Halfway between Sacramento, California, and the world’s biggest little city, Reno, Nevada, is one of the most popular outdoor destinations. Lake Tahoe, one of the better-known lakes in the country, can be found where bustling California meets Nevada in the Sierra Nevada region.

Outdoor Recreation Destination

Lake Tahoe is perhaps the best way to escape the glitz and glam of shopping and casino lights. As one of the largest lakes in the country, it is almost as large as the Great Lakes.

This breathtaking outdoor area can be enjoyed almost all year. Sure, the winters get cold, but the rolling hills and mountains provide challenging skiing. There are numerous ski resorts in the area, and many different winter sports are popular.

In the hotter seasons, the lake comes alive with visitors from all over the world. Although not a traditional beach on the west or east coasts of the country, it would be difficult to tell the two apart.

As summer rolls in, guests will head out into the water for sailing, skiing, tubing, and even SCUBA diving. Lake diving may sound odd at first, but the Tahoe’s deepest point is 1,645 feet deep. For comparison, the Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall, including its antenna.

Entertainment Events

If simply taking in what nature has to offer isn’t quite exciting enough, don’t worry. Lake Tahoe has grown to become a major local hub for arts and entertainment. There are many special events that take place, as well as unique educational opportunities as well.

Live music presented around the lake isn’t limited to summer beach music, either. The final weekend of the year fights off the winter blues with the annual SnowGlobe Music Festival. Taking place in California’s South Tahoe region, this annual festival combines many different acts, genres, and styles for a unique outdoor concert series.

If that sounds a little too chilly for your tastes, you can always check out the summer concert series at Kings Beach State Recreation Area. Music on the Beach’s Free Concert Fridays brings together exciting local acts and favorited local sponsors to offer free evening concerts from late June to early September.

The Nevada side of the lake also has its own live events as well. Instead of being Lake Tahoe-specific, the city offers numerous specialty events, many of which do incorporate the state park. Mother’s Day Weekend incorporates the lake’s outflow river, Truckee River, as a city-wide white-water competition. This annual favorited event is called the Reno River Festival, and it should be on your list if you’re in town.

The Bard Comes to Tahoe

If you’re looking for live entertainment that’s a little heavier on the classics, you’ll want to attend the Shakespeare on the Lake Festival. This annual event combines the best live stage actors in the area with food, fun, and stunning surrounding scenery.

Each year the lake comes alive with family friendly entertainment. If you arrive early, you can enjoy some great food and wine offerings sold at Shakespeare’s Kitchen & Bar, which sure beats $10 hot dogs and stale popcorn buckets.

Usually the festival offers two different shows to catch, each one requiring separate tickets, or the Two-Show Subscription Package. This is an outdoor performance area, meaning that it is susceptible to weather closures.

If you or anyone else in your family has shown an interest in the arts, the program does offer an all ages educational program. Dubbed Young Shakespeare, this program not only entertains, but educates. This is a free event during the festivities, although donations are suggested.

Award-Winning Park

If stunning scenery, live entertainment, and year-round recreation aren’t enough to convince you, Lake Tahoe is an award-winning park. In fact, it’s a beloved region for tourists and residents alike, and it would be weird if someone hadn’t taken notice.

In 2012, USA TODAY award Lake Tahoe with the title of “America’s Best Lake”. It should be noted that this award is voted on by the paper’s users, making it a real honor to be voted for.

The overwhelming popularity by the public can be further seen by other organizations recognizing the lake. The 2010-2011 season was regarded as the best winter skiing by Rand McNally, while travel site Orbitz gave it a top spot for three consecutive years in the same category. Other praises come from TripAdvisor, naming it a #1 destination, as well as publications like SKI Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding, and other local and international travel groups.

If nothing else, visitors should come for the kitschy tourist stuff and stay for the lake. It’s well within the limits of multiple cities, yet peaceful enough to feel like you’re an entire world away.