Lake Tahoe is known internationally for its rare natural beauty, fantastic vistas, sandy beaches, and pristine wilderness. It boasts a year-round playground for an enormous variety of outdoor activities as well as being a premier destination for vacations, weddings, and gambling.
America’s best-known writer, Mark Twain, (author of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) visited Lake Tahoe in 1861. He was astounded by the beauty of the lake, and in the book Roughing It wrote:
“At last the lake burst upon us – a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft three thousand feet higher still. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords.”
Lake Tahoe is North America’s highest alpine lake, located at 1882.4 meters (6,176 feet) above sea level in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was formed naturally by fault movement and glacial action millions of years ago. It is surrounded by vast pine forests that are alive with wildlife and wildflowers in the spring, summer and autumn, and covered with pure glistening snow in the winter. It is know for its crystal clear blue waters, framed by snow-capped peaks and surrounded by sandy beaches and giant granite boulders.
According to TripAdvisor.com , Lake Tahoe is the #1 vacation destination in the United States and the #10 tourist destination in the world. It is the combination of extraordinary beauty, sports, cultural and outdoor activities, perfect weather, and proximity to many other areas of interest that make it a favorite destination. The area around the Institute remains uncrowded and unspoiled.
The sun shines in Lake Tahoe 75% of the time- 274 days a year- on average. Lake Tahoe is just west of a vast desert, and enjoys very low humidity, with near perfect temperatures of an average high of 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) and a low of 4.4 C (40 F) in the summer, to perfect winter sports weather of an average high of 5 C (41 F) and lows of 9.4 C (15 F) in January. In the winter, Tahoe averages 3.17 meters (125 inches) of snow at the lake level, and 7.52-12.7 meters (300-500 inches) of excellent snow at alpine sports elevations. Here is the current weather!
The water at Lake Tahoe is cold and clear, 99.9% pure. It is the 10th deepest lake in the world at 501 meters (1645 feet) deep, and is 35.4 Km long by 19.3 Km wide (22 miles long by 12 miles wide). The lake never freezes because of its great depth. In fact, Lake Tahoe has so much water that if all the water was released, it would cover the State of California to a depth of 36.8 cm (14.5 inches), or Spain to a depth of 29.1 cm (11.46 inches) or Europe to a depth of 11 cm (4.34 inches) or China to a depth of 16.5 mm! It is as long as the English Channel is wide.
Famous for the clear blue of its water, Lake Tahoe appears so stunningly turquoise blue because of the depth, purity and clarity of the water, and because of the reflection of the dark blue skies at high elevation. The average visibility is almost 25 meters (80 feet).
Half of Lake Tahoe is located in the State of California, the other half in the State of Nevada, where the Lake Tahoe Institute of English is located. The Lake Tahoe basin includes 63,475 acres of pristine wilderness filled with hundreds of glacial lakes, sub-Alpine forests, valleys and granite peaks. There are 115.8 Km (72 miles) of sandy shoreline. Local wildlife includes black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, California wolverines, bobcats, martens, red fox, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, mule deer, northern goshawks, ospreys, raccoons, beavers, chipmunks, gold-mantled ground squirrels, red-tailed hawks, mountain chickadees, Stellar’s jays and much more.
In 1960 the Winter Olympics were held at nearby Squaw Valley Ski Resort , and today there are more than a dozen world-class ski resorts nearby , including Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, Northstar, Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Mount Rose Ski Resort, and Diamond Peak Ski Resort, which is located only five minutes away from the Lake Tahoe Institute of English.
The golfing is spectacular at Lake Tahoe, with 39 nearby golf courses in stunning lakeside and mountain or valley settings. The Lake Tahoe Institute of English is located on the 14th fairway of the Mountain Golf Course in Incline Village. Every year, the Legend’s Reno-Tahoe Open, a part of the PGA Tour, is held at Montreaux Golf Course, only 20 minutes from the Lake Tahoe Institute of English, and the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, which attracts many international sports and cinema celebrities, is held at the Edgewood Country Club only 25 minutes away in South Lake Tahoe.
Gambling is legal in the State of Nevada, and there are many fine casinos and resorts lining the Nevada shore of Lake Tahoe. The City of Reno’s famous entertainment gambling casinos are only 40 minutes away. Many guests enjoy the opportunity to gamble nearby in a unique, luxurious and friendly local mountain setting.
Lake Tahoe is also home to many festivals and cultural events year-round, with many of the finest American and international entertainers performing at the many night clubs in the area. There is always a concert to be heard, a comedy show to laugh at, or dancing to be done in the evenings. There is always something to see or do. Among the well known local festivals are Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, Hot August Nights (a huge antique car show), The Reno Air Races (featuring the fastest air races in America), Reno Hot Air Balloon Races, The Concourse d’Elegance (classic wooden boat show), Winter Snow Fest, and much, much more. Many fine restaurants, art galleries and museums are scattered around the Lake, as well as in nearby Reno.
Lake Tahoe is not only famous for entertainment, gambling and skiing, it is also well known for the enormous variety of other outdoor activities that are available in the immediate area. Tahoe boasts of snowshoeing, hiking, waterskiing and wakeboarding, golfing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, sun bathing, swimming, glider soaring, hang gliding, horseback riding, tennis, shopping, kayaking, windsurfing and other activities too numerous to name.
In sum, Lake Tahoe is a paradise for the outdoor adventurer, lover of outdoor beauty, gambler or entertainment enthusiast. Take a look at some live webcams around Lake Tahoe , or at one of a nearby beach!