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Tahoe Weekender: Van Sickle, Emerald Bay, and Fannette Island

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Finally, Tahoe in the summer! After four years in northern California and numerous winter ski trips, I finally made it out during the sunny months to enjoy some non-snow related outdoors activities.

A friend’s wedding was the impetus for what turned into a Father’s Day weekend trek with the fam. Minor quips and tips sprinkled below, but otherwise, revel in the glorious beauty that is Tahoe in the summer.

Van Sickle Bi-State Park

Not sure which side of Tahoe you want to be in, California or Nevada? Have no fear. Head over to Van Sickle Bi-State Park and you can be in both states at once.

Just trying to decide which state to be in today. #california #nevada #stateline #travel #tahoe #hike #vansickle

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The Tahoe Rim Trail Connector is easily accessible from both Van Sickle’s Stateline, Nevada entrance as well as its South Lake Tahoe one, and various vista points along the route offer panoramic views of the gorgeous Lake Tahoe, beaming in the summer sun.

Lake Tahoe

The rest of the park is also overflowing with natural beauty of all types. The hike is fairly easy, but make sure to bring enough water to fend off dehydration in the dry summer heat.

Emerald Bay and Fannette Island

Father’s Day was spent decidedly in California over in Emerald Bay, a very family-friendly spot. Emerald Bay is home to Lake Tahoe’s only island, Fannette Island, as well as Vikingsholm, an authentic replica of a Viking castle. It’s also surrounded by trailheads, so you have your pick of activities, land or water.

I would absolutely recommend paddleboarding, kayaking, or boating on the bay and checking out the Tea House on Fannette Island, not so much for the four standing walls of the tea house as much as for the views it offers of the bay and out to the lake.

What is not so friendly about the spot is its parking situation. There are extremely limited spots at the Vikingsholm and Eagle Falls parking lots, so alas, most people end up parking along Highway 89, which is very much illegal but often your only option. We did see highway patrol write tickets, starting with those parked closest to the lots, so park at your own risk.

But it does get you gorgeous views like these, so maybe that potential parking ticket is worth it anyway.

Love it? Share the beauty of Lake Tahoe in the summer!

Tahoe in the summer - what to do to make the most of your weekend


1 thought on “Tahoe Weekender: Van Sickle, Emerald Bay, and Fannette Island

  1. […] Lake Tahoe is famous for its winter skiing and snowboarding, but it’s also a summer favorite for northern Californians. One of its gems is the aptly named Emerald Bay State Park. Emerald Bay itself is part of Lake Tahoe, making it a fantastic place for a lazy day on a boat. For the more land-inclined, the park has several hiking trails as well as a Scandinavian-style castle that’s nestled among impressively tall trees and filled with history. My favorite activity for Emerald Bay, though, is back on the water. There’s nothing more idyllic and calming than paddleboarding around the bay and to the ruined tea house on Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe’s sole island. To read more, check out this weekend adventure in Lake Tahoe.  […]

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