South Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

  • South Lake Tahoe
    by CervantesPete
  • Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe
    Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe
    by MyHollyDay
  • Meadow trails
    Meadow trails
    by BigMoons

South Lake Tahoe Highlights

  • Pro
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Lot of wonderful places to stay, shop and visit! 

  • Con
    Pounder73 profile photo

    Pounder73 says…

     Far enough to make the day trip a pain in the a$$ 

  • In a nutshell
    Shihar profile photo

    Shihar says…

     All I can say is "wow" 

South Lake Tahoe Things to Do

  • Emerald Bay

    We were in South Lake Tahoe for the week after Christmas, and there was no snow! Well, no snow on the ground at the cabin, and very little snow in shady spots on the mountains. So we decided to go on a hike to Cascade Falls. It was beautiful, and not too difficult, although I wouldn't bring Grandma unless she is in great shape. The hike required a...

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  • Heavenly Gondola

    You will glide 9,000 feet in 12 minutes in these eight-passenger gondalas take guests 2.4 miles up the mountain in 12 minutes while they enjoy views of Lake Tahoe. A 14,000 square foot mid-station observation platform will await you when you get to the top. Located at 9,123 feet, guests are treated to spectacular views of the Carson Valley,...

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  • Sand Harbor Beach

    Sand Harbor Beach - This beach is closer to North lake Tahoe than it is to South Lake Tahoe but it's worth the drive to escape the crowds. Enjoy your day picnicing in the trees or laying out on the sandy beach. Because it is a cove the water is calm and a bit warmer and the wind isn't as bad as other spots on the lake. During August this beach is...

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South Lake Tahoe Hotels

South Lake Tahoe Restaurants

  • Scusa!

    We keep going back because the food is extraordinary, but I need to mention the staff. I had called to ask for a reservation, then had to call back to cancel the request. The waiter who answered remembered my name by my voice. That's attention to detail! Lasagna. Meaty and full of rich meat/tomato flavors. Leaves many others in the dust.

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  • Lake Side Dining

    This is a long time favorite.The restaurant had a split personality, as I usually like. First impression typed this as upscale country club casual. Expected the prices to be on the higher side, but fair for the offering and they were. The "split personality" comes to play in the treatment and attitude of the employees. Many upscale restaurants...

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  • Good Breakfast!

    Typical diner setting location in the parking area of a gas station. Rustic interior. Wait staff very helpful. The food was very good. We had the Eggs Benedict and the Mexican Omelet. Both dishes were very good. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, 7am - 2pm. Mexican Omelet - Chorizo and avocado was a great hit with me!

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South Lake Tahoe Nightlife

  • Nevada Side

    The few nights we were there we stayed in the casino. I don't remember winning much money but we had fun! The two main casinos are Harrah's and Harvey's both are located right across the street from each other. Casual

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  • Gambling.. of course

    The few nights we were there we stayed in the casino. I don't remember winning much money but we had fun!The two main casinos are Harrah's and Harvey's both are located right across the street from each other. Casual

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  • Cabo Craziness In Tahoe

    Rocker Sammy Hagar has brought his Cabo Wabo Cantina to Lake Tahoe. Located in the underground walk way from Harveys to Harrahs, this is one fun place. Dine, dance, and drink lots of tequila. Waitresses dressed in red leather deliver food, drinks, and occasionally dance on the bar. All in good fun! Casual

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South Lake Tahoe Transportation

  • By Car / Motorcycle

    the drive from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe and State line can be via the US Route 50 East which takes about 190 miles and 3 1/2 hours or you can take the longer but more safer route via Interstate 80 East up the Donner Summit then turn right to Highway 89 in Truckee and then Past Tahoe City, along the Western Shores of Lake Tahoe for a longer...

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  • Information / Sources

    The Nifty 50 Trolley is a tourist trolley that takes riders about South Lake Tahoe. The trolley runs to each stop on the route every 60 minutes and only costs $3 for the day! On Route A the day lasts from 10:30am to 8:30pm on the main route ... and from 11am to 6:30pm for route E (which BTW takes you to the Emerald Bay parking area). BlueGo also...

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  • Drive From San Francisco To Stateline

    the drive from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe and State line can be via the US Route 50 East which takes about 190 miles and 3 1/2 hours or you can take the longer but more safer route via Interstate 80 East up the Donner Summit then turn right to Highway 89 in Truckee and then Past Tahoe City, along the Western Shores of Lake Tahoe for a longer...

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South Lake Tahoe Shopping

  • Wonderful gift shop!

    One of these neat little gifts shops along Hwy 50. They had some nice shirts and sweat jackets that were reasonabley priced.

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  • Shopping Galore!

    Located in almost the heart of South Lake is Heavenly Village that offers visitors a great place to explore, shop, dine, see movie, play mini golf, or just hangout and enjoy the outdoors.SummerMonday through Sunday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Fall Sunday through Thursday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PMFriday and Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Christmas/New Years Holiday...

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  • LOCAL who is Loco for Tahoe!!

    Well I live here in Tahoe and I think it is the best place in the world. Now i am 13. I have heard people dishing on some of my fav place ie: Alpina Coffe, Mariott, Powderhousewell lucky for Char74 the powder house along with many other places has been knocked down. At the mariott you can find awesome things for skiiing and snowboarding. Now like...

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South Lake Tahoe Local Customs

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    What a way to start the day!

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 25, 2012

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Though the town areas may be overrun by tourist at times, the locals simply step out their back doors for all the rest and relaxation Nature can offer. If the view isn't of the lake surrounded by snow capped mountians it is this, trees at every turn of the head.

    What I can't share with you are the sounds of tree limbs and leaves rustling in the wind. Animals scampering about, crunching a ground layer of twigs and decomposing vegetation. Nor can I share the harmonious echo of various birds communicating with each other from tree to tree.

    I think it is this element that makes everyone living here so friendly and easy going.

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Birdwatching
    • Sailing and Boating

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South Lake Tahoe Warnings and Dangers

  • Weather Wise

    The Tahoe area can receive heavy snow anytime from early fall to late spring. Chains or 4WD vehicles are often required on California roads during snowstorms; during such storms, checkpoints will be setup on mountain passes. If you do not have chains or 4WD and you come to a chain control checkpoint, you will be required to turn around or purchase...

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  • The Plague!?!

    While hiking the Rubicon trail we stopped at Vikingsholm for a break and a snack that we brought along with us. While at the picnic tables eating a few chipmunks had absolutely no fear in jumping up on the picnic table seat right next to us looking for food. They are very cute and I can see people wanting to feed them as I am sure happens all the...

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  • 4wd or Chains

    The Tahoe area can receive heavy snow anytime from early fall to late spring. Chains or 4WD vehicles are often required on California roads during snowstorms; during such storms, checkpoints will be setup on mountain passes. If you do not have chains or 4WD and you come to a chain control checkpoint, you will be required to turn around or purchase...

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South Lake Tahoe Tourist Traps

  • Ponderosa Ranch

    Ponderosa Ranch, near Incline Village, has just recently closed after 40 years. It was an attraction based on the TV show Bonanza (remember Hoss?), and some of the filming was done here as well. It was dorky, but kind of fun If you had small children or you were a diehard fan. A local developer bought it for an undisclosed amount - knowing real...

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  • Lake Tahoe Adventures, in Myers & South...

    Avoid this company! They’re nothing but trouble.The snowmobile ride through the Hope Valley is okay one time. The long, flat runs on snow-covered roads would be a bore a second time.However, my experience, and that of others, are that LTA will attempt to charge hundreds of dollars to your credit card for a cosmetic mark or scratch from any kind of...

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  • Tahoe (tired, old) Queen

    The Tahoe Queen looks like a fun way to cross from South Lake Tahoe to North. Actually it's pretty boring. The view of the shores and mountains are impressive for the first 30 minutes but then there is nothing to do. Occasionally they have a rudimentary "casino" operating downstairs. There is a meagre selection of poor food. Even the "paddle" is a...

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South Lake Tahoe What to Pack

  • It's a long drive and can be...

    Usually I'm only up there for a night or two, so an overnight bag is all I need. Snow boots, ski clothing, parka, warm socks, long underwear... you know -- what do you wear in the snow? That's what to pack and wear! Remember that you're going to a higher altitude, so you should pack your gooey stuff in sealed baggies in case they pop open with...

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  • Packing List

    if it's summer bring your shorts and some sun screen. It can get very hot and the sun will burn quickly if you're not careful. It may cool down at night so a light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended.In the winter be sure to bring somthing to keep you warm esp. at night. It snows here as most are aware and if you want to be out in the snow you'll...

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  • Essentials for Lake Tahoe

    Bring a jacket for summer evenings, because it always cools off at night due to the high elevation. Make sure you bring or buy sunscreen and water all year long, due to the sunny weather, high elevation, and dry air. Have a set of snowchains for your car at least from October through April. And, last but not least, bring $$$$ if you plan to hit...

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South Lake Tahoe Off The Beaten Path

  • Day Trip

    For those of you leaving California on the way to fabulous Lake Tahoe, I would suggest taking the highway 50 route as apposed to the 80. The 80 is more of the major 4 lane freeway to get you up and over the hills quickly to your destination, but you will pass a few good spots to stop and site see, mainly rest stops. If you take the 50 route, it is...

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  • Lake / Bays

    There are plenty of places to explore around Lake Tahoe, but they are the beaten path rather than off of it. What ever your interests are you will find it here. However, it is not difficult to find places that seem remote, away from it all that can leave you with a feeling of being alone. Unlike most tourist destinations, this one offers solitude...

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  • Not Far From The Maddening Crowd

    There are plenty of places to explore around Lake Tahoe, but they are the beaten path rather than off of it. What ever your interests are you will find it here. However, it is not difficult to find places that seem remote, away from it all that can leave you with a feeling of being alone. Unlike most tourist destinations, this one offers solitude...

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South Lake Tahoe Sports & Outdoors

  • Winter Sports

    On the south shore, I'd recommend Kirkwood or Sierra for beginners. Heavenly would be for more intermediate skiers. This is based on the amount and ease of access to the green slopes. Heavenly does have some green runs, but they are higher on the mountain and require access via the gondola to get to the mid-mountain. On the north shore, I'd...

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  • Rubicon Trail

    If you have a car the best way to hike this trail is to park at the very bottom of D.L. Bliss State Park. Park as far down as you can. The idea here is to hike to Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay State Park or Eagle Point. I recommend only going as far as Vikingsholm, then hike the road to the top and catch the Nifty Fifty shuttle back to D.L. Bliss....

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  • Best resorts for beginners

    On the south shore, I'd recommend Kirkwood or Sierra for beginners. Heavenly would be for more intermediate skiers. This is based on the amount and ease of access to the green slopes. Heavenly does have some green runs, but they are higher on the mountain and require access via the gondola to get to the mid-mountain.On the north shore, I'd...

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South Lake Tahoe Favorites

  • The Lake

    Well, I guess if you came here, to Lake Tahoe, your main reason was to see the lake! Just ensure you leave enough time to do just that, not like me, too busy taking in the sights elsewhere, haha. Seriously, you will need much longer to see the beauty here. You'll want to stop everywhere, and take your time just looking!! I hope to go back some day...

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  • People

    Lake Tahoe is a popular summer and winter resort. It is nestled in an out-of-the-way part of California and that may be one of it's biggest draws. It seems that many of the residents are an off-shoot breed of the mountain folk found in the USA in the early years of it's development. No, not the "hillbilly" type. Those people who love nature and...

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  • Sports / Recreation

    It usually snows early, then there is a lull. In years past, it was a good sign to see the first snow around Halloween, but it would not stick and stay for long. The next snows would come around Thanksgiving (3rd week of Nov), and then the resorts could be operational early December. But not knowing the year's trend, November and early December...

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VirtualTourist Eighth Wonder of the World Nominee

Lake Tahoe

The Jewel of the Sierras, rimmed by majestic mountains and touted as a National Treasure for its pristine blue waters, boasts a rich western past for its role as a vital resource for native Indians.

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