Who says you can’t take your dog swimming at Lake Tahoe? True, there are only a few places in South Shore where you can, but we’re not growling. Kiva Beach, at the mouth of Taylor Creek on the lake’s southwest shore, is the No. 1 destination for DogTrekkers. The lake level this year is low enough to reveal a nice, sandy beach, whereas some years, there’s no beach at all. Don’t miss strolling around the adjacent Tallac Historic Site, a fascinating cluster of 19th-century estates that host exhibits, living-history programs, demonstrations, concerts and festivals in summer, right on the water’s edge.
If you’re staying in town and need to stretch your legs and let Lola stretch hers, head for Van Sickle Bi-State Park, a joint venture of the Tahoe Conservancy, Nevada State Parks and other organizations. The trailhead is just across the street from Forest Suites and the Crescent V (Raley’s) shopping center, but don’t even think about parking there; leave your car a couple of blocks away at Harrah’s casino and walk over, instead. The trail zig-zags up a mountain directly beneath the Heavenly Gondola lift line, offering stellar lake views all the way.