Best Places To Visit In December: Lake Tahoe

Beautiful Hike in Lake Tahoe, California

Follow along on our travel miniseries where we feature some of the top destinations to visit each month. As fall is approaching, some of us may be looking for a weekend getaway or short trip after working hard all summer. Though there are endless lists of Best Places To Visit In December. One that really stands out (and is a personal favorite of mine) is Lake Tahoe, California.

For those who don’t know, Lake Tahoe is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and sits right on the state line between California and Nevada. As one of the largest freshwater lakes in these mountains, Tahoe sits at 6200 feet in elevation and reaches depths of over 1600 feet at its deepest point.


Surrounding the lakes are countless beaches and coves, as well as the stunning Emerald Bay State Park. One of my favorite beaches is Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park.

Though I usually visit in the summertime, the beginning of fall will still provide beautiful weather for all of your beaching needs. Sand Harbor is also the home to the annual Shakespeare Festival.

This isn’t your granddaddy’s Shakespeare – the productions have a modern twist and take place on the beach, with the sunset over the lake serving as a dramatic background.

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If hiking is your style of choice, you won’t want to overlook Emerald Bay, State Park. There are many hiking trails to explore, many hills to climb, and amazing waterfalls to see. Emerald Bay is also the best place to visit and is home to Vikingsholm, Eagle Falls, and Fannette Island: the only island in the entire lake.

Vikingsholm is a fjord-style summer house built on the shores of Emerald Bay in 1929 and said to be one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the country. House tours are still open to the public and are given from June through December.

Near Vikingsholm, you’ll also find beautiful Eagle Falls that you can hike or Fannette Island that you can access by boat. Once the home of an eccentric British boat captain and later to Vikingsholm’s tea house, explore the remains of these dates on the island and enjoy unique views of the lake itself.


So what makes Lake Tahoe so special during the month of December versus any other time of the year? Though I personally love Tahoe in the summer, the beginning of fall is ideal because of one big reason – the dwindling number of people.

Best Places To Visit In December is a shoulder season after the crazy summer season and generally speaking, everything is a whole lot less crowded. This comes in really handy when trying to get into restaurants, casinos, and bars.

During this time, there are also multiple festivals going on, outdoor concerts, and even trail runs and races around the lake to keep you occupied. So if you are looking for a getaway with beautiful scenery, great restaurants, and casinos, as well as interesting history, Lake Tahoe is a place you will want to check out.

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