On one particular day in the month of May, my father and I went for the shakedown cruise on his Sea Ray motorboat. The first voyage of the year was a trip up to Zephyr Cove from Lakeside Marina at Stateline Beach, where the boat is moored. It was just about an hour-long trip, but enthralling even to this lifelong Tahoe resident. Big white puffy clouds spotted the sky, and the windless day made the lake flat and glassy — ideal for a boat ride. There are many types of sea-going vessels to enjoy a day on the lake, from a sternwheeler tour to Emerald Bay or a paddleboat cruise in and around the nooks and crannies of Zephyr Cove or Marla Bay.
The longest day with sunlight happens in June, so it gives people plenty of time to enjoy themselves in, on and around the lake. The snow that will most likely stay on the mountain tops throughout the summer will provide a brilliant contrast with Tahoe’s deep blue water, and producing some great photographs to share with family and friends and maybe even strangers. Really, any vantage point is ideal to take pictures of the lake, but being on a boat and navigating around the shoreline gives the shutterbug an opportunity to get some great shots, and it is fun and adventurous. First, find a boat; if you don’t have one call your friend with a boat or stop by one of many marinas that offer rentals, such as Lakeside Marina at Stateline on the California side and right down from Harveys casino. Kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards are fun too and provide a peaceful and quiet ride, plus they are easier to pull over and stop on just about any type of shoreline.
Back to the boat ride: we putted out of the channel and headed north along the shore going by Edgewood Golf Course and the soon to be completed Edgewood Lodge that is scheduled for a June opening date. Then to the long stretch of Nevada Beach, where a dog beach on the south end is becoming more and more popular each year for people to bring their furry friends. People were flinging Frisbee’s and tennis balls to the very eager pooches ready to retrieve. The beach is open and ready for a long hot summer. Plenty of room on this beach to spend the day, with picnic tables and public barbeques, it’s fun for everything.
Onward around Elk Point and into Marla Bay to Round Hill Pines Resort, we weaved around the many boats tied to buoys and toward the pier that is currently under reconstruction to make it several hundred feet longer. The Pines is a perfect spot to make a pit stop, with two beach-side bars that offer specialty cocktails and great hamburgers. We didn’t stop that day for lunch, so out of Marla Bay and then around Zephyr Point and into Zephyr Cove, another popular resort and beach spot for people of all ages. The pier that moors the M.S. Dixie II sternwheeler and the Woodwind II catamaran divides the beach into two different subcultures, if you will, with the south section populated by high school to college aged beach goers, and having a spring break like atmosphere. While the northern section is a bit more relaxed and subdued but not boring, the lake itself provides all the excitement one could need. We could have kept going, but there’s plenty of summer to have another cruise, so we zoomed back to Lakeside and marveled at what a nice hour beautiful Lake Tahoe just gave us.
— Brendan Packer