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Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe has been a favorite vacation spot for years, and when you see the scenic beauty of the area, you’ll see why. Considered one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the United States, Lake Tahoe is known for its crystal clear waters and its towering mountaintops. The area surrounding the stunning lake, also called Lake Tahoe, has miles of incredible hiking trails as well as some of the best skiing that North America has to offer. Lake Tahoe also has some of the qualities of neighboring cities, such as casinos like those in Reno and high-end dining and shopping just like you’d find in San Francisco. Here are a three of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe:

Squaw Valley
With over 4,000 acres of skiing terrain and a state-of-the-art lift system, Squaw Valley is considered on the world’s best ski resorts. The sheer size of the resort is impressive enough, as it spans accross six peaks on Lake Tahoe’s western shore. It also has a wide range of exhilarating runs. If you’re a beginner, you’re in luck, because around 70 percent of the slopes of Squaw Valley are geared toward people at the beginning and intermediate levels. With the combination of natural beauty and astounding slopes, it’s no surprise that Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.

Kings Beach State Recreation Area
One of the largest beaches in the area, Kings Beach State Recreation Area extends more than 3 miles along Lake Tahoe’s northern shore. Whether you’re there for boating, swimming or sunbathing, Kings Beach is bound to offer a relaxing experience. This park is 28 acres, encompassing a large amount of the shoreline on Lake Tahoe’s northern edge. Just remember that in the summer the sand can get very hot while the lake stays very chilly. Make sure you bring some sandals with you. With the stunning views and the opportunity for water sports, Kings Beach can also get pretty crowded, especially in July and August. If you want to avoid the crowds, stay on the lookout for some of the more secluded areas.

Emerald Bay State Park
Anyone looking to take in the beauty of Lake Tahoe needs to visit Emerald Bay State Park, which was carved by passing glaciers millions of years ago. Known for its awe-inspiring panoramas and colorful granite cliffs, this inlet along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe is a must-visit. Some of the park’s beauty comes from the towering trees that shelter it, but the most well-known part of the park is the Emerald Bay Lookout. Don’t forget your camera, as there are countless photo opportunities amongst this stunning scenery. If you want to do more than take in the views, head to Vikingsholm, a former summer home built in the 1920s and a perfect example of Scandinavian architecture. If you’re into geology, get in a boat and head to Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe’s only island, to see evidence of glacial activity. The possibilities are endless at this incredible state park.

If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation spot where you can take in some of the most beautiful parts of nature that the U.S. has to offer, look no further than Lake Tahoe. A trip to Lake Tahoe is bound to provide you with experiences you won’t soon forget.