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South Lake Tahoe

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South Lake Tahoe is a city in the Lake Tahoe region of California in El Dorado County.


Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in America, and it’s located where California and Nevada meet. South Lake Tahoe offers beautiful views of mountains covered with fir and pine trees, deep blue water year-round, and a wealth of outdoor activities. A popular location for skiers and snowboarders during the snowy winter season, Lake Tahoe is also home to miles of beaches for sun-tanning, boating, water skiing, and swimming in the summer. Both north and south shores offer plenty of hiking and biking trails and retreats for campers. South shore hosts a long stretch of casinos—a virtual paradise for gamblers.

South Lake Tahoe has grown from several smaller towns into one large area consisting of approximately 24,000 permanent residents. The population fluctuates massively in the winter, and three-fold around New Years Eve. There are two main parts of South Lake Tahoe: the Western part of town centered around "The Y" - the X-shaped intersection of US Highway 50, state highway 89; and the Eastern part centered around the CA-NV state border. The former is distinctly residential, and the latter is distinctly commercial - it is nearest to the casinos and larger hotels of Stateline, Nevada (Vegas-style gambling is legal in Nevada, but not California, hence the casinos clustered literally across the street from the California border in Stateline), and Heavenly's Gondola starts in this area.

Traveling from "The Y" toward Stateline, you will see many hotels, resorts and motels alongside the US50, before arriving at 'Heavenly Village' a town center created at the foot of the Heavenly Gondola, comprising shops, restaurants and two Marriott resort hotels. There is also a multi-story parking garage at Heavenly Village.

One block further along US-50, you arrive at the CA/NV Border, and the unincorporated settlement of Stateline, with its four major resort casinos, and two local casinos.

Get in[edit]

The easiest way to get into South Lake Tahoe is to fly into Reno, then drive the remainder of the distance. If you don't own a car, an alternate way is to take the South Tahoe Express Bus (, which leaves Reno Airport and travels directly to the Heavenly Gondola in the middle of the new area of South Lake Tahoe. This is $24 one way.

It's common for international and transcontinental travelers to fly into San Francisco International Airport, and make the journey via Sacramento on I-80 and US-50.

Get around[edit]

There is bus service in South Lake Tahoe, and in the Winter Heavenly Ski Resort has its own bus service, which is free (this is meant to shuttle skiers to and from their hotels and motels). There are also taxis, however these are in very high demand in the winter, and waits of 30-60 minutes are not uncommon in peak times.

All major locations around the Heavenly Village area such as the stateline casinos, are within walking distance of each other. There are underground walkways between the major casinos.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • In summer, hike the Heavenly trails. Or, go on multi day backpacking trips in the nearby Desolation Wilderness Area.
  • In winter, ski or snowboard.
  • Try the casinos. Bill's Casino is entirely no-smoking. Or you can go to the Horizon Casino and play one of the few Sigma Derbys remaining in the country.
  • Explore points of interest like Camp Richardson and the spectacular view at Emerald Bay. (If you don't have a car, the nifty-fifty trolley makes the journey during the summer)
  • Magic Carpet Miniature Golf Course, 2455 Lake Tahoe Blvd.. One of the most elaborate and imaginative miniature golf courses in Northern California, with creative holes involving dinosaurs, spiders, and caves.  edit
  • Watercraft rentals and boat tours with Invert Sports, 888-205-7119. [13]
  • A Body ReNEW Massage Spa, 2264 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 4, 5305453501, [1]. 9-9. Boutique Massage Spa offering therapeutic massage for relaxation, spa treatments, and pain relief.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • As a large tourist area, there are an abundance of t-shirt and other novelty stores, mainly centered around the CA-NV state line, with the more upscale stores being located in the Heavenly Village development.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Beacon in Camp Richardson provides a beautiful waterfront view, live music, their famous rum runners, and good food for less then the casinos.
  • For the best Pizza in South Lake Tahoe, try Blue Dog Pizza. It's just next to Raleys, near the Heavenly Gondola. Good pizza, informal atmosphere (read: loud), and friendly service.
  • Cabo Wabo Cantina, in the basement of Harveys Casino, it's owned by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen fame.
  • Fire and Ice, below the Marriott. Great if you want a sports bar with a BBQ pit.
  • Freshies - Hawaiian food restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Their outside seating is on the roof, with a marvelous view of the lake, which is across the street from the lake. Friendly and informal atmosphere. Go during sunset for great views. Moderate prices. 3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA. 530/542-3630. Reservations not accepted.
  • Sprouts Cafe, 3125 Harrison Ave (Cross-street Lake Tahoe Blvd.), South Lake Tahoe, (530) 541-6969. Organic healthy food including sandwiches, healthy vegetarian or meat burritos, nachos, and salads. Smoothies and coffees. Order at the counter. Friendly service.
  • Base Camp Pizza, 1001 Heavenly Village Way #25a, (530) 544-2273, [2].  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • There are plenty of bars in the Casinos. This is where most of the night life is situated.
  • The Dory's Oar and Tudor Pub offers dishes inspired by Bay Area bistros and cuisine. Using only the freshest ingredients and simple presentation, Dory's Oar serves tapas, salads, steak and seafood, and classic pub fare. Located just off Highway 50 on Fremont Ave.
  • Of all the Heavenly Base Lodges, make sure you take a look at Boulder on the Nevada side, up Kingsbury Grade. It has one of the friendliest bars on the mountain.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Best Western Timber Cove Lodge, 3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, +1 530 541-6722, Fax: +1 530 541-7959, [14]. Sports equipment for hire on the beach (kayaks, SeaDoo, water trikes, etc). Clean rooms, well-kept grounds with flower beds, etc. Some rooms have a lake view, but be aware that some of the rooms with lake view are 'partial' views, and they won't guarantee particular rooms—any room closer than the pool is considered lake view/lake front (more $$$). Top floor rooms are much quieter—the rooms are poorly sound insulated between floors. Friendly, if inexperienced staff. Includes simple continental breakfast (coffee, juice, toast, etc). Pool. Two casual restaurants, a Safeway right across the street, nearby coin-operated laundry, and walking distance to Long's Drugs and Heidi's, for breakfast. In summer, frequently hosts weddings, so you should expect wedding dance music until 10PM, and starting again at 9:30AM.
  • Forest Suites Resort, One Lake Parkway, +1 530 541-6655, [3]. Is a hotel nestled in an alpine environment.  edit
  • Lakeland Village Beach and Mountain Resort, 3535 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, +1 530 544-1685, Fax: +1 530 544-0193, [15]. Each room has a deck or balcony, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen/kitchenette, complimentary shuttle service for the south lake area, as well as exclusive private beach access on Lakeland's quarter mile beach. Some town-homes are available with lake-view or lakefront. 2 swimming pools and a children's wadding pool heated to 82 degrees, and 2 hot tubs heated to 102 degrees (only 1 pool and both hot tubs available in winter). Tennis courts, ping pong, volleyball, kayaks, and paddle boats, all available seasonally. Two saunas and fitness center available year round. Complimentary access to dock and buoys. Children's activities available during the summer. During the winter months you may rent all your ski or snowboard equipment at Lakeland's on site rental shop, pick up a discounted lift ticket from the front desk to any of Tahoe's premier ski resorts, and if you're headed to Heavenly use Lakeland Village's free shuttle to get there. During ski season there is a complimentary continental breakfast available. Lakeland Village welcomes groups and has two conference centers available for rent.
  • Motel 6, 2375 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, +1 530 542-1400, Fax: +1 530 542-2801, [16]. This is a very large Motel 6, and fairly centrally located in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Royal Valhalla on the Lake, 4104 Lakeshore Blvd, (800) 999-4104, [4]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Discover a beautiful Lake Tahoe, California hotel on the beach and walking distance to Nevada casinos and Heavenly ski gondola.  edit
  • Park Tahoe Inn, 4011 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, +1 530 544-6000, [5]. The Park Tahoe Inn is a pet friendly hotel located right across from the Heavenly Gondola Resort, 1 block from the Nevada casino hotels and 2 blocks from Lake Tahoe.  edit
  • Tahoe Keys Resort, 599 Tahoe Keys Blvd, 800-698-2463, [6]. Stay at Tahoe Keys Resort with first class amenities, breathtaking mountain and lake views, and convenient location to Lake Tahoe activities and nightlife.  edit
  • The Avalon Lodge, 4075 Manzanita Avenue, 1-888-544-STAY (7829), [7]. New beds, in room fireplaces, flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations, free WiFi, complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor pool, and whirlpool. Located just blocks from beach, gondola rides, shopping, casinos, dining, and outdoor recreation. Pets welcome, too.  edit
  • Heavenly Valley Lodge Bed & Breakfast (previously Inn at Heavenly), 1261 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 (1/2 mile up from the Lake, off the 50, or Lake Tahoe Blvd), 530-564-1500, [8]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: Noon. Newly renovated, new beds, linens, furniture, decorations and amenities. In-room fireplaces, ceiling fans, flatscreen TV, with DVD player and library of 400+ complimentary movies, iPod docking stations, kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast. We also have 4 outdoor patios, with a large open park with outdoor games, and the property is off the beaten track, set back amongst tall Pines. Close to great restaurants, the lake, Casinos, shopping, golf etc. Dogs welcome. The Heavenly shuttle bus stops right outside the property offering Ski-In/Ski-Out convenience for skiiers and snowboarders. $89-$275. (38 56 48,119 57 80) edit
  • Vagabond Inn Lake Tahoe (South), 3892 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530-544-3642, [9]. checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. Vagabond Inn South Lake Tahoe offers pet friendly rooms, cable TV, complimentary continental breakfast, spa rooms, shuttle service, heated swimming pool, free WiFi, and other services. (38.952374,-119.948819) edit
  • Buckingham Properties Lake Tahoe, 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd Suite 28, 800-503-0051, [10]. checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. If you are in the mood for luxury, check out Buckingham Properties large selection of Deluxe and Luxury Vacation Rentals.  edit
  • 3 Peaks Resort & Beach Club (3 Peaks South Lake Tahoe), 931 Park Avenue, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150, 800.331.3951, [11]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Tahoe style motel rooms, 1 & 2 bdrm suites... Walking distance to South Shore casinos, beach and Heavenly Gondola. $49+. (38.956679,-119.947391) edit
  • Hotel Becket, 4003 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, (530) 544-6000, [12]. The best hotels are all about bringing people together, and Joie de Vivre has created Hotel Becket as a place that brings the best of South Lake Tahoe together as one. Just steps from the Heavenly Village gondola, close to downtown nightlife and central to some of the world’s greatest outdoors — from lake shore to mountain top — The Becket is born out of the union of two distinct, boutique hotel properties. For business or pleasure, or both, the finest in true Tahoe Style.  edit

Get out[edit]

Routes through South Lake Tahoe
SacramentoPollock Pines  W noframe E  StatelineCarson City

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