The only incorporated community in the Lake Tahoe Basin, South Lake Tahoe, California is an excellent base for those who plan to travel to the area.
South Lake Tahoe rests on the California-Nevada state line. The west side of the city is mainly geared towards tourism, with T-shirt shops, restaurants, hotels, and Heavenly Mountain Resort with the Nevada casinos just across the state line in Stateline, Nevada.
Part of a broader South Shore community that includes California's El Dorado County in the Tahoe Basin and Nevada's Douglas at Stateline/Zephyr Cove, the city of South Lake Tahoe sits at the edge of the lake and is surrounded by much natural beauty.
Lodging is plentiful as are restaurants and activities. Both frequent and first-time visitors booking vacations in the area often choose South Lake Tahoe as a base from which to explore the region, thanks to its plethora of lodging options, eateries, museums, art galleries, and more.
The south shore of Lake Tahoe provides ample opportunities for recreational fun. Activities include lake cruises, sightseeing tours, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, golfing and all types of snow sports.
There are many things to see and do in South Lake Tahoe and the immediate area. Below are just a few attractions not to be missed.
- The Gondola at Heavenly
Hop aboard an 8-passenger glass cabin and be whisked 2.4 miles up the side of a mountain for breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Riders can hop off at an observation deck, located half way up, for even more spectacular sights.
- Tallac Historic Site
Stroll through the former summer homes and gardens of four wealthy gilded-age families.
Built as a summer home in 1929, this grand castle on Emerald Bay is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the Western Hemisphere.
- Hellman-Ehrman Mansion
In 1897, San Francisco businessman I. W. Hellman began buying property at Sugar Pine Point and by 1913 had acquired nearly 2000 acres. His grand but informal summer home, called Pine Lodge, was completed in 1903 and was considered to be one of the finest in the high Sierra.
South Lake Tahoe rests on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe. Directions from two regional towns are shown below.
- Reno - 1 1/4 hours
Follow U.S. Highway 395 S to Carson City. Through Carson City to the junction of Highway 395 & U.S. Highway 50. Follow right-hand bend on Highway 50 up Spooner Summit. Continue on Highway 50 to the Nevada / California state line. California access is at the gondola in Heavenly Village on Highway 50 and also via Ski Run Blvd. to the California Base Lodge.
- Sacramento - 2 hours
Follow U.S. Highway 50 East to junction of U.S. Highway 89 North. Continue on Highway 50 making right hand turn, following the bend in the road. California access is at the gondola in Heavenly Village on Highway 50 and also via Ski Run Blvd. to the California Base Lodge.