Should You Visit South Lake Tahoe?

Are you thinking about visiting South Lake Tahoe, California? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.


Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting?

South Lake Tahoe is worth visiting for three to five days so that you can explore everything that the town has to offer. We first visited in 2010 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with its spectacular views and picturesque lake. South Lake Tahoe is a resort town that sits on the edge of the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It's a popular ski destination in the winter, and during the warmer months it makes a wonderful vacation spot for people who enjoy hiking and adventure sports. There are also lake front beaches and casinos in the area.

Lake Tahoe, California Lake Tahoe, California

Reasons to Visit South Lake Tahoe

Nightlife
The resort town has plenty of nightclubs, bars, and music venues. There are outdoor options when the weather is warm as well as indoor settings for cooler weather. You'll also find casinos and live shows.

Hiking
There are miles of beautiful hikes in the area that follow the lake's shore or explore the diverse terrain. Skyline Trail Hike is a favorite. It is accessible by lift and offers spectacular views. For a relaxing stroll check out Fallen Leaf Lake Hike.

Skiing
There are three ski resorts in the area. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest, but if you're looking for something smaller, head to Kirkwood, which is tucked away and less well known. There's also Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, which is popular with groups and families because it caters to a range of skill levels.

Resorts
It's a resort town, so there are plenty of options to choose from, many with pools, spas, or casinos.

Food
While most resorts have their own restaurants, there are a number of options around town that specialize in "alpine comfort cuisine", which is worth sampling. You'll also find plenty of cafes that serve up a hearty breakfast - the perfect way to start an active day.

Shopping
Most of the shopping involves retailers selling ski gear or outdoor equipment. There are also clothing shops, gift stores, and some art galleries.




Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting in the Summer?

The peak season for travel is summer in South Lake Tahoe, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is quite popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect crowds to be large, and prices to be a bit higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too.

The nearby hiking this time of year is a must-do, so take some time to get out on the trails, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable town, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to go hiking, enjoy the amenities of a resort, and dance the night away.

Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in South Lake Tahoe. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to admire the wonderful scenery and discover the nearby hiking trails.

Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting in the Winter?

The high season for travel in South Lake Tahoe is the winter, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is quite popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect crowds to be large, and prices to be a bit higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too. Ski season brings a wave of tourists to the area.

Most visitors come during the winter for the terrific skiing and snowboarding, as it's the main activity here. During this season it's fun to experience the snow skiing, the cuisine, and the nightlife scene.

Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in South Lake Tahoe, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

The stunning mountain scenery at this time of year shouldn't be missed. You can wander around the town to enjoy the sights, but the real charm is when you get out into the nearby mountains. Drive, bike, hike, go camping, or just relax in the awe of the mountain views. This is a great time of year to browse the shops, admire the wonderful scenery, and enjoy an evening out.

Things to Consider Before Visiting South Lake Tahoe

Museums: South Lake Tahoe isn't a place that's filled with a huge number of sights and attractions. Most people spend their time exploring the area's nature, but you can also stop by Tallac Historic Site or the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, South Lake Tahoe might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for South Lake Tahoe here or see if South Lake Tahoe is expensive here.

Related

What is South Lake Tahoe most famous for?

South Lake Tahoe is most famous for its casino resorts, ski resorts, and beautiful setting. The town is very popular for its nightlife and hiking. It's also known for skiing and resorts. And many travelers come for the food and shopping, as well. It is often described as scenic, breathtaking, and idyllic.

What is the most famous sight in South Lake Tahoe?

The most popular sight in South Lake Tahoe is the Heavenly Gondola. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in South Lake Tahoe on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for the Heavenly Gondola and other attractions here.

How touristy is South Lake Tahoe? Is it a popular town to visit?

South Lake Tahoe is a popular town for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • Sunset Hike and Photography Adventure in South Lake Tahoe: $110
  • Electric Dirtbike Adventure in Lake Tahoe: $200
  • Tahoe Coastal Self-Guided E-Bike Tour - Full-Day | World Famous East Shore Trail: $140
  • Tahoe National Forest Moonlight Snowshoe Tour Under a Starry Sky: $90
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $276
  • Sunset Kayak Experience in Lake Tahoe: $75
  • Scenic Snowshoe Adventure in South Lake Tahoe, CA: $110
  • Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour: $186

How long should I spend in South Lake Tahoe?

The ideal length of time for a trip to South Lake Tahoe is at least three or as many as five days. Since South Lake Tahoe has a variety of activities such as nightlife and hiking, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in South Lake Tahoe?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in South Lake Tahoe?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in South Lake Tahoe?.