Something interesting happens at Lake Tahoe after Labor Day: Poof! The crowds disappear. The weather doesn’t change appreciably for another six weeks, and the lake sparkles blue as ever, but the difference, if you’re a visitor, is like night and day. Lodging prices fall, traffic disappears and an aura of relaxation takes over from the hectic, “gotta-do-everything” pace that prevails in summer. Parking is easy to find, restaurant reservations easy to get. The water is even (kind of) warm.
The first week of October is high season for fall foliage at Tahoe, with stands of aspen streaking the hillsides golden and reflecting in the rippled waters of area lakes and streams. But September is optimal for enjoying summer-like weather and shoulder-season prices. If you can hold off until then, you’ll be well rewarded.