If you’re planning on visiting the National Treasure that is Lake Tahoe, you might find yourself overwhelmed on where to begin, especially if it’s during a high traffic holiday weekend.
So take it from us locals who have endured countless hours of Tahoe traffic, overcrowded beaches, screaming children, unexpected nudity, and treacherous hikes – all to seek out the best beaches for any given occasion. Worth it? 100%.
Worth it? 100%.
Below we have outlined the Top 6 Tahoe Beaches for any occasion.
Traveling with your dog? Done.
Family vacation? Check.
Couple's retreat? You got it.
Bachelorette party? Say no more.
First on the list is Chimney Beach, a guaranteed local favorite, as this beach is one of the best ways to avoid a crowd. Chimney Beach is located on the Nevada side of the lake, about 6 miles south of Incline Village. Keep in mind there is a moderate .5 mile hike down to the beach, but nothing overly difficult that should scare you away. Pack a small cooler and some towels and look for the unique chimney marker located on the sand as you arrive to the water. Feel free to bring the pup as this beach is dog-friendly!
If you've ever picked up a brochure or pamphlet of Lake Tahoe, there is a good chance you were looking at Sand Harbor on the cover. While you are sure to run into a crowd or a full parking lot if you don't arrive here early enough, Sand Harbor might just be one of the prettiest and best family-friendly beaches on the lake. So pack up the car early and drive just 3 miles south of Incline Village and you will arrive at the legendary Sand Harbor.
While this beach is surely no secret, it's definietely the most secluded option on the list. In fact, it's so secluded it's one of few nude beaches located in Lake Tahoe. Yes, you heard that right, nude. So if you prefer a spot where suits are optional, look no further. This cove is wonderful for swimming, has plenty of private spots to lounge and is only 3/4 of a mile down the road from Chimney Beach.
This beach combines the friendly atmosphere of a family beach with the fun vibes you'd want on a party lake day. There are some grassy areas, a playground for the kids and free live music every Sunday throughout the summer months. Not to mention, this beach is in the heart of Tahoe City, aka. plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping just walking distance once you're done with the sand.
Lester Beach is the name for the south portion of DL Bliss State Park. Not only is Lester Beach a great place to venture for day use, but it's also a popular spot among campers as there are many hiking trails near by and has easy access for a kayak or canoe launch. If you're feeling adventurous and are looking for a beach with more activity options such as hiking, bouldering, cliff jumping, etc., Lester Beach is your place. Just don't bring the pets, as this state park is not dog-friendly.
If you're wondering where the party people are at, look no further than Zephyr Cove. From volleyball courts to beach cocktail service to the famous Sunset Bar & Grille, Zephyr's your place for all day/night fun in the sun. This is not a dog-friendly beach, so be sure to leave the furry friends behind.