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Summer's not over at Lake Tahoe

  • Story Highlights
  • Consider a wine-and-cheese sunset sail on the Tahoe Cruz
  • Take a dip at Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park's Sand Harbor
  • Try the best Hula Pie this side of Hawaii at Sunnyside Resort
By Ann Marie Brown
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Sunset

(Sunset) -- Great things to do and see, and memories (you can still make) of summer at the lake.

With clear blue water and picturesque boulders, Sand Harbor is the place to swim in Lake Tahoe.

With clear blue water and picturesque boulders, Sand Harbor is the place to swim in Lake Tahoe.

The scene

Families dot the beaches, and boaters dominate the lake; traffic slows on State 89, and the Truckee River overflows with inner-tubers. Still, from North Lake to Emerald Bay, and South Lake to Incline Village, you'll find plenty of peace, quiet, and to-die-for beauty.

Cruise the lake

Skip the stern-wheeler paddleboats packed with tourists for a wine-and-cheese sunset sail on the Tahoe Cruz. Departs daily from Tahoe City Marina in Tahoe City, California; $60; reservations required; tahoesail.com or 530/583-6200.

Walk on water

Stand-up paddleboarding is the latest craze. Give it a shot, or go for a sit-on-top kayak from Tahoe Paddle & Oar (paddleboard or kayak rental from $20 per hour; 8299 N. Lake Blvd./State 28, Kings Beach, California; tahoepaddle.com or 530/581-3029). Sunset.com: Lake Tahoe landmarks

Jump in

Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park's Sand Harbor area is popular for its gentle turquoise coves and fine white sand. Get there before 10 a.m. to avoid the crowds. $8 per vehicle; on State 28, 3 miles south of Incline Village, NV; parks.nv.gov or 775/831-0494.

Don't Miss

Skinny-dip

For a quiet swim, hike 0.5 mile to Secret Cove and Chimney Beach, where those who hate tan lines like to hang out. Trailhead is off State 28, 2 1/2 miles south of Sand Harbor; 530/543-2600.

Wine and dine

Christy Hill serves a killer chile relleno with an equally killer lake view. (Closed Mon; 115 Grove St., Tahoe City, California; average entrée price around $30; 530/583-8551).

The deck at Sunnyside Resort has a party scene and the best Hula Pie this side of Hawaii. (Most entrées between $20 and $30; 1850 W. Lake Blvd./State 89, 2 miles south of Tahoe City, California; 530/583-7200). Sunset.com: Make your own lake dinner menu

Hang with the locals

Built in 1859, Chambers Landing Bar and Restaurant is set at the end of a pier. Arrive by boat or car, but if you're the designated driver, steer clear of the Chambers Punch. Most entrées $12 or less; 6400 W. Lake Blvd./State 89, Homewood, California; 530/525-9190.

Stay in a cabin

Carved wooden bears are everywhere at the woodsy Cottage Inn. From $158, including breakfast; just south of Tahoe City, California; 800/581-4073. Sunset.com: The West's best national parks

Splurge on a room

Book a suite at the West Shore Cafe & Inn, then wait for a bald eagle to fly past your window. Rooms from $350; Homewood, California; 530/525-5200.

Pitch a tent

Easy swimming access and hot showers make for blissful family camping at D.L. Bliss State Park (from $25; reserveamerica.com or 800/444-7275). For views, the best sites are 148, 149, 151, 153, and 156. If Bliss is full, try Nevada Beach Campground, on the east side (from $28; recreation.gov or 877/444-6777).

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