Traveling to North Lake Tahoe this fall? Here’s what you need to know

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Photo by Austin Schmid

If you live in Las Vegas, you know better than anyone how important it is to get out of the city once in awhile and explore the land in the north. In fact, many of us visit family there every year during the holidays. So, if you’re looking for something different to do this year, North Lake Tahoe is bursting at the seems with sweet activities, new dining experiences and so much more.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re headed there this fall:

As North Lake Tahoe’s iconic summer season comes to a close, summer travelers depart and the “secret season” begins. Autumn in North Lake Tahoe exemplifies peaceful beaches, discounted travel packages, dual-sport opportunities, ski and ride pass specials, harvest menus, wellness activities and the most colorful vistas of the year.

The region’s 12 individual communities host a variety of outdoor excursions, including the new Via Ferrata protected climbing route at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. Culinary celebrations in the region will include four iconic restaurants that are celebrating 40th anniversaries this year.

See below for a complete list of new and expanded fall activities, events and specials:

NEW NON-STOP FLIGHTS

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is a 45-minute drive from North Lake Tahoe, offering new non-stop flights from:

  • Denver, Colo. via Frontier Airlines

  • Austin, Tex. via Frontier Airlines (ends Nov.)

  • Carlsbad, Calif. via California Pacific Airlines

  • Portland, Ore. via Sun Country Airlines

For a complete list of non-stop destinations, visit: renoairport.com/flight-info.

OUTDOOR RECREATION

Autumn in North Lake Tahoe is known for dual sport opportunities, where explorers can experience the water by morning, and land sports by afternoon.

Water Sports: Boating, SUP, Kayak:

Land Sports: Climbing, Biking, Hiking, Adventure Races, Golf:

  • Alpenglow Expeditions debuts Via Ferrata this fall, a new protected climbing route at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, and the first of its kind in Lake Tahoe. Permanent steel anchors and cables connect climbers to the mountain, while experienced guides from Alpenglow Expeditions lead the course. The course adds to hundreds of miles of North Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails, including the iconic Tahoe Rim Trail and Flume Trail.

  • The Tahoe City Golf Course celebrates 100 years, designed by female professional golfer, May “Queenie” Dunn-Webb, and is offering discounted rates for ladies every Thursday. Additional North Lake Tahoe Golf Courses include the Incline Village Mountain Course, Old Brockway in Tahoe Vista, the Links at Squaw Creek.

  • Tahoe Adventure Company offers guided bike rides, climbing and backpacking tours; and Off Road Tahoe offers scenic UTV tours.

  • Spartan World Championship, Sept. 29-30, showcases the region’s diverse mountain terrain as a high-altitude training ground, attracting international racers annually.

  • Big Blue Adventures hosts various races annually, including:

    • Tahoe Big Blue Adventure Race, Sept. 15, a multi-sport, teamed event, including kayaking or stand up paddling, mountain biking, trail running, and navigation.

    • Lederhosen 5k: Sept. 22; part of Oktoberfest at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.

    • Great Trail Race, Oct. 7; from Truckee to Tahoe City, Calif.

  • EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Northstar California: The 33rd annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival combines premier local cuisine, renowned chefs and live cooking demonstrations in a full-sensory dining experience, Sept. 14-16, allows guests to demo industry-leading bike products on Northstar California’s bike trails—part of Interbike.  

  • Halloween DJ: Oct. 31

  • Passport to Dining: Nov. 8; Fundraiser benefiting the North Tahoe Business Association. Includes 30 tasting stations, raffle and silent auction.

  • Tahoe Biltmore Open Dart Tournament: Oct. 12-13

  • Thanksgiving Dinner at Café Biltmore: Nov. 22

  • Tail & Ale: Dec. 1; Dog-friendly beer tasting event.

Tahoe City Downtown Association

  • Oktoberfest: Sept. 29, at Commons Beach; craft beers, bavarian-themed games, vendor village and live music.

  • Scarecrows on Parade: Oct.; Tahoe City businesses and community members create festive scarecrows to be voted on.

  • Holiday Hop: Nov. 24; Holiday shopping with wine, snacks and good cheer.

Granlibakken Tahoe

The Village at Squaw Valley

Homewood Mountain Resort hosts the 3rd annual Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival, Oct. 6, featuring a variety of breweries, tasty food options, local vendors and live music.

North Tahoe Arts

Additional events and activities include:

  • Tahoe Cup Paddle Race Series Fall Classic: Sept. 15; Begins in South Lake Tahoe and finishes in North Lake Tahoe.

  • Adventure Van Expo: Sept. 15, at Homewood; Adventure vehicles, overland talks, food and music

  • Spartan World Championships: Sept. 29-30, in Olympic Valley; World champion athletes, thin air and over 9,000 feet of elevation.

  • Fall Lecture Series: at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

    • Oct. 18: Evolution and Conservation of Salmon

    • Nov. 8: Aerosol Pollution

    • Nov. 29: How to Disagree with People about Climate Change

  • Gatekeeper’s Museum: Located in a log cabin on an ancient Washoe campsite; features an eclectic collection of Tahoe historical artifacts.

  • Big Blue Adventures Sept. – Oct. – Various Races, including the Tahoe Big Blue Adventure Race (Sept. 15), Lederhosen 5K (Sept. 22) and the Great Trail Race (Oct 7).

DINING

North Lake Tahoe’s diverse dining experiences extend from mountaintop to lakeside, featuring products from northern Nevada California’s farmers and ranchers. Four iconic restaurants celebrate 40 years this year. Jake’s on the Lake, a family-owned restaurant with American-Hawaiian fare; Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique, a high-end, Japanese-inspired cuisine; Jason’s Beachside Grille, a casual American spot for traditional american eats; and Fire Sign Cafe, an Iconic breakfast and lunch restaurant.

Additional culinary news includes:

  • Resort at Squaw Creek continues to celebrate the newly remodeled Montagna—a modern approach to classic Italian—using seasonal vegetables from its garden, Rooftop Roots.

  • West Shore Cafe welcomes new Executive Chef Robb Wyss, serving dinner Mon-Thu, 4 – 9 p.m. (excl. Sept. 10, 13). It will host a Winemaker’s Dinner with Joseph Phelps, Sept. 12; and Dining For Wildfire Relief, Sept. 19.

  • Plumpjack Cafe celebrates final year before a master remodel and revitalization plan.

  • Gar Woods offers “Topless Tuesdays” with discounted Wet Woodys.