May Activities while Camping in Lake Tahoe

Camping season officially starts in Lake Tahoe in May.  Even though there may be snow in certain spots, most campgrounds open by the middle of May.  If you find yourself camping in Lake Tahoe and are looking for things to do, here’s a calendar of recurring events in May around Lake Tahoe.

South Lake Tahoe May events

ms dixie emerald bay
The M.S. Dixie II in Emerald Bay

Cinco De Mayo: There are numerous Cinco De Mayo events around Lake Tahoe; two of the best are found at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Heavenly Village.  The Hard Rock‘s event features various venues containing traditional Mexican and Mexican American food as well as live traditional Mexican music.  All of the different restaurants in Heavenly Village participate in a margarita contest where you’re the judge, accompanied by live Latino music in front of Azul Latin Kitchen.

Clean Tahoe Spring Clean: Help keep Tahoe blue by participating in an annual trash cleanup.  Every year, hundreds of tons of trash are left on Tahoe beaches, campgrounds, sledding hills, hiking trails, and in neighborhoods.  The cleanup is held in mid-May and organized by the Clean Tahoe Program.

Mother’s Day: South Lake Tahoe is a great place to honor Mother’s Day.  One of the most memorable is the buffet held aboard the M.S. Dixie II paddlewheel boat, where you can enjoy great food with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay.  If boats aren’t her thing, you can also enjoy great brunches at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino, and on the lakeshore at Riva Grill and Edgewood Tahoe.

Amgen Bike Tour: One of the most difficult legs of “America’s Tour de France” passes through Lake Tahoe mid-May.  The Amgen Tour of California is nearly 800 miles long with almost 70,000 feet of elevation gain throughout the course.  The leg through South Lake Tahoe is different every year and provides different challenges that make it a fun spectator event.

Auto Show Heavenly Village: Car enthusiasts will enjoy walking through Heavenly Village and admiring the care and time spent on these beautiful cars & motorcycles.  This free show features prizes and food & drink specials, as well as live music.  The show kicks off in late May and runs through summer.  More details on the Heavenly website.

Concerts & Live Music: Don’t miss out on all of the live music venues in South Lake Tahoe.  The warmer weather of May opens up the opportunity for our beautiful outdoor venues to feature a variety of music.  Some of our favorites include music held at Aleworx, Heavenly Village, MontBleu, and Harrah’s.

Art & Crafts Show: Artist To You takes over a giant parking lot at the end of every May (and throughout the rest of summer) for their annual arts and crafts show.  Visit this massive venue and support local artisans making handmade jewelry, paintings, photographic prints, and home decor.  Specific dates on the Artist To You website.

North Lake Tahoe May events

Squaw Village from Aerial Tram, Squaw Valley
The Village at Squaw from the tram. Flickr photo from ray_explores.

Squaw Valley & Alpine Spring Music Series: Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley each have their own concert series that run through spring and summer – a great aprés ski event during spring skiing.  Concerts are held on certain Fridays and Saturdays at each resort.  Check the lineup page for both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows for more information on the specific events.

Cushing Crossing: Cushing Crossing is one of the most entertaining spring traditions in Lake Tahoe.  Cushing Crossing is pond-skimming; I know you’ve seen it before.  Skiers bomb down a hill and attempt to make it across a pond at the bottom of the hill.  The event is held in early May and you won’t want to miss it.  Check out the Squaw Valley website for more details.


Cinco De Mayo: One of the most fun Cinco De Mayo events in North Lake Tahoe is held at Caliente in Kings Beach.  Food and drinks are discounted but the best part is the games.  Caliente’s Cinco De Mayo celebration includes a relay, taco eating contest, limbo, and the running of the chihuahuas.  Yes, chihuahuas.

Glendi Greek Celebration: Everyone is Greek for a day at the Glendi Greek Celebration at Mourelatos Resort in Tahoe Vista.  This evening party has been going on for over 40 years and you don’t have to be a resort guest to participate.  This event is usually held early to mid-May.  Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children.  Enjoy traditional Greek food, entertainment, and giveaways.

Map & Compass 101: A valuable class for adventurous folks who spend time in the backcountry, and a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with the Tahoe Rim Trail.  The Tahoe Rim Trail Association holds this class and others in the spring to provide outdoor education.  Visit the TRTA website for specifics.

Tahoe City Sidewalk Saturday: This recurring event is a chill way to spend a Saturday in Tahoe City.  It’s held on the second Saturday of the month.  Business owners open their doors with special events and discounts, and the sidewalks are full of other vendors, tradesmen, and musicians.  The Tahoe City Downtown Association has information about each specific month’s lineup.

Mother’s Day: Garwoods is a Tahoe favorite establishment and offers a spectacular Mother’s Day brunch on the shores of Lake Tahoe.  Brunch starts at 9:30am and features the fantastic fare that has made the restaurant famous, both in a buffet and food made to order.  Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made at the Garwoods website.

Made in Tahoe Festival: For the best of everything made in Lake Tahoe, visit the Made in Tahoe Festival at Squaw Valley.  This recurring event is usually held towards the end of May at the Village at Squaw Valley.  The event runs the entire weekend and features local artisans, clothing, beer, food, and music throughout the day.  Admission is free – support the local artists who make Tahoe so great!

If you have an event that you’d like to add, email


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