Are you looking for the most incredible towns where to stay in Lake Tahoe? Fantastic!
I’ve compared all the different cities and hotels around Lake Tahoe, and I gathered the best cities and accommodations to deliver the ultimate guide for your vacation! Basically, I’ve done all the planning for you, and now you only have to choose from la crème de la crème!
The best area to stay in Lake Tahoe is South Lake Tahoe – it is the largest city around the lake and has the best attractions and activities for travelers!
But hey, there are more areas to choose from with amazing attractions and activities! Stay until the end to learn everything about the best areas around the lake and to find some great apartments and campground sites in Lake Tahoe!
Lake Tahoe is popular all year round, so if you want to be able to book a room in the area, you have to book in advance!
If you are in a hurry
If you want to book now, there’s no reason to wait. Here are the best hotels, all located in Tahoe South Lake:
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. South Lake Tahoe – where to stay for the first time
- 2. West Side & Tahoe City – the best place to stay for families
- 3. Olympic Valley / Palisades (Squaw Valley) – for winter sports
- 4. Incline Village – best place to stay for outdoor activities
- 5. Carson City – where to stay in Lake Tahoe for history lovers
- BONUS 1: Best apartments and cabin rentals in Lake Tahoe
- BONUS 2: RVs & Campgrounds in Lake Tahoe
- FAQs about where to stay in Lake Tahoe
Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the areas in Lake Tahoe that I will be talking about in this post:
- Where to stay for first-timers – South Lake Tahoe, Stateline and Tahoe City
- Where to stay with families – Tahoe City, Incline Village, and South Lake Tahoe
- Where to stay for winter sports – Olympic Valley, Palisades, Incline Village, and Truckee
- Where to stay for outdoor activities – Incline Village, Emerald Bay, Tahoe City
- Where to stay for history lovers – Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, and Tahoe City
1. South Lake Tahoe – where to stay for the first time
If you are traveling to Lake Tahoe for the first time, then you should definitely stay in South Lake Tahoe and its neighboring city, Stateline! It has nature and nightlife, it offers the chance to practice sports, and it is home to Lake Tahoe Airport (super handy)!
You can spend your days kayaking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Heavenly Mountain Resort is ideal for a good skiing session! The resort has 34 miles of well-maintained ski runs ideal for intermediate skiers/snowboarders.
Some other amazing attractions in the area are Pope Beach (map), where you can get the perfect suntan in the summer, and the Tallac Historic Site, which opens in the summer and was the site of a 100 years old hotel and casino!
The water in the lake is so clear that you can see objects as deep as 75 feet below the surface!
By the way, the Rubicon Trail passes through Vikingsholm Estate. One of the most iconic buildings in the area featuring Scandinavian architecture (you can visit from May to September for US$15). Other natural wonders you cannot miss are the Eagle Falls Trail and the Glen Alpine Fall!
If you are looking for the best nightlife around the lake, then this area is great for you! There are hundreds of restaurants and bars. One of the most popular in the area is Lucky Beaver, Bar & Burger; for a yummy meal or a drink, you pick!
If you want to try your luck, Harveys Casino and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe are waiting for you in the Stateline!
Stay in one of the most luxurious hotels in Lake Tahoe! Located in Stateline, this hotel has everything you could wish for and more! It is located by the beachfront and comes with a private beach area. On top of this, there is a ski lift less than a 5-minute walk away! Enjoy the movie nights and live music at the hotel, or relax at the full-service spa!
Other accommodation options in South Lake Tahoe
Gather up by the fireplace of this bed and breakfast. It has a hot tub and rooms for families
Located within walking distance from Stateline Casino, this friendly motel has cozy rooms and free wifi
This cute Stateline cabin will make you feel right at home. Everything you need is just steps away!
Things to do in South Lake Tahoe
- Go for a hike at Desolation Wilderness and check out the Eagle Falls and Eagle Lake
- Go on a fun ski trip to Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort
- Soak up the sun at the Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach
- Walk around and admire the mountains from the Bijou Community Park
2. West Side & Tahoe City – the best place to stay for families
If you are looking for a tranquil area filled with beautiful nature, cozy restaurants, and near skiing slopes where to spend wholesome family time, then Tahoe City and the West Side Lake Tahoe (including Homewood) have the thing for you!
I highly recommend all families get ready for beach fun and spend their days at Commons Beach (map), which is iconic! You can play watersports, or play at the playgrounds, and have picnics with unparalleled lake and mountain views!
PRO TIP: If you happen to be at Commons Beach on Sunday, you can listen to live music, and on Wednesdays they have movie nights, all family-friendly!
History lovers should definitely visit the unique Gatekeeper’s Museum to learn about Lake Tahoe. You can even see the TAHOE TATTLER there – a newspaper dating back from 1881!
For hiking or biking in nature, you have the Tahoe Rim Trail (map), which goes all around the lake and starts on this zone of the map, which is quite ideal!
Something great about this area is that you have the Alpine Meadows nearby. It is great if you are visiting during the winter and want to practice some winter sports with the whole family!
BTW, don’t be surprised if you see hundreds of people floating down the Truckee River, as Tahoe City is a popular starting point for float trips.
Tucked away between the trees, this lovely resort lodge is one of the coziest places in Tahoe City! Have a drink with a view of the mountains and warm up in front of the fireplace after a day of sightseeing! The resort offers family rooms and free parking spots.
Other accommodation options in West Side and Tahoe City
A wooden cottage inn perfect for your mountain getaway that has beach views and comfortable rooms
Enjoy your stay in Tahoe City in this lovely inn that offers free parking and has family rooms
Chill in the hot tub or by the pool of this accommodation that has a spacious room and mountain views
Things to do in Tahoe City
- Have a fun family day at the Tahoe City Marina
- Learn new things about the town’s history at the Gatekeeper’s Museum
- Take the kids to Commons Beach
- Go rafting on the Truckee River
- Play all day long at the Tahoe City Golf Course
3. Olympic Valley / Palisades (Squaw Valley) – for winter sports
Located near the west shore of Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City in California, the Olympic Valley area, including Palisades and Truckee are great for winter enthusiasts.
This area is a top holiday spot for travelers who love winter sports. All the best hotels here are focused on skiing and snowboarding and many are located within minutes from the slopes!
Some of the main attractions are, of course, Palisades Tahoe, where you can find the most iconic ski slopes! After all, the site was used as the home of the Olympic Games from 1960! So get ready to try your skills at Alpine Base Area.
In Palisades Tahoe you can go sledding, practice cross country skiing, or you can relax and take the Aerial Tram, for the best vistas! In the summer head to Granite Chief Trail which starts in Olympic Valley, it takes around 4 hours to do the entire trail and it is super popular for hikes, or biking!
Accommodation tends to be a bit cheaper near the Truckee area, and still is super close to all the skiing sites. The Palisades Tahoe slopes are a 20-minute drive away and the Northstar Village slopes are 10 minutes away.
Also, the downtown area of Truckee is super picturesque, like a little village surrounded by mountains, with cute restaurants and boutique shops!In Truckee, you can find the Sugar Bowl Resort (map) for skiing at the Donner Memorial State Park for a relaxing hike. And it is nice to have the Truckee Tahoe Airport and Reno nearby!
Admire the mountain views from the comfort of your room and stay at one of the best resorts in the village! Travelers will love the surrounding area, and I’m sure everyone will spend their time in the outdoor heated swimming pools. There’s also a fitness center on-site and a golf course located 2 miles (3 km) away.
Other accommodation options in Olympic Valley
Guests will love the hot tub of this hotel that offers rooms with balconies, fireplaces, and dining options
Stay in a beautiful and modern suite with friends or family in Truckee! The complimentary breakfast looks amazing!
Take a break from all the skiing and chill in this cozy Olympic Valley studio that has a fireplace
Things to do in Olympic Valley
- Ski and snowboard at Palisades Alpine Meadows Ski Resort
- Go shopping in the boutique stores in the village
- Explore all the dining options and restaurants in the Olympic Valley
- Have Family fun at the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks
- Climb the Tahoe Via Ferrata to enjoy epic views of the lake
4. Incline Village – best place to stay for outdoor activities
Located in Nevada on the North Lake Tahoe, this little town is nestled amongst pine trees and mountains, perfect for those who want to spend their days practicing sports in the great outdoors.
One of the most iconic things you can do during the summer is go for a biking session at Flume Trail (you can rent a proper trail bike at Flume Trail Bikes during the season).
If you are more into relaxing and swimming overlooking jaw-dropping landscapes, head to Sand Harbor State Park. Here you can find crystal clear waters and the softest sands!
Did you know Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America? It is around 2 million years old and one of the purest lakes in the world!
I am sure you are wondering if there are any ski slopes nearby, and since we are in Lake Tahoe, of course, there are! Diamond Peak Ski Resort is the place to be for skiing or snowboarding and beautiful hikes in the summer.
Even though the area is super rustic and natural, there are a lot of cool restaurants and breweries. If you are traveling with friends and want a bite and craft beers in a hip place, Alibi Ale Works Brewery (map) will charm you! For a fancy dinner, Lone Eagle Grille is ideal. The views are as lovely as the food!
PRO TIP: If you find any accommodation around Kings Beach, which is next to Incline Village, book it without a doubt!
An oasis of silence, perfect for families who are seeking a quiet place, equipped with tons of amenities for their Lake Tahoe holiday! The adults can relax with a romantic day at the spa before heading out to explore the private beach area, and I’m sure the kids will love the outdoor swimming pool and the fire pits!
Other accommodation options in Incline Village
Enjoy a quiet night in front of the fireplace of this resort that offers cozy rooms, an outdoor pool, and free parking
Stay in a cute and modern accommodation in Incline Village. The indoor swimming pool looks amazing!
I love the rustic design and location of this stylish house that has a spacious room and a shared outdoor hot tub
Things to do in Incline Village
- Go for a ski at Diamond Peak Ski Resort
- Play a round at Incline Village Championship Golf Course
- Soak up in the sun at Hidden Beach Plaza or Ski Beach
- Go for a swim at the Incline Village Recreation Center
- Admire the lake views at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
5. Carson City – where to stay in Lake Tahoe for history lovers
Carson City is ideal for those looking for a vacation surrounded by museums and history who still want to have nature nearby!
One of the most iconic museums in the area is Nevada State Railroad Museum, where you can learn everything about Nevada’s Railroad history and even see historic trains and cable cars.
Nevada State Museum, which is only a 4-minute walk away from Nevada State Railroad Museum, features Natural History exhibits to Nevada’s History! Great for the entire family!
Casino Fandango (map) is one of the most popular casinos in the area, so if you are looking to have some grown-up time and make some money to spend on your holiday, give it a visit!
If you want to go on a fun hike I have 2 recommendations for you, you can take the Kit Carson Trail (map) which is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and takes you along the city’s landmarks. Or you can go on an adventure and take the Ash to Kings Canyon trail which is 7.5 miles (12 km) each way and it’s super near the city.
For a meal in a unique establishment, head to Red’s OLd 395 grill. The restaurant has a fun theme, decorated with a lot of vintage American memorabilia. And of course, this is the best place for some juicy burgers!
PRO TIP: If Caron City is fully booked, but you happen to find something in Genoa and Zephyr Cove. Book it with confidence!
I love the outdoor lounge area of this luxury hotel in Carson City, it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon when all you want to do is soak up in the sun and read a good book. The rooms of this accommodation are very modern, and they have lots of amenities like free wifi, free parking, and an outdoor swimming pool.
Other accommodation options in Carson City
Have a dip in the indoor swimming pool of this inn that has modern rooms and offers dining options on-site
Located within walking distance of the Silver Oak Golf Course, this hotel offers cozy rooms and free parking
Chill on the balcony of this spacious house that has rooms for guests with families and a kitchen
Things to do in Carson City
- Visit the Nevada State Museum
- Try your luck at the Carson Nugget Casino Resort
- Admire the architecture of the Nevada State Capitol Building
- Take the kids to the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada
|👑 Luxury price:
|South Lake Tahoe
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:
|Edgewood Tahoe Resort
|🧳 Best mid-range hotel:
|👛 Best budget hotel:
|Black Jack Inn
BONUS 1: Best apartments and cabin rentals in Lake Tahoe
If during your time in Lake Tahoe, you’d rather stay in a cozy cabin or apartment to feel right at home and have more privacy, I have for you 5 incredible Vrbo’s and apartments around Lake Tahoe to recommend to you, all of them pet-friendly!
1. South Lake Chalet
It comes with a hip industrial vibe, still super cozy! The apartments are pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your dog to your relaxing vacation! The location is perfect, located right in South Lake Tahoe, steps away from Lakeside Beach and Stateline!
2. South Lake Cottage
Stay in a cozy, pet-friendly cottage with unparalleled mountain views! This cute cottage is located in North Upper Truckee and can host 5 guests. There is a relaxing jacuzzi available for guests on the terrace, and there is a fire pit in the garden!
3. Sunset Chalet
This beautiful chalet is located in Kings Beach and has the most stunning Lake Tahoe views! The property comes with 2 bedrooms and hosts 4 guests. The property is pet friendly, you need to inform the host you are bringing your pet.
4. Tiny House
Located in South Lake Tahoe, this beautiful cabin house is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation surrounded by nature! This tiny house comes with 3 bedrooms and hosts 6 guests and your lovely pets!
5. Lake Tahoe
The property features unique views of the woods and has a cozy fireplace in the living room and a nice hot tub in the garden. It can host 9 guests, and it’s pet-friendly. One of its best features is the game room with a pool table and foosball.
BONUS 2: RVs & Campgrounds in Lake Tahoe
If you are looking for a more wholesome stay and really connect with nature, then I have for you some apaming RVs and campgrounds in Lake Tahoe for a memorable vacation!
For all the campsites, I am recommending you book a space 6 months in advance through this official site.
- Camping at Emerald Bay State Park – This campsite is located in Emerald Bay State Park, in the southwest area of Lake Tahoe, and the entrance is located by Vikingshoms. I recommend checking their rules before booking a space!
- Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park – If you are traveling with your family and you have dogs, this campsite is ideal for you! It is located in Tahoma by the lake, and during the summer, you can enjoy the beach, and during the winter ski!
- Nevada Beach Campground – This campground is located near Stateline in Nevada, South Lake Tahoe. Each campsite can host 6 guests and 2 vehicles. There are flushing toilets on site and drinking water available, which is super handy!
FAQs about where to stay in Lake Tahoe
🧭 Is it better to stay in South Lake Tahoe or North Lake Tahoe?
If you’re visiting Lake Tahoe for the first time, I would recommend staying in South Lake Tahoe at the Hotel Azure, but if you’re more into outdoor activities, I suggest visiting Incline Village, located on the north shore of the Lake.
⛰️ What is the nicest part of Lake Tahoe?
In my opinion, Incline Village is one of the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe, as it combines my two favorite things: mountain views and beaches! You can book a room at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, a lovely luxurious hotel.
❓ Where to stay in Lake Tahoe in summer vs winter?
During the summer, stay in Tahoe South Lake, as there are tons of hiking trails, and in the winter, stay in the Olympic Valley and book a room at the Everline Resort and Casino, one of the best resorts in the village near the ski slopes.
🥾 Where should I stay in Lake Tahoe for hiking?
🏨 What are the best Lake Tahoe resort hotels?
❄️ Where to stay in Lake Tahoe in December?
Consider booking a cozy cabin in South Lake Tahoe to enjoy both winter activities and stunning lake views during December.
That is all for today, my sweet angels! Those were the best places where to stay in Lake Tahoe, with some nice apartment and camping options! I am sure by now you know exactly where you are going to stay during your vacation!
Honestly, all the accommodation options in this article are top-notch, but if I had to choose my top 2 options, I would go with:
- Edgewood Tahoe Resort – A luxurious place to stay that has stunning views
- Cottage Inn Tahoe – A cute inn that has rooms with fireplaces
Lake Tahoe is super popular all year round, and some of the towns around the lake have limited accommodation. So, you need to book in advance to avoid last-minute booking issues.
Which of these areas where to stay in Lake Tahoe was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Have the time of your life!
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