Much is made of America’s coastal locations. The East Coast and West Coast have some stunning beaches to enjoy, especially in states like California or Florida. The Gulf Coast and southern states also offer a lot of beautiful beachside locations, but it’s important to remember that some of America’s finest beaches are found away from the oceans. Many large lakes are found around the country, with Lake Tahoe being a prime example. The biggest lake in the nation outside the Great Lakes region, Lake Tahoe is a hugely popular recreational area for residents and tourists in California and Nevada.
There are a lot of different things to do at Lake Tahoe and if you visit this area on a warm day, you’ll be greeted with the laughter of children and a lot of happy smiles as families and friends come together to appreciate one of nature’s little miracles. The lake is a beautiful place to visit, offering astonishing views all around and a lot of great beaches along its length shoreline. Some of the best beaches at Lake Tahoe are found at the southern end of the lake, and this is one of the most popular Lake Tahoe resort areas too, with a lot of good hotels, eateries, special events and more.
Best Beaches at South Lake Tahoe
If you’re planning a trip to Lake Tahoe, visiting the southern side of the lake makes a lot of sense. It’s a good place to base yourself and the beaches at South Lake Tahoe tend to have the calmest, warmest waters, which are ideal for families or inexperienced swimmers. The beaches here also get a lot of sunshine and are super spots to sit back, relax, and sunbathe. To help you find the best South Lake Tahoe beach, read on for some more information about each location.
- Pope Beach
Highly popular with both locals and tourists, Pope Beach is one of the top spots to visit on the south shore of Lake Tahoe at any time of year. Dogs aren't allowed here and parking comes at a cost, but there's a lot to love at Pope Beach and it's highly suitable for a wide array of activities including the classics of sunbathing and swimming, as well as more unique options like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. There's a boat ramp for anyone who wants to set sail on the waters of Lake Tahoe and this beach also has its own bar and grill serving up tasty snacks and refreshing drinks that really hit the spot on a sunny summer day. What's more, this beach also hosts live music concerts throughout the summer months, so there's a real party atmosphere here for large parts of the year.
- Baldwin Beach
Baldwin Beach is one of the top South Lake Tahoe locations for all kinds of beach-goers, but is especially well-suited for families with young children. It's a very easy beach to access and offers a whole lot of space, stretching out for around half a mile in total, so even on busy days it never gets too crowded or noisy. Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe's surrounding scenery, including the impressive Mount Tallac, can be enjoyed from this south shore beach and the waters here tend to be very warm, perfect for paddling and wading. Be sure to note, however, that furry friends aren't allowed on this beach and there aren't many shady spots, so it pays to bring an umbrella or beach tent.
- Kiva Beach
We just saw that Baldwin Beach doesn't allow dogs, but if you want to visit Lake Tahoe with your canine companion, Kiva Beach is the place to be. It's a super dog-friendly location and it's right by Baldwin Beach, so you'll be enjoying the same warm waters and breathtaking views too. On the beach, all dogs should be kept on a leash, but they can be let off to go swimming in the lake. You'll want to join them too as the waters here provide some of the best swimming opportunities anywhere around Lake Tahoe. Another nice advantage of this south shore Lake Tahoe beach is that parking is totally free.
Found in the Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm is right by the impressive Vikingsholm Castle. A lot of great hiking and cycling routes can be found in this area, offering unique views and angles on the local scenery and distant landscapes. It's a super spot to stop off on your Lake Tahoe trip and is a great place to launch a kayak and explore the Emerald Bay area or simply sit on the beach and watch the various boats go by. Vikingsholm is also ideal for some casual swimming or wading among the warm waters, and is often less crowded than other South Lake Tahoe beaches, making it a prime spot for people in need of privacy and peace. Nearby Fannette Island is a fun place to explore for adventurous beach-goers, but you'll need a kayak or board to get over there.