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Have you been to the magnificent Lake Tahoe? Are you thinking of visiting it soon? You can spend time having a blast at the marvelous beaches in Lake Tahoe while you’re there!
At approximately 1,645 feet deep, Lake Tahoe is America’s second-deepest lake. And, with more than 70 miles of stunning shorelines, the lake offers some of the best beaches in the US. Its crystal blue waters, tree-lined cliffs, and beautiful rugged boulders make your time here an amazing experience.
Even better, many of the incredible beaches in this area are open to the public, although some are private. Still, even the private ones are accessible for a small fee.
The beaches in Lake Tahoe have picnic sites, restrooms, parking, and other amenities that make them easily accessible. If you have some time to spare in the mid-California and Nevada border region or have upcoming vacation plans, here are the best beaches to consider on this spellbinding lake.
- Best Beaches in Lake Tahoe
- 1. Kings Beach
- 2. Chimney Beach
- 3. Sand Harbor Beach
- 4. Pope Beach
- 5. Kiva Beach
- 6. Nevada Beach
- 7. Baldwin Beach
- 8. Lester Beach
- 9. Commons Beach
- 10. Secret Cove
- 11. Camp Richardson Beach
- 12. El Dorado Beach
- 13. Zephyr Cove Resort Beach
- 14. Hidden Beach
- 15. Sugar Pine Point Beach
- 16. Emerald Bay Beach
- 17. Meeks Bay Beach
- 18. Crystal Bay
Best Beaches in Lake Tahoe
1. Kings Beach
At the North Shore of Lake Tahoe lies one of the most popular beaches in the area. Kings Beach dazzles with its yellow sand that many folks love relaxing on. Both tourists and locals flock to this place since it’s among the best beaches in Tahoe.
One thing that makes this beach so attractive is its location. As a south-facing sandy beach, it’s warm and the perfect spot to swim. As such, swimming in Lake Tahoe is among the activities you won’t want to miss. Plus, playing frisbee and photography makes your beach time even more fulfilling.
There’s also a picnic site and playground where kids can have a good time as you bask on the warm sand. If you want to enjoy the beautiful views of the entire lake in full, a self-guided Lake Tahoe tour will do.
When it comes to accommodation, Kings Beach also has an incredible variety. For example, you can spend your night at Regency Way Retreat or Kings Beach Retreat, some of the best lounges in the area if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Lake Tahoe.
2. Chimney Beach
The National Forest Service is in charge of several beaches in Lake Tahoe, Chimney Beach being one of those. It’s 2 miles south of South Harbor State Park, meaning you can have more than just beach time here. A stone chimney at the beach is the source of the beach’s unique name.
Visitors who want to spend time at Chimney Beach enjoy the most scenic views of the expansive lake. This is the best spot for sunbathing, boat rides, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
The spot also permits picnics and swimming in Lake Tahoe. And there are great bus tours that allow you to relish the beauty of this stunning lake. Places that offer excellent accommodation in Chimney Beach include Cheyenne Chalet and Chateau de Navahoe.
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3. Sand Harbor Beach
While exploring the beaches on Lake Tahoe, spend time sunbathing at the marvelous Sand Harbor Beach. During warm days, visitors and locals flock to this fantastic spot where many different activities can be enjoyed.
Spending time playing volleyball, swimming, boating, water skiing, and paddle boarding is all possible from this beach. The good news is Sand Harbor Beach has the necessary facilities to make spending time there worth it. And there are paved walkways, public restrooms, a parking lot, and showers.
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4. Pope Beach
Pope Beach is in South Lake Tahoe and is among the best-hidden beaches on Lake Tahoe. For starters, a grove of beautiful pine trees shields the beach from view, creating excellent scenery.
The beach is where to be if you want to explore the most relaxing scenery. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are in the background of Pope Beach.
Families and friends can enjoy many activities like kayaking, swimming, and paddle boarding. There are also areas for picnics and public restrooms. Visiting this beach is free, but you must pay a small fee to park in the parking lot.
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5. Kiva Beach
When planning to spend time exploring the Tallac Historic Site, be sure to pass by Kiva Beach. It’s among Lake Tahoe’s beaches set on National Forest Service land. Kiva Beach has a narrow shoreline backed by pine grooves, about 200 yards, which will captivate your eyes.
You can access a free parking lot and a picnic area with picnic tables here. And you can enjoy the amazing lake scenes in a peaceful environment. However, it’s worth mentioning that the beach opens from Memorial Day to the end of October, so check your travel dates well.
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6. Nevada Beach
On the southeast shore of Lake Tahoe lies Nevada Beach. It’s also located on National Forest Service land and offers an amazing sandy beach. This one-mile stretch is where you can take in some of the best panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.
Spend time here sunbathing, kayaking, swimming, and boating. Also, you can take amazing horizon images of the Sierra Nevada, especially as the sun goes down.
If you are not alone, there’s a picnic site and a large pavilion ideal for groups you can rent. However, you should note that the forest only allows portable gas grills in the area when grilling.
7. Baldwin Beach
Baldwin Beach is also in South Lake Tahoe, where visitors can enjoy a sandy shore set on a gorgeous spot. If you want to access Emerald Bay near here, this is the place to be. This half-mile stretch is fantastic for taking in the amazing landscape.
Even better, there’s no shortage of activities you can engage in at Baldwin Beach. Visitors can spend time kayaking; there’s a place to rent equipment if you need gear. Other activities include fishing, paddle boarding, swimming, and hosting a picnic.
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8. Lester Beach
In D.L. Bliss State Park, visitors and locals can spend quality time on the stunning Lester Beach. It’s another of the most popular beaches on Lake Tahoe and for a good reason.
Firstly, this tranquil and relaxing north shore beach is next to the deepest part of the lake. This means that besides enjoying beautiful views and warm sand, there are numerous activities to engage in. But visitors must get there early since the beach tends to fill up by 11 am.
On Lester Beach, there are activities for everyone. Whether solo, with family, or with friends, this is an amazing beach. Popular activities include picnics, fishing, camping, swimming, or boating.
Camping takes place at the adjacent D.L. Bliss campground, and you can also walk the Rubicon Hiking Trail. Folks who want to stay in the area can book into Club Tahoe Resort or SpringHill Suite by Marriott Truckee.
9. Commons Beach
Commons Beach is a 4-acre park open to the public. Here, you can engage in a whole host of activities. It’s also possible to enjoy the waterfront trail where folks take nature walks and stroll on the lovely beach.
There’s also a big open area perfect for social gatherings. Check out the picnic area, with plenty of barbeque pits and tables to host large groups. Commons Beach also has an area surrounded by lawns where you can find a playground for children to enjoy.
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10. Secret Cove
Another of the best beaches in Lake Tahoe is Secret Cove, set on the east shore. And even its name gives a hint of how amazing the spot is.
It is a perfect example of a hidden spot where you can have some privacy. And it’s a popular beach for nudists and covers 17 miles of the Lake Tahoe Shoreline.
Nude sunbathing is among the popular activities you can enjoy when visiting Secret Cove. This means no children around. Also, enjoy the water with your pet, as this beach is pet-friendly.
11. Camp Richardson Beach
Spend time on a ¼ mile of the fantastic beach when you tour Camp Richardson Beach in South Lake Tahoe. This is among the best stretches in the area that can receive huge crowds, especially during warm and lovely days.
There are some easy walk trails that you can explore here when you want to stretch your feet. Also, people enjoy other activities on this public beach, such as swimming, paddle boarding, boating, and kayaking. There’s also room for picnics and sunbathing.
12. El Dorado Beach
Lake View Commons is home to El Dorado Beach. This is the place to be when you want to take in some magnificent views of Lake Tahoe. On its south shore, you can find an approved access point to the amazing Lake Tahoe Water Trail.
Travelers get to relish in the magnificent views of the lake and all its splendor. On top of that, you can sunbathe, swim, paddle boat, boat, and kayak. There are picnic sites, tables, BBQ spots, restrooms, and a parking lot.
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13. Zephyr Cove Resort Beach
When visiting Tahoe, there are many amazing south Lake Tahoe beaches. The Zephyr Cove Resort Beach wouldn’t miss on that list. And while this is a private beach, members of the public can still access it at a fee.
After getting the go-ahead from the resort management, spend time on the magnificent 1-mile beach, enjoying the warm sun and clear waters.
The Zephyr Cove is part of the Zephyr Cove Resort, where you can stay. The resort has numerous facilities, including cabins for guests. But, if you want to spend time on the beach, rent some umbrellas and spend time at the picnic areas or hiking trails along the shores of the lake.
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14. Hidden Beach
A visit to the best beaches in Lake Tahoe isn’t complete without spending time at Hidden Beach. Just as the name suggests, this is a secluded spot that visitors to the place love, not far away from the incline village. Here, you can enjoy spending time in the fantastic turquoise waters surrounded by alcoves.
Also, there are plenty of trails for hikers who enjoy exploring new spots. However, it’s worth noting that this beach lacks sufficient facilities. For instance, folks with cars are forced to park along the highway.
But this doesn’t deter people from visiting this hidden gem. Many visitors book a hotel and enjoy an extended beach vaycay at this secluded spot. Some good hotels here include the Stargazer and the Old Tahoe Brockway Lodge.
15. Sugar Pine Point Beach
Sugar Pine Point Beach is among the best public beaches in Lake Tahoe. It’s set in Sugar Pine Point State Park, home to a magnificent mansion from the 1900s. The Pine Lodge Mansion is quite popular with visitors and locals on the beach.
It’s hard to miss this beach, given its open position on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Spend time walking the shoreline and hiking the forested area. Folks can also explore the magnificent mansion or boat ride in the lovely waters.
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16. Emerald Bay Beach
Emerald Bay is in Emerald Bay State Park, south of Lake Tahoe. It’s among the best Lake Tahoe beaches in serene landscapes and quiet surroundings. The bay is the only inlet for Lake Tahoe and is home to the 38-room Vikingsholm Castle.
There are many things to do at Emerald Bay, and the park-like water sports, hiking, and biking will certainly make your trip here worthwhile. Here, you can also find a boat cruise and engage in kayaking and paddle boating.
Also, check out the park’s high points, which make the perfect spots for taking amazing pictures of Lake Tahoe. A sightseeing cruise will ensure you see every sumptuous view that this bay has to offer.
17. Meeks Bay Beach
One of Lake Tahoe’s best beaches is Meeks Bay Beach, which lies in a protected area. This is part of the National Forest Service land with some of the most pristine shorelines in Lake Tahoe. The expansive sandy beach is set against dense pine trees, making the spot scenic.
Visitors enjoy spending time at Meeks Bay Beach thanks to its amazing environment. You can spend time cycling, windsurfing, hiking, kayaking, sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying a picnic.
There’s a picnic area with picnic tables, public restrooms, and a parking lot that charges a small entry fee. Folks who want to visit and book a hotel can check out Bayside Bliss or Waterfront Meek Bay Escape hotels.
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18. Crystal Bay
If you want to see some of the most beautiful sparkling waters, head to Crystal Bay. This is among the most magnificent beaches in Lake Tahoe, whose waters form a lovely azure hue. However, it’s worth noting that these waters are 1600 feet deep, just off the shoreline.
Thanks to its location, visitors and locals enjoy a sheltered feel at Crystal Bay. Since mountain peaks and forests surround the area, mountain biking and hiking are among the most popular activities.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.