Profile: Lake Tahoe
Population: 65,000 with approximately 3 million visitors each year
Major Airport: Reno-Tahoe International Airport
For those who enjoy mountain living without a desolate feel, Lake Tahoe truly has it all. While the area spans 192 square miles, in the center lies one of the biggest and bluest lakes in the U.S. A sight for sore eyes, visitors flock to the region year after year to enjoy Tahoe's 72 miles of shoreline and surrounding Sierra Nevada peaks. The lake is almost evenly split east to west between California and Nevada, while the north and south sides are considered two different regions.
First inhabited by the Washoe Indians, the area was found by European explorers, and later on Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy and other celebrities staked their claim. While casinos flourished as Tahoe's original significance of popularity, soon nearby San Francisco locals realized it was a great destination for a ski getaway.
Tourism has remained Tahoe's main source of income, with winter and summer being the busiest times of year. Fourteen resorts, endless backcountry, notorious blue skies and 300-500 inches of snowfall annually are all draws in the winter; while boating, mountain biking, climbing and fishing are just a few in the summer. There's no question why Lake Tahoe is one of the most special and unique places in the world.