(Courtesy of @_kingkeniaa)

4 New Ways to Sail Lake Tahoe—From a Powerboat Picnic to a Romantic Gondola

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The snow is rapidly (and finally) melting and Big Blue is full of promise for summer boaters itching to get out on the water. And now more than ever, there are interesting ways to do so, whether you book a Venetian-style gondola or a ride on a pristine Chris Craft water taxi. Here's how to get out and explore the secluded coves and keys of our beloved mountain lake.

(Courtesy of Tahoe Amore)


That's Amore!

If a trip to Venice isn't in the cards, journey to the South Shore where gondolier Drew Sainte Marie is offering a Venetian-style experience through his recently opened Tahoe Amore, located in the Tahoe Keys. Small groups are welcome, but couples will especially appreciate sipping mimosas during the morning cruise or canoodling beneath the night sky during the "Starry Eyed Surprise." All cruises are "just shy of an hour," and while Tahoe Amore offers extras (think Champagne and rose petals or even a message in a bottle), you are free to BYOB. // $105-$145; 2435 Venice Drive E. (South Lake Tahoe), tahoeamore.com


Catch a rainbow or brown trout for your custom dinner at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe's Lone Eagle Grille.(Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe)

Catch Your Own Dinner

Lake Tahoe is not only overflowing with snowmelt, it's also teeming with fish. To take full advantage of this pescatarian bounty, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe has partnered with Action Water Sports to offer a "line to table" fishing excursion. You'll board a 28-foot Bertram Sportfish charter and set out lines to tempt the lake's rainbow, mackinaw or brown trout, or perhaps even catch a much-sought-after kokanee salmon. If you snag a fish, the chef back at the resort's Lone Eagle Grille will prepare your prized catch to order. This tour is best for early birds, and it includes bait, tackle, refreshments and a tutorial from the boat's captain. Contact either the hotel or Action Water Sports to ask about Fishable Lake Tahoe tours. // $200 per person or $1,000 for private charter ($33/person for dinner, excluding tax, gratuity, alcohol); Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, 111 Country Club Drive (Incline Village), laketahoe.regency.hyatt.com; Action Sports, 967 Lakeshore Blvd. (Incline Village), awsincline.com

Several rental and picnic options are available at Homewood's High & Dry Marina.(Courtesy of SWA Watersports)

Powerboat With a Picnic

If you want to explore Emerald Bay and the blue coves of Rubicon Point, reserve a premium boat—the offering includes a 21-foot Chaparral and a 26-foot Four Winns—through SWA Watersports at the West Shore Café & Inn. Order up a specialty picnic baskets, and throw in some tubes and kneeboards for extra fun in the wake. You'll plan to pick up your picnic basket at the dock or have the marina bring it to you out on the water. Each basket ($120) feeds four people and includes sandwiches, beverages, slaw or fruit. // Rentals start at $640 for four hours; 5160 W Lake Blvd., Suite A (Homewood), swawatersports.com


Sample Northern Californian wines on the only Chris Craft Venetian Water Taxi in the world.(Courtesy of Tahoe Tastings)

Wine and views on the Golden Rose

Sip Champagne and sample Northern Californian wines as you take in the views of of the Tahoe Keys and Emerald Bay aboard the gorgeous 40-foot Golden Rose—a 1953 Chris Craft Venetian Water Taxi, and the only one like it in the world. This luxury ride is all elegance, clad in mahogany, cedar, ironbark and pernambuco woods. The tour, hosted by Tahoe Tastings, promises sips from such wineries as Calistoga's Brian Arden Wines, Naggiar Vineyards in Grass Valley, TooGood Estate in El Dorado County, and the Truckee River Winery. Daily and sunset ($60-$90/hour) tours, as well as private charters ($500/hour) and holiday and special event tours are available. // 2435 Venice Drive (South Lake Tahoe), tahoetastings.com

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