time to hit the beach, get out on the lake and enjoy Tahoe.

Many years this assumption is spot on. This year … not so much.

Or maybe it will be. This is Tahoe after all. We could see half a foot of snow or sunshine or both.

But if the past week, which brought more than a foot of snow to the high country, is any indication, we could see weather more reminiscent of March than May.

The good news: the forecast as of writing this calls for slightly warmer temperatures. The bad news: it’s still going to be cold and rainy.

Barring a dramatic change in the weather crystal ball, which could literally happen at any second, you’re going to want to ditch those beach plans. Because a beach without sunshine is basically like gin without tonic … yeah, you can still drink it but you’re not going to enjoy it.

Don’t panic though; there’s plenty to do at Tahoe on a gray day, and I’m not talking about Netflix and chill.

Here are some other options for having fun on a rainy weekend.


You’re probably thinking: “Wait, you said it’s going to rain.” Exactly.

The reality is there are just some parts of Tahoe that are pretty much off limits because of the hordes. A prime example is the Emerald Bay area. Unless you plan to arrive around sunset or at dusk, it likely is going to be the equivalent of Black Friday shopping before Amazon killed Black Friday.

However, you throw some clouds into the mix along with a threat of rain and the pandemonium dies down a little bit.

This could be the perfect opportunity to hike down to Vikingsholm or up to Eagle Lake. There are some patches of snow on the hike up to Eagle Lake but nothing too bad. And at about 2 miles roundtrip, it’s a great out-and-back to try and squeeze in between breaks in the storm.

Dress in layers and bring your rain gear. Waterproof boots are a must — don’t be that nature-lover hiking up the falls in stilettos (this happens more than we’d all like to admit).

Be sure to check the forecast before heading out and keep your hikes to short distances.

On the mountain

Again, you’re probably asking: “What about this freaking rain?”

Rain be damned. This weekend is your last chance to ski at Heavenly Mountain Resort for the season. The Heave is shutting down after Monday.

North of the lake, Squaw Valley is open all weekend and Monday as well. After the Memorial Day holiday the resort switches to Friday-through-Sunday operations. Squaw plans to stay open for the Fourth of July holiday, July 3-7, before closing for the season.

Depending on the temperature you could be looking at some fresh snow on the mountain.

Art it up

Maybe you’re not looking for a soggy hike or some end-of-season turns. No, you’re far too sophisticated for that.

A stormy weekend is the perfect time to stay indoors and view some quality art. (Hey, don’t be afraid to purchase something.)

Tahoe has quite a few galleries, with a good amount clustered on South Shore.

In the Heavenly Village area alone there’s Genius Fine Art, Marcus Ashley Gallery, Benko Art Gallery and Pacific Crest Gallery and Signature Galleries.

On the opposite end of town at the shops at the Y is Emanate Gallery.

Between those options is Scott Forrest Fine Art Studio, located at 2372 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Incline Village also has a handful of galleries, according to extensive Google research. However, none of them appear to actually have websites or any helpful information posted online so …

But what the hell, make an adventure of it and go exploring.

Although not a gallery, The Potlatch has lots of great work by Native American artisans.

And there’s always T’s.

Spa day

Let’s face it, you’re probably carrying around some unnecessary stress. Life’s hard, I get it. And the crappy weather that’s ruining your weekend ain’t helping you relax.

Take a spa day and let your stress melt away.

Blue Water Day Spa offers a fairly comprehensive list of services from massages to wraps. They also have special spa packages, such as “the Hangover Helper.”

“Enjoy a relaxing 90 minute Swedish massage using our detoxifying aromatherapy blend, to help stimulate your lymphatic system and ease your nausea. Your treatment concludes with an Image Skincare Hydrating Sheet Mask.”

I think I’ll save myself the trouble and schedule an appointment for Saturday morning.

Same day appointments may be available. Head to for information.

BioSpirit Spa on Ski Run Boulevard is another option on South Shore.

They also offer a range of services, including body treatments like the “Foot Fantasy.”

“Reflexology and massage movements are used to achieve relief to aching zones and exfoliation for dry skin, followed by essential oils for moisture and massage. Warm stones are used for warmth and relaxation.”

Sounds perfect if, say, you’re the type of cheapskate who purchased $35 used ski boots and have regretted the decision every day on the mountain.

Advance reservations are appreciated. Visit / for information.

These are just two of the many spas around the lake. Seriously, this list could go on forever (use the Google if these recommendations don’t strike your fancy).


So you didn’t hit the jackpot with the weather. Why not try your luck at one of the casinos?

You can’t miss them — they’re the out-of-place high rises visible from miles away.

Hit one of the tables or plop down at a slot machine and enjoy the free drinks and second-hand smoke (live a little). Hit it big on one of the slots and you’ll start to understand that whole gambling addiction thing.

Want to lose your money like a local? Head to the Lakeside Inn. You can experience Tahoe like the people who live here as you slowly watch your kid’s college fund disappear. On a serious note, don’t miss out on the prime rib and lobster special at The Timbers in Lakeside.

Support Local Journalism

Your support means a better informed community. Donate today.