Posted on 2/24/2024 by Caroline Volin

Exploring South Lake Tahoe's Best Beaches

When summer calls, South Lake Tahoe beckons with its crystal-clear waters, sandy shores, and breathtaking mountain views. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or family fun, the beaches surrounding this iconic destination offer something for everyone. Here's a guide to the best beaches to visit in the summer near South Lake Tahoe, categorized based on the type of experience they offer. Looking for a place to stay right at the heart of the action? Check out these Adventure Stays properties right in Tahoe!


1. Lakeside Beach

Address: 4081 Lakeshore Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: 9:00am-7:00pm ; Winter access - 8:00am to 9:00pm open to the public without a pass

This gorgeous, sandy beach is privately managed by the Lakeside Park Association, but provides access to anyone for a fee during the summer months. It offers all kinds of amenities and activities including onsite refreshments, (check out the Lakeside Beach Grill) water sport rentals, swimming, access to the adjacent Lakeside Marina, chair/umbrella rentals, and more. There are breakwaters in place to protect swimmers. It’s a great place to watch the sunset over Lake Tahoe since it is just a short walk/drive from any stays on Stateline.

The north side of the beach has a large walkway and more permanent seating. It is a popular and breathtaking location for large gatherings such as weddings, family reunions, and parties. For more information on scheduling larger events, it is recommended that visitors call The Arch at Lakeside Beach for coordination assistance.

Guests staying at Moose and Maple Lodge or Blue Jay Lodge, both just a short distance from the beach, can request a free beach pass during the summer months to access Lakeside Beach at no cost. These passes allow for earlier access during summer months, and exclusive access on some holidays.

2 of our Adventure Stays properties are members of the Lakeside Park Association.


2. Zephyr cove beach

Address: 760 US-50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Hours: Year round, sunrise to sunset. Entry fee required

Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove Beach is renowned for its stunning panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. This picturesque beach is perfect for those seeking a full service experience for a day at the beach. Visitors can bask in the sun on the sandy shores, play beach volleyball on the available courts, take a leisurely swim in the pristine waters, or rent kayaks and paddle boards for a lake adventure.

The beach includes the Zephyr Cove Resort which has a restaurant, beach bar and grill, and a general store. You can rent beach chairs or umbrellas for just $15/day, and staff can help with set up should you need it. Dogs are not allowed at the Zephyr Cove Resort beach, but are permitted on-leash at the north beach of Zephyr Cove.

Zephyr Cove is also home to the MS Dixie II, a paddlewheeler cruise that takes visitors for a guided tour around the gorgeous Emerald Bay. The cruise dispatches from Zephyr Cove, and is fun for the whole family!


3. El Dorado Beach

Address: 1004 Lakeview Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Hours: May-October although this may change dependent on weather, parking is free of charge

Located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado Beach offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a range of recreational activities to enjoy. The beach features picnic areas for large groups, concessions for kayaks and paddle boards, public restrooms, and a roped/buoyed swim area making it ideal for families with children. Visitors can take a refreshing dip in the lake, build sandcastles along the shoreline, or simply soak up the sun while taking in the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Find a stay near the beach.

You will also find the El Dorado Beach Boat Ramp at this location which is open year-round (dependent on water-levels, local conditions). You can find more information about the boat ramp here.


4. regan Beach (Dog friendly)

Address: 3199 Sacramento Avenue, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Hours: April-September

This beach is a more secluded and serene counterpart to the nearby El Dorado Beach. It is also one of South Lake Tahoe’s oldest beach facilities. This is a great spot for a quiet picnic, launching your kayak, or enjoying the beautiful lake views without the crowds. This spot may be secluded, but it still boasts amenities like a large grass area, one volleyball court, an observation deck, and restrooms.

Have a furry friend who loves the lake as much as you do? Regan Beach has South Lake Tahoe’s ONLY Dog Water Park located on the east end of the park. Dogs are permitted off-leash only in this part of the park. Lucky for you, all Adventure Stays properties in South Lake Tahoe are also dog friendly, so book a pet friendly room today for your beach adventure! Remember to bring the right supplies to pick up after your pet and keep the beach and lake clean.

Dog-friendly hotel rooms can be found here!


5. Baldwin Beach

Address: 17 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Hours: Memorial Day Weekend through Mid-October; Entry fee required.

Nestled amidst tall pine trees, Baldwin Beach is a favorite spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This expansive beach offers a pristine natural setting with soft sand, clear waters, and ample opportunities for hiking and exploration. The beach is a great launch point for various kinds of recreation. Hikers can embark on the nearby Rubicon Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding wilderness. This is also a popular launch point for kayakers looking to go to Emerald Bay. You can rent kayaks on site to start your adventure!

Wildlife enthusiasts also enjoy this beach as a site for bird and waterfowl watching. Remember to always respect plant and animal life when out in nature!

Find a nearby stay in one of South Lake Tahoe's historic motels.


6. nevada Beach

Address: 948 North Benjamin Dr, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Hours: Gated access, Memorial Day - mid-October, entry fee required

Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, just 2 miles from Stateline, Nevada Beach is a popular destination for water sports, swimming, and picnicking. The beach boasts a half mile of golden sand, perfect for sunbathing and enjoying the views. Visitors can rent kayaks and paddle boards on site, and there is a large group pavilion also available by reservation. The beach also features nearby hiking trails and scenic overlooks for those seeking adventure on land.

Find a place to stay in Stateline with Adventure Stays.


7. pope Beach

Address: Pope Beach, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Hours: Gated access, Memorial Day - mid-October, entry fee required

Tucked away amidst towering pine trees, Pope Beach offers a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This secluded beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere, relatively shallow waters, and convenient access to walking/running trails. Visitors can relax in the shade of the trees, watch for birds and wildlife along the shoreline, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the sandy beach. Restrooms, refreshment concessions, and nearby bike and water sports rentals are a few of the convenient amenities available here.

Find a place to stay near Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe.


Responsible Beach Enjoyment: Preserving Lake Tahoe's Natural Beauty

As you embark on your summer adventures at the beaches of South Lake Tahoe, it's important to remember the significance of preserving the natural beauty and ecosystem of Lake Tahoe. Here are a few tips for enjoying the beaches responsibly and respecting nature:

  1. Leave No Trace: Always clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly. Pack out whatever you pack in, including food wrappers, bottles, and other waste.
  2. Respect Wildlife: Lake Tahoe is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including birds, fish, and small mammals. Keep a respectful distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding them.
  3. Stay on Designated Trails: If you're exploring hiking trails near the beaches, stick to designated paths to minimize impact on vegetation and wildlife habitats.
  4. Use Wildlife-Safe Sunscreen: When swimming in the lake, choose reef-safe sunscreen to minimize harmful chemicals from entering the water and impacting lake wildlife.
  5. Be Mindful of Fire Danger: Especially during dry summer months, be cautious with fire and adhere to any fire restrictions in place to prevent wildfires.

By practicing responsible beach enjoyment and respecting the natural environment, we can all contribute to the preservation of Lake Tahoe's pristine beauty for future generations to enjoy. Let's cherish this natural treasure and leave only footprints as we soak in the wonders of Lake Tahoe's breathtaking landscapes.

Find a great place to stay in Tahoe with Adventure Stays!

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