Perched along the southwestern shores of turquoise-blue Lake Tahoe, this historic compound, dating from the 1920s, has been one of those places where generations of families have piled up the memories. In addition to traditional rooms in Camp Richardson’s historic, two-story South Lake Tahoe Hotel, the 7-bedroom Richardson House, and smaller Beachside Inn, families can book traditional cabins with pinewood accents (21 are available in the summer only, 17 are open year-round). These individual cabins with kitchens are great for families. Or book a site at a pair of large campgrounds near the lake and sheltered by tall pines, or one of the 100 spots at the RV Village. Wherever you stay, the camp’s lakeside restaurant, The Beacon Bar & Grill, is a great place to kick back for a meal and some drinks, and possibly some live music. During your stay, everything you need to take advantage of the mountains and trails, from skis to tandem bikes, is available for rent at the Mountain Sports Center.
In summer, kids beeline for the broad, sandy beach (with a stop at the Camp Richardson Ice Cream Parlor or the Coffee & Confectionary Shop for a sweet treat); there are standup paddleboards, kayaks, powerboats, and personal watercraft available for rent too. Trails head into the surrounding alpine wilderness, and a paved path that winds along the lakeshore is great for a family bike ride. Come winter, groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing lace the surrounding woods. Adjacent Highway 89 is plowed through winter, so there’s easy access to Heavenly Resort for downhill skiing and snowboarding.