Seriously, what’s not to love about the 4th of July? Hot dogs, brewskies, sunshine and red, white and blue all day long.
I love this holiday! Mainly because I get to play country music and head to the lake. This year a few friends and I decided to head to Lake Tahoe for the 4th (for my first time) and see what all the hype was about.
It was a GREAT weekend and now I see why people go to Tahoe for the 4th. Here’s what to expect on the 4th of July in Tahoe if you plan to go!
1. Beach parties. The best beach parties happen in Tahoe on the 4th. Some are more popular than others, but the biggest rager beaches are beaches like Zephyr Cove, Kings Beach, and Chambers Landing Beach. We opted for a middle of the road beach since we weren’t super into raging our faces off this year. We ended up at Meek’s Bay (really close to Chambers) and it ended up being an interesting mix of families, college kids, and underage partiers. Let’s just say it was interesting people watching… Good thing the beach was beautiful so we got a good mix of relaxation and partying.
2. Fireworks shows all over the water. You can see the fireworks from anywhere on the lake which is awesome! They do different shows depending on what side of the lake you’re staying on. We stayed in Tahoe City (North Lake) and could see them perfectly across the water.
3. Heavy (but manageable) crowds and traffic. This is one of the busiest times to come to Lake Tahoe. The traffic is heavy and the crowds are even heavier. If you’re going to a beach make sure to stake it out early! If you’re driving in and out from SF be sure to get prepped for heavy traffic and long driving times.
5. Stunning scenery. Lake Tahoe is GORG! Literally, everywhere you look you’ll see stunning views. We hiked a bit to the Stateline Fire Lookout on the Nevada border and got some great snaps of North Lake Tahoe. The water is also the bluest blue and when I swam in it I could see the bottom so clearly, I felt like I was in Cancun.
6. BBQ, Brews and Red, White and Blue. Wouldn’t be the 4th with out a true American BBQ, some beers and the colors of our flag. We enjoyed grilling (each night), drinking cheap beer and sticking to our rule of wearing Red, White and Blue at ALL times.
7. Lake activities. So many lake activities in Tahoe. We ended up renting because no one around us had things to use. There are tons of places on the lake to rent stand up paddle boards, jet skiis, boats, and even rides to go parasailing. I recommend booking early if you can! We ended up SUPing on the 4th and got 5 paddle boards really easily in Tahoe City right on the spot. We also rented a boat on the 5th and it was discounted.
8. Low water levels. The water levels are extremely low in Tahoe due to a lack of snow run-off for the past few years. Some of the beaches are gone and tide is really far from shore. Some of the docks had to even be rebuilt to reach the water. It’s actually quite sad, but all of the main beaches are still intact and ready for you!
9. July 5th clears out! We went boating early morning on July 5th and wish we had stayed in Tahoe the entire day. Stay up there if you can because the crowds will have all cleared out and the lake is like glass because no one’s on it. It’s a perfect day to stay and relax if you can swing it.
Have you been to Tahoe for the 4th? Did I miss anything?
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.