North Tahoe Areas

North Lake Tahoe Areas

Mountains & Beaches
Experience the charming and majestic towns that line the North and West Shores of Tahoe. Each small town scattered around the Sierra Nevada mountains has its own unique personality and appeal. From the relaxed pace western feel of Truckee to the easy access and laid-back local feel of Alpine Meadows. So whatever suits your fancy, you will find it here on the beautiful shores or mountains of North Lake Tahoe. 


Truckee is a place rich in history with a quaint downtown that hosts charming shops and superb restaurants set in authentic historic buildings. Recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Truckee proudly retains its historic roots. Named after a Paiute Indian chief who helped guide thousands of emigrants in their westward journey through 40 miles of desert. Truckee is well known for its logging, ice manufacturing, the Emigrant Trail, as well as for the tragic expedition of the Donner Party. You can discover much more about their captivating story at Donner Memorial State Park Museum and Pioneer Monument.

Everyone's favorite place to stroll is in historic downtown Truckee, where the train whistle, birds, art galleries, and patio dining scene ease you into a relaxed state of mind. Foodies will find world-class culinary options spanning just a few short blocks. History buffs can take in the historic downtown tour.

From whiskey poured over ice cubes cut with a chainsaw at Truckee Tavern, to old fashioned milkshakes served up at Bud’s Ice Cream, a huge family pizza at Village Pizzeria, charred Ahi on a bed of locally grown greens at Bar of America, or maybe just cocktails around an outdoor fire pit at Moody’s with live jazz humming inside, Truckee is a foodie’s heaven.


One of the finest year-round mountain resorts in North America, Northstar California is the ultimate family travel destination renowned for its unique style of “California laid-back luxury”. As one of the beautiful mountain villages in North America, the Village at Northstar is now flourishing with life. Featuring luxury condominiums, a variety of shopping options from stylish boutiques and specialty retailers to a collection of cafés and restaurants all centered on a year-round skating rink. A longtime favorite of anyone who enjoys Lake Tahoe golf, the Northstar Golf Course gives summer visitors another great reason to stay right in Northstar. Add tennis, hiking, fly-fishing, scenic lift rides, and even geocaching to the menu, and Northstar at Tahoe has got it going on. At the hub, the Village features outdoor movies, TGI Thursdays, and roller-skating on the large rink.

The Mountain is a paradise for winter enthusiasts with 3,170 acres of skiable mountain terrain featuring 100 trails, 20 lifts, 7 award winning terrain parks, unmatched tree skiing and the perfect ski experience for every member of the family. Learn more about the Northstar mountain statistics.

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Northstar is comprised of six main areas: The Village at Northstar, Lookout Mountain, Northwest Territory, The Backside, Mt. Pluto and the Terrain Parks. Northstar is known for its seven world-class terrain parks and legendary gladed areas including Sawtooth Ridge, Lookout Glade, and White Rabbit.

Incline Village

Nestled along the northern shores of Lake Tahoe, Incline Village is a paradise for adventurers, offering exhilarating activities the whole year through. Incline Village Lake Tahoe is named for the Great Incline Tramway built by loggers in 1878. Today, Incline is home to some of Lake Tahoe’s most stunning mountain retreats.

This eastern North Shore enclave features some of the areas most relaxing beaches and a genteel approach to Lake life. In summer, theatergoers congregate to see the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at nearby Sand Harbor. Mountain bikers can get their game on with screamers down the Flume trail, which drains into the Village.

Although some beaches are open only to residents, there are numerous public beaches to dip your feet in. Winter sees snow sliders trooping to Diamond Peak Ski Area (in the city limits) and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Additionally, the casino gaming here is uptown and lively.

King's Beach

Lake Tahoe named Kings Beach after card shark Joe King, who won the town site from George Whittell nearly a century before poker had a cult cable-TV following. Kings Beach is kicked back, in fact, this stretch of North Lake Tahoe wrote the book on mellow kick back. Kings Beach stands in the sun’s path from early morning into the evening, with a signature downtown public beach plus hip shops, restaurants, and side-street vendors. On any given hot day, the beach at Kings Beach shows why it is king, with visitors and locals alike spreading out towels along the shore and diving into the cool, crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe. There are numerous places where you can rent kayaks & paddle boards. Or if you want a little more action, venture off on one of the many hiking trails on foot or via bike. It’s wall-to-wall and tons of fun, especially with special events that happen here such as the July 3rd Fireworks and Beach Party.

Tahoe City

Tahoe City is perched on the shore of Lake Tahoe at the headwaters of the Truckee River (Lake Tahoe’s only outlet). A mélange of playful year ‘round activities awaits every visitor. With good restaurants and easy access to a public beach, Tahoe City has everything you need. Try the free Sunday afternoon concerts on the beach, and the best golfing deal around at Tahoe City’s nine-hole course. Experience the quiet of the lake while having plenty of entertainment options close by. Enjoy four-star dining, homegrown coffee shops, shopping, galleries, and a leisurely stroll through town on the Lake-view boardwalk any time. Once a destination for travelers to and from the 1870’s Comstock Lode that featured a narrow-gauge railway stop and the steamer S.S. Tahoe, Tahoe City’s century-old heritage, historic sites (some claim haunted) and museums provide much history to explore as well.

Carnelian Bay

Lake Tahoe in 1860, named Carnelian Bay for the semi-precious red and yellow stones peppering the shoreline. Today, Carnelian Bay Lake Tahoe is an annual destination for wooden boat enthusiasts coming from around the country for a weekend of cruising with the Concours d’Elegance wooden boat show. Year round, Carnelian Bay is the spot for big Mackinaw trout. The beaches are favorites with dogs, kayakers, Stand Up Paddle boarders and sunset seekers.

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley is all about the spirit of adventure and exploration, offering 3,600 acres of skiing and riding across 6 peaks. Just starting out? Try Squaw’s mellow mountain tops with views of Lake Tahoe. You can also order up the steeps, bowls, and cliffs craved by experts. Squaw Valley has the longest season in Lake Tahoe, where music, spring pool parties, and Tahoe’s wackiest pond skimming contest will have you catching spring fever.

The Village isn’t just a place to sleep; its design anticipates your every need. Stone walkways flow through the center of a European-style village with an array of shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues. Amazing dining for any atmosphere, from sushi and short ribs to bagels and smoothies. Quaint specialty shops offer something for everyone (even your pet!): sports clothing and equipment, bath and beauty products, and a variety of original gifts. Sundry shops to find those little necessities you may have left behind.

When it comes time to hit the hay, there are 4-star hotels, lofty condos, and cabins, or you can stay in the heart of the action in The Village at Squaw. So, if you are looking for a relaxing retreat or an adventure that you can write about, Squaw Valley’s got it.

Tahoe Vista

Tahoe Vista is off the beaten path in Lake Tahoe. It's away from most of the tourist areas, but still close to nature and the lake. This area of the lake is a favorite spot for water lovers and offers several boat launches.

Tahoe Vista is a great place to be outdoors. This area on the Northwest shore has some hidden beaches for kayak launching, the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area boat launch and the North Tahoe Regional Park with sports year-round trailheads for mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a disc golf course, nature trails, and sweet swing sets for the kids. The North Tahoe Marina offers powerboat rentals, a ramp launch and local fishing boats.

Of course, with all that exercise, it’s easy to work up an appetite. Tahoe Vista’s got your bases covered there, too. Gargantuan steaks for two, authentic Mexican fare, a quaint summer-season ice cream shop and flights of fine wine are menu highlights worthy of a trip to remember.

Donner Summit

Donner Summit and the deep emerald lake at its feet both bear the name of the tragic immigrant party crossing Donner Pass, whose story is wonderfully displayed at a visitors center located at the site itself, less than a mile from the lake. Today, the Donner Summit and the Donner Pass, just a minute or two from I-80, it somehow feels quaintly removed from all things ultra. There are small general stores, knick-knack and curio shops, public piers, motels and cabins, pleasant cafes and restaurants, hiking trails, biking trails, endless views, fishing guides, sandy beaches, and an amazing selections of slopes that lure boarders and skiers alike to Sugar Bowl, Norden, and Donner Ski Ranch. The amphitheater of granite at the west end of the lake is lined with rock climbing routes that are among the worlds most famous.

Alpine Meadows

Just a couple miles south of Squaw, Alpine Meadows is a mountain area that offers a variety of outdoor activities. From hiking on Ward and Scott’s peaks, biking, rafting or fly-fishing Bear Creek, Alpine Meadows is the resort community for recreation and relaxation. Paired with a laid-back local feel, Alpine Meadows is definitely worth a stop in the summer.

Lake Tahoe locals know Alpine Meadows as the mellow alternative to the faster-paced resorts like Squaw Valley. A favorite with local skiers and snowboarders, Alpine Meadows is known for the longest snow season of any Lake Tahoe ski resort (402 inches annual average), and powder that stays for days, tree skiing & the bowls. More information on Alpine Meadows Mountain Stats. 

The West Shore

The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is the area of Lake Tahoe between Tahoe City and Emerald Bay. The string of smaller Tahoe communities and state parks along Highway 89 is collectively known as the Lake Tahoe West Shore. It’s the Black Forest of Lake Tahoe, with a history just as compelling that boasts a mossy, deep-woods aesthetic, not to mention Sugar Pine Point State Park, one of the most seductive at the Lake. Spend a day or two on the West Shore and you’ll understand immediately why it’s called the "Magical West Shore".

This side of the lake attracted the Washoe Indians, Lake Tahoe’s earliest residents reportedly 9,000 years ago. Several years later, gold rush miners came to relax. In fact, Chambers Landing, est. 1875, is the region’s oldest bar and is still bustling today. Along the Lake Tahoe West Shore, you’ll also find the Homewood Mountain Resort’s renovation. Plans include a quaint pedestrian village, mid-mountain lodge, gondola and underground parking by 2024.

Crystal Bay

Ever been in two states at the same time? The California/Nevada state line cleaves Crystal Bay Lake Tahoe and you can actually stroll from state to the other along the cool waters of the bay. Very cool party trick. The Lake Tahoe town of Crystal Bay overlooks its namesake and sits upon a tremendous granite-boulder-strewn point. There are four lively Crystal Bay casinos with the gamut of Lake Tahoe lodging and dining, plus a tremendous helping of live entertainment.

SkyRun North Lake Tahoe

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