Last summer, Lake Tahoe's environment and its residents took a beating from both COVID-19 and the influx of visitors looking for a mountain escape from lockdown in Bay Area cities.
This year, both sides of the lake are opening up to visitors, but with a sharpened focus on responsible travel.
The Lake Tahoe region is asking all visitors to enjoy the area but to first familiarize themselves with the new Traveler Responsibility Pledge, which has six tenets that align with local sustainability initiatives. The goal is to advise visitors and residents alike on how we can all reduce our impact on the area and help keep Tahoe blue, clear, and open for everyone.
Take the pledge, then take our annual list of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe over the summer. This year's feature celebrates small and eco-friendly businesses; outdoor dining and activities; and natural remedies to city life.
Help keep Tahoe clean and blue by downloading the Citizen Science Tahoe app to report litter, water quality issues, and more.(Christina Nelleman)
Bring the dog and gather round a fire pit to see the stars as you never have before with Tahoe Star Tours at Dark Skies Cosmoarium, Thursday and Sundays through June 17th (Northstar); tahoestartours.com.
Interested in backpacking the Tahoe Rim Trail, but short on time? Plan a segment hike of 16 to 32 miles; tahoerimtrail.org.
Before you hit the trail or beach, pick up a delicious boxed lunch from Bella Tahoe (Stateline); bellatahoe.com.
Download the Citizen Science Tahoe app to report litter sightings, poor water quality, and more; citizensciencetahoe.org.
Get up close and personal with the lake on a SUP or clear kayak rental from Wild Society (King's Beach); wildsocietylt.com.
Look cool on the beach in renewable wooden sunglasses from Tahoe Timber; tahoetimber.com.
Keep an eye out for Nick Mitchell's daily Tahoe swims, and make a donation to his campaign to benefit Cecily's Fund for impoverished kids in Zambia.
You'll help keep Tahoe blue when you buy your green from Cannablue cannabis dispensary, which donates a portion of proceeds to local sustainability and environmental initiatives (South Lake Tahoe); cannablue.com.
Spend a weekend on an organic farm at the Green Toad B&B (Garden Valley); thegreentoad.com. While you're there, pick up a vegetarian platter from Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant (El Dorado Hills); afghancuisine.com.
Shop for driftwood art and Tahoe stickers at Wildwood Makers Market (South Lake Tahoe); wildwoodmakersmarket.com.
Camp, glamp, and raft on the American River with Raft California; raftcalifornia.com.
Wander the streets of Nevada City with a saffron rose pistachio ice cream from Treats (Nevada City); treatsnevadacity.com.
Order the Snowmelt cocktail inside a private igloo at Fumo (Incline Village); fumotahoe.com.
Plan an overnight kayak trip on the Tahoe Water Trail; laketahoewatertrail.org.
Walk along the East Shore Trail from Sand Harbor (Incline Village); travelnevada.com. Fuel up for the walk back with Swedish oatmeal pancakes at the Tunnel Creek Cafe (Incline Village); tunnelcreekcafe.com.
Practice your fling at the Zephyr Cove Disc Golf Course (Zephyr Cove); pdga.com.
Dine with sand in your shoes and waterfront views at the Beach House (South Lake Tahoe); beachhousetahoe.com.
Savor the Dirt Candy ale, made with foraged mushrooms, from The Good Wolf (Truckee); thegoodwolfbrewing.com.
Relish in an herbal facial made with local plants at Sage Spa Tahoe (Tahoe City); sagespatahoe.com.
Relax next to the Feather River and learn a little mountain history at the Blackbird Inn (Clio); blackbird-inn.com.
Escape the crowds in the small town of Verdi (pronounced ver-die), Nevada, located on the Truckee River along the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail. While you're there, grab burgers at Chop 40 or the mango blackberry salad at Sasquatch Tavern.
Work out your quads on the trails at Northstar California (Truckee); ritzcarlton.com.
Having a socially distanced function? The Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel (South Lake Tahoe) is the first hotel in the area to offer zero-waste events; tahoeresorthotel.com.
Roll up to Tahoe's most beloved food trucks. Chow on a Naan-Dog at Red Truck (Truckee); Tip-Dip at Big Blue Q (Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, Reno); and ethically crafted salad and curry bowls at EATS Cooking Co. (Truckee), which is expected to reopen this summer.
Tap your toes to live music on the lawn at the Dew Drop Inn (Grass Valley); restaurantji.com.
See what all the fuss is about Delta-8 at Tahoe CBD (South Lake Tahoe); tahoecbd.com.
Practice the the ultimate in social distancing when you fly 1,000 feet above the lake during a parasailing trip with Action Water Sports (South Lake Tahoe and Zephyr Cove); action-watersports.com.
Avoid traffic and parking headaches with free transit and shuttles from Linking Tahoe; linkingtahoe.com.