Best of Lake Tahoe
When planning your Lake Tahoe vacation, one of the first things you'll want to do is determine the vicinity where you want to stay. "North Lake Tahoe lodging" (North Shore), "South Lake Tahoe lodging" (South Shore) and "Reno Area lodging" (Nevada) are the general classifications used to describe your Lake Tahoe lodging choices. All three areas offer a wide variety of wonderful options. Whether you want to vacation at a luxurious resort, a cozy inn, a roomy condo, a casino hotel or a bargain motel, there's a huge selection for you to chose from -- many at discounted rates, depending on the season.
You can click on the links below to:
1) Search for South Lake Tahoe lodging options, North Lake Tahoe lodging options or Reno area options
2) Check availability and rates at the best Lake Tahoe hotels and resorts
3) Make reservations at the hotel, resort or motel you select
Click on the city name below to see the best lodging options in that specific area. If you're not sure about exact locations, you can check the map below or our Google map page
Lodging in North Lake Tahoe (North Shore): Carnelian Bay, Crystal Bay, Incline Village, Kings Beach, Olympic Valley, Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Truckee
Lodging in South Lake Tahoe (South Shore): South Lake Tahoe (CA), Gardnerville (NV), Genoa (NV), Meeks Bay, Minden (NV), Stateline (NV), Tahoma (CA), Zephyr Cove (NV)
Lodging in Reno Area (Nevada): Reno (NV), Sparks (NV), Carson City (NV), Virginia City (NV)
About Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is surrounded by the spectacular mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the west and the Carson Range to the east. The lake is renowned for its deep, clear water which appears to be cobalt-blue on sunny days. Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty makes it one of the most popular year-round vacation destinations in the state for both Californians and out-of-state visitors.
In addition, the region offers winter, spring, summer and fall activities that are sure to appeal to everyone in the family: Casino gaming and big-name shows in Nevada; Winter sports (alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating); World-class golfing; Sunbathing, beach fun, boating and water sports; Outdoor activities at the many Regional and State Parks and National Forests (hiking, fishing, camping, bicycling). And, of course, you can always just relax, enjoy the serenity and revel in the joy of being in one of the most truly magnificent places on earth!
Lake Tahoe is located about 150 miles east-northeast of San Francisco. The lake is divided by the Nevada-California State line, with about one-third in Nevada and two-thirds in California. The area enjoys an average of 275 days of sunshine a year. It snows about 125 inches a year at lower levels, but at the alpine level ski resorts, the average is between 300 and 500 inches per year.
It was formed 2-3 million years ago and the surrounding mountain peaks rise to altitudes above 10,000 ft above sea level. At 6,225 feet above sea level, Lake Tahoe is the highest of its size in the U.S. and the largest alpine lake in North America. The lake is 1,646 ft deep -- the second deepest in the United States and tenth deepest in the world. It has an average altitude of about 6,225 ft and a surface area of 192 square miles. It is about 22 miles long (north to south), 12 miles wide (east to west), and has 72 miles of shoreline.
The water here is 99.9% pure and is so clear that a dinner-plate would still be visible 100 feet below the surface. The surface water temperature ranges from 40oF during the winter to 70oF during the summer. But the chilly water doesn’t stop visitors from enjoying the magnificent beaches and abundant water sports.
Casinos, Gaming, Concerts, Shows
Casino gaming is very popular here. Gambling is legal in Nevada, which houses all 9 major casinos in the region.
In addition to gaming, the casinos also provide venues for great concerts and shows! To check what's happening with regard to concerts, theater and shows, go to out Concert and Theater Tickets page. You can get discount tickets to some really spectacular events!
You'll find tickets to the following popular concert venues in the Tahoe region (all on the Nevada side): Harrah's, Harvey's Outdoor Amphitheater, the Crystal Bay Club, the Montblue Casino, the Hyatt Regency, the Silver Legacy Casino, Grand Sierra Theater and the Reno Events Center.
The gaming falls into five categories: Keno, Slots, Table Games, Poker and Race and Sports Book.
Keno is offered throughout the casino and is particularly popular to play in the bars and restaurants in the casino.
Slots today come in many styles that include the reel-type slot machine, video slot machine, poker, 21 or Keno. There are approximately 10,000 electronic games in the 8 Lake Tahoe casinos.
Table Games include Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Craps, Big Six, Spanish 21, Pai gow and Pai Gow Poker. Not all casinos offer all of the games, so call ahead if you want to try your luck with a particular game.
Poker rooms at the casinos feature the hottest games including Texas Hold’Em, Seven-Card Stud and Omaha. Omaha is rapidly becoming one of the most popular games around the world. Give it a try while you are here.
The Race and Sports Book offer the opportunity to watch and wager on live races from Santa Anita to Pimlico and all types of live sporting events from coast to coast. In addition to gaming, all of the large casinos have hotels and many of these large casino hotels offer world- class dining and big name entertainment.
The North Shore has 3 casinos: The famous Cal-Neva Resort, Spa and Casino; The Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and Casino in Crystal Bay; and, The Hyatt Regency at Incline Village. The South Shore has 6 casinos: The MontBleu; Harrah's; Harvey’s; Horizon; Bill’s; and the Lakeside Inn. All are just across the Nevada state line.
Lake Tahoe offers unparalleled opportunity for all type of outdoor activities. There are many local, regional and state parks, as well as national forests surrounding the lake. There are fast-running trout streams for the fisherman and trails of all degrees of difficulty for hiking and mountain biking. Whether camping in the wild or in a campground, you can experience the grandeur of the area and the surrounding mountains.
During the summer months, Lake Tahoe is beautiful setting for your favorite water sports or a great place to try something new. Boating, water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking and checking out the lake on your personal watercraft are all available. There are several rental companies that will have the right equipment for whatever water sport you enjoy.
Lake Tahoe Beaches
Lake Tahoe Beaches are located all around the perimeter, and swimming in the cool, clear water is invigorating and refreshing on a warm summer day.
Public beaches include Carnelian Beach, Sandy Beach, Secline Beach, Tahoe Vista Recreation Area and Boat Launch, Moon Dunes Beach, North Tahoe Beach, Kings Beach State Recreation Area, Coon Street Boat Launch and Speedboat Beach.
If you like skiing, then Tahoe is a perfect choice for an unforgettable California vacation. There are hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails that are well-marked and can be enjoyed by the novice as well as the accomplished skier.
If downhill skiing or snowboarding is your thing, then this area is hard to beat. At the lower levels, annual snowfall averages 125 inches. At alpine skiing elevations, the snowfall averages 300 to 500 inches each year.
There are 15 ski resorts, encompassing more than 10,000 total ski resort acres. One of the best known is Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Heavenly Valley holds the distinction of having two record runs -- the longest run (at 5.5 miles), and the run with the greatest vertical drop (at over 3,600 ft). For more information on skiing at Lake Tahoe, check out our Skiing Information pages. Other popular ski resorts include: Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Ski Homewood and Donner Ski Ranch.
Golfing at Lake Tahoe
Resort at Squaw Creek (CA)
There are many beautiful and challenging golf courses all around the area. For golfing from May to October, one of the most beautiful courses is the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, CA. This 18-hole championship golf course sits at the base of Squaw Valley and is surrounded by six majestic Sierra peaks. The renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the course to preserve the unique beauty, natural wetlands and wildlife habitat of Squaw Valley.
For more info on Resort at Squaw Creek -- or to book Tee Times, you can click here, then enter: Resort at Squaw Creek in "Course Name" and California in "Region." See for golf course info and to checkout nearby hotels.
Carson Valley Golf Club (NV)
One of our favorite year-round places to golf is the Carson Valley Golf Club (Gardnerville, Nevada). This 18-hole par 71 championship course is located in Gardnerville, Nevada, a short 30-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe. The greens fees are reasonable and the cart is included. They also have a driving range and putting green, so you can so you can hit a few balls before you tee off. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, and has a full service bar.
For more info on Carson Valley Golf Club -- or to book Tee Times, you can click here, then enter: Carson Valley in "Course Name" and Nevada in "Region." See for golf course info and to checkout nearby hotels.
Disc Golf is one of the more unusual activities available here. Disc golf is like traditional golf, except that you play with Frisbee-like discs instead of balls and clubs. And the discs are thrown at above-ground targets instead of a hole in the ground.
Many ecologically-sensitive sportsmen are drawn to disc golf because the courses are set-up in completely natural environments, so there is no land-clearing for large courses and no chemicals or water requirements for green fairways. Perhaps best of all, disc golf is free or inexpensive. Lake Tahoe offers 5 interesting courses.
Kirkwood – Kirkwood Mountain Resort – Open June to October. Beautiful 18-hole course and a great hike with lots of elevation change.
South Lake Tahoe – Bijou Community Park – A classic disc golf course. Little slope. Good for beginners. No fee to play.
Tahoe Vista – Lake of the Sky – The region's newest course. 18 holes. Not too long, but challenging. $3 parking fee.
Truckee – Truckee River Regional Park – Best to play here in the spring. Summer is hot and dusty. Not the most beautiful course.
Zephyr Cove, NV – Zephyr Cove Park – Challenging course and conditions. Spectacular views with lots of elevation change. Can be very hot and the manzanita is thick.
State Parks and National Forests The parks and forests here offer all types of facilities for outdoor recreation. You can visit the websites of the following State Parks, Regional Parks and National Forests to see what awaits you. They are truly amazing.
Burton Creek State Park
Bliss State Park
Donner Memorial State Park
Emerald Bay State Park
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
North Tahoe Regional Park
Sugar Pine Point State Park
Tahoe National Forest
Tahoe Rim Trail
Tahoe State Recreation Area
Nearby Points of Interest
(Distance shown is from Tahoe City, North Shore)
Weather at Lake Tahoe
The weather is outstanding! In fact, all year round, the glorious weather is one of the areas biggest assets. During the summer, when the temperature in nearby areas is 100+ degrees, it will be a balmy 80 degrees here. A typical summer day might start off at 45, but climbs rapidly to 80 degrees. With cool mornings and evenings and warm days, dressing in layers is a good idea.
The winters are also mild compared to other popular winter sport areas in the US. A typical winter day in Tahoe could range from 15 to 41 degrees. At lake level, annual snowfall averages 125 inches., while at the higher alpine skiing elevations, the snowfall averages 300 to 500 inches each year.
|Average Air Temperature and Moisture
Give it your best shot! Right or wrong... you're entered in our Prize Drawing for cool travel stuff! Add us to your Favorites, so you can enter again every week! It's fun and you might get lucky! Find answers and learn more on the Fun Facts Quiz page.