Your West Shore, Tahoe City, Alpine Meadows & Olympic Valley Itinerary

Head a bit southwest of the lake to experience the best resorts, world-renowned skiing, river rafting and beyond. If you’re staying in any of these four towns, rely on our customized itineraries below. Check them out, then get right on your way to paradise.



A string of smaller Tahoe communities—Tahoma and Homewood—and state parks along Highway 89 is collectively known as the West Shore. It’s the Black Forest of Lake Tahoe—with a history just as compelling—and boasts a mossy, deep-woods aesthetic, not to mention Sugar Pine Point State Park. Enjoy a mix of mountain terrain and lakeside views, plus outdoor sports, museums and year-round recreation. Fun fact: It has been a destination of enchantment since the Washoe Indians discovered it reportedly 9,000 years ago.


Start your day at the highlight of the West Shore, West Shore Market. This all-in-one coffee bar, neighborhood grocery and gourmet deli dishes up breakfast burritos, frittatas, pastries and more. You can also find beer, spirits, wine, housewares, organic produce and year-round gelato. It’s truly the market of all markets. See their awesome menu here.

Across the street is Fire Sign Café providing creative homestyle cooking in a cozy, country atmosphere. Breakfast is served all day—try the Bakers Benedict, kielbasa scramble or a crepe. Their extensive menu can be found here.


A great spot for kayaking and casual hikes is Sugar Pine Point State Park. While you’re here, check out the onsite Hellman-Ehrman Mansion. The 11,700 square-foot summer home was completed in 1903 and sits on a bluff overlooking the crystal-clear lake. It’s a great example of Tahoe elegance at the turn of the century, but still makes an impact on visitors today—when the historical landmark is open, stop by for a tour. Also, the expansive lawn and estate grounds are open to the public to year-round.

During the winter months spend the day exploring Homewood Mountain Resort’s 1,260 acres of unobstructed Lake Tahoe views. The surrounding peaks feature eight lifts and 67 runs to satisfy all your wanderlust cravings, and is a spot where many locals learned how to ski. You can find their season passes here.


Take your midday break over to Chambers Landing Bar and Grill, the oldest bar on Lake Tahoe. The team serves a wide selection of barbecue dishes, including hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled bratwurst and salads. A deck favorite is their Grilled Chicken Caesar—you won’t want to miss it; it’s the perfect refreshment during the middle of your day.


In the summers, you can’t miss the Concours d’Elegance boat show. Homewood is home to this boat show, one of the best in North America. Enjoy a showcase of some of the most well-preserved and restored wooden boats in the world. The show is presented by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation, and features luxury shopping, live jazz music, locally prepared cuisine, a fully stocked Watering Hole bar and the famed silent auction. A portion of the proceeds from your ticket goes directly to the local Tahoe community. Sail away to a great time.

Bring the kids to the Marie Sluchak Community Park: This spot is located at the “Y” on Pine Street in Tahoma. Operated by the Tahoe Cedars Property Owner’s Association and the TCPUD, the park offers a stage and seating area, and is home to the beloved Movies in the Park. It also has a playground for kids and a variety of youth summer programs.

Chill at Meeks Bay Resort and Marina: Whether you elect to play in the sun, enjoy water sports, hike mountain trails or just be alone, comfortable lakefront lodging and modern campsites welcome you for a fun day. Day guests are invited to sunbathe on the white sand beaches, barbecue their catch, play in Lake Tahoe waters or take advantage of the boat ramp and water sport facilities. Additionally, the Visitor’s Center has a snack bar, conference, meeting rooms and convenience store.


More fun at West Shore! The West Shore Café and Inn has indoor dining, along with an expansive outdoor lakefront restaurant. The West Shore’s calendar is packed with year-round events like free lakeside s’mores, movies on the lawn, live music, half-priced dinner entrees, lawn games and beyond. This is an idyllic spot to celebrate special occasions with a spectacular view. Make your reservation today, as they fill up quickly.

For indoor fine dining, check out the recently remodeled Swiss Lakewood in Homewood. In 2021, the Vodka Garden was added onto the property, adding a large outdoor dining experience to the beloved spot. Having been open for over 100 years, it’s a multi-generational tradition for many; both tourists and locals enjoy coming here. Order the lamb chops or duck breast.

Sunnyside Resort offers two dining options: the Lakeside Dining Room, serving fresh seafood, premium steaks and an award-winning wine list, and the Mountain Grill, serving casual fare in a lively ambiance. The two restaurants share Tahoe’s largest lakefront deck, the center of the West Shore’s social scene.

The West Shore towns of Tahoma and Homewood have lots in store. Add more ideas to your agenda.


Tahoe City lies on the shore at the headwaters of the Truckee River, Lake Tahoe’s only water outlet. Here, a mélange of playful year-round activities awaits every visitor. Enjoy the paved trail system along the lake, river rafting, boutique shopping, museums and dining galore. In the summertime, Commons Beach hosts outdoor concerts and movies. Fun fact: Once a destination for travelers to and from the Comstock Lode (1870s) that featured a narrow-gauge railway stop and the steamer S.S. Tahoe, the town’s century-old heritage, historic sites (some claim haunted) and museums provide much history to explore as well.


Your Tahoe City day is off to a sweet start at Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet! Their menu highlights include European-style bread, pastries, chocolates and cakes. Their extensive bakery menu can be found here.


Any of the below adventures should keep you busy all day.

Granlibakken Tahoe Ski Area: Once “Olympic Hill,” a place competitive ski jumpers from around the world would come to break records, this spot offers a truly authentic Tahoe experience. Today, Granlibakken Tahoe is a popular resort. Have fun at its ski and sled areas or consider trying your hand at snowboarding. With half-priced skiing and sledding day tickets for lodging guests, this is an affordable destination for everyone to enjoy during the winter, spanning 74 acres of cross country and snowshoe trails.

Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park: Also at Granlibakken Resort is 65 tree platforms connected by a variety of bridges and zip lines. Ages 5 and up can explore here, as there are beginner, intermediate and advanced courses to choose from. Tahoe Treetop is the first of its kind in California and is open year-round.

Tahoe City Winter Sports Park: The Tahoe City Winter Sports Park features cross-country skiing, an ice-skating rink, snowshoeing and a small sled hill for kids. They also have ski and snowshoe rentals, along with a walking route. Good news: It’s a dog-friendly course, so no need to leave your pup at home. As an added community benefit, the trails are groomed seven days a week. Everyone can get out and enjoy the park during the week as well; you’ll just need your own equipment.

Sightsee by bike: The West Lake Tahoe Bike Path goes from Tahoe City down to the West Shore. Cycling visitors won’t want to miss it; it’s 10.31 miles with an elevation of 404 feet, so you know a great workout’s in store. Cruise by restaurants, rent watersports equipment, camp out or hang by the water along the way. There’s also a great path from Tahoe City to Olympic Valley. Check it out here.


Reset at the Bridgetender Tavern & Grill, a local favorite for both lunch and dinner. Try a burger, sandwich, ribs, homemade soup or salad, plus enjoy the full bar for a midday mimosa or refreshing beer. You won’t miss it; it’s the cozy log cabin on the Truckee River. In the summer, make sure to grab a seat outside for the unbeatable views. Oh, and their menus are fun, too.


Now that the outdoor sports have been checked off the list, take Tahoe City at a slower pace with a few of our recommendations.

Shop at the Boatworks Mall: This spot features lakeside specialty shops and restaurants. The shopping and dining are indoor and year-round, and it’s the only enclosed lakefront shopping mall on the North Shore. Take home a Tahoe memento for a loved one that they’ll cherish for years to come.

Exercise your creative brain at The Eadington Gallery: This is a digital imaging, framing and art consultation business. Browse photography that truly encapsulates the Tahoe spirit and take home a piece of Tahoe City with you.

Experience a concert or movie at Commons Beach: Every Wednesday at dusk (the movies portion) and Sunday afternoons in the summer (the concerts) is this FREE entertainment series. Perfect for the whole family, this is a great way to unwind after a fun-filled Tahoe City day. You’re in luck: The beach features four acres, barbeques, group facilities, picnic tables, a playground, public bathrooms and nearby public transit to make getting here a breeze. Outside of the movies and concerts, Commons Beach is popular for tanning, swimming and picnicking.


Jake’s on the Lake is the ultimate lakefront dining experience and the perfect conclusion to your Tahoe City agenda. Since 1978, this spot has embodied a carefree Tahoe spirit in a classic waterfront grill setting. Their superb service, friendly atmosphere and sweeping lake views make this a spot worthy of your bucket list. It overlooks the largest marina on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, and is central to Tahoe’s best summer activities, plus 10 minutes from winter skiing at nearby Palisades Tahoe. Try and time your visit on an evening when live music is planned.

There’s more to see in Tahoe City. For all our activity and dining ideas, plus lodging options, travel this way.


Just five miles down the Truckee River lies Alpine Meadows, a town loved for four seasons of fun. Between hiking on Ward and Scott’s peaks to biking or fly-fishing Bear Creek, Alpine Meadows is a resort community for both recreation and relaxation. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders can revel in the adventure of Palisades Tahoe. Speaking of which, fun fact: Palisades Tahoe boasts the highest snowfall of any Lake Tahoe resort (402 inches annually, on average). Now, time for your agenda. 


Good morning, Viva Treats! Located in Palisades Tahoe is this efficient, on-the-go spot. Grab something tasty on your way to the mountain. Located right in the breezeway, Viva Treats serves breakfast, coffee, gourmet deli items from scratch, warm chocolate chip cookies and other sweet delicacies.


Caffeine: Check. Sugar: Check! Now time for some adventure at Palisades Tahoe, which offers classic tree skiing and wide-open bowls. They also have frequent deals, which you and your family can find here. The resort captures and honors two of the resort’s most legendary arenas, one on the Olympic Valley side and the other on the Alpine Meadows side. Here, granite walls rise all around, where generations of free skiers made their mark. Enjoy 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains at the more than 70-year-old resort, which celebrates a rich history as the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Spring Skiing Capital and home to dozens of Olympic and World cup athletes across multiple snow sports. You’ll feel like a pro in no time! Plus, the new base-to-base gondola opened—just another reason to include this acclaimed destination on the itinerary.

Not a skier, or here in the warmer months? Venture into the Alpine Meadows backcountry for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. Pro tip: Book the Alpine Meadows Stables for a scenic tour through the Tahoe National Forest on gentle horses with experienced guides.

Next, head to the water! Fly fishing in Bear Creek is a popular attraction for town visitors. Here’s a great resource for making the most out of the sport.


Take things Bavarian style at The Chalet, a beer garden and restaurant. Try the signature raclette (melted Swiss cheese) or a deliciously pressed sandwich with one of six different beers on tap. Cozy up inside at a booth or post up on the deck and soak up the sun.


After a beer or two, our itinerary slows down a bit. Ice Bar is a no-frills pit-stop on Alpine Meadows’ backside, where you can grab a drink in the sun. Skiers and riders on the backside can kick back in a lounge chair with a cold beverage and barbecued bratwurst.


The River Ranch Lodge sits on the banks of the scenic Truckee River. It features 19 rooms, a dining room and bar cantilevered over the river, a second dining room with a warm stone fireplace and a spacious riverside patio. Order the famous ranch nachos or an artisan cheese plate.

Find more information about Alpine Meadows here.


Halfway between Truckee and Lake Tahoe lies Olympic Valley, one of the most famed and inspiring alpine settings of Palisades Tahoe. Alex Cushing and Wayne Poulsen are the guys credited with opening the valley for human enjoyment. Hosting the 1960 Olympic Winter Games didn’t hurt the valley’s popularity either! Palisades Tahoe also lies here, boasting 3,600 acres of skiing and riding across six peaks. The melting snow transforms Olympic Valley from a winter wonderland to an outdoor paradise, with miles of hiking trails, bike paths and activities like paintball, disc golf, roller skating and swimming. When it comes time to hit the hay, there are 4-star hotels, lofty condos and cabins. If you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or an adventure you can write home about, this valley’s got it all. Fun fact: Palisades Tahoe is a designated California Historical Landmark and was named a Pioneer Ski Area of America.


Let’s start today off on the right foot (er, ski?) with a healthy meal. In The Village at Palisades Tahoe is SunBowl Acai & Poke, a brand-new breakfast joint serving fresh and fully customizable acai bowls. If acai isn’t your thing, order a breakfast sandwich, pastry, espresso or smoothie. This is a great choice to prepare for your day on the hill. Their menu is here.


Just like the Alpine Meadows agenda, we can’t recommend Palisades Tahoe enough. All sorts of outdoor adventures thrive here, but to discover your favorite, check here.

What activity combines all the best parts of climbing, hiking and scrambling? Tahoe Via Ferrata does. This newly opened sport allows you to ascend an 800-foot vertical cliff, plus it doesn’t require any specialized climbing skills. Now, for the first time, you can explore the previously inaccessible terrain of Tram Face, high above Olympic Valley’s floor. Rock on!


For a quick and easy lunch, head to The Arc in Gold Coast Lodge at Palisades Tahoe. The Arc has specialty food stations with soups, salads, gourmet pizzas, grilled items and Asian cuisine. Grab a spot on the outdoor deck to bask in the sun’s rays and catch the slope’s action.

Want to head to Ireland for lunch? The Auld Dubliner Irish Pub & Restaurant is in the Village at Palisades Tahoe (are you sensing a trend here?) and was the first authentic Irish pub in this region imported directly from Dublin. Try authentic Irish fare, premium beers and spirits, plus enjoy live entertainment.


Downward dog your way through Olympic Valley. Palisades Yoga Studio is a gorgeous 1,000-square foot studio in The Village. They have weekly classes offering various styles, no matter if you’re brand new or an experienced Yogi. Try a Yoga for Strength class, or the Vinyasa or Align & Flow classes. They also offer Relax and Gentle classes, too, after hitting the slopes. Their schedule is here.

Another agenda idea: Learn more about the history of this famed ski town at the Olympic Museum. Visitors of all ages will enjoy time traveling to the 1960 Winter Olympics, held right here in the valley. Browse memorabilia, news articles and video presentations detailing all the magical moments that took place. P.S. Admission is free with your aerial tram ride.

Opt for a chill round of sunset disc golf before dinner. You can take the aerial tram up to Palisades’ 9-hole course. Friendly competition amidst panoramic lake views and the surrounding Sierras have never felt better. You can bring your own discs or purchase a set at the High Camp Marketplace.

You can also take in the town’s beauty from a gondola. Palisades Tahoe’s scenic aerial tram is a panoramic 10-minute ride, soaring above the iconic Tram Face and offering stunning mountain and lake views. It ends at Palisades Tahoe’s High Camp, located at 8,200 feet above sea level. You won’t want to come down!


Top things off with PlumpJack Café. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Jack Connell, their award-winning wine list provides the perfect complement to your meal, and renowned winemakers join throughout the year for wine dinners and special events. Summer lunch is served daily on the patio, too.

Still wanting more? Visit our site for fun in Olympic Valley.