The South Shore has so many fabulous beaches, that it is sometimes hard to decided which one to visit when you feel like a swim and some sun. To help you, here is our selection of the top six beaches on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Why six? We decided to be fair to our two states, and feature three beaches on the Nevada side of town, and three beaches on the California side of town. Chances are, your luxury vacation rental is not far from one of these sandy stretches of shoreline.
Nevada Beaches in Lake Tahoe
Zephyr Cove Resort
If you have heard of Lake Tahoe, chances are you have also heard of Zephyr Cove. This is a very popular beach for those looking to have some fun in the sun. In addition to a mile long stretch of perfect sand, Zephyr Cove Resort offers volleyball courts, beach chair and umbrella rentals, food and drinks at the Sunset Bar & Grill and on-site boat rentals. The Bar offers cocktail service so you don’t even have to get out of your beach chair when you need a refill. Can’t beat that on vacation! This is also home to Lake Tahoe Cruises, who offer many different scenic cruises on Lake Tahoe. Zephyr Cove Resort & Marina has it all!
Parking: $8/day (increases to $40/day for Fourth of July with a $32 Marina Activity Credit)
Round Hill Pines Beach Resort
Round Hill Pines Beach Resort is tucked behind a round hill (go figure) off of the main highway, just five minutes past the Heavenly Village. Thus, while relaxing on their half-mile of sandy paradise there will be no road noise to disrupt your relaxation. Similar to Zephyr Cove Resort, Round Hill Pines has beach volleyball courts, boat rentals, lounge chair and umbrella rentals, bike rentals and a bar and grill. Grab some food from the Beach Grill, and they will deliver it to you on the beach. For those over 21, enjoy a Pain Killer (delicious frozen rum drink topped with nutmeg) from the Rum Bar on the Beach! It is the only Alpine Caribbean Style bar in all of Lake Tahoe.
Nevada Beach Day Use Area is on National Forest Land and is operated by the California Land Management. As it does not have any boat rentals, marina, bar or restaurant, Nevada Beach is perfect for those looking for a more relaxed beach experience. It is adjacent to the Nevada Beach Campground, and there are grills, picnic tables and a large covered pavilion available for day use visitors. The mile long stretch of sand is perfect for strolling down, and with no marina you have unimpeded views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. There is ample parking, or you can walk or bike to the beach on the Lam Watah Trail.
Parking: $8/day ($20/day for Fourth of July)
** Nevada Beaches Fun Tip: There is a nice bike path that connects Nevada Beach to Round Hill Pines Beach. The path is all paved, and is only a short bike ride to and from each beach.
California Beaches in Lake Tahoe
Lakeside Beach & Marina
Walking distance from downtown Stateline and the Heavenly Village,Lakeside Beach & Marina is a popular beach during the summer for those staying in the City of South Lake Tahoe. The beach, although smaller than those on the Nevada side, packs in everything you could want for your beach day. This is a great beach if you have young ones, as the breakwater protects swimmers and boaters from waves common with the afternoon. It is also monitored by a lifeguard in the summer. Lakeside Marina offers boat rentals (jet skis, paddle boats and kayaks), a volleyball net, benches and picnic tables, children’s play equipment and food and beverages at the Lakeside Beach Grill.
Entry Fee: $5/day
Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach
This South Lake Tahoe beach is unlike no other in the South Shore. There is a sandy stretch of shore, ample shade within a grassy picnic area and an amphitheater. The picnic area features very nice barbecue facilities and tables. The amphitheater allows for lots of places to relax, with the tiered rock walls facing the water. There is a roped in swim area which is great for kids, and the water stays shallow for a while allowing for lots of play space. This beach hosts the annual Race the Lake of the Sky Stand Up Paddle Race, Wednesday Night SUP Races, and the extremely popular Live at Lakeview Commons Summer Concert Music Series. It is also walking distance to some shops and restaurants, prefect for when you start to get hungry! Right in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach is worth a visit.
Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina
Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina (known locally as ‘Camp Rich’) is a few miles past the ‘Y’ on Lake Tahoe’s southwest shore. This popular spot is home to a wonderful sandy beach, swimming area, and one of the lakes longest piers. Here you can rent a boat (Jet Ski’s, paddleboards, kayaks and power boats), go parasailing or hop on the Rum Runner Cruiser for a boat ride. The Beacon Bar and Grill is just yards away from the water, and has an outdoor bar area perfect for beach goers. During the summer, they have live music playing from 1 – 5 on the weekends. Sit back, relax and take in the summer sun! When you have had enough beach time, stop at the Ice Cream Parlor on your way out for a cold tasty treat.
** California Beaches Fun Tip: Hop on the water taxi that runs between Lakeside Marina and Camp Richardson during the summer. Call 530-541-9800 for a schedule.