Best Time to Visit Lake Tahoe

January
February
July

When Not to Visit
May

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Lake Tahoe has four distinct seasons, though if you’re looking for outdoor adventure, the best times to visit are winter and summer. Between November and May, when the snow flies, 11 resorts offer skiing and snowboarding from peaks towering over awesome views of the lake. Temps linger around 40 degrees, and crowds can get quite crazy at the ski lifts—come during the week if you can. Practically every weekend during winter, visitors can find pro snow-sports events to watch (such as the Van’s Triple Crown of Snowboarding) and amateur contests to take part in (check out the popular HuckFest Big Air Series).
 
During the height of summer, Fourth of July celebrations sound off with dramatic over-the-water fireworks displays held at various points around the lake. Later in July, fans of film, television, and sports flock to the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, held at the lakefront Edgewood Tahoe; the 2011 lineup included Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, and Ray Romano. June, July, and August are the warmest months, with temps in the high 70s, but they also bring the most crowds—during major summer holiday weekends, traffic to and from the lake can come to a standstill.
 
In early August, the Reno-Tahoe Open, a PGA tournament, attracts some of the biggest names in professional golf. Other popular summer events include the outdoor Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (the outdoor stage is lakeside) and the Concours d’Elegance Wooden Boat Show, a two-day festival and aquatic parade of antique wooden watercraft.
 
Spring and fall shoulder seasons feature fewer events, but that also means the crowds are thinner. The weather is pleasant enough, and you’re likely to find some major bargains on normally jacked-up in-season prices. In May and even into June, it might be snowing, or it might be 75 degrees, so come prepared for anything. September’s 72-mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe sells out every year, but if you miss that, there’s always Lake Tahoe Marathon Week, which features everything from a triple marathon (a 72-mile jaunt around the lake) to a 5K.

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