12 Best South Lake Tahoe Beaches — With nearly 70 miles of shoreline looping around its beautiful, ultra-blue waters, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States. Although the majority of the Tahoe shoreline is made up of jagged granite rocks and cliffs, the lake also offers a number of public beaches that are ideal for swimming, picnics, BBQs, or simply relaxing in the Sierra sun.
Some beaches charge parking fees, and the majority of them do not accept dogs. As a result, this Top 10 list should assist you in locating the greatest beaches for your summer activities.
Lake Tahoe is rich of natural treasures, from breathtaking snow-capped mountains to crystal-clear freshwater rivers. An assortment of beaches tucked away along the lake’s shoreline, concealed between dense pine woods and rugged hillsides, are among the attractions.
The Sierra Nevadas’ high peaks serve as a beautiful background for Lake Tahoe’s beaches. Most of the beaches feature beautiful picnic places in covered pine woods and provide stunning alpine vistas.
The main draws of Lake Tahoe beaches throughout the summer are sunbathing and water activities. Other activities include hiking and biking along routes that overlook the lake’s gorgeous shoreline, as well as camping in the lake’s campgrounds.
The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is ideal for water sports enthusiasts. There are 29 launching locations for kayaking and paddleboarding along the 72-mile circuit. Many of the nicest beaches on Lake Tahoe are within walking distance of these launching spots.
Best South Lake Tahoe Beaches
1. Lester Beach : South Lake Tahoe Beaches
The D.L. Bliss State Park on the West Shore is where Lester Beach is located. This lovely beach features a lagoon-style swimming area, running water facilities, and plenty of sand and sunshine.
Drive down Highway 89 to D.L. Bliss and through the park and campground to get to the beach. The beach has limited parking near the ocean at the bottom of the hill. It is permissible to launch kayaks, paddleboards, and small craft here.
Early in the day, the beach might become congested, so visitors should keep that in mind (before noon). By 11 a.m., the parking area is usually completely full, and people are no longer permitted to enter.
The beach is in a peaceful setting with breathtaking views. It’s a two-mile walk from the parking lot to get here.
Visitors should be aware that the shore edges a section of Lake Tahoe known as the “Rubicon Wall,” which has unusually deep waters and no permitted swimming area. Water sports like as paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing are popular here.
Lester Beach has a variety of amenities, including public restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. In the region, there are additional camping and fishing opportunities.
2. Sand Harbor Beach : South Lake Tahoe Beaches
The 55-acre Sand Harbor is located on the east (Nevada) side of the lake. This area features everything you’d expect from one of the nicest beaches on the lake, including a visitor centre, picnic tables, trees and large stretches of sunny sand, swimming places (of course), and even a beach and cove dedicated to SCUBA divers.
A boat launch and tow truck parking are also available in the park. Each summer, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival takes place in Sand Harbor.
Sand Harbor State Park’s Main Beach, a half-mile stretch of sandy shoreline, attracts large crowds of sunbathers on hot days. Swimming, paddleboarding, water skiing, boating, and volleyball are just a few of the outdoor activities available to visitors.
The views of the lake’s eastern shoreline are breathtaking from this vantage point.
3. Kings Beach : South Lake Tahoe Beaches
During the summer, visitors flock to Kings Beach in droves. There are enough recreational activities to appeal to everyone, making it a popular resort for families and groups of friends.
Swimming, fishing, boating, paddleboarding, and windsurfing are all available at Kings Beach State Recreation Area. A half-court basketball court and a children’s playground are also available.
The beach, with its large sandy beachfront and lots of space to lay out on beach towels or beneath a parasol, is the leisure area’s feature. Kings Beach is an excellent area to sunbathe in the summer because of the consistently warm weather and the south-facing beach.
Many snack shops and casual restaurants that serve to-go meals are located nearby. A shaded forest of Jeffrey pine trees shelters a picnic area. On a first-come, first-served basis, tables are available.
The community of Kings Beach has a lively vacation atmosphere. Summer visitors are catered to by a variety of stores, restaurants, sidewalk sellers, and motels.
4. Vikingsholm Beach : South Lake Tahoe Beaches
This beach is technically part of Emerald Bay State Park, although it’s just in front of the Vikingsholm Castle at the bottom of the Vikingsholm Trail, which can be reached by Highway 89. Park in the Vikingsholm car park and walk one mile down to the water. The castle, Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, and its tea house can all be seen from this little beach.
Vikingsholm Beach, located on Lake Tahoe’s spectacular Emerald Bay, overlooks a stunning vacation residence built in 1929. Vikingsholm Castle is a magnificent example of Scandinavian construction, and guided visits are available during the summer (Memorial Day weekend through September).
The beach at Vikingsholm is well-suited to boats and swimming. Ramps make it simple to launch boats from the beach. Kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent, which adds to the convenience. A section of the beach (south of the pier) is dedicated solely to swimming.
Restrooms and picnic tables are available for use at Vikingsholm Beach. Vikingsholm Shore has a parking area off Highway 89, which is a one-mile trek from the beach. During peak season, the parking lot fills up quickly.
A steep route leads from the parking lot to Vikingsholm Beach. Visitors should keep in mind that getting to the beach is a difficult downhill trip, as well as getting back to the parking lot is a strenuous uphill journey. (The trail gains around 500 feet in elevation.) This beach is not advised for persons who have mobility concerns.
5. Kiva Beach : South Lake Tahoe Beaches
Check out Kiva Beach, which is dog friendly, if you want to bring your best buddy to Lake Tahoe (near Baldwin Beach). Dogs are allowed to swim off-leash here, but must be leashed on the beach.
Another advantage of Kiva is that parking is completely free. There are no bathrooms (just portable toilets), however that means this beach is usually less crowded than others.
This little, scenic beach is located on National Forest Service land within the Tallac Historic Site. The sand and pebble shoreline spans for about 200 yards and is bordered by a grove of pine trees.
Protected fauna can be found in a nearby marsh zone. A coastal route leads to the Tallac Historic Site, with beautiful lake views along the way.
There is a free parking space at Kiva Beach, as well as a pleasant picnic spot with tables facing the lake. The public restrooms are temporary toilets, so there aren’t many options.
From Memorial Day weekend to the end of October, the beach is open.