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Boating, Kayaking, Parasailing & Watersports

Nothing beats getting out on the lake and seeing the 360-degree view of Lake Tahoe -- either by taking a guided tour or by going off on your own to motor, sail, or paddle around. And plenty of companies around the lake would love your business. Zephyr Cove Marina (tel. 800/238-2463; www.zephyrcove.com) is the lake's largest marina and home of the paddle-wheeler MS Dixie II. Here you can parasail, charter sport-fishing trips, or take guided tours. You can also rent motorized boats, pedal boats, kayaks, canoes, water-ski equipment, and jet skis. Tahoe City Marina (tel. 530/583-1039; www.tahoecitymarina.com), at 700 N. Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City, rents motorized boats, sailboats, and fishing boats. This is also the location for Lake Tahoe Parasailing (tel. 530/546-7698). Tahoe Paddle and Oar, North Lake Beach Center, 8299 N. Lake Blvd., Kings Beach (tel. 530/581-3029; www.tahoepaddle.com), is a good place to rent kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and windsurfing equipment. Paddling around in the clear waters of Crystal Bay is great fun. Other companies that rent kayaks and provide a variety of guided tours -- Emerald Bay tours, East Shore tours, sunset tours, moonlight/astronomy tours, to name a few -- include the Tahoe Adventure Company (tel. 866/830-6125; www.tahoeadventurecompany.com) and Tahoe City Kayak (tel. 530/581-4336; www.tahoecitykayak.net).

Action Water Sports rents boats, kayaks, jet skis, paddle boats, and other water toys; parasailing and guided tours are also available. Action Water Sports has two locations: 3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd. at Timber Cove Marina, South Lake Tahoe (tel. 530/544-5387; www.action-watersports.com); and across from the Hyatt in Incline Village (tel. 775/831-4386). Camp Richardson Marina, 1900 Jameson Beach Rd., off Hwy. 89 on the South Shore (tel. 530/542-6570; www.camprichardson.com), on a long, sandy beach, rents power- and ski boats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boats. It also offers fishing charters, ski school, and raft and kayak tours to Emerald Bay. SunSports, 3564 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe (tel. 530/541-6000), provides rentals, tours, and lessons for kayaking, rafting, sailing, and scuba diving.

A Sailing Tour of Lake Tahoe -- I can't imagine a better way to spend an afternoon in Lake Tahoe than relaxing on a beautiful sailing yacht, sipping a cold beer or chardonnay while soaking in the sunshine and incredible scenery. That's why I think you should call Tahoe Sailing Charters and join them on one of their scenic 2-hour afternoon or sunset cruises aboard the Tahoe Cruz, a sleek 50-foot Santa Cruz-class yacht with a 12-foot beam and plenty of elbowroom. Guests can take turns at the helm or relax and let captain and crew sail the deep blue. Complimentary refreshments and snacks are included. The Tahoe Cruz sails daily from the Tahoe City Marina on Lake Tahoe's North Shore; rates are $50 for the afternoon sail and $60 for the sunset cruise. For departure times, reservations, and information, call tel. 530/583-6200 or log on to www.tahoesail.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.