Lake Tahoe's North Shore, California
Credit: Autumn Cruz / Sacramento Bee / Getty Images

Even during the busy summer months, there's still enough tranquility to go around when you rent a vacation home on Lake Tahoe's legendary North Shore, where Caribbean blue waters mirror snowy peaks and Mergansers muck about in the shade of towering pines. Iconic ski resorts like Alpine Meadows, North Star and Squaw Valley have multi-million dollar homes with priceless lake views for rent, but you'll be just as happy with something more understated like beside the Yuba River in Truckee, where you can find 80-year-old cabins decked out with fly-fishing memorabilia. The area gets pretty packed during the summer months, but you can always follow the lead of those wise Californians and book your rental house for mid-September, the locals' "secret summer," when the scene is all the more serene.