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Heading to North Lake Tahoe for Summer Fun?

Here are six ways to make it great.

Donner Memorial State Park

Anna Koenig

1. Get the scoop on the Donner Party. Check out the new Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center. This center replaces the charming but outdated Emigrant Trail Museum, which was famous for historic dioramas, and its eye-opening documentary on the Donner Party. The new center will be state of the art and interactive and is built not far from the Donner Party campsites. It tells the stories of the area’s Native Americans, the Donner Party, the building of the transcontinental railway through the dangerous pass, and, then, construction of the highways, all of which developed the area into what is now North Tahoe—one of our favorite places to visit. (530) 582-7892, parks.ca.gov

2. Hit 30 wineries and 20 restaurants at the Tahoe City Wine Walk. Cline Cellars, J Vineyards, and Madrona Vineyards are some of the wines that will be pouring at stations throughout this cute town right on the lake. Saturday, June 20. Tickets are $40 in advance, tahoecitywinewalk.com

Courtesy of Truckee Tavern

3. Try the Truckee Tavern and Grill. This restaurant opened last spring in the former location of the beloved Dragonfly and was an instant hit. Its specialty is wood fired cuisine, locally sourced. Great artisanal cocktails, too. The bar opens at 4 p.m. Weds.-Thurs. (530) 587-3766, truckeetavern.com.

4. Do yoga at Squaw’s Wanderlust Festival. This fest seems to get more buzz every year, which is no surprise, given that it’s a four-day celebration of the mindful revolution that has been sweeping the nation. Wanderlust feature speakers, music, shopping, and lots and lots of yoga. The Wanderlust Festival was born at Squaw 10 years ago, and has since expanded to 10 locations around the world. July 16-19. Ticket prices vary, wanderlust.com/festivals/squaw-valley.


5. Book a fancy dinner at the Ritz. The hotel is nestled among the pines at Northstar’s mid mountain, and its restaurant, Manzanita, hosts the most Ritz-worthy dinners in Truckee. The hard part is choosing which ones to go to.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, for $95, you can chat with the chef during six-course Chef’s Tasting Counter. Or, for $125, book one of the select wine pairing dinners—Stag’s Leap is July 2. Sit outside on the terrace for one of the three-course, $65 brew master dinners. On August 13, Truckee’s Fifty Fifty will be on tap. There is also a four-course Spirits Dinner for $85.

For family fun, try the Friday Night Family Cookout, which features your BBQ faves—and giant Jenga, bocce, and corn hole on the lawn. Call for reservations, (530)562-3121, ritzcarlton.com/laketahoe.

6. Hear a symphony at sunset. Mozart, Shubert, and Haydn star at this year’s Lake Tahoe Music Festival. Just bring a picnic, blanket, and wine for these outdoor mountain symphonies. Aug. 18-22. Tickets are $20 for the first four days; Sat. night is $55 and includes dinner and wine. tahoemusic.org.