Once you have laid those beautiful eyes on the even more beautiful, sparkling blue hues of Lake Tahoe, you will know why we call the place The Jewel of the Sierra!
Lake Tahoe happens to be the largest alpine lake in North America, 12 miles wide and 22 miles long, with an average depth of 1645 feet. The lake is ancient, having formed over two million years ago. The pristine shoreline of Lake Tahoe spans 72 miles and hems in around 191 square miles of opaline, brisk water.
The Big Blue weighs in as the largest alpine lake in North America, with 1645 feet between the bottom and your stand-up paddleboard, it is also the second deepest alpine lake in the county - please don’t drop your phone or anything else for that matter.
This beautiful freshwater treasure offers year-round activities, entertainment, and accommodation.
During Winter, visitors can stay in Lake Tahoe cabins and enjoy the winter wonderland around them, taking part in fun activities like snowshoeing, snowboarding, skiing, and other wintertime activities. In Summer, the visitors can do some unforgettable camping, go on epic hikes, and take part in water sports activities.
Welcome to the Dream and Travel’s complete guide to Lake Tahoe - from the best Lake Tahoe cabins to the activities you can enjoy during your stay, we have got you covered.
Exploring Lake Tahoe: Location And The Area
So, where is Lake Tahoe?
Located in the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake - the lake is also the second deepest in the country. And that’s not all - Lake Tahoe is also situated at least a mile above sea level, making it one of the highest in the country.
The huge body of water around the Tahoe Basin happens to straddle the California-Nevada border, touching around five counties with just one outflow into the beautiful Truckee River. The lake’s circumference is 72 miles - it's an incredibly pretty scenic drive and can be best experienced if you go on a Lake Tahoe Loop road trip.
And if you are into doing it on foot, then the famous Tahoe Rim trail is known for circling the entire lake along 65 miles for hikers with different skill levels. The two south and north shores of Lake Tahoe are known for their distinctively different tempos, vibes, and personalities.
If you are looking for cabins for rent in Lake Tahoe, then you need to choose carefully - are you going to opt for cabins on the North Shore or the ones on the South Shore? Let’s find out!
North Lake Tahoe:
Only forty-five minutes from downtown Reno, everything is a little more laid back in Crystal Bay and Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The rustic accommodations, the natural beauty, and the hustle-bustle of daily life, North Shore has it all.
Numerous beaches, breathtaking hiking trails, stunning biking trails, downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, and countless locales are only some of the advantages of living in the North Lake Tahoe cabins.
The Sand Harbor State Park on the north shore is one of the biggest and most beautiful public sandy beaches in the entire Lake Tahoe.
The beach is open throughout the year, and you can experience live theater just like it was intended to be at the alfresco stage gracing Sand Habor during summer. During winter, the beach is free from crowds and perfect for isolated strolls.
Mountain bike or hike the popular Lake Tahoe Flume trail, a buck-listed activity for adventure-seekers across the globe.
If you are seeking something scenic without making aunty commitment, then don’t forget to check out the multi-use, paved East Shore Trail hugging the waterline from the Tunnel Creek Cafe on the north shore to Sand Harbor, only three miles towards the south.
The hotels in North Shore offer a wide collection of activities and amenities.
The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort is located in Incline Village offers an elevated old-world charm, a private beach, and a pier. When you are here, definitely tour Thunderbird Lodge and check out the eccentric billionaire lifestyle of George Whittel, a legendary Nevadan.
South Lake Tahoe:
The more entertaining side of the south shore is where mountain living and lake life come together. South Lake Tahoe offers plenty of recreation for all the seasons.
In the summer and spring, Zephyr Cove is where you can lounge on the beachside, rent different watercraft parasails, or even go for a dinner cruise on any paddle-wheel boat.
Take in the sprawling views of the lake from the Emerald Bay State Park, where you can dive below the waters or see Vikingsholm Castle to check out the historic artifacts residing down there.
On land, explore the beautiful hiking trails, enjoy a good meal golf, indulge in high-end shopping, and stay at the waterfront Edgewood Tahoe Resort. You will also find cabins for rent South Lake Tahoe.
You should definitely hit the tables located at the hotel casinos such as Bally’s Lake Tahoe Casino Resort, formerly known as MontBleu, Harveys, and Harrah’s.
Once the weather cools down, the huge, state-straddling Heavenly Mountain Resort boasts an epic snowfall and happens to be a haven for snowboarders and skiers, as well as families who opt for the Heavenly Gondola on a wintry playland.
For the ones who want to enjoy a wintry scene from plain land, they must head over to the Heavenly Village since the spot offers multiple amenities and activities, from mini gold and live theater to ice skating and a full-service spa.
Getting To Lake Tahoe:
Lake Tahoe is located only 3.5 hours from the eastern side of San Francisco - it is a fairly easy drive from the city. Otherwise, most individuals fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is only a 35-minute drive to North Lake Tahoe or around ninety minutes from South Lake Tahoe. With very heavy snow, the drive can take relatively longer.
You can also decide on flying into Sacramento International Airport and then drive for about ninety minutes to either south or north Lake Tahoe, but both Highway 80 (route to the north shore) and Highway 50 (route to south shore) are subject to closure during heavy snow.
In case you want to do some amounts of sightseeing or drive around the lake, you will definitely need a car. Most visitors who go to Lake Tahoe rent out cars, though much of the Stateline on the southern shore is walkable.
If you happen to be flying, then both Sacramento and Reno International Airports have car rental desks that are very convenient. Typically, it only takes a few minutes to pick your car up and then be on your way.
The Best Time To Visit:
While you might already be getting excited about those beautiful North or South Lake Tahoe Cabins, have you wondered what could be the best time to visit Lake Tahoe?
The best to visit Lake Tahoe entirely depends on what you feel like doing, but generally, September is recommended for a majority of non-skiers since the place has smaller crowds and summery weather.
March and February are perfect for fans of skiing and other winter sports, while July, as well as the first few weeks of August, are ideal for people who like the beach, warmer weather conditions, and outdoor activities.
Almost everyone drives in and around the north shore since public transportation can be slow as well as limited, especially during the evening. Rideshares and taxis are definitely an option, but you do have to get used to waiting a little bit to get your ride.
On the southern shore, you can walk to a majority of restaurants and businesses in the Stateline. Here, both rideshares and taxis are fairly easily available at most times of the day.
Each year, around 2.7 million people visit the beautiful Lake Tahoe. The towns in the area get very crowded in the summer weekends of July and August or during the three-day weekends in the winter months. It becomes pretty difficult to find good Lake Tahoe cabins for rent during busy weekends.
Unless you are fine with spending hours just sitting in traffic, it is best to avoid these locations. Ensure that you possess chains and know how to use those chains when you are driving in the storm.
Where To Eat And Drink In Lake Tahoe?
Between South and North Lake Tahoe, you will come across multiple international cuisine alternatives. There are several restaurants located on the southern shore as compared to the north, but both areas have multiple options to make sure you will never have to actually eat twice at the same place.
While the most common food option is American here, you will also get locally sourced as well as organic dishes easily. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or prefer gluten-free food, then you will also face no issues in the restaurants here.
California is famous for its vibrant beer culture, and Lake Tahoe does its part to ensure that California's reputation stays alive. The popular breweries on the north shore include FiftyFifty Brewing Co. and Alibi Ale Works. Similarly, you can try out California brews at the Brewery at Lake Tahoe, Stateline Brewery, or South Lake Brewing Company on the southern shore.
It is typical to expect that a majority of restaurants here have extensive California-forward wine and beer menus as well.
Where To Stay In Lake Tahoe? The Beauty Of Lake Tahoe Cabins
While visiting Lake Tahoe, you will either have to stay on the southern shore or on the northern shore. The northern shore is typically more luxurious and expensive, less crowded, and very focussed on both outdoor adventurous activities as well as nature.
Similarly, on the southern shore, you can expect to find relatively more affordable dining and lodging options, which also include casino entertainment, clubs, and nightlife.
The lake is actually split between California on the west and Nevada on the east. If you do want to gamble, then you can stay on the Nevada side. A majority of hotels in the Stateline area are located within walking distance of multiple restaurants and bars, but you will probably require a car when you are on the northern shore.
Also, skiers who are staying in the villages at Heavenly Resorts, Squaw Valley, or even Northstar can easily walk to multiple restaurants as well as shops without even leaving the resorts.
But the real deal about finding accommodation in this region is all about understanding the beauty of staying in Lake Tahoe cabins. If you have already been looking up ‘cabins Lake Tahoe’ on Google, we won’t stop you!
But here’s the ULTIMATE list of cabins to check out in Lake Tahoe!
1. Chamberlands Getaway:
“Great location. Very cute and comfy cab8n. The deck is great, with lots of seating options. The beds are comfortable. The kitchen is well-stocked. We had to ask Vacasa for shower soap, kitchen towels, and some bath towels, which were not supplied, but they were delivered the next day.”
2. Manzanita Holiday 5:
“A short walk to the heavenly village, restaurants, and casinos. Nice space with all the accommodations needed for a comfortable stay. I will be staying here again.”
3. Tahoe Pines Cabin:
“The home was so close to our friends and had plenty of space. We gave it 4 stars, but it’s really 3.75 stars! The home was clean, and the amenities were sufficient. We would stay here again in the summer for sure.”
4. Carnelian Bay Paradise:
“My family of 4 stayed here for a couple of days skiing at Northstar. The location is convenient (You'll be coming to the resort from the opposite direction of most traffic). This house is on the smaller side but very cozy and cute. My kids loved the loft with skylights over the beds. I loved that there were lots of hooks for hanging ski clothes!”
5. Escape the Crowds Cabin w/ Bunkhouse&Fireplace:
“Very friendly and respectful, I had a great experience in her house. It was a beautiful, quite clean house. Everything was perfect. She deserves 5-star review. And I will get back to the same house in January. Thank you so much again, Melissa, for your hospitality.”
Dream And Travel: The Comfort Of Lake Tahoe Cabins Is Awaiting!
There is something so beautiful about living your life in stunning Lake Tahoe cabins. These cabins have a rustic beauty and are so convincing about taking that much-needed vacation. The tranquil waters of the massive Lake Tahoe are enough to convince us to pack our bags and get ready for a short vacation away from the stress of city life.
What do you think about planning a short trip to Lake Tahoe? Feel free to share your thoughts, stories, and experiences with Lake Tahoe in the comments below.