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11 Best Scenic Spots to See Lake Tahoe

11 Best Scenic Spots to See Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With its clear blue water and stunning mountain views, it’s no wonder that Tahoe is such a popular destination.

There are many different ways to enjoy the views of Lake Tahoe. You can go for a hike, take a drive, or even sit and enjoy the scenery. No matter how you choose to see it, Tahoe is sure to take your breath away.

Here are 11 of the best scenic spots to see Lake Tahoe:

1. Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe’s most famous scenic spots. The bay is home to an iconic island, Fannette Island, as well as beautiful crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains from several vantage points, including Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm Castle.

a lake with a mountain in the background

2. Cave Rock

Cave Rock is another one of the most popular scenic spots to see Lake Tahoe. This massive granite formation is located on the lake’s east shore and provides stunning water views.

Visitors can hike to the top of the rock or take a short drive. Several restaurants and cafes are also located nearby, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite after a day of exploring.

Cave Rock is a quick and easy hike that is perfect for families. Cave Rock is easily accessible from the road and can be enjoyed by most people. The views of Lake Tahoe from Cave Rock are famous for its sunset views.

a large body of water with a mountain in the background

3. Incline Village

Incline Village is one of the best scenic spots to see Lake Tahoe. It’s located on the North Shore of the lake and offers stunning views. The village is also home to a number of great restaurants, shops, and hotels.

If you’re looking for a more active experience, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area. You can also take a boat tour of the lake or go kayaking. There are also plenty of activities to do in the area, making it an excellent spot for a day trip or an extended vacation.

a man sitting on a rock next to a body of water

4. Sand Harbor area

The state park offers miles of sandy beaches, shady pine forests, and majestic scenery that provides an awe-inspiring backdrop for summertime outdoor activities.

The park offers opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, and kayaking in the translucent waters of Lake Tahoe. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Sailing, kayaking, and boating enthusiasts appreciate the docks at the boat launch.

Visitors can take scenic walks along the Sand Point Nature Trail or hike the short but challenging Sand Harbor to Memorial Point Trail. Both trails offer outstanding lake views and access to secluded beaches and rocky coves.

Parking is limited at Sand Harbor State Park, so arrive early! And don’t forget your bathing suit – Lake Tahoe is COLD!

For a more relaxed experience, try floating around on inflatable rafts or swimming in one of its refreshingly cool lakes (although we recommend trying out some of Nevada’s otherworldly bathwater swims first!).

Don’t forget your camera: Sand Harbor State Park is packed with giant rocks and boulders in crystal clear water, mountain views as far as the eye can see, and soft, sandy beaches.

Sand Harbor State Park should be your top pick if you’re looking for a place to spend a day or two while driving around Lake Tahoe. With all its natural beauty comes crowds, which makes it more fun!

a close up of a rock next to a body of water

5. Eagle falls trailhead

Eagle falls trailhead is one of the best scenic spots at Lake Tahoe. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, and there are plenty of trails to explore. If you’re looking for a place to truly appreciate the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, this is it.

a view of a snow covered mountain with Emerald Bay State Park in the background

6. Tahoe East Shore Trail

The Tahoe East Shore Trail is a paved path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor. You can walk as much or as little of the trail as you want, and it’s mostly flat. The first mile of the trail is closer to the mountain, but keep on going!

There are 16 vista points along the trail, including Memorial Point Scenic Overlook and Hidden Beach. The views are stunning, and you’ll find lots of photo ops along the way!

A bridge over a body of water

7. Donner Memorial State Park

California, Truckee is home to Donner Memorial State Park. . It encompasses Donner Lake and eight miles of trails, including a Lakeside Interpretive Trail. The park has a visitor center that presents exhibits about the Donner Party, the emigrant (pioneer) experience, and another local history.

The campground can get very busy during summertime, so reservations are recommended. Lester Beach and Calawee Cove beaches are especially beautiful.

a body of water with a mountain in the background

8. Pope Beach

Pope Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. The clear blue water and sandy shores are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach is also an excellent spot for photography.

a group of people on a beach near a body of water

9. Kings Beach

Kings Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun during the summertime. The State Recreation Area has plenty of parking, picnic tables, and barbecue pits. There are many motels and restaurants in Kings Beach, as well as trendy retail shops and street vendors. Visitors can also find several public beaches along the shoreline.

a group of people on a beach near a body of water

10. Tallac Historic Site

Tallac Historic Site is a great place to see Lake Tahoe’s scenic beauty. The site offers guided tours and special events throughout the year, including a Gatsby Festival annually in August. You can take a docent-led tour of the Pope House, which allows you to see the living room, dining room, servants’ quarters, butler’s pantry, and landscaped grounds.

The Tallac Historic Site is also a great place to see Lake Tahoe scenery, thanks to its proximity to the lake and various properties surrounding it. For example, Camp Richardson Resort offers skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in winter; Valhalla Estate hosts theater performances and concerts throughout the summer; and Winter activities at the site include skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing.

An empty park bench next to a tree

11. D.L. Bliss State Park

D.L. Bliss State Park is one of the best scenic spots to see Lake Tahoe and its spectacular views. The park includes a 5-mile trail to Emerald Bay State Park and a two-mile extension trail that leads past the Vikingsholm Castle. The campground at D.L. Bliss State Park is very popular, so make sure to make reservations in advance.

a large tree in a forest

Things to do at lake Tahoe

Hike

There are plenty of things to do at Lake Tahoe, but one of the best activities is hiking. With so much stunning scenery to take in, it’s no wonder that hiking is such a popular pastime in the area. There are trails to suit all levels of ability so that everyone can enjoy a hike through the beautiful landscape.

The Eagle Lake Trail is a beginner-friendly hike that offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe. The hike is short and easy, taking only an hour to complete. The views are worth the effort, as you can see the California coastline from Eagle Lake.

The Mount Tallac Hiking Trail is a beautiful trek that offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe’s California coastline. The trail is a strenuous, challenging hike with steep climbs and descents. It takes about six to seven hours to complete, but the payoff is incredible: you’ll be able to see snow-capped mountains and the blue waters of Lake Tahoe from high up on Mount Tallac.

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Tahoe. There are many kayak rental companies around the lake, so it’s easy to get started. Kayaking is a great workout and a great way to explore the lake. Be sure to wear sunscreen and pack plenty of water, as it can get very hot on the lake during the summer months.

Sailing

Sailing is one of the most popular activities at Lake Tahoe. The lake is large and deep, making it ideal for sailing. There are several marinas around the lake where you can rent boats.

If you want to avoid renting a boat, there are also several companies that offer sailing tours. These tours are a great way to see the lake and learn about its history.

Cycling

Lake Tahoe is a popular cycling destination for various reasons, including its beautiful scenery and easy-to-navigate trails. The East Shore Trail is paved and flat, making it perfect for beginner cyclists and those with dogs.

The trail is dog-friendly and kid-friendly, making it the perfect activity for all ages. Lake Tahoe is a great place to cycle because it offers scenic views of the lake as well as peaceful surroundings.

Swimming

There are many swimming spots around Lake Tahoe, and unfortunately, conditions can vary a lot. Some good swimming places include Skunk Harbor, the surrounding bays, and Secret Cove, a nude beach. The lake gets choppy in the afternoon so start early if you want good conditions. Swimming SUP trips are a great way to see the best views of Lake Tahoe from the water.

Eat

Lake Tahoe has many places to eat, and each offers a unique dining experience. Some of the more popular spots include Incline Village and Heavenly Gondola. If you’re looking for something more indulgent, head to Chateau Ste. Michelle or Michael Chiasson restaurant in Stateline. No matter where you go, make sure to indulge in some delicious cuisine!

Shop

There are many different shops at Lake Tahoe, each with its own unique items. You can find everything from souvenirs to clothing to art. There is something for everyone at the various shops around the lake.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, the best place to go is the Tahoe Souvenir Shop. This shop has a wide variety of items, all with a Tahoe theme. You can find everything from keychains to coffee mugs to T-shirts.

If you’re looking for clothing, the best place to go is the Tahoe Clothing Company. This store has a wide variety of clothing, all with a Tahoe theme. You can find everything from sweaters to hats to jackets.

FAQs

Driving around Lake Tahoe takes how long?

It takes about 3 hours to drive around Lake Tahoe. The roads around the lake are scenic and winding, so make sure you have enough time to go around. The lake is a great place to visit in the summer and a great place to go for a walk or jog.

What is the cost of driving around Lake Tahoe?

Tourists can freely drive around Lake Tahoe without fees, but there are fees for entering state parks. The drive around the lake takes about three hours and can be done in one go without stopping. There are many beautiful stops to take pictures at on the drive around the lake.

Which Tahoe lakeside has the better scenery?

There is no definitive answer, as both sides of Lake Tahoe offer stunning scenery. However, many visitors find that the south side of the lake offers more opportunities for activities and breathtaking views. In addition, the south side is home to some of the most popular tourist destinations, such as Emerald Bay and Heavenly Village.

Which of the lake Tahoe views is the best?

There is no definitive answer to the question of which view of Lake Tahoe is the best. It depends on what you are looking for in a scenic spot. Some people prefer a more naturalistic setting, while others prefer a more developed area with easy access to amenities.

There are also those who enjoy being on the water and soaking up the sun. Whatever your preference, there is sure to be a spot on Lake Tahoe that suits your needs.