Lake Tahoe Cabin Rentals Guide

Where to stay in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations on the planet. It’s been estimated that roughly 3 million visitors descend on the area each year. For that reason, Lake Tahoe has become a premier vacation rental destination. Families have long been seeking cabins and condos that they can share with their loved ones during their stay.

However, if you’re traveling to Lake Tahoe in the near future, then there are a few things to note. Depending on the time of year you visit and who you visit with, you’ll find something unique to do. That means, whether you’re on a romantic excursion or a family outing, Lake Tahoe has something indelible in store for you.

If you’re planning a visit to the area soon, then this Lake Tahoe cabin rentals guide will give you the roadmap you need to plan and coordinate your stay in the area. From understanding the layout of the area, to knowing where to stay and where to visit, you’ll find invaluable information located in this brief guide.

No matter what time of year you decide to visit Lake Tahoe, whether it’s in the summer or the winter, you’ll find activities that are suitable for the entire group. From hiking to fishing to skiing and snowboarding, to sightseeing and museum-visiting, and more, there truly is something for everyone to do in Lake Tahoe.

Guide To Lake Tahoe Cabin Rentals

Before you plan your Lake Tahoe travel, let’s get a lay of the land. Lake Tahoe is split amongst two states. It straddles Nevada and California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. However, the biggest difference comes when we look at the north versus the south. In fact, both North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe are divided up amongst both states.

Planning any visit to Lake Tahoe involves deciding on what shore you’ll be on. Of course, there are other sides to Lake Tahoe. There’s an east and a west. But, primarily, people stay in either the north or the south. That’s where you’ll find most of the peaks and resorts and things to do. While the east and west are both scenic drives, they have less in the way of accommodations as well.

When you’re looking for cabin rentals in Lake Tahoe, it truly is a decision between the north and the south. But which one do you go with? Do you stay in North Lake Tahoe or in South Lake Tahoe? The answer to that question is relatively subjective but it also depends on what time of year you’re planning your visit.

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North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe is where you’ll find the majority of Tahoe’s peaks. It’s ideal for winter getaways. It’s where you’ll find Tahoe Donner, Incline Village, Diamond Peak and Northstar Resort. These are all great options for skiing in the winter. Of course, they also work for the summer at a place like Northstar that has a mountain biking park and other places where you can ride the gondola to the peaks and see the views.

In North Lake Tahoe, you’ll also find more upscale cabin rentals. But you should expect to also pay more. North Lake Tahoe is great for winter getaways, but are also suitable for summer. In fact, North Lake Tahoe has many notable attractions such as museums, historic towns and roads, lakes for fishing and rafting, and so on.

North Lake Tahoe is also more serene and quiet. You can expect less crowds here, especially during non-peak-season dates. Less crowds and higher prices are certainly alluring to some, but definitely puts off others. Now, you can find beaches in North Lake Tahoe, but the best beaches for summer fun can be discovered in the south.

Northstar Resort

One of the best resorts in all of Lake Tahoe is located at Northstar. Here, you’ll discover fine hotels like the Ritz-Carlton Constellation, an array of restaurants, a village, ski-in, ski-out properties, incredible amenities and luxurious condos and townhomes you can rent for short-term vacations.

Northstar is by far one of my absolute favorite parts of North Lake Tahoe. It’s a gem. A diamond in the rough, if you will. In fact, it’s also the place that I stayed on my last visit to Lake Tahoe. Right at the foot of the hill where gondolas were passing over every single day. If you’re at all into winter adventures, this is the place for you.

But Northstar also has rentals right at the Ritz Carlton Constellation. If you’re absolutely devoted to the Ritz brand, then you can stay at one of the apartment-style units here as well. Prices are reasonable considering it’s the Ritz and staying in one of their units gives you full access to all the hotel’s amenities.

Incline Village
If you’re heading to North Lake Tahoe in the winter, consider Incline Village. This area has plenty of great vacation rentals and cabins. Interestingly enough, Incline Village is considered a tax haven. Since it’s located in Nevada and not in California, many residents flock to grab a residence here as opposed to some of the nearby areas.

However, Incline Village is much more than that. It boasts an incredible resort that’s ideal for winter fun. For example, you’ll find the Hyatt Regency here, Diamond Peak Ski Resort and Mount Rose Ski Resort. Each offer unrivaled beauty in both the summer and winter months, boasting epic and unparalleled views of the surrounding area from each of the peaks.

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South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is typically more crowded and less expensive than its north shore counterpart. Here, you can expect to find Tahoe’s partygoers. Especially in the summer, crowds come up in droves to enjoy sun-soaked summer days on golden-sanded beaches. If you’re interested in meeting like-minded individuals who are looking to have fun, this is the place to be.

South Lake Tahoe is also considered less expensive than North Lake Tahoe. This is definitely ideal for summer getaways. If you’re heading to Lake Tahoe in the summer, then South Lake Tahoe is a great option. While you will find beaches in the north, most of the activity is really happening here in the south during the summer.

However, keep in mind that going from North Lake Tahoe to South Lake Tahoe, especially in the peak months, will be rough. It’ll take you anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on traffic and just how far you have to drive. Yes, the lake is only 72 miles in circumference, but those windy and often-one-laned highways experience brutal delays and backups.

Some areas are perilous to drive around as well, with low speed limits to begin with. That makes having a mass of cars traveling the same one-laned highways a lot more difficult. Yes, peak summer months are downright chaotic in Lake Tahoe, no matter where you are. But the point here is that you shouldn’t try to rent in the north and travel to the south or vice versa, especially on a daily basis.

Lakefront vs. Lake View

You have loads of options when you rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe. However, the biggest choice that most people grapple with is whether to rent directly on the lake or to merely have a view of the lake. There are benefits to both. Now, consider this for a moment. If you’re in South Lake Tahoe, you’re more likely to find properties directly on the lake. In fact, that’s probably where you’ll want to be.

However, in North Lake Tahoe, lake views are often epic. They often create some serious nostalgia that will beckon you for years to come, enticing you to head back to this earthly haven. Views of the lake from North Lake Tahoe often include snow-capped peaks and Alpine forests, along with the shimmering waters of the lake.

However, there are other considerations here. Lakefront properties are terrific if you intend to spend much of your time on the lake. That means, summer time trips. If you're heading to Lake Tahoe in the summer, then a lakefront property is ideal. If you’re going in the winter, then you might want to opt for a place further from the lake, one with a view of it.

If you’re traveling with children, and you’re heading out for the summer, then lakefront is great. If you plan to do boating or swimming or any other family activity, then opt for the lake. In South Lake Tahoe, you can also find bike rentals directly on the lake. You can bike the entire circumference of the lake from here, which makes it an ideal location.

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Cabins versus Condos

When it comes to renting a home in Lake Tahoe, you also have the choice of a condo versus a cabin. When we say cabin, we’re often talking about a freestanding home. But not always. For the most part, cabins in Lake Tahoe are single-family homes. Often, they boast all the amenities you would expect from a home away from home, right in the heart of one of the most sought-after destinations on earth.

However, deciding between cabins and condos is more than just a preference. Sure, you might want to have a home instead of a condo. But, really, it all depends on the experience you’re looking for. Condos and townhomes are prevalent in spots like Sierra Shores where a collection of 16 or so high-end units dot the shoreline. You can mix and mingle with other guests and there’s a more social atmosphere.

You can also find condos and townhomes in places like Northstar and at the Ritz Carlton Constellation. While these are more social environments, they’re definitely upscale. But if you’re looking for a more secluded experience where you’re away from just about everyone, then opt for a cabin.

In fact, most of the high-end cabins in Lake Tahoe are decadent. They boast the finest in materials and furnishings. In fact, you’ll likely miss nothing. Not a beat when you rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe. Depending on the property you select, you could have anything from an indoor pool and a sauna, to a billiards table, high-end entertainment systems, outdoor hot tubs, steam showers, professional-grade kitchens and more.

The Best Time To Travel

If you’re looking to rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe, peak season is great if you’re willing to pay the price. However, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, then there are other times of the year when you could travel. Since Lake Tahoe has two primary seasons, traveling just before peak season in summer or winter is often ideal.

For example, March through May are both cost-effective and also accessible as far as things to do in the outdoors. You can do loads of hikes without worrying about snow and frigid weather, but still get to experience the beauty of the outdoors in Lake Tahoe. For more of a winter experience, head there in October through November for the best experience.

However, either way you look at it, Lake Tahoe is an expensive place to be. Traveling there is not cheap. But if you plan properly, you could still score a good deal. Be sure to book as early as possible if you’re looking to get the best place at the best price. Otherwise, cabins often fill up fast, so don’t be surprised if most are booked up for a last-minute trip.

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