If you're coming to Tahoe for a week, consider a dog-friendly vacation rental in lieu of a hotel. Agate Bay Realty is one of many area real-estate firms that maintain extensive listings of dog-friendly properties. Another option is to rent directly from property owners via listings on VRBO or HomeAway. A private home gives you access to a kitchen, a living room to sprawl in and, often, access to beaches and entree to docks and other facilities not open to the public.
Many Tahoe hotels welcome dogs, but there's nothing like a cabin resort to lend an Old Tahoe ambience to your visit. Those we rate as dog-passionate—meaning they go out of their way to welcome visitors with pets and can provide endless suggestions on places to go and things to do with Fido—include Tahoma Meadows Bed & Breakfast Cottages on the West Shore and Fireside Lodge Bed & Breakfast in South Lake Tahoe. Zephyr Cove Resort on the Nevada side is lakefront, dog-friendly and very busy in summer. Dogs aren't allowed on the swimming beach here, but you can walk from your cabin to a rocky stretch of shoreline where dogs under voice control can stretch their legs and go for a swim.
In summer, many Tahoe restaurants allow dogs on their outdoor patios or decks, so finding a place to eat en famille shouldn't be a problem. Among our favorites: Izzy's Burger Spa in South Lake Tahoe; Blue Agave and Bridgetender in Tahoe City and Mamasake at Squaw Valley USA.
Photo: "Tahoe Cabin Dog" - Rick Cooper (CC)