Up here you won’t regret your decision to unplug and unwind. Whether you’re about high-mountain gambols or five-card stud, zoom in on the map of Lake Tahoe towns, you’ll find the resorts and towns of North Lake Tahoe offer an enticing mix of attractions and activities.
Where to Go
If you’re enjoying North Lake Tahoe on wheels, you’ll quickly discover the spectacular views at every turn. We’ve got a few suggestions on where you’ll find a few of the best perspectives.
Alpine Meadows is the mellow alternative to the faster paced resorts like Squaw Valley. A favorite with local skiers and snowboarders, Alpine Meadows is known for the longest snow season of any Lake Tahoe ski resort (402 inches annual average), and powder that stays for days.
In 1860, Carnelian Bay was named for the semi-precious red and yellow stones peppering the shoreline. Today, Carnelian Bay is an annual destination for wooden boat enthusiasts coming from around the country for a weekend of Lake Tahoe cruising with the Concours d’Elegance wooden boat show.
The Lake Tahoe town of Crystal Bay overlooks its namesake above a tremendous granite-boulder-strewn point. The state line divides Crystal Bay, making the trip across the California / Nevada border just an easy stroll down the sidewalk.
Tucked into a granite spine splitting the Sierra Nevada in half, Donner Summit, the town and the emerald lake below, are named after the tragic emigrant party. The history is displayed at the visitors’ center near the lake. On I-80, Donner Summit is a picturesque mountain town with local dining, shopping and outdoor activities.
Incline Village was named for the Great Incline Tramway built by loggers in 1878. Home to some of the most stunning mountain retreats in North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village features some of the most relaxing beaches on Lake Tahoe and a genteel approach to Lake life.More about Incline Village
Kings Beach is named after card shark Joe King, who won the town site from George Whittell long before poker was part of a cable-TV lineup. Kings Beach is known for local shops, restaurants and street vendors that set it apart from the rest of North Lake Tahoe. With numerous options for down-home lodging, Kings Beach is the laid back stretch of North Lake Tahoe.
Northstar California the blueprint for thoughtfulness and social interaction.
Proof positive: The Butterbox, teen jam time courtesy of limited edition 24k turntables. Shredding through Jake Burton’s 100% organic through-the-trees terrain park. Or custom-made s’mores, built from kits assembled by a mom in Minnesota (Google it).More about Northstar
Between Truckee and Lake Tahoe is one of the most infamous and inspiring alpine settings of North Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley is about adventure and exploration, with 3,600 acres of skiing and riding across 6 peaks. Once the snow melts, Squaw Valley transforms from winter wonderland to outdoor paradise.
Tahoe City lies on the shore of Lake Tahoe at the headwaters of the Truckee River (the only outlet from Lake Tahoe). Enjoy the paved trail system along the Lake, across the historic dam and down the river. SUP all summer. Outdoor concerts, movies at the beach, the Farmers’ Market, hiking, mountain biking or feeding trout from Fanny Bridge …
Tahoe Vista is all about choice lodging. From cozy B & B’s to high-end ownership options or mom and pop motels, Tahoe Vista puts you at the lakeshore. It’s a favorite option of outdoor enthusiasts.
Truckee, California is a mountain town. Once a rowdy logging burg, Truckee is the central gateway to North Lake Tahoe (see map). In the winter of 1846, the ill-fated Donner Party holed up a few miles from the heart of town. Several ski resorts, three Sierra Club huts and the Pacific Crest Trail are nearby.
A string of smaller Tahoe communities and state parks along Hwy. 89 is collectively known as the West Shore. It’s been a place of enchantment since the Washoe Indians as 9,000 years ago. Miners also relaxed at Chambers Landing, established in 1875, it’s the oldest bar and is bustling today among other fabulous local options for dining.More About West Shore