Insider Tips to Help You Navigate the 4th of July Events in Tahoe

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25 Jun 2017
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Travel Tips

Trying to navigate your way around Lake Tahoe over the 4th of July holiday week can be a bit overwhelming. We've put together this helpful guide to help make your trip planning just a little bit easier.


Watching firework shows in Tahoe are probably the most popular events of the season. With the festive atmosphere, lively music, and crowds of happy visitors, there is nothing like it. Not only are the fireworks themselves spectacular, the sound of the fireworks bouncing off the mountains is a thrill in itself. It's a full body experience unlike any other. Fireworks take place over the course of several days in several locations. You can enjoy a full beach party or simply find a spot to view the fireworks by hiking on one of our popular trails. If you're lucky enough to have access to a boat, kayak, or other watercraft, we highly recommend watching the fireworks from the water so you can be close and feel the pounding echoes.

Whichever way you decide to watch the fireworks, be prepared to sit in traffic before and after the event. You may want to consider parking further from the actual event (between the venue and your lodging place) and walk or ride your bike to the fireworks. Traffic can move very slowly so plan an extra hour to travel to and from the event. Below is the schedule for 2018.

Tuesday, July 3

Wednesday, July 4

Of course, there is more to do than just fireworks. The Holiday weekend brings the annual Truckee parade and more. Click here for a full list of area events.

Local Tips to Consider:

  • Traffic can be horrendous during this time. If you want to avoid traffic plan to leave for your destination before 10AM or after 5PM, especially if you are staying on the West Shore or traveling to/from Squaw Valley.
  • Pack your patience. We are still a small community even when the crowds are here. Local grocery stores, restaurants, shops, etc. do their best to staff up for the holidays, but they can only do so much to accommodate the thousands of people who come to town. Doing your shopping before you come over the hill is always a great way to avoid those long lines.
  • We take great pride in our beautiful mountain towns, trails, and beaches. Unfortunately, we often have to clean up tons (literally) of trash after visitors leave. Always know where the nearest trash can is located, and bring your own trash bag just in case there isn't one available for you. Keep in mind that your trash may blow away in the wind if you're not careful, so we can all help each other out by picking up a few extra pieces of trash before we leave any location.
  • Remember that full-time Tahoe residents actually live on the streets that you park on to get to the beach. Stay on their good side by not blocking their driveway and paying attention to the "No Parking" signs. If you are staying in a vacation rental, remember that sound carries and they can hear you when you're outside chatting till the wee hours of the morning.
  • Don't get caught in the Tahoe trap of getting really sunburned or dehydrated. High altitude brings intense UV sun rays and dehydration. Just 30 minutes of Tahoe sun is enough to get a bad sunburn, and your body loses 2x as much fluid at high altitude than at sea level. Staying in the shade, wearing appropriate sunscreen, and drinking lots of water (especially if you like to have a few cocktails) is the best way to make sure you can enjoy your vacation.
  • You can still get a DUI when riding your bike. Our police force is very active during the summer holidays, and they will pull you over if it looks like you've had a few beers. Play it safe and arrange a designated driver, get a cab, or walk if you plan on drinking alcohol.
  • Uber, Lyft, and Taxis are not the same in Tahoe. Expect delays. It takes quite some time to get anywhere in Tahoe and we don't have drivers on every street to pick you up in 5 minutes. Sometimes it can take over an hour to get a ride. Many locals like to hitch-hike during this time, but never plan on someone picking you up quickly. Be sure to plan accordingly.

Well, there you have it. Just a few hints to help you while you're here in Tahoe for the holiday week. Enjoy yourself and remember that you can always contact Tahoe Rental Company if you would like more information about Tahoe or to book a Tahoe vacation home. Have a great time!