Lake Tahoe Beaches
Sun-kissed afternoons on golden-sanded beaches. It doesn’t get much better than this in the summer. Lake Tahoe is filled with breathtaking Utopian-esque beaches that will quite literally make you gasp. They are the personification of picture-perfect settings that will inspire and motivate you to return for ages to come.
There’s an instant air of nostalgia that develops when you see the beaches in Lake Tahoe for the first time. It’s something you’ll always remember and a place you’ll always want to come back to. If you’re heading to Lake Tahoe in the summer, then you’ll want to experience its beaches for all their glory. If you're looking for more than just stunning beaches, plan your itinerary using our complete guide to all there is to do in Lake Tahoe.
Look past the shimmering lake waters to the snow-capped mountains in the distance and revel in pure bliss. This is one of the most iconic destinations on earth. And whether you head to Sand Harbor, Meek’s Bay, Hidden Beach, Pope Beach, Zephyr Cove, or any of other awe-inspiring beaches, you’ll discover true gems that you’ll remember for a lifetime to come.
I recently visited Sand Harbor Beach during my stay in Lake Tahoe, when I was putting together our complete Lake Tahoe travel guide. It was epic. The golden sands had me mesmerized. I gazed out at the shimmering blue-green waters and I was supplanted with a sure-to-be lifelong sense of nostalgia. Barks of Pine and Fir trees curved towards the heavens and I looked out past the lake towards snow-capped peaks. This
It was truly a haven. A utopia. A place that I thought couldn’t possibly exist on earth. But there I was. It was barren during my visit. A mid-December jaunt. Before the major snowfalls and just prior to the holidays. But if you’re looking to visit Sand Harbor Beach during peak summer months, be prepared to face droves of other tourists flocking to this shoreline.
There was something about the crisp mountain air and the warmth of the sun on my face that I will never forget here. And, even in the summer months, the water is cool to touch. You won’t find it getting too hot. Dip your feet into those sands and there’s a resplendent sensation that takes over you. It’s truly epic. A place that I will never in my life forget. If you're interested in sharing my experience, our home Eaglewood Cabin is located in the prestigious neighborhood of Incline Village less than 10 minutes away from Sand Harbor Beach.
Hidden Beach is a public beach in North Lake Tahoe. It’s located approximately 1 mile south of picturesque Incline Village, and just a few minutes further from Kings Beach, where our lavish Wildwood Tahoe cabin is located. Boulder-filled shorelines flank the crystal-clear waters where Pine trees arch towards the heavens at every opportunity. Rocky alcoves and brief glimpses of golden sands make up much of the 750 feet of beach here.
While its name Hidden Beach might conjure up visions of a beach that’s tucked away, it’s more likened to being hidden in plain sight. However, the beach is secluded. It also lacks a proper parking lot. With no fee to enter, it does make it a draw in the summer months. But be prepared to arrive early if you’re looking to secure your spot along these shores.
The crystal-clear fresh water here is warmer near the surface. The cove-like setting might lend itself to a more temperate water climate, especially in summer months. From here, many decide to kayak and paddleboard. And if you’re heading here, be prepared to find parking on nearby Highway 28 that runs along the shoreline.
Kings Beach is situated along Lake Tahoe’s northern coast. It’s an eclectic destination. A place where warm Mediterranean summers and frigid snowy winters define the area. Sun-soakers flock to the beach in the summer months. The golden sands of Kings Beach are a constant allure to the nearly 3 million visitors that Lake Tahoe receives every year.
Kings Beach is defined by its quaint and charming collection of shops and restaurants and accommodation. Family-run motels and charming cabins provide solace in a destination that’s perfectly suited for both summer and winter travelers alike. Here, the resplendent beauty of Lake Tahoe is the main backdrop. Calm, cool crystal-clear waters in the summer draw visitors from near and far.
Located at the intersection of the Highway 28 and 269, Kings Beach isn’t just a summer destination. The entire alpine forest is accessible from here. Resorts on nearby slopes are just a heartbeat away, making it an attractive winter destination as well.
Lester Beach and Calawee Cove Beach are located on Lake Tahoe’s west shore. The beaches are located within D.L. Bliss State Park, which encompasses 1,830 acres (740 hectares) and 6 miles (9.65 km) of golden-sanded shorelines. Meek's Bay Getaway, one of our most beautiful lakeside Tahoe cabins, is just a few minutes north of this pristine beach.
D.L. Bliss State Park is also a popular campground. People claim their spots on the beach early. So you need to beat the rush if you’re serious about grabbing a spot on the golden sands. Nearby draws are the family campsites. You’ll discover tables and restrooms and hot showers. You might even find an oven with a cupboard.
Nearby, you can launch your boat. Six miles in either direction, north or south, from here. Hiking and fishing are other activities that you’ll find alluring in this area. Kokanee salmon and Rainbow trout are abundant in the lake. Keep in mind that you can bring your dog to the lake but not to the beaches or the nearby trails.
Located close to Sand Harbor, Secret Cove is a clothing optional beach. It’s a 300-yard (274 meters) long and off-the-beaten-path beach filled with golden sands and giant protruding boulders. Flanked by towering Pine and Fir trees on either side, you’ll find far fewer people here at Secret Cove than at nearby Sand Harbor.
The crystal-clear waters and hidden stretch of beach make it an ideal escape for nudists. While children do come here with parents at times, it’s recommended that you be wary of bringing kids. It’s roughly 10 minutes south of Sand Harbor and it’s one of the only beaches in Lake Tahoe where dogs are welcome.
Commons Beach is situated in northern Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City. Over four acres of pristine park and beach await the avid sun soakers. It’s a popular beach for families with children. A huge playground with a grassy knoll waits idly for the sound of children's’ laughter. A short pier hovers over the shimmering azure-hued waters of the lake.
Picnics are popular at Commons Beach. A barbeque area with picnic tables can easily accommodate up to 75 guests. Nearby, an amphitheater will hold another 65. Both are available for public use or private rental. In the summer, sun-seekers bathe and bask in the warm glow of Lake Tahoe summers.
To get the best of both worlds, try staying in the sumptuous Winding Creek Estate, which is tucked into the mountains surrounding Squaw Valley but still only about 15 minutes from Commons Beach.
In South Lake Tahoe, Baldwin Beach presents nearly 0.5 miles (0.8 km) of golden sands. Sink your feet into the warm shores on a hot summer day. The water, cool to the touch. Even in the summer. Baldwin Beach is popular amongst kayakers and sun-soakers alike. Most launch their kayaks from here heading towards nearby Emerald Bay, which can be rented on-site.
Dogs are prohibited at this beach. And the water is frigid. So be wary if you're looking to head out into the crystalline lake waters. The beach is located 4 miles south of the city of South Lake Tahoe. You’ll discover it off Highway 89. Nearby, towering Pines and Firs provide an idyllic backdrop to the mountains that loome in the distance. This is by far one of the most beautiful beaches in South Lake Tahoe.
El Dorado Beach is located on Lake Tahoe’s south shore. Smack in the center of it all. Sprawling grassy knolls and golden sands provide a haven for sun-seekers and beach-goers alike. Large picnic areas and watercraft rentals make it easy to enjoy the lake with the entire family. Load your watercraft directly into the lake from the boat ramp here.
Food stands with ice cream and snacks line the grassy knoll. Two parking lots provide ample space to leave your vehicle. The azure-hued waters are cloudier here. It’s caused by the runoff from nearby Truckee River. But the beach is open year-round.
Emerald Bay is situated in South Lake Tahoe. It’s one of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring places in the world. In fact, it’s been called one of the most photographed places on earth. When you arrive here, you understand why. Imagine. 360-degree views of shimmering waters, Alpine forests, snow-capped peaks, and more.
From this vantage point, you can see it all. From Fannette Island to Eagle Falls to Vikingsholm Castle and beyond. All of it. From right here. Here, on the golden-sanded beach, you’ll discover a pier where swimmers tend to jump off into the crisp cool waters of Lake Tahoe. You can also hike up the Vikingsholm trail. It’s about a one-mile hike with a 450-foot change in elevation.
In 1994, Emerald Bay was designated as an Underwater State Park. Scuba divers can explore the depths of these waters that are home to sunken barges and boats and launches. In the summer, hike around Fannette Island or go camping at Eagle Point Campground. You’ll find Emerald Bay Beach off Highway 89 in South Lake Tahoe.
Kiva Beach is a jewel in South Lake Tahoe. Golden sands and shimmering lake waters make this an alluring beach to frequent in Tahoe. Breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains including Mount Tallac are a defining presence. Snow-capped peaks and hillsides covered in Alpine forests loom in the distance.
However, the beach is difficult to find. There’s a lack of proper signage leading you to the golden shorelines here. But once you arrive, you’ll realize that it was well worth the trip. Picnic tables and accessible forest trails await nearby. This is also one of the very few dog-friendly beaches in South Lake Tahoe.
Lakeside Beach and Marina is a sprawling, golden-sanded beach in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. From a lakeside playground to a sand volleyball court and plenty of space to spread out, it’s no wonder why Lakeside Beach and Marina is an alluring beach in Lake Tahoe. Nearby, visitors can rent jet skis, boats, and paddle boards at the Lakeside Marina.
If you’re heading here in the summer, be prepared to pay for a daily or seasonal pass. Unless you’re staying in one of the cabins or condos in the Lakeside Park Association establishment, you’ll have to pay for access. But it’s well worth it. Just steps away from the shimmering lake waters, located directly on the sand, you’ll discover the Lakeside Beach Grill where you can grab a table for some casual dining with breathtaking views.
The breakwaters here protect the swimmers. Plus, there’s a lifeguard on duty. Nearby, bathrooms and picnic tables and benches allow you to take advantage of the epic scenery to relax, unwind and enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation with your family. Cool off in the refreshing crystal-clear waters or head out on a watercraft for a day of sun-filled fun. The choice is yours.
Situated on 0.7 miles (1.12 km) of pristine golden sands, Nevada Beach and Campground offers a resplendent retreat to the crystalline waters of South Lake Tahoe. Stretching as wide as 300 yards (274 meters) in some sections, Nevada Beach is a sprawling lakeside destination perfect for the entire family to enjoy. It's located only a few minutes from our luxury Sierra Shores townhomes, which also have lakefront views and private beach access.
This dog-friendly beach is ideal for kiteboarding, boating, fishing, and water skiing. The nearby campground houses dozens of RV and tent sites, each with epic lake and mountain views. Engulfed in Alpine forests with towering Pine and Fir trees, the picturesque landscape will leave you awe-inspired whether you’re looking for fun on the lake or to reconnect with Mother Nature.
Nearby, the Lam Wa Tah Trail winds through the woods. It’s 2.6 miles (4.18 km) of pristine wilderness to hike or bike. Each step of the trail offers epic and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and its surrounding beauty. This is certainly a beach you shouldn’t miss visiting in South Lake Tahoe.
Pope Beach is a favorite amongst locals in South Lake Tahoe. Shallow crystalline waters shimmer in the summer sun. Wide swaths of beach are flanked by cement baths ideal for bikers and strollers alike. Easy beach access to the golden sands and ample parking make this an ideal destination in South Lake Tahoe. It's near the famous Tahoe Keys, where we have several homes, including Sierra Keys Manor and Lucerne Lake House.
Rent kayaks and other watercraft to explore the lake. Or, head to the snack shack for some treats with the kids. Picnic tables and nearby grills offer restricted use by the Forest Service, but are ample and readily available for use. It’s also considered to be one of the cleanest beaches in all of Lake Tahoe. It surely will not disappoint.
Regan Beach is located on the resplendent shores of South Lake Tahoe. The golden sands and grassy knolls are interrupted by towering Pines that spiral into the heavens. Gaze out looking north towards snow-capped peaks of the north shore mountains that tower in the distance. The shimmering lake offers the reprieve of cool waters on warm summer days.
Spectacular views coupled with a playground for children and a lakeside cafe provide ample opportunity to have some much-needed fun in the sun for everyone in your group. Launch a kayak, play beach volleyball or have a picnic on the grassy knoll shaded by towering Pines. Parking here is free and you’ll also discover a dog-friendly portion of the shoreline.
Round Hills Pine Beach Resort and Marina is located in Zephyr Cove in South Lake Tahoe. It’s situated just north of Stateline. Here, the beach stretches for half a mile (0.8 km) and boasts epic views of Mount Tallac and Emerald Bay. Rent jet skis, kayaks, boats, and bikes at this family-friendly beach in picturesque Zephyr Cove.
At Round Hills Pine Beach you’ll find plenty of options. Dining. Beach bars. And loads of activities abound. Order food to your claimed spot on the beach with ease. But be wary. Parking fills up fast so be sure to arrive early if you’re looking to park on-site.
Pine-tree engulfed shores with golden sands await you at Zephyr Cove Beach and Marina in South Lake Tahoe. This stunning mile-long beach (1.6 km) in South Lake Tahoe is a Utopian escape where you can enjoy the cool shimmering waters of Lake Tahoe. From here, rent jet skis, boats, parasails, kayaks, paddleboards and more.
Zephyr Cove Beach and Marina has something for the entire family. From beach volleyball courts to beach chair and umbrella rentals and even a restaurant called the Sunset Bar & Grill, which is open from late spring through the beginning of fall. Enjoy a dip in the cool, crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe and let this awe-inspiring destination take your breath away.
Lake Tahoe in the Summer
There's so much to do in Lake Tahoe in the summer it can sometimes be hard to know where to start planning. We've created a guide that makes it easy to put together the perfect summer itinerary.
The neighborhoods of Lake Tahoe
Click here to learn about the different neighborhoods of Lake Tahoe, the activities offered in each of them, and the best places to stay.
Lake Tahoe Water Sports
Whether it's splashing on a family beach or soaring high above the sparkling waters on a parasailing adventure, there's plenty to do in, on, and above the waters of Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe Beaches
Where snowy peaks are the backdrop for warm sunny days
Still not sure which Lake Tahoe beach is the right one for your family vacation? Get in touch with our Vacation Consultants to learn more about the area, receive recommendations on which homes may be best for you, and any other information on the area.
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