Explore & Visit South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the hub of entertainment and an active launch location for many who adventure to Lake Tahoe for a fun weekend getaway.  The Location of one of America’s Largest and cleanest Alpine Lakes is perfect for Visitors from The  San Francisco Bay region to drive for the day or weekend, and the easy access from Reno International Airport provides the perfect landing spot for a week in the mountains from around the globe.

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Planning your visit to South Lake Tahoe can lead you and your party in so many directions. Do you spend the day on Tahoe beaches or do you head into the wilderness tackling the solitude and raw beauty of Desolation wilderness? Maybe you connect with one of the variety of boating activities and spend your day playing on the crystal blue waters before parking the boat next to a private beach cove?  Depending on the season the activities at South Lake Tahoe’s premier ski resorts as exciting. In the summer take the gondola up Heavenly ski resort and experience mountain Coasters, Zip Lines, hiking trails, and Climbing courses, let alone stopping at the beautiful landing deck for a panoramic photo shot of Lake Tahoe from high in the Mountains.

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Visit South Lake Tahoe Outdoors

South Lake Tahoe Beaches

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The Beaches in South Lake Tahoe are always a great way to experience Lake Tahoe.  The sandy shorelines of South Lake Tahoe beaches invite lazy days in the sand with an occasional dip in the cool refreshing waters of Lake Tahoe.  The views from the shorelines vary, but all are spectacular as you look out on the Blue waters of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountain landscape of the Sierra Nevada.

Here is a list of the South Lake Tahoe Beaches Going From the West Shore to the East Shore at State Line.

  • Lester Beach
  • Calawee Cove Beach
  • Baldwin Beach
  • Kiva Beach
  • Pope Beach
  • Keys Beach
  • Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach
  • Eldorado Beach
  • The Beach Tiki Bar
  • Lake Side Beach
  • Nevada beach
  • Round Hill Beach
  • Zephyr Cove
  • Cave Rock

Water Rentals South Lake Tahoe

a boat is floating in the water near a tree

South Lake Tahoe of course gives visitors great access to the massive clear water playground.

For guests visiting Lake Tahoe without their own water crafts, South lake Tahoe provides several rental options for your water recreation enjoyment.

Boat and Water Craft Rentals

  • Tahoe Sports Tahoe Keys Boat Rental
  • Tahoe Sports Ski Run Boat Company
  • Tahoe boat co
  • Big Blue Charters
  • Action Watersports at Timber Cove Marina
  • Tahoe Jet Boats
  • Lake Tahoe LSP Boat Rentals
  • Tahoe Luxury Charters

Chartered Experiences On Lake Tahoe


Golf South Lake Tahoe

There are 3 golf courses in South Lake Tahoe, California and 2 are municipal courses. There are also another 9 golf courses within 20 miles of South Lake Tahoe, including 5 public, 1 municipal and 3 private courses. The oldest course in the South Lake Tahoe area is the Tahoe City Golf Course which was designed by May Dunn Hupfel and opened in 1917. The longest course is Genoa Lakes Golf Club Ranch Course, which is 7,358 yards. South Lake Tahoe Premier resort golf course is Edgewood Golf course, home of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament each summer.

Visit & Play these South Lake Tahoe Region Golf Courses


Hit the Trails South Lake Tahoe

When Visiting South Lake Tahoe Make certain you give yourself time to explore some of the best trails in all of the Sierra. From the Tahoe Rim Trail to the Wide open rugged spaces of Desolation wilderness and the dozens of National Forest trail options, there is a trail and a view for everyone.  

Hiking, backpacking, and mountain bike trails are plentiful in South Lake Tahoe.  Most of the trails near south Lake Tahoe do require a small bit of climbing but will reward you with lakes and rivers and waterfalls that will take your breath away as a reward for your effort. Mountain bikers will enjoy the work from local trail stewards (TAMBA) as they will find hundreds of miles of trail for every skill set.

Here is a Short list of our Top 10 South Lake Tahoe Hiking Trail Options

  • Echo Lake to Lake Aloha or Lake of the Woods in desolation Wilderness on the PCT
  • Tahoe Rim Trail at Brockway Summit – Loop Trail includes Castle Rock Loop
  • Mt. Tallac Trail – Climb up past Cathedral Lake and on up to the top of Mt. Tallac for the most epic view of Lake Tahoe.
  • The Rubicon to Emerald Bay Trial – This trail starting at DL Bliss State Park provides a beautiful Lake side hike with the rewards of a quick swim in Emerald bay.
  • Van Sickle State Park Trail – great in a city location that climbs above the casino corridor giving you a two-state hike with great visit views and a waterfall.
  • Spooner to Marlette Lake – this is a 10-mile out and back hike to another High Alpine lake. Highly Recommended Fall Hike for fall colors.
  • Fallen Leaf to Susie or Gilmore Lakes in Desolation wilderness. These are popular Backpacking lakes, but make a great day hike loop with some Cold water swimming.
  • Angora Lake Trail – Angora Lakes is an easy half-mile hike leading to two lakes framed by beautiful cliffs. Swimming and fishing are popular activities in the area.
  • Christmas Valley to Dardanelles Lake Trail – Just West of South Lake Tahoe in Meyers and off HWY 89 The Christmas Valley trailhead is a little know location that leads hikers and bikers up into the Meiss County and to a local’s favorite Dardanelles Lake.
  • Tahoe Rim Trail to Meiss County, Round Lake, Meiss Lake, Showers Lake – this trail segment of the Tahoe Rim trail is one of our favorite. Meiss County is a great alternative to Desolation Wilderness. easier hiking, access for bikes and dogs, great lake and meadow areas.

Experience Desolation Wilderness While Visiting South Lake Tahoe

Desolation Wilderness is a must-experience for South Lake Tahoe Visitors. Although Desolation is one of the most visited wilderness experiences in the country, parking can be an issue. Visiting desolation is a pure Sierra experience that will introduce you to the raw and rugged visuals of a glacier masterpiece. Large expansive granite bowls filled with inspiring peak challenges, crystal clear bowls of water that beg for a swim, and an untamed nature that makes you feel alive and yet so insignificant.

Visit these Guided and trip reviews to learn more on Desolation Wilderness Experiences:

Skiing South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the Perfect Location for Winter Skiing.  Enjoy a stay at Heavenly Village or a number of Casino Resorts or locate hotels within walking distance of the ski lifts of Heavenly Ski resort. Or travel just a few miles for options including Kirkwood Ski resort, Homewood Ski Resort, or Sierra At Tahoe Ski Resort

Of course, Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin provide world-class, Backcountry Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, and Snowshoeing are all spectacular options in South Lake Tahoe.

Heavenly Ski Resort

With 1800 Feet of Vertical skiing the resort covers two states and provides some the Sierra’s best visual ski conditions. Few ski resorts can match Heavenly Ski Resort’s scenic beauty and expansive network of lifts, terrain, trails, and snowmaking.

Sierra At Tahoe

A Pure Sierra Skiing Experience, Sierra At Tahoe is a regional favorite with over 2000 acres of mountain playground, 2212 vertical rise, and 14 lifts plus the resort also provides five backcountry access gates into Huckleberry Canyon. The 46 available trails average 400 inches of snow per year. Blizzard Mountain provides tubing hills and sledding and snow play areas. In addition, visitors will find three miles of snowshoe trails.

Homewood Ski Resort 

From Lake to mountain there may be no closer skiing to Lake Tahoe. With over 125o acres of skiing and over 1600 feet of vertical skiing the 8 lifts and 64 runs at Homewood make for an epic day on t he West shores of Lake Tahoe

Kirkwood Ski Resort

The 32-mile drive from South Lake Tahoe to Kirkwood Ski Resort is not only scenic and worth the drive alone but the with an annual average of 354″ of deep powder the 2,100 vertical feet. 72+ named trails. 14 lifts provide an epic day in the Sierra Skiing. the Kirkwood route also opens you up to some of the best raw cross-country skiing and snowshoeing terrain in the Sierra as well as some epic local favorite back country ski area.



a person is skiing down a slope with the words ski heavenly

State Parks to See When Visiting in South Lake Tahoe

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  • Van Sickle Bi-State Park Washoe Meadows State Park –A short walk from the Stateline, NV casinos, Van Sickle is one the most accessible parks in the Tahoe Basin. A short climb from the trailhead quickly transports visitors to the serenity of the forest. The park’s easy to moderate trails are studded with rock outcroppings that present grand views of the largest alpine lake in North America and the surrounding peaks. The Rim Trail Connector provides a tie-in to the famed Tahoe Rim Trail, designated by National Geographic Adventure magazine as one of the nation’s top ten trails. The park is open to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.
  • Lake Valley State Recreation Area – Ringed by the High Sierra Mountains, Lake Valley State Recreation Area features a championship 18-hole golf course. Since the elevation is over 6,000 feet, shots carry farther in the thin mountain air. In the winter, the recreation area has snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
  • D. L. Bliss State Park – In our opinion the prettiest state park in South Lake Tahoe -Campers and day use visitors enjoy swimming or scuba diving in the crystal clear water of Lake Tahoe, picnicking, relaxing on the warm sand of Lester Beach or Calawee Cove, and hiking the Rubicon Trail, Lighthouse Trail, and Balancing Rock Trail. Lester Beach is a popular location to launch your kayak, paddleboard, or canoe, but keep in mind that trailers are not allowed in the day use parking lots. Please check weather and wind conditions before venturing out on the lake.

    The grandeur of the parks and their setting is a product of successive upheavals of the mountain-building processes that raised the Sierra Nevada. From promontories such as Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park you can see over one hundred feet into the depths of Lake Tahoe.

  • Emerald Bay State Park – Emerald Bay State Park is the California State Park system’s premier glacial park – owing its spectacular scenery and dramatic alpine peaks, ridges, and crystalline lake to the scouring action of glaciers that existed at various times during the Pleistocene Epoch (11,500 to 1,800,000 years ago). Visit Vikingsholm Castle, Explore scenic waterfalls, Swim in the Emerald Bay cove, and hike up into the Rubicon trail.  No Vehicle access to this State Park, visitors will need to hike the 1 mile downhill trail to the park and enjoy its rich history.
  • Cave Rock – Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park – Atop the Sierra Nevada mountain range, tucked along the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, Cave Rock is a great place to put in a boat and explore the crystalline waters of the largest alpine lake in North America. The boat launch offers a double ramp and the park has more than 40 spaces for trailer parking. A small beach at the south end of the park provides a perfect place for swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling, as well as a good spot to launch a canoe or kayak. A steep shoreline and rocky shoals make this a great location for fishing and enjoying the majestic beauty of Lake Tahoe.
  • Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park – Ed Z’berg – Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly two miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper.

    Another attraction is the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion (also known as Pine Lodge), a summer home built in 1903 in a grove of pine and cedar. From the turn of the century until 1965, the lands of what is now Ed Z’berg – Sugar Pine Point State Park were owned by financier Isaias W. Hellman, and later by his daughter Florence Hellman Ehrman. The mansion provides an interesting view into the lifestyles of the wealthy on Lake Tahoe.
  • Spooner Lake – Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park – Nestled in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Spooner Backcountry is a widespread recreational and natural oasis, with a lake surrounded by aspens and more than 12,000 acres of forested, open space. The park features 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails and primitive roads. A few of the more popular trails are the Marlette, Red House, Flume and Tahoe Rim Trails. Camping and cabins are also available. The Spooner Lake Cabin sleeps four people comfortably and Wildcat Cabin sleeps two. Both cabins have basic amenities such as composting toilets, beds, cook stoves and wood burning stoves.

Where To Stay in South Lake Tahoe


Featured Vacation Rentals

The Vacation Rental Business in South Lake Tahoe is Robust. regulated heavily by the regional county governments VRBO and Airbnb can only get you so far.  These Vacation Home Rental options should help in your search for a family getaway at south lake Tahoe.

  • Lake Tahoe Accommodations – With over 60 individual locations to choose from your family can find many options for your stay.
  • South Lake Tahoe Cabin Rentals – With over 240 locations chooses from unbelievable skiing to fantastic nightlife, a getaway in one of our South Lake Tahoe vacation rentals will be an experience you won’t soon forget
  • RnR Vacation Rentals – RnR Vacation Rentals has just the home for you; whether you want a home with a private beach on the lake, a boat dock in the Keys, access to hiking trails in your backyard, or a short walk to the ski lift
  • Tahoe South Vacation Rentals –specialize in large luxury vacation homes in South Lake Tahoe from 6 bedrooms up to 10 bedrooms. Luxury vacation rental homes most with Indoor Pools, Movie Theaters, Outdoor Fireplaces, Ski in Ski out, close to the beach and lake, near casinos in South Lake Tahoe.
  • South Lake Tahoe Cabin Rentals By Trip Advisor- Featuring 10 best Cabin rentals in south Lake Tahoe region

Casino Properties

With South Lake Tahoe covering two states, the Stateline district provides the exciting and enticing world of casino resort stays. Stay and play in some of the regions best dining and entertainment locations on the lake.

After a day of sliding down ski slopes or lazing at the beach, put a fresh spin on your Lake Tahoe vacation by staying at South Lake Tahoe casino hotels. 

Staying in Lake Tahoe casino resorts and hotels ensures you’ll never miss out on a Tahoe adventure. The Stateline area on Lake Tahoe’s south shore is known for having the biggest casinos, and each offers luxurious accommodations and amenities galore including fine-dining restaurants, spas and pools, gaming and sports bars, and all are within walking distance of Heavenly Ski Resort.

  • Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Harrah’s Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone. Relax in luxe hotel rooms with premier amenities, play the slots and tables at the casino, reserve a table at a world-class restaurant, and get in on the vibrant nightlife. With excitement running around the clock, there’s truly never a dull moment.
  • Harvey’s Lake Tahoe – Elevate your adventure at Harveys Lake Tahoe, the very first casino hotel built on the South Shore. Sample the fine dining and cocktails, try your hand at a popular table game, or explore the great outdoors. With stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Harveys gives you easy access to all the four-season thrills that Lake Tahoe has to offer.
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe – Dine & Stay like a rock star. Kick back and relax at South Shore’s largest outdoor pool. Reserve a private cabana or daybed to enhance your experience and enjoy the summer sun in style! Comfortable. Contemporary. Spacious. Tap into the rock star inside of you with a hotel experience that brings together quality and edge against the backdrop of mesmerizing views of Lake Tahoe.
  • Bally’s Lake Tahoe- Formerly Mont Blue – Discover non-stop excitement at Bally’s Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort – the best way to experience gambling in Stateline, Nevada. Located in the heart of one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations, our casino offers plenty of action-packed slots and table games like Blackjack, Craps and Roulette, as well as a year-round selection of valuable promotions.

Camping South Lake Tahoe Region

Alpine County dispersed Camping
a clear lake with rocks and trees on the shore

South Lake Tahoe Camping is practically unlimited if you are willing to disperse camp in Eldorado National forest land. But for typical visitors looking to reserve one of the coveted Lake Tahoe Camp spaces, the Camping season starts as early as 6 months to a year out for most reservations. That being said camping on the shores of Lake Tahoe is worth the effort. Here is a short list of the South Lake Tahoe Camping Options:



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