North Lake Tahoe Towns and Communities

Here in North Lake Tahoe, you won’t regret your decision to unplug and unwind. Whether you’re about high-mountain gambols or five-card stud, you’ll find the resorts and towns of North Lake Tahoe offer an enticing mix of attractions and activities.

Girl on rock at Lake Tahoe

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.

Where to Go Around Lake Tahoe


Alpine Meadows, Palisades Tahoe at Alpine Meadows

The beauty of Palisades Tahoe at Alpine Meadows lies in the details: Empty hike-to back bowls that stay hidden and preserved, a throwback culture that feels like skiing in a bygone era, and don’t forget about those breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the rugged wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. Easy-access lifts whisk you from the base lodge to the summit in minutes and entry-level progression parks and snow-filled bowls spread across 2,400 acres challenge all levels of skiers and riders.

During the warmer months, the Alpine Meadows backcountry is a favorite spot for hikers and mountain bikers and outdoor adventures like horseback riding and river rafting to River Ranch, at the base of Alpine Meadows Road.

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Carnelian Bay

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.

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Crystal Bay

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.

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Donner Summit

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.

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Incline Village

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 many exhilarating hikes as well as a stretch of relaxing beaches along the Lake’s East Shore.

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Kings Beach

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.

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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).

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Olympic Valley

Between Truckee and Lake Tahoe is one of the most infamous and inspiring alpine settings of North Lake Tahoe. Olympic Valley and Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) is about adventure and exploration, with 3,600 acres of skiing and riding across 6 peaks. Once the snow melts, Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley transforms from winter wonderland to outdoor paradise.

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Tahoe City

Tahoe City lies on the shore of Lake Tahoe at the headwaters of the Truckee River. Enjoy the paved trail system along the Lake, across the historic dam and down the river. Outdoor concerts and movies on the beach, the Farmers’ Market, paddling, hiking, and mountain biking are just some of the fun things you can do in Tahoe City.

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Sunset Tahoe City

Tahoe Vista

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.

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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.

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Truckee River in the Fall

West Shore

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.

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