Best Beaches In & Near Lake Tahoe

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The state of California has long been a popular destination for beach lover's the world over. With over 500 miles of coastline it's been a mecca for sun-worshippers, surfers, beach bums and families for decades.

However, California's beautiful beaches aren't just on the Pacific Coast. If you travel inland to the border with Nevada, you'll find the famous resort town of Lake Tahoe, nestled in the awe-inspiring Sierra Nevada Mountains. With tonnes of ski and snowboarding routes in the winter and hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails to enjoy in the summer, it's an outdoorsy person's paradise – but not obviously a beach holiday destination.

The Lake itself has around 70 miles of shoreline, with the surrounding towns and areas being split in two ways; firstly by state with California on the western coast and Nevada on the east, and also North and South Lake Tahoe. The Northern part of Lake Tahoe has more of a mountain vibe to it whilst the South has more nightlife and things going on, like casinos, festivals, late night food.

Regardless of which area of the Lake you choose to stay in, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches suitable for just chilling out on, launching a boat or, taking a dip in the beautiful waters or a combination of all three.

With around 40 Lake Tahoe beaches to choose from we have highlighted a few of the best for your enjoyment.

  • 1. Pope Beach

    Pope Beach
    Ken Lund

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Immediately to the west of the Tahoe Keys residential development of South Lake Tahoe, Pope Beach is an attractive area of lakeshore lined with mature trees. Its narrow ribbon of golden sand is still wide enough to ensure there's plenty of space for everyone who visits.

    Mountain vistas provide a pleasant backdrop to time on Pope Beach, which can be spent swimming, boating or cycling. Roughly a kilometre in length, the… read more »

  • 2. Sand Harbor Beach

    Sand Harbor Beach
    © Mariusz Blach

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    When you think of beaches in America you're probably thinking California, Florida or even Hawaii. Yet, he we are several hundred miles inland and in the mountains. I guess half of the lake is in California, but the beach we are interested in is over the border in Nevada.

    There are actually around over 70 miles of beaches around the shores of Lake Tahoe but of all these Sandy Harbor is… read more »

  • 3. Secret Cove

    Secret Cove
    Ray Bouknight

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Loved by locals and visitors alike, Secret Cove lies roughly midway along the east coast of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Just off Highway 28, it's no more than 300 metres in length. This means that even though it is called "Secret" Cove there can be restricted quantities of space on the sand.

    Limited to day trips because of a lack of accommodation, this tiny near-circular cove has beautifully clear shallows, although… read more »

  • 4. Baldwin Beach

    Baldwin Beach
    Jonathan Cook-Fisher

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Baldwin Beach lies on the southern shores of Lake Tahoe amid one of the lake's most popular areas with visitors because of its range of attractions. Its broad golden sands stretch for around half a mile and offer up vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains alongside the opportunity to hire kayaks to explore the region from the water.

    Located on national forest land, only gas grills are permitted for barbeques to… read more »

  • 5. Vikingsholm Beach

    Vikingsholm  Beach
    Jonathan Fox

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Set on the shores of an almost closed-in Lake Tahoe bay, Vikingsholm Beach is located within Emerald Bay State Park on the southwest of the lake. Overlooked by a 1920s mansion now open to the public between May and September each year, the beach is reached via a steep trail not recommended for those with limited mobility.

    Those who do make it to Vikingsholm Beach will discover a small oasis complete… read more »

  • 6. Kiva Beach

    Kiva Beach
    Jonathan Cook-Fisher

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Kiva Beach is a stone's throw from Tallac Historic Site on the southern shores of Lake Tahoe. Also known to some as Tallac Point, the beach comprises a flat extent of golden sand with a total length of around 200 metres. It then gives way to fragile marshland which visitors are asked to avoid trampling over.

    Almost entirely free of facilities, there is a car park with rubbish bins and portable… read more »

  • 7. Meeks Bay

    Meeks Bay
    Ian Gratton

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Positioned between Tahoma and Rubicon Bay on the western side of Lake Tahoe, Meeks Bay Beach sits amid some of the finest lakeshore views around. Lying on its golden sands, beachgoers have views of the mountains while being ringed by the deep green and straight trunks of the pines of an area of national forest.

    Easy to access and incorporating restrooms and picnic tables among its facilities, Meeks Bay Beach is… read more »

  • 8. Lester Beach

    Lester Beach
    Mark Doliner

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Forming the northern trailhead of the 20 mile Rubicon Trail, Lester Beach is located on the western shores of Lake Tahoe. Facing roughly northeast, it stretches in a thin ribbon for approximately a mile, with its widest portions being at its south-eastern end. It then links to the much shorter Calawee Cove Beach.

    Together, both beaches are sometimes known as Bliss Beach, since they form the shoreline of D. L. Bliss… read more »

  • 9. Kings Beach

    Kings Beach
    Ken Lund

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Kings Beach sits on the stumpy promontory that drops down from the northern shores of Lake Tahoe. On the California side of the state line, it lies on Agate Bay and extends for around a quarter-mile. The neat gridiron of streets stretching inland means beachgoers are never far from parking, places to eat and drink, or somewhere to try their hand at minigolf.

    Covered by snowfall in the winter months, Kings… read more »

  • 10. Hidden Beach

    Hidden Beach
    © fyletto

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Nevada's Hidden Beach isn't actually all that hard to find, being accessible from Highway 28 just over half a mile south of the village of Incline. It's here you'll find the nearest parking. A walking and biking trail then leads to the beach, with many visitors unloading close by before parking, rather than carrying their gear all the way.

    Around 200 yards in length, the beach curves tightly around a small… read more »

  • 11. Zephyr Cove

    Zephyr Cove

    Travel time from Lake Tahoe: approx 0.5 hrs

    Occupying an area of forested shoreline on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove has some of the best facilities of any of the beaches on the lake. Its marina provides spaces for boats to moor, while log cabins together with an RV park and campground make it extraordinarily easy to stay overnight and enjoy another day in this exquisite landscape.

    There's plenty of opportunity to sit beside the lake… read more »

More beaches near Lake Tahoe