Making the most of a summer in Paradise

Once the wildflowers bloom, the Blue Jays squawk and the temperatures rise, it’s time to get out and do something — and Tahoe offers plenty of activities all summer. There’s just not enough time to do it all. And, I want to do it all. How does one pick and choose to make the most of a Tahoe summer?

Take a hike among the wildflowers.

For me, and most of my friends, being outside is imperative. While many locals have to work, they have also have created a lifestyle that affords them time to live life fully and embrace what our home has to offer. I am one of those people who loves to do everything. When it’s time to work, I find a place outside to write. Also, I cook at night so I have time to hike, bike, paddle and play.

“While many locals have to work, they have also have created a lifestyle that affords them time to live life fully and embrace what our home has to offer.”

My summer has begun. My mountain bike is tuned and I plan to take a few women’s bike clinics. The paddleboard is out of storage and I’ll get out on Donner Lake to paddle in the mornings. It’s a great way to start the day and connect with friends. I’ll put in some paddling on Lake Tahoe, as well. There are a number of paddleboard demo nights and races offered by some of the local businesses, such as Sports Hub, Granite Chief and Willard’s Sports.

After a morning paddle, I’ll swing by Coffeebar to grab a latté and figure out my workday. Swimming is best done in the afternoon when the water has warmed up. Evenings are a perfect time for sailing on Donner Lake.

The Truckee River offers great opportunities for relaxing, fishing and rafting.

Then, there are numerous hikes on the summer agenda. Sugar Bowl to Squaw, Tinker’s Knob and Castle Peak are fun go-to hikes. I also have a few camping trips on my radar: Desolation Wilderness, Gold Lakes Basin, the Eastern Sierra outside Bridgeport and the Spalding Lake Region are just a few. With the many beautiful hikes and camping trips, I need to pace, plot and plan. Weekends are the best time to bite off the big adventures. Shorter hikes are great during the week; get up early to hike Shirley Lake or Five Lakes. Hiking or kayaking under the full moon is a must. Mount Judah is the place to watch the falling stars and be one with the night.

A summer’s day at Commons Beach in Tahoe City.

I love music, and summer in Tahoe is all about music festivals. High Sierra, Guitarfish, the free outdoor concerts series, Truckee Thursdays, Tuesday Bluesdays and the Crystal Bay Casino offer a lot of summer dancing. I’ll also squeeze in some time at Moody’s, Cottonwood and Truckee Tavern for local music and to grab a cocktail with friends. Let us not forget Burning Man; I so need a ticket.

As a natural foods, organic chef, I appreciate the advent of the season’s bevy of beautiful produce and handcrafted artisan foods at the local farmers’ markets (see Events in every Tahoe Weekly for local markets).

There is no time to nap, but a mellow lunch on one of the piers at Donner Lake to catch my breath is likely. Anyone tired yet?



Paddleboard adventures

Mountain biking the Tahoe Rim Trail

Tahoe’s best kayak outings

Summer’s best swimming holes

The allure of Desolation Wilderness

Sweeping views on Mount Judah