Your journey at the largest alpine lake in North America begins here, on Tahoe’s North Shore. While super popular in the summers, these beach towns offer year-round adventure, entertainment and eats. You’ll find everything from dog-friendly beaches to iconic casinos and live music. Now let’s get started—your agenda awaits.
A DAY IN TAHOE VISTA
There are more lodging choices in Tahoe Vista than you can shake a paddle at. From cozy bed and breakfasts to high-end hotels, this town is lake life at its finest. It’s also a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts, with awesome kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Explore any one of its beaches and shallow waters, plus the extensive North Tahoe Regional Park. Time for a day in Tahoe Vista!
RISE AND SHINE
The breakfast spot you’ll want to head straight to is Pep’s Place. It’s perfect for a quick and healthy bite on the go—the menu’s loaded with all-natural, organic, local dishes. Make sure to order the Veg Breakfast Burrito, a favorite of the locals. There are plenty of gluten-free and Paleo options, too, so all travelers will leave satisfied. Enjoy locally sourced coffee from Blind Dog Coffee (Gardnerville, NV) and teas from Tahoe Teas (Carnelian Bay). A healthy start to your packed day begins here.
SEIZE THE DAY
Great job on getting a healthy breakfast in before all the adventure. Here’s what you won’t want to miss on a Tahoe Vista day.
North Tahoe Regional Park: Perfect for all ages, this park spans about 124 acres. There are two playground areas with slides and swings, a disc golf course, ball fields, year-round hiking, mountain biking plus public tennis courts. In the winter, you’ll enjoy the park’s snowmobile course, snowshoeing trails, sledding hill concession and cross-country skiing trails. You can also get your fitness on, at the 18-station fitness par course. Work out amidst the soaring Sierra forest with views of Lake Tahoe as your inspiration.
Keep the park fun going with your very own treetop adventure, open year-round and also located within North Tahoe Regional Park. Tahoe Vista Treetop is a safe option for travelers of all ages and experience levels. The team uses a continuous belay safety system for a smoother experience—you won’t find any of the constant clipping and unclipping or ducking under safety cables here. Plus, several of their platforms provide unparalleled views of Lake Tahoe.
After some fun-filled park time, check out Tahoe Adventure Company. Its friendly, knowledgeable teams lead high quality trips and tours around the lake. In the warmer months, book a kayak, yoga paddleboard, rock climbing or backpacking course; in the winter, go snowshoeing with an experienced guide. They also offer sunset and full moon kayak tours—you’ll truly be reaching for the stars.
How often do you get to chaturanga beside the largest alpine lake in North America? Practice yoga, exercise and dance in the great outdoors with Tahoe Flow Arts and Fitness. You can choose from a diverse schedule of yoga, boot camps, youth programs, martial arts, hip hop, an open aerial gym and more classes here. The team offers private and group lessons, too. As their website states, “you’ll flow together and inspire one another.” Sounds like a great way to spend the day.
Take your midday break after all that exercise at Jiffy’s Pizza. This spot uses fresh ingredients and 100% pure mozzarella cheese. Plus, their slices are made fresh daily and hand tossed. Don’t feel like dining in? Order delivery to enjoy a piping hot pie from their heated delivery bags.
TAKE IT EASY
While pizza sure is tasty, it isn’t the lightest meal. Opt for a chill afternoon with any of these Tahoe Vista go-tos.
Sit and enjoy an iced coffee or pastry at the North Tahoe Marina. You can either relax here and watch the boats go in and out, or head out on your own water adventure. And if you’re coming from Jiffy’s Pizza, consider bringing a slice to the marina and enjoy the view — just make sure to rid of your trash in designated receptacles.
Keep the lake life going on a motorized excursion, from the new Tahoe Vista Recreation Area boat launch. Always check ahead to ensure the launch is open as fluctuating water levels can impact operations. If the vessels aren’t running during your visit, enjoy the public area’s family picnic spots, 800-foot public beach, swimming area and large lakefront plaza. Another great lakeside option is chilling at Moon Dune Beach, the finest white sand you’ll encounter in Lake Tahoe. You can find it right off North Lake Boulevard, across from the Rustic Cottages. During the more crowded months, consider getting there early, as parking is limited and only available along the highway.
RECHARGE WITH DINNER
Gargantuan steaks for two, a quaint yet iconic ice cream shop and wine flights are just some menu highlights worthy of a Tahoe Vista trip to remember. Here’s where you’ll want to head:
First, Old Range Steakhouse. It’s an old-school lodge with large books, aged steaks, prime rib, seafood and cocktails. It’s dark and cozy inside, making the perfect closing to a great day. You can’t go wrong ordering a steak, but for the non-red meat eaters in your crew, Old Range also whips up a wonderful Caesar salad, grilled salmon and portobello mushroom caps. If your Tahoe Vista trip falls during spring or autumn, check out the early bird specials when you order before 6pm between Sundays and Thursdays, in-house only.
Visiting during spring or summer? For post-dinner sweet treats, Mourelatos Cable Car Ice Cream Shop is your place. Relive your best childhood memories at this famous, longtime Tahoe spot of over 25 years. Enjoy Blue Bunny premium ice cream, fresh lemonade, coffee, soft drinks and a curated selection of sugary bites.
Discover more of Tahoe Vista here, including several boutique and locally owned lodging choices. We won’t judge if you already start planning next year’s trip.
A DAY IN KINGS BEACH
Named after card shark Joe King, who won the town nearly a century before poker had a cable-TV following, Kings Beach could write the book on kickback beach towns. In addition to its expansive beach, panoramic lake views and outdoor live music in the summer, Kings Beach is lined with boutique shops and lively restaurants. And it boasts a great central location from which to set out for the day.
Rise and Shine
Wake up with JavaHut on Kings Beach’s lively, main strip for some coffee, smoothies and breakfast. Their coffee is organic and fair trade—a win in our book.
Tree House Café is a great spot to start the day, too. Sip on quality coffee, espresso drinks and teas, plus warm pastries and snacks made in-house. Food can be taken to-go (tip: carry it out for a beach picnic!). Plus, the beans are locally sourced and hand roasted from Coffeebar in nearby Truckee.
For a heftier breakfast, Yard Hen is a fun food truck at the Tahoe Backyard. Customers continuously rave about their breakfast sandwich and breakfast burrito, so you know it’s legit. Start your morning here with fresh ingredients while supporting the local community. Love their breakfast? They whip up lunch, dinner and snack bites, too.
Seize the Day
Once you’ve wolfed down breakfast, it’s time for the real fun to begin. Head on over early to Kings Beach State Recreation Area for a great spot on the sand and access to kayak, paddleboard, jet ski and water bike rentals—or just relax and take it all in. The beach has its own parking and playground for the little ones. The adventurers in your group can grab a paddleboard from Tahoe Paddle & Oar or Adrift Tahoe. Both offer rentals and guided tours.
Plus, check out the live music scene on Friday evenings during the summer months. Free concert Fridays are a popular attraction each week in the summer, featuring all kinds of genres you’ll love, ranging from bluegrass to R&B, Reggaeton and beyond.
If you’re craving more waterside adventure, California Parasail helps you get ready for the exhilarating takeoff and panoramic view of the Lake Tahoe shoreline. They’ve conducted more than 100,000 flights and boast a perfect safety record. You can also rent kayaks, boats and wave runners here.
If the beach isn’t your scene, this town is still a must-see. Practice for the majors at Kings Beach Miniature Golf Course, where folks have been putting away since 1957—or get out on the real green and up your game at Old Brockway Golf Course, designed by premiere golf course architect John Duncan Dunn and home to Bing Crosby’s inaugural golf tournament back in 1934.
After working up an appetite golfing, stay for a bit at Spindleshankes located at the Old Brockway Golf Course. This American bistro and wine bar has been open for over 20 years and their extensive menu offers a wide selection of dishes ranging from traditional to modern recipes, appealing to all tastes. Try their seared ahi sandwich, angus burger or crispy hoisin ribs. Pair your meal with a perfect glass of wine, or try a flight and add a little wine tasting to your lunch.
If you’re craving handcrafted pizza with local ingredients, fresh Caesar salad or a refreshing beer, cruise over to Whitecaps Pizza on the town’s main strip. Enjoy 14 rotating draft beers on tap, four wines on tap and a unique selection of both domestic and international wines. That’s amore!
We also recommend Jason’s Beachside Grille. Located in the heart of Kings Beach, Jason’s is a family-friendly restaurant with a scenic lakefront deck and grassy sandbar. Savor the classics, like prime rib, steak, baked chicken, ribs, salads, their popular French onion soup and more.
Take it Easy
If the post-lunch feels have you tired—or you’re just looking for a more lowkey visit to Kings Beach—head directly to the town’s main strip along the beach, on North Lake Boulevard. It’s completely walkable, and you can shop for surf stuff, beach gear, clothing, gifts and beyond. Once you’ve warmed up from the walking, cool down with ice cream from Sweet Tahoe Time or Log Cabin Ice Cream. While some city downtowns feature an overwhelming number of shops, this one is the perfect amount where you’re guaranteed to find something great.
Not far from the main strip is Bear Belly Brewing Company. The taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday, and their always-fresh, small batch beers rotate constantly. Check out the 5-beer lineup, featuring Masshole Hazy, Struggle Bus 2 IPA, Boys to the Yard, White Room Weizen and Golden Avenue Ale. Those names alone make this stop worth a visit.
Finish off the relaxation train by indulging yourself in the ultimate spa day at Lake Tahoe Wellness Center. They have workshops and daily classes on Tai Chi, yoga, meditation and weekly movement, in addition to massage therapy.
Recharge with Dinner
After the ultimate day in Kings Beach—no matter if it’s filled with water sports galore or relaxing massages—you deserve to treat yourself to a nice meal. For Japanese, check out Hiro Sushi, for burgers and beer, The Grid. More choices can be found here.
You could also get creative with dinner! Embark on a sunset cruise on Wild Goose Boat II Charters. You can either eat on the boat or have the tour take you to a local restaurant to dine. There’s nothing quite like getting to dinner on a boat, is there?
There’s so much more to Kings Beach. For more ideas on making the most of your trip, plus lodging options, check out our page.
A DAY IN CRYSTAL BAY
Hey, we like the sound of that…a day in Crystal Bay. Fun fact: the deepest part of Lake Tahoe can be found just off the Crystal Bay Point, at 1,644 feet deep. Keep reading to try your gaming hand at a blackjack table—no matter how you do, you’re always a winner in Crystal Bay.
SEIZE THE DAY
Go straight into adventure at the deepest part of Lake Tahoe! The water’s bright blue color is practically begging you to visit. Here’s what we recommend:
Have a picnic at Speedboat Beach: If you’re wanting a special, quiet spot on the north end of Lake Tahoe to enjoy breakfast or lunch, then look no further. You’ll feel like you have a whole island to yourself, with the calm waters transporting you immediately to paradise, the sound of the waves crashing against the large rocks and the crystal-clear lake that this town is named after. After winding through a neighborhood of narrow streets, your beach awaits…enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding to or from this small beach while touring the north and east parts of the Lake Tahoe.
Stateline Fire Lookout: Hike up to this beautiful trailhead on a half-mile journey. During the summer, the lookout is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. Take in superb lake views through free telescopes and learn from a short, self-guided nature trail explaining the history of Tahoe’s North Shore. Pro tip: Pack picnic food and your reusable water bottle. It’ll be the best snack spot you’ve ever discovered (we’ll let your friends think it was your idea). Just make sure to dispose of everything when you’re ready to pack up.
REFUEL WITH A LIVELY DINNER
Before hitting the tables, load up with your favorite food and drinks.
Crystal Bay Steak and Lobster House: Tucked in the Crystal Bay Casino is this amazing dining experience. Enjoy classic tableside preparation and the most extensive wine list on the North Shore. You can’t resist their filet mignon or lobster tail.
Joe’s Café: Also a casino gem, located in Jim Kelley’s Nugget. There are great food and drink specials that run throughout the year here, like Taco Tuesdays in the summer.
Soule Domain: Technically located in Kings Beach but just across the street from Crystal Bay, this spot offers creative Californian fare, local ingredients, a solid wine list and organic meats. A local favorite for more than 35 years, Soule Domain was voted Best of Tahoe in both 2021 and 2022, plus it’s Zagat rated and has won several awards for the chef’s creations.
AND SOME NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT, FOR THE ADULTS
Crystal Bay is filled with so much casino fun that gaming deserves its own spot on the agenda. After a delicious meal at one of the casino’s restaurants, stay awhile and keep the lucky streak going.
Check out Jim Kelley’s Nugget, a small, friendly casino in the heart of the town, right at the state line. Have fun with 169 slot machines, 14 video poker machines at the bar, live poker games and a pool table.
Crystal Bay Casino is another popular choice, with a great live music line-up in a one-of-a-kind contemporary mountain venue. During set break, you can wander around the casino floor and check out the gigantic geodes, including amethysts as tall as you are. The after-party scene at the Red Room is one of the best late-night spots in Tahoe.
A longtime staple of Crystal Bay is The Tahoe Biltmore, currently being fully rebranded by EKN Development Group LLC. The group plans to build a luxury resort and branded residences in its place. It’s set to complete in 2025—you can follow development updates here. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the remodeling of the Cal Neva Casino.
Like what you see? Check out Crystal Bay’s lodging choices here. Just filter by “Crystal Bay” on the left under “Towns.”
A DAY IN INCLINE VILLAGE
Incline Village is renowned as the Mountain Biking Capital of Nevada by Singletracks and ranks as the #7 destination in the U.S. for the sport. But there’s so much more to this town than the outdoor activity. It’s a go-to spot for stunning mountain retreats, exhilarating hikes, relaxing beaches and all-around family fun. Fun fact: the town was initially named for the Great Incline Tramway built by loggers in 1878.
RISE AND SHINE
As its name suggests, Drink Coffee Do Stuff provides your fuel for an adventurous day ahead. The team’s belief is that “extraordinary coffee leads to an extraordinary life.” Founder Nick Visconti formed that mantra in 2012 from the Swiss Alps, during his professional snowboarding days. You’ll taste that inspirational mindset and passion for life within every sip and bite. They have a spot in downtown Truckee, too. A few other great breakfast spots are Tunnel Creek Café (quick bites), Sierra Café (at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino) and Mountain High Sandwich Co. (another on-the-go spot).
SEIZE THE DAY
Hope you enjoyed breakfast. While your potential for adventure is endless in Incline Village, we recommend these must-dos:
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park: A healthy activity and no shortage of beauty. The park makes up the coastline and backcountry on the northeastern shores of the lake’s Nevada side. Here, you’ll want to hit Sand Harbor State Park, graced with gently sloping beaches, crystal-clear water and interesting rock formations. A popular spot for boaters, water skiers and fishers, visitors can easily launch from one of the park’s two ramps. If you’re on chill mode, picnic in the shade of the cedars by one of the BBQs or tables. Spooner State Park is another hot spot within Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, open from sunrise to sunset.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort: A winter visit to Incline Village isn’t complete without some great skiing. Truly Lake Tahoe’s hidden gem, the resort is community-owned and boasts breathtaking views of the lake, uncrowded runs, easy parking lot to slope access, a kid-friendly ski center and ski/snowboard lessons. In addition to all the snowy fun, your wallet will enjoy the resort’s affordable lift ticket and season pass prices. The resort also boasts easy access to hiking trails. Try out the East Shore Trail to see Monkey Rock, a carved granite rock that resembles the cute chimp it’s named after.
Mountain Biking: Rent a well maintained, light mountain bike from Flume Trail Bikes in the Mountain Bike Capital of Nevada. There are several mountain biking trails off the Flume Trail, but if you follow the Flume Trail the whole way, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Mountain range. Your bike rental includes a helmet, pump, spare tube and water bottle. Take the guesswork out of transportation and parking with the Flume and Tahoe Rim Trail shuttles, operating every day during the summer, with shuttles running on the hour.
Tahoe East Shore Trail Experience: See one of Tahoe’s most scenic and historic shoreline trails for yourself! This three-mile paved portion of the Tahoe Trail is fun for the whole family, with expansive lake views and large granite boulders as far as the eye can see. Learn from interpretive panels along the trail and get acquainted with the Washoe people, steamships, railroads and logging. The panels also provide a wonderful geology lesson and material on local wildlife and plant species.
All that mountain biking, hiking and skiing is sure to work up an appetite. Austin’s Restaurant and Bar has been feeding Incline Village for over two decades with its crave worthy, American homestyle cooking. Order the chicken fried steak, meatloaf or unbeatably sized salads for the table. Your “don’t-miss item” here are the buttermilk fries with Jalapeno dipping sauce. That’s one unforgettable meal.
Sage Leaf is a lunch option on the lighter side, in the event your day calls for even more activity. Soak up the sun on their outdoor patio while tasting creative, seasonally inspired bites. Chef de Cuisine Shane Hammett mixes his Napa training with a passion for local, organic ingredients.
For you foodies visiting Incline Village, there’s just the place for you: Indu’s Asian Noodles and Curries. Take your tastebuds on an exploration with an extensive menu featuring Chinese, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan cuisines. Enjoy lively conversation over curry, chicken ginger soup, veggie rice noodles, Pho noodle soup or Asian-style fondue. We can see ourselves posted up here all winter for a cozy, warm treat.
Take It Easy
Incline Village has a slower side, too—don’t overlook it! Take your spa day to the next level at Stillwater Spa, located in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino. The resort’s property brings total serenity among the towering pines and cream-colored private beach. Book a massage, facial or body treatment with any one of their incredible therapists and aestheticians.
Channel your competitive side with some old-fashioned family fun. Bowl Incline has been a staple of the Incline Village community for 55 years. As their website states, it’s been totally renovated for “a new generation of fun on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe,” with a clean, contemporary feel and new equipment. Enjoy bowling every day from 11 a.m. to close, plus arcade games, a lively bar and Sam Choy’s Ohana Diner.
Dive into the lake without getting wet at Lake Tahoe’s only science center within the Tahoe Environmental Research Center. The center features interactive exhibits on the lake’s ecosystem and practical ideas for keeping Tahoe blue. Tours are held Tuesday through Saturday.
Stop by the cutest little shop, Handmade at the Lake, featuring items made exclusively in Lake Tahoe. Shop quilts, handmade kitchen or bath bowls, heart-shaped plates and beyond. After all, there’s no gift quite like one that was made with love. If you’re on a shopping high, more cute shops in Incline Village are Village Toys, The Potlatch, Panache, Karma Tahoe and of course, the Christmas Tree Village Shopping Center.
RECHARGE WITH DINNER
No matter what you’re craving, Incline Village has it all for dinner. Reflect on your fun-filled day at…
Lone Eagle Grille: Open show kitchen, wine wall with 600+ bottles and lakeside firepits. And after head across the street to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino for some gaming fun.
Azzara’s: Italian, great atmosphere and friendly staff
Big Water Grille: Fine dining, panoramic lake views and international wines
Bite Restaurant: Casual environment, handcrafted cocktails and creative American cuisine
La Fondue: Swiss fondue, romantic vibes and an extensive bar
Lupita’s: Fajitas and ’ritas…what’s not to love?
Discover more Incline Village activity, restaurant and lodging inspiration here.