Lake Cruises

If you can fit a lake cruise into your vacation plans, you won't regret it -- it's one of the best ways to see the lake. The MS Dixie II, located at Zephyr Cove Marina (4 miles north of the South Lake casinos on U.S. 50; tel. 800/238-2463; www.zephyrcove.com), is a 570-passenger paddle-wheeler with bars, a dance floor, and a full dining room. Emerald Bay scenic cruises cost $39 for adults, $15 for children. They also offer dinner cruises ($75 adults, $41 children).

The Tahoe Queen (tel. 800/238-2463; www.zephyrcove.com), which departs from the Marina Village at Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe, is also an authentic paddle-wheeler offering Emerald Bay sightseeing tours ($39 adults, $15 children) and dinner/dance cruises ($75 adults, $41 children). Live music, buffet breakfast, dinner, and appetizers are all available onboard.

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The Tahoe Gal (tel. 800/218-2464 or 530/583-0141; www.tahoegal.com), departing from the Lighthouse Marina (behind Safeway) in Tahoe City, is the only cruise boat on the North Shore. Cruises include the Scenic Brunch Cruise ($35 adults, $16 children), Emerald Bay ($39 adults, $19 children), Happy Hour (4:30-6pm; $28 adults, $15 children), and Sunset Dinner ($35 adults, $16 children). Note: Prices are for the cruise only; food and beverages cost extra.

Woodwind Sailing Cruises (tel. 888/867-6394) runs daily sightseeing tours ($35 adults, $15 children 3-12) and a Sunset Champagne Cruise ($45). Woodwind I, a 30-passenger Searunner trimaran, sails to Emerald Bay from Camp Richardson Marina in South Lake Tahoe. The Woodwind II, a 50-passenger Searunner catamaran, sails from Zephyr Cove Marina.

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.