The weather begs for you to hit up the beaches at Lake Tahoe, so why not oblige? We have a wide variety of outdoor activities and 300 days of sunshine to enjoy these activities, so grab that beach towel and some sunscreen and get ready to enjoy some of the best beaches in North Lake Tahoe and Reno.
From Tahoe City to the east shore, North Lake Tahoe beaches have something for everyone. Whether you want to go for a swim, have a picnic, or just relax on the sand, there is a beach for you.
From hike-in spots to beaches perfect for BBQs and big groups, each beach offers its own unique view of the surrounding mountains, clear blue waters and a sandy landscape to soak-up the Sierra sun for the whole day.
No matter which Lake Tahoe beach you decide to visit, be sure to check what amenities are available, if pets are allowed and if you will have to pay for parking so you don’t miss out on a day of fun in the sun. Learn more about the best North Lake Tahoe beaches below and what makes each so special.
For pristine, smooth sand with views of the mountains and pine trees, head to the North Shore. One of the best beaches in North Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach Recreational Area is family-friendly and shallow enough for the kids to play in. This beach is great for jet skiing, kayaking or paddle boarding. Surrounding the beach, you will find shops, restaurants and places to rent gear for your activity of choice.
As you go east, the shoreline becomes rugged and the blue color of the water intensifies. That’s where you’ll find Sand Harbor State Park, a popular spot on the east shore. Sand Harbor might be one of the best beaches in North Lake Tahoe, but if you’re planning to go, go early. The beach’s parking lot fills up fast. Once you get there, this beach area offers picnic tables for day use, a boat launch and a place to rent a kayak or paddleboard.
Continuing along the eastern shore, you can find a plethora of hidden beaches lined with Tahoe’s iconic granite boulders, begging you to take a plunge in the refreshing water. Along this section of Tahoe’s shoreline, there are hidden spots only accessible by hiking in. The appropriately named Hidden Beach is located just south of Incline Village near Tunnel Creek Road. This is one of the best beaches in North Lake Tahoe for avoiding the crowds. This secluded beach has limited parking, but it’s a royal treat for those who arrive early and make the trek in.
Some beaches at Lake Tahoe require more effort than others to get to. For the real go-getters, keep your eye out for Chimney Beach. Located about a mile from Highway 28, this is a popular beach during the summer. This beach is named after the stone chimney that still remains on the lakeshore, a remnant of the caretaker’s cabin that once stood there. Chimney Beach is dog-friendly and lined with rocks and deep water, perfect for getting that insta-worthy action shot.
Further south on the east shore is Zephyr Cove Beach. Zephyr Cove is one of the larger of the beaches at Lake Tahoe and offers paid parking. Because of its size, there’s usually no problem finding a spot on the beach, but parking can fill up early during the peak season, so plan accordingly. Amenities include restrooms, a small bar and grill, water equipment rentals and a volleyball court. Because of its size, this beach is one of the best Lake Tahoe beaches for families and groups.
Even further south, close to the Nevada/California border, is Nevada Beach. Nevada Beach is about a mile long and is the widest of Lake Tahoe’s beaches. Amenities include a day use pavilion, restrooms, and a BBQ station located inside the pavilion. This beach also offers tent camping, and it’s one of the few beach campgrounds on Lake Tahoe.
Other notable beaches at Lake Tahoe are Pope Beach located on the South shore, lined by pine trees and great for swimming. Lester Beach is also known as “Bliss Beach” because it is located within D.L. Bliss State Park. This beach offers expansive views of Lake Tahoe. Lastly, there is Kiva Beach; this beach is located along the West shore of Lake Tahoe and is situated on National Forest land.
If you’re just looking to relax in the sun and want something closer to town, Reno beaches are also worth checking out. The Sparks Marina, which has a dog park, playgrounds, picnic areas and walking paths, also has two beaches, and in the summer, a concession stand is open for visitors looking for something to eat. The Marina also has some great beach volleyball courts, and there’s nothing like playing a good game of volleyball during the summer with the city lights and Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop.
Whatever beach experience you are looking for, you will find it at one of the beaches in Reno Tahoe.
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