Ways to be entertained at Tahoe, indoors and out
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — As the Tahoe Basin comes into its peak season for summer activities, families from near and far are looking for adventures to remember.
From hiking Tahoe’s iconic Rim Trail to enjoying the great outdoors atop Heavenly Mountain Resort to bowling, a high-tech arcade and amazing food at Incline Bowl, there are plenty of opportunities to make memories.
Those looking for an outdoor adventure can take a trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail. The trail’s Outreach and Marketing Coordinator Kate Gallagher usually recommends visitors to several popular hikes that are great for families and easier to do with children and senior family members.
“The first I would say is the Trailhead at Van Sickle in South Lake Tahoe, just above Heavenly Village,” said Gallagher. “There’s really great views… that’s kind of an out-and-back. You can make some loops but I recommend the out-and-back.”
In addition to incredible views, there is also a waterfall that runs on the trial. Although it runs stronger earlier in the summer, Gallagher is hopeful there are still some streams running through the trail.
Other options at Heavenly Mountain Resort include the Heavenly Gondola, openly daily for summer, the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, and Gem Panning. Thrill-seekers can take a trip on the Red Tail Zip Line, or climb the Granite Peak Climbing Wall.
The fun at Heavenly is endless, but Gallagher also recommended a hike a little farther out at Echo Lakes down U.S. Highway 50.
“That’s a really beautiful hike,” said Gallagher. “Then, if people don’t feel like hiking, they can ride the boat across to the other side.”
The Echo Lakes hike is considered to be strenuous, and is a round-trip 12 mile hike. The trail, which is commonly referred to as the Lake Aloha Hike, encounters some uphill and rocky terrain, along with several mixed forests of red firs and white pines.
For something a little less strenuous on the family, Flatstick Pub in South Lake Tahoe offers family-friendly fun games of indoor mini-golf, along with DuffleBoard, which is an original game of tabletop golf, fun and easy to play for all skill levels. The pub is also home to a variety of tap beers separated by brewing companies in California and Nevada.
Mini-golf is $12 before 6 p.m. and $15 after, and DuffleBoard is $9 before 6 p.m. and $12 after. Kids are not allowed in the pub past 8 p.m., and dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, but not inside.
The fun doesn’t end on the South Shore.
Gallagher recommended two trails on the north shore that she thinks are perfect for the family, and it starts at Picnic Rock, which can be accessed from the Brockway Summit East Trailhead.
“Just about a mile and a half up the trail, there’s a vista point,” said Gallagher. “So you can turn off the trail and go a little ways up and picnic. It’s got an amazing view of the whole lake and it’s about a three mile round trip, so it’s super accessible and easy.”
The second trail Gallagher recommends that is a little bit more of a trek is Galena Falls loop on Mount Rose that features a waterfall, and the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail off the trailhead at Tahoe Meadows.
“That’s another great hike for families and anyone who wants to get a taste of the Tahoe Rim Trail without hiking miles and miles,” Gallagher said.
While most of the recommended trails can be fun for everyone, Gallagher wanted to remind anyone using the trail to plan ahead and prepare.
“A lot of people come in from out of town and they may not realize that there’s not going to be a bathroom, or once you’re a couple miles into the trail, there’s not a water source,” said Gallagher. “So we recommend people always bring water.”
Families on the North Shore looking for something a little more local can head over to Bowl Incline, which opened earlier this summer and is now offering brunch along with their normal breakfast, dinner, and late-night bites menus.
New owners Tracy and Steve Tomkovicz spent almost a year renovating the bowling alley after acquiring the property in 2020. Now, the completely revived family-spot and restaurant is home to new bowling lanes, a high-tech arcade, and a delicious and exciting new food and drink menu.
Lane prices vary on times, with one hour starting at $45, and two hours at $90 for up to six people. Hyperbowling is also available, with up to four fun games. For up to six people, the cost ranges from $55-$110.
To learn more about these family-fun adventures, check out the list below:
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