Sand Harbor Beach

Escape the heat - explore the pristine shores

Enjoy the outdoors and 300 days of sunshine!


The weather in Reno Tahoe begs for you to be outdoors, so why not oblige? We have a wide variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors and 300 days of sunshine, so grab that beach towel and enjoy some of the best beaches in Reno and Lake Tahoe.

With health and safety restrictions still in place and outdoor activity on the rise, be sure to check the status of beach closures and parking restrictions before you get to your waterfront destination.

Best Beaches in Lake Tahoe

For pristine, smooth sand with views of the mountains, go to one of the many Tahoe beaches found on the North Shore. Kings Beach Recreational Area is family-friendly and shallow enough for the kids to play in. Surrounding the beach, you will find hip shops, restaurants, and places to rent a kayak or paddleboard.

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 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 picnicking and day use, a boat ramp and a place to rent a kayak or paddleboard.

Continuing along the eastern shore, a plethora of beaches lined with Tahoe’s iconic granite boulders are welcoming spots to take a plunge. On this portion of the shore, 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 Lake Tahoe beaches 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 Lake Tahoe beaches 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 hot spot 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 Lake Tahoe beaches 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 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.

Beaches in Reno-Sparks

If you’re just looking to relax in the sun and want something closer to town, the Reno-Sparks area has a few beaches 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 who would like to snack. 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, Sierra Nevada and the surrounding neighborhood as a backdrop.

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