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South Lake Tahoe Beaches – Ultimate Guide To A Fun Vacation

South Lake Tahoe beaches is a dreamy destination that calls my name when the days get longer during the warmer months. The sun on the skin, sand between the toes, and the smell of sunscreen and ice cream in the warm breeze. The Lake Tahoe is one of those idyllic places simply meant for summer and beach lovers like me.

This giant freshwater lake is nestled neatly in the Sierra Nevada mountains, spread across the border of Nevada and California. Its unique position means picturesque beaches near the mountains and that means amazing beaches to explore!

Best beaches in south lake

South Lake Tahoe beaches are a holiday-ready destination regardless, and there are so many different places to explore on the southern side that it is the ultimate beach lovers’ paradise. Lake Tahoe is synonymous with beaches and in winter, a skiing paradise thanks to the number of ski resorts that one can find there.

I have found that the true attraction of Lake Tahoe is that no two beaches in this area are alike. Each beach has its own unique qualities, which means, you can explore each one of them and enjoy them all in a different way.

One thing that has helped me select the best suntanning spots, is to remember that the western side of the lake gets a lot of early morning sunshine, while the eastern side is perfect for sundowners over the lake.

South Lake Tahoe Beaches

There are pet-friendly beaches and others where you can set up camp or go boating. If you are a fan of an adrenaline rush, there are even beaches that cater specifically to those interested in parasailing and watersports.

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Here are my top 10 South Lake Tahoe beaches:

#1 Pet Friendly – Kiva Beach


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Dog lovers like myself will rejoice when they discover Kiva Beach. It is also known as Tallac Point, which is something to be aware of when traveling there. It is one of very few, and perhaps the only dog-friendly beach at Lake Tahoe. As I myself often travel with my Border Collie, this is one of my personal favorite spots.

Kiva Beach is a narrow stretch of sandy beach and there are a lot of trails for nature lovers to explore. This area also boasts exceptional vegetation and wildlife, which makes this spot perfect for those that enjoy long walks in a beautiful environment.

This spot is ideal for swimming as well as paddle boarding and other manual watersport activities. Unfortunately, Kiva doesn’t have a lot of natural shade, so it’s best to bring a beach umbrella or similar.

Kiva Beach is approximately 3 miles outside of South Lake Tahoe and has Emerald Bay on the one side and Camp Richardson on the other.

Address: Tallac Point Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: (530) 543-2600

#2 Big and Popular – Pope Beach


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Pope Beach is easily one of the largest beaches in Lake Tahoe that I have seen. It is almost a mile long and very popular among locals and tourists alike. The thing that I like the most about Pope Beach is that it is so close to the city and that there is ample parking right by the sand. As an added bonus, it is also lovely and shady due to the plentiful palm trees on the shoreline.

The water here is crystal clear and has a sandy bottom, which makes it perfect for swimming. The more adventurous beach-goer will delight in the fact that kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for hire on this beach and the water is ideal for these types of activities as well. There is also a boat launch, so boating enthusiasts flock to these waters.

Unfortunately, Pope Beach is not pet-friendly. However, it is good for children. Although I myself don’t have children, I can understand why Pope Beach is a favorite among families. It has shallow water and there aren’t a lot of waves in the water or rocks on the beach, which possibly makes it one of the safest beaches in the South Lake Tahoe area.

Address: Highway 89, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Contact: (530) 543-2600

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#3 Resort Living – Zephyr Cove Beach

Zephyr Beach Tahoe

If you are interested in enjoying the beach but would still like to live in luxury, then Zephyr Cove is for you. Zephyr Cove is a resort and with that comes all the facilities and conveniences of a resort. The sandy beach is approximately a mile long and the resort offers beach umbrella and beach chair rentals and will even set it up on your behalf to ensure you make the most of your stay.

Sporty travelers will enjoy the beach volleyball courts at the resort. Novices that would just like to try their hand at the game will delight in the free entry to the courts and volleyball rental at the Sunset Bar & Grille.

The Sunset Bar & Grille is located in the resort and offers delicious meals and cocktails on the beach.

Address: 760 US-50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
Contact: (800) 238-2463

#4 Camping – D.L. Bliss State Park

south lake tahoe beaches

D.L. Bliss State Park is the best place for nature lovers. It is a park, which means that day visitors are welcome, but it also offers visitors the unique ability to camp out for a few days. This state park offers two very unique features, one of which is Lake Tahoe’s only island, and the other is the view.

I truly enjoy hiking and D.L. Bliss State Park offers some of the best hiking opportunities around Lake Tahoe. The beach is also ideal for fishing, swimming, and scuba diving. Watersport enthusiasts will also enjoy launching their kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes here.

Although leashed dogs are allowed in the campground, they are not allowed on the beach.

Address: 9881 Emerald Bay Road/ Hwy 89, Tahoma, CA 96142
Contact: (530) 525-7277

#5 Sunsets and Swimming – El Dorado Beach

El Dorado Beach was one of the first little beaches I stumbled across when exploring the various areas of Lake Tahoe. It is visible from Highway 50 and has a stone amphitheater which is very unique. It is one of the best places for swimming and picnics, and ideal for watching the sunset.

El Dorado Beach offers free parking and there is a boat launch, which means that those interested in watersports will find their paradise right here. Although dogs are not allowed, it is the ideal place to take a walk and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Many birds also call El Dorado home, so birdwatchers will delight in spotting them flit from tree to tree.

I found that the stretches of grass were most inviting at El Dorado Beach. It means that there is a comfortable place to settle down for sundowners while you watch the beautiful sunset.

Address: 800 El Dorado Ave (Between Rufus Allen & Lakeview off Hwy. 50), South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: (530) 542-6056

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#6 Best for BBQ – Baldwin Beach

Those that enjoy picnics and BBQs on the beach will find their safe haven at Baldwin Beach. Baldwin Beach offers some of the best views at Lake Tahoe as it looks out over the lake, but also offers an incredible vista of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

It is the perfect day for a family outing as there is plenty of space to set up a gas grill for a picnic, loads of picnic tables, and enough fun things to do. Beach-goers here delight in swimming in the shallow water, kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.

There is ample parking and clean restrooms, which makes this the ideal spot to camp out for a few hours and enjoy a leisurely picnic during the summer months.

Address: Baldwin Beach Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, United States

Contact: (530) 543-2600

#7 Action Watersports – Conelly Beach

beaches in south lake tahoe

Conelly Beach is the place to be if you are an adventurous traveler. This beach is located at the Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge and therefore offers access to several exciting activities on-site. The white sand beach is perfect for paddling and swimming as it has very shallow and calm waters.

This beach is the best for action-packed watersports. The Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge offers parasailing, boat tours, and an impressive motorized watercraft rental fleet, which means that boredom is not an option at this beautiful beach.

There is also a pier, restaurant, and marina on-hand at the lodge, which makes it ideal for those that are looking for a beach that offers the entire package. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed and there aren’t public restrooms on the beach, but as it is so close to several other businesses with the necessary facilities, this is rarely a problem.

Address: 3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Contact: (530) 541-6722

#8 All-in-One: Ski Run Beach/Marina


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This destination has it all – it truly is a one-stop shop for the busy family. It is, of course, possible to simply enjoy the swimming opportunities at Ski Run Beach, but it is also possible to venture out onto the waters on a fishing charter or lake cruise. Boating enthusiasts can launch their own boats here too, or rent a boat or jet ski to explore the waters on their own.

As promised, this all-in-one destination has everything that you need for a holiday including the beach, marina, an ice-cream shop, a souvenir shop, restaurants like the Riva Grill on the photo above, a climbing wall, a salon, and a Paint n Sip studio.

Ski Run Beach offers so many activities in and out of the water that it makes it the perfect year-round destination.

Address: 900 Ski Run Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Contact: (530) 544-9500

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#9 Beach Dining – Nevada Beach

Nevada Beach is located just to the side of the Nevada Beach campground, which makes it ideal for those traveling to stay close to Lake Tahoe for a few days. Nevada Beach offers some of the best views over the lake as well as the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is also absolutely ideal for swimming and relaxed walks in the nature trails that surround this area.

I personally found Nevada Beach to be very unique due to the concessionaire that manages this site. This means that food concession is available on-site and there are several places to sit down and enjoy your meal. There is even a dog-friendly, boat-in picnic area on the south side, which is perfect if that is what you are looking for.

The water here is perfect for kayaking, and kayak rentals are also available on-site.

Address: Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
Contact: (530) 543-2600

#10 Private Parties – Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach


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Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach is better known simply as Regan Beach and is the oldest public beach at South Lake Tahoe. It is a popular spot due to the ideal conditions which makes it perfect for swimming, picnics, and kayaking. There are also volleyball courts for those interested in a more active getaway.

If you have a private event that you’d like to celebrate at the beach, then Regan Beach should be your first port of call. It is possible to rent space here through the City for private parties, birthdays, family gatherings, and the like.
This beach is also dog-friendly to an extent, which means that dogs are allowed within limitations. But there is a water dog park, which is sure to make your furry friend’s day.

Address: 3199 Sacramento Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, United States
Contact: (530) 542-6056

So, there you have it. My top 10 picks for best beaches in South Lake Tahoe. Fall in love with these spots and share your favorite destination.

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