If exploring on your own isn’t your thing, or you’re not comfortable driving your own boat and you really want to get out on the water, a number of cruises and tours are offered all around Lake Tahoe .
If you want to get out on the water in a bigger boat, book a cruise with Lake Tahoe Cruises (800/238-2463, http://zephyrcove.com , adults $40–70, children $20–40). Two honest-to-goodness paddlewheel riverboats make cruises on Lake Tahoe  on a near-daily basis—even in the wintertime!
In the south, the Tahoe Queen sails from Ski Run Marina and offers an array of cruises, several with meals, live music, and dancing. You can even take a ski shuttle-cruise that buses you up to Northstar  in the morning, then takes you home across the breadth of the lake—an on-board après-ski party you’ll enjoy whether you’re up for dancing or just want a drink while sitting at one of the windows watching the water go by.
The MS Dixie II, a rear paddlewheeler, was imported from the Mississippi River. It sails from the Zephyr Cove Marina, and you can choose from breakfast and brunch cruises, dinner and dancing cruises, and even on-the-water showings of the oh-so-appropriate musical Show Boat.
Another company that can take you to see the lovely Emerald Bay is Bleu Wave (866/413-0985, www.tahoebleuwave.com , adults $59–65, children $29.50), which operates from the Round Hill Pine Beach & Marina (325 Hwy. 50, Zephyr Cove, NV, 775/588-3055, www.rhpbeach.com ) in Stateline. You’ll see many of the most popular sights on the lake as you take a two-hour lunch cruise with an all-you-can-eat buffet and drinks included.
For winter cruises, you’ll enjoy the on-board fireplace and the spacious heated cabin. In the heat of summer, most folks prefer to sit outside in the fresh mountain air.