How to do the Fourth, Tahoe-style
Want to escape to Lake Tahoe over the Fourth of July weekend?
From Tahoe City to Incline Village there are plenty of water-front areas hosting great holiday events and activities including the Fourth of July parade in Truckee, the fine arts craft fair at Homewood Mountain Resort, the beach bash at Tahoe City or just the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe itself.
What to do over the weekend
Kings Beach is hosting its 37th Annual Fireworks and Beach Party on July 3. The party is scheduled from 4-10 p.m. and includes a sandcastle-building contest, watermelon-eating contest and the culminating fireworks show scheduled to start lighting up the sky at 9:30 p.m. While admission to the event is free, those willing to part with $15 gain premium seating for the fireworks show.
Be sure to catch Tahoe City’s Funky Beach Bash and Firework Party, scheduled for July 4. Head to Commons Beach early and hang out there until 9:30 p.m. when the fireworks are expected to go off. Enjoy live acoustic music, a beer and wine garden, food and ice cream vendors and more. In its 71st year at Tahoe City, this event is sure to be a blast.
Everyone seems to know South Lake Tahoe is where it’s at when it comes to the big fireworks show. “Lights on the Lake” is expected to start around 9:45 p.m. on July 4 and is visible from locations all-around town, including Nevada Beach, Timber Cove Marina, Baldwin Beach at the Tallac Historic Site and more. Even though it’s summer, be sure to pack your sweatshirt and sweats.
Incline Village is doing it up over the weekend with its Red, White & Tahoe Blue 10th Anniversary featuring 45 events including a pancake breakfast, hometown parade, community day and more. The fireworks show – no specific time given – is crafted by Lantis Fireworks and will have live accompaniment by the Air National Guard Band of the West.
Truckee’s 4th of July Parade is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. July 4 and head down Donner Pass Road into historic Truckee. The parade theme is Truckee – Base Camp for a Big Life. Other related activities for the day will occur at West End Beach at Donner Lake and include a barbecue, games, music and a fireworks show. Free shuttles will be traveling to and from downtown Truckee and the following destinations: Tahoe Donner, Donner Lake, Sierra Meadows, Brockway, Prosser and Glenshire. The shuttle runs between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
More fun things over the Fourth
The Run to the Beach 5K and 10K is for those who can’t miss a run over the holiday weekend. Scheduled for July 4, this race series starts at North Tahoe Regional Park and finishes at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area beach. Part of the Tahoe Trail Running Series, this event includes a tech Tee (with registration), as well as awards and a raffle afterward.
The Homewood 4th of July Fine Arts and Crafts Festival at Homewood Mountain Resort runs July 1-3 and features more than 50 artists showcasing their talents in mediums that include ceramics, jewelry, painting, woodworking, photography and more. The festival is in full swing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and Homewood can be found six miles southwest of Tahoe City.
Life’s a beach, and this may be no truer than at Kings Beach, which provides easy access for visitors who want to enjoy the lake and get their sun on. Named after card shark Joe King, this beach can get crowded early on. The beach boasts lovely views, a pier, easily-accessible bathrooms, a playground and nearby shops and eateries.
The Rolling Chrome/Tahoe Thunder Car & Motorcycle show is scheduled from July 1-4 at Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. A $40 entry fee includes trophies as well as a poker run. 1950s-era music fills the streets which will be jamming with sidewalk sales. Entrants also receive a T-shirt, secured and assigned parking, a run pin and a goody bag.
Where to find eats
Jason’s Beachside Grille in Kings Beach just can’t be beat, because of its sandy location near the lake. Lunch includes anything from a hot pastrami sandwich to a steak sandwich, but there are appetizers, burgers and deli items on the menu, too. Plan a dinner at Jason’s and don’t forget the kids.
California Burger Company, in South Lake Tahoe at Heavenly Village, has menu items that include burgers – of course! – sandwiches, housemade milkshakes and more. Be sure not to overlook the 10 different ice-cold beers on draft.
The Fire Sign Café, located along West Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City, serves only breakfast and lunch but has diverse offerings ranging from mimosas and beer to gluten-free and vegetarian options. This place has been written up in magazines numerous times including Sunset Magazine, Travel & Leisure and the New York Times. It also has been featured in Rachel Ray’s “Tasty Travels.”
It seems like everyone knows about T’s Mesquite Rotisserie in Incline Village. This tiny place offers all of the best in terms of tacos and burritos but also serves roast chicken and beef tri-tip. Seating is limited, and the place is usually busy, so be sure to come with cash in hand as plastic is not accepted at T’s.
Where to put your bags down
If you are headed to Kings Beach, you may want to try Ferrari’s Crown Resort. At Ferrari’s, you can find a private beach, hot tubs, swimming pools and even lakefront accommodations. A continental breakfast is available in the morning, and the location of this family owned and operated resort could be considered close to perfect.
The Cottage Inn in Tahoe City offers everything rustic a visitor might love. Smell the cool clean air as you choose between accommodations that include one-bedroom studios, cottage suites, deluxe suites and even two kitchen suites called “Bear’s Den” and “Bit of Bavaria.” A full breakfast at the lodge is included in the price and each room has its own fireplace. Private beach access is also available to guests.
For quaint tastes, you also may want to try Incline Village’s Parkside Inn. Located along Tahoe Boulevard, there are 38 rooms in all to choose from, including deluxe and premium guest options. Here, you can enjoy private beach access, complimentary breakfast, memory foam mattresses and a stay set in a forest. On top of that, there is an indoor pool and sauna on site.
If casinos are your thing, head to the Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa in South Lake Tahoe. Located along U.S. 50 on the south side of the lake, guests will find shops, a nightclub and an outdoor pool to enjoy. Also on site is a spa and a fitness center. The casino is just one block from the California state line providing easy access to all the fun nearby. There are several options for eating onsite too, including a café, a buffet and Ciera, its steak and chophouse.
Whatever your plans for a Fourth of July weekend at Lake Tahoe, it’s certain you’ll find an adventure that is right for you.