Life’s A Picnic: Our Guide to Picnicking in Lake Tahoe
The saying Life’s a picnic is especially true when that picnic takes place in the crisp air, blue skies, and perfect temperatures of Lake Tahoe! Let the Sierra Nevada Mountains serve as the visual backdrop, and the soft crashing of the waves provide the perfect soundtrack for an intimate escape with a loved one or family. There is plenty of time left for you to plan that perfect Tahoe picnic and our recommendations will make it effortless.
They say that the devil is in the details and this especially true when planning a meal outside of your home. The smallest detail can make or break your experience, so here is some food for thought as you start planning.
Let's start by answering some basic questions: How many people are coming? where are you headed? You do not want to lug a cooler uphill for 2 miles or not having enough food for your entire family either, so plan accordingly. If you choose a picnic location near BBQ pits, tables, and close parking you can bring a medium/large cooler and plan to set up for the entire afternoon. But if you prefer more secluded or remote locations that require hiking then a light basket or insulated backpack will be your best friend.
Goodies & Snacks
Now that you have the basics sorted out let’s move on to the vital part, FOOD! There is no shortage of options in Lake Tahoe so here are our top picks:
- Takeout: All restaurants and food vendors have streamlined the ordering process (some restaurants offer online ordering too) during the pandemic and that means it’s a breeze to get your favorite food ready to go and catch a sunset or take in the Tahoe views.
Bonus Tip: Have the food come to you. Use Doordash or Uber Eats to get the food while you get ready and get it delivered so you can start picnicking sooner.
- Charcuterie/Snacks: There’s something about meats, cheeses, gourmet sandwiches, and wine that fit perfect for a picnic. Head over to The Cork & More for their picnics-to-go packages that give you everything you need (baskets with tableware and glasses for two for $5.00 rental fee). Another popular choice is Overland Meat Market as they have a great selection for picnic snacks, wines, and meats ready for the BBQ.
- Supermarket: You don’t need to overthink a picnic! You can always visit Raley’s or Safeway and pick up some sandwiches, endless snacks, and your choice of beverages without breaking the bank.
Bonus Tip: Raley’s offers online ordering so avoid the lines and have them do all the legwork. Just pull up to the designated pick-up parking area and they will run it out with your order.
Location, Location, Location
There are endless places to take in all of Lake Tahoe’s beauty. Here are some quick recommendations for you.
- Lakeview Commons – An easy 5-minute walk that offers tables and BBQ areas or sit on the stone amphitheater type tiering giving you front views of Lake Tahoe
- Beach – There’s no wrong choice selecting a beautiful beach along Lake Tahoe’s shores. We recommend Nevada Beach that’ll provide beautiful views of Mt. Tallac and the western Sierra Nevada range. There are also tables and bbq areas closer to the parking lot but take a blanket to the beach for a more intimate experience.
- Top of the world – If you like a nice hike and want to get away from the crowd nothing beats a picnic on the top of Mt. Tallac but be warned it is a strenuous hike to get there. The east shore has plenty of secluded areas like Skunk Harbor, Chimney Beach, and tons of little nooks that will provide a private picnic experience.
When you’re ready to wrap up and all of the food has been consumed it’s time to clean up and pack it out. Always do your part to Keep Tahoe Blue by picking up your trash and leave it cleaner than you found it to ensure that others get to experience the perfect clean Lake Tahoe picnic experience. If you need any help with suggestions on picnic ideas our friendly front desk staff will provide great ideas and tips. Book your stay online, call 1.800.877.1466, or email [email protected].