The Tahoe Queen, at twenty-six-year-old paddleboat built on the Mississippi River, embarks on a scenic cruise.

Day One

Bike the Truckee River

STAY at Sunnyside Steakhouse & Lodge ( Originally built as a summer home on the West Shore in 1908, Sunnyside was renovated and became a resort in 1946. Today it has twenty-three guest rooms, nineteen with lake views, some with river-rock fireplaces and private balconies. Room 39, "Secret Harbor‚" has a terrific view of the lake, and rooms 38 ("Echo Lake") and 37 ("Edgewater") also have good views. All three have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and goose-down bedding. Sunnyside’s broad decks are right on the water, just above the full-service marina and piers. There’s a formal dining room, but you’ll want a table outside. Check out the second-floor library and tea nook, as well as the historical photos lining the walls. Breakfast is complimentary, so fill up.

WALK across the road to CyclePaths ( and rent bikes. From here, you’ll have access to some of the area’s best single-track mountain biking (get maps at the shop). It’s also fun to follow the paved bike trail along the lakeside road and dip down to the Truckee River. The Truckee flows out of Lake Tahoe and runs up through Squaw Valley and Truckee, and on to Reno. It’s a six-mile ride to Squaw Valley, with plenty of places to stop for a picnic and a swim. Before you hit the river trail, stop by the popular Dam Café and pick up made-to-order sandwiches or breakfast burritos.

IN SQUAW VALLEY (, prowl around the recently redeveloped Squaw Village ( nice shops and restaurants, plus a ridiculously fun bungee trampoline for kids. Ride the cable car (opens June 20) to High Camp to swim in the pool or ice-skate—the rink is open year-round.

BACK IN TAHOE CITY, go for drinks (or an elk burger and waffle fries) at the Bridgetender, a log-cabin tavern that locals are devoted to. You can easily bike there from Sunnyside, or make the walk (a little over two miles). Dinner is next door at River Grill (, where you can grab an outside table or one inside, by the fireplace. The extensive wine list features Northwest and Napa and Sonoma Valley wines, and the California-cuisine menu offers such dishes as Sonoma goat cheese, chard, and garlic ravioli with roasted portobello and Roma tomato sauce, or a roasted Berkshire Farms pork chop with buttery whipped potatoes, watercress, and a pecan-mushroom cream sauce.

IF you get the chance, go back to Squaw for a sunset or a full-moon hike.