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About the Lake Tahoe Region

a body of water with a mountain in the background


Lake Tahoe is an absolutely beautiful alpine Lake located within the Sierra Nevada Mountains situated between two states, California and Nevada. With 72 miles of shoreline to explore and unmeasurable number trails for hiking and biking it’s no wonder Lake Tahoe attracts more than 17 million visitors each year.

Visitors to Lake Tahoe can discover a variety of recreational activities, lodging and dining options right in the Tahoe Basin, the area of land at lake-level surrounded by mountains. The Lake Tahoe basin is made up of 3 major regions; North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, and the West Shore.

South Lake Tahoe is one of the most densely populated regions of Lake Tahoe with the widest selection of hotels, restaurants, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Visitors to South Lake Tahoe can embark on a finishing trip or boat charter from the Tahoe Keys Marina, enjoy live music and shopping at the Heavenly Village or try their luck at one of the Stateline Casinos. There is plenty of action to discover and an array of price points for stays in South Lake Tahoe, California. Hop right across the border and don’t forget to capture a photo of actual state line marked on the road within the Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

On the Nevada side, visitors will find the hustle and bustle of the Stateline Casinos, and beautiful views from Kingsbury Grade lodging destinations. Small shops and local restaurants are scattered about the Zephyr Cove region but rest of the east shore keeps it’s beauty secrete and hidden to the common passerby.

While the East Shore of Lake Tahoe is known for the iconic rocky boulders and turquoise blue waters, this region is well preserved and not developed for tourism. If your lucky enough to snag one of the limited parking spots at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort or the Sand Harbor Nevada State Park, it’s best to enjoy the natural beauty and move on for eats and drinks. Many lake access regions on the East Shore lack amenities such as restrooms, trashcans and concessions. Plan accordingly. Tread lightly and don’t forget to pack it in and pack it out to help preserve this beautiful area of the lake.

South Lake Tahoe, California
Best For: One Stop Stay, Family Reunions and Multi-Family Vacations
Activities: Fishing and Boat Rides, Hot Air Balloon Ride, Mini Golf, Gondola Ride at Heavenly, Skiing (in-season).
Entertainment: Live Music, Magic Shows, Movie Theater

South Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Best For: Large Groups, Local Atmosphere, Independent Outdoor Recreation
Hikes: Van Sickle Bi-State Park, Castle Rock (off Kingsbury Grade)
Lodging: Edgewood Tahoe Resort (lakeside), The Ridge (on Kingsbury)
Activities: Casinos, Kayaking and Boating, Hiking and Biking.
Eats: Caseys, Edgewood Tahoe Bistro

East Shore Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Best For: Lakeside Hiking, Drive By Views, Remote Beach Day
Beaches: Nevada Beach, Round Hill Pines, Zephyr Cove Resort and Sand Harbor
Hikes: Spooner Lake and Marlette Lake

The North Lake Tahoe region stretches from Incline Village, NV on the north-east corner of the lake to Tahoe City, CA on the north-west and again jumps the California-Nevada border at Crystal Bay, NV. The northern state line of Lake Tahoe has a much more distinguished feel from the sleepy and quaint town of Incline Village to the shoreline beach-vibes of Kings Beach, CA.

In Incline Village, NV, miles of trails will lead visitors to some of the most breathtaking beaches and views in Lake Tahoe. It is strongly recommended to stop, park, bike or walk to reduce driving and the potential obstacle of parking that might be associated with access to many destinations such as the Sand Harbor Nevada State Park, Money Rock or the Flume Trail.

If your looking for a beach-boardwalk atmosphere with shops, beaches and activities along the shore, there is no better place than Kings Beach. From Kings beach to Tahoe City, visitors can enjoy a variety of public beaches, shops and restaurants. Despite the easy access to the lake, the North Lake Tahoe California region can ger very congested and crowded. We recommend planning to explore this region on a weekday.

North Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Best For: Quiet and Relaxed Vacation, Biking and Kayaking
Destinations: Sand Harbor Nevada State Park and Monkey Rock
Trails: East Shore Trail, Flume Trail
Eats: Sage Leaf Restaurant, Crosbys

North Lake Tahoe, California
Best For: Beach Hopping, Shopping, Boating
Public Beaches:

Jump back in time and find a most rustic atmosphere filled with history, log cabins, and famous landmarks along the West Shore from Tahoe City to Meeks Bay. Enjoy a drive along the windy roads with incredible lookouts and hiking trails or enjoy some of the finest lakeside dining with unbeatable views. With an array of historic estates and landmarks, such as Donner Lake, Erhman Mansion, and the Vikingsholm located within the Emerald Bay State Park, visitors have the opportunity to truly experience the history of Lake Tahoe.

West Shore Lake Tahoe, California
Best For: Full Day Drive or Remote Cabin Escape
Sights: Emerald Bay, Erhman Mansion, Gatekeepers
Hikes: Eagle Falls (Emerald Bay State Park), Rubicon Trail (DL Bliss State Park)
Eats: West Shore Café, Sunnyside Restaurant, Chambers Landing, Bridgetender

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