Which Side of Lake Tahoe is Best to Stay On?

Lake Tahoe, nestled amidst the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, beckons travelers with its pristine waters, stunning scenery and diverse activities, but with the lake divided into north and south shores, choosing the ideal location for your stay can be tough. The south shore is known as a bustling entertainment, featuring casinos, concerts and other nightlife, while the north side is a more serene, nature-oriented destination, better suited for those seeking tranquility or athletic activities. This guide delves into the unique charm of both sides, helping you decide which Tahoe escape to choose. 


South Lake Tahoe, is the livelier side of the lake. Nightlife lovers will find casinos, bars and live entertainment that cater to those seeking a vibrant evening scene. The south side also offers a plethora of activities throughout the year. During the winter months, Heavenly Mountain Resort beckons skiers and snowboarders with its exhilarating slopes and breathtaking panoramic views. Come summer, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe transform into a playground for water sports enthusiasts. 

As the sun sets, the south side transforms into a lively nightlife destination. Casinos like Harrah's Lake Tahoe and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe come alive, offering gaming, entertainment, and dining options. Whether you're looking to try your luck at the tables, dance the night away at a club, or simply relax and enjoy a live music performance, South Lake Tahoe's diverse nightlife scene caters to all preferences.


North Lake Tahoe, a tapestry woven with pristine beaches, charming towns, and breathtaking mountain landscapes, offers a bit of a stark contrast to its bustling southern counterpart. Here, the pace slows down, inviting you to reconnect with nature and embrace tranquility. North Tahoe is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking serene escapes. Hike or bike along scenic trails, breathing in the crisp mountain air and marveling at the majestic peaks that frame the landscape, and hidden coves beckon exploration, offering opportunities for paddleboarding, kayaking, or simply soaking up the sun on secluded stretches of sand.

The north side is ideal for:

  • Nature lovers: Hikers, bikers and kayakers will find endless opportunities to explore the breathtaking scenery.
  • Relaxation seekers: The quieter atmosphere provides a haven for those seeking peace and rejuvenation.
  • Budget-conscious travelers: Generally, the north shore offers slightly more affordable accommodation options compared to the south shore.
  • Adventure seekers: Explore hidden coves, kayak to secluded beaches, or embark on scenic hikes for a truly immersive experience.

Venture beyond the beaches and discover the charming towns that dot the north shore. Tahoe City exudes a laid-back vibe, with its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and art galleries, Carnelian Bay offers a glimpse into Tahoe's rich history, while Kings Beach boasts a lively harbor and stunning lakefront views. These towns provide the perfect base for exploration, offering a variety of accommodation options, from cozy cabins nestled amidst towering pines to charming lakefront resorts.

North Lake Tahoe caters to those seeking a rejuvenating and peaceful escape. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil getaway with your family, North Tahoe offers a unique experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and reconnected with the natural world. Compared to the south shore, the north side usually has slightly more affordable accommodation options, and this coupled with the abundance of free outdoor activities and family-friendly attractions, makes North Tahoe an attractive option for many travelers.

Ultimately, the ideal side of Lake Tahoe depends on your individual preferences and priorities. Do you crave excitement and nightlife, or a peaceful escape surrounded by nature? What activities do you plan to enjoy during your stay? Are you traveling with family, friends, or as a couple? While the south shore is renowned for its liveliness and the north shore for its tranquility, both sides of Lake Tahoe offer hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Check out our vacation rentals on the North Side of Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re looking for a summer or winter getaway, call us at 888.598.6353 or email reservations@eastwest.com for help planning your next trip.  

Regardless of which side you choose, Lake Tahoe promises an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, embrace the breathtaking scenery, and discover the perfect side of the lake for your dream getaway!