Lake Tahoe Beaches: West Shore

By Hannah Lee | Thursday, January 2, 2020

Small but vibrant communities dot State Route 89 alongside the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. The half of the lake has a reputation for cultivating a vibe that’s a bit more relaxed and slower paced than the towns and cities in the southern and eastern sections of the lake, such as South Lake Tahoe and Stateline. The people here are tied to their location, which is seen in their eagerness to connect with nature. As you’d expect of that, the beaches on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe showcase the area’s beauty: thick forests meet the sandy shores of the lake, and as you splash in the water or relax in the sunshine, mountain peaks scrape the sky in the distance. Check out this selection of Lake Tahoe beaches on the West Shore, and choose your destination for your next day of water recreation, a picnic outing or rewarding photo opportunity.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: Dollar Point

Dollar Point beach is located in the quiet Dollar Point neighborhood of Tahoe City, and it’s open to members of the Dollar Point Association. It offers residents and property owners within the HOA a peaceful sandy shore with a volleyball net, bathhouse, picnic facilities, an attendant and row of beach chairs, perfect for visitors to lounge upon while enjoying uninterrupted waterside views. Members of the public and renters staying in vacation rentals in Dollar Point can access the beach with a day-use pass.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: William Kent Campground & Beach

Right off of State Route 89 and about 2 miles south of Tahoe City, the William Kent Campground is home to a beautiful slice of Lake Tahoe beach on the West Shore. The William Kent Beach is open for day-use by campers and other outside visitors, and it provides an excellent spot for swimming, picnicking and water activities, including sailing, kayaking, canoeing or peddle boating.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: Kaspian Recreation Area

This outdoor play area offers just about everything you need for a day of waterside fun. Pack a picnic lunch, host a family barbecue on the grills, plan a camping trip, embark on a boat ride, lounge on the sugar sandy beach or splash in the water. Visitors will find this beach near the Meeks Bay Campground, just about 10 miles south of Tahoe City on State Route 89.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: Meeks Bay                                                                      

Right next to Meeks Bay Campground and about 10 miles south of Tahoe City, you’ll find Meeks Bay Beach. It overlooks the famed Kehlet Mansion and Washoe House. This beloved West Shore Lake Tahoe beach is outfitted with the bells and whistles for Tahoe-esque recreation. Play a game of beach volleyball, launch a boat or rent a kayak and paddle around the lake, pack a picnic meal or grab a bite from the snack shack, or simply take a load off and soak up the sunny rays in the sand. Meeks Bay Beach provides restrooms, and visitors can access it for a small day-use fee from Memorial Day Weekend through mid October.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: Sugar Pine Point State Park

Home to over a mile of beach, this revered state park on Tahoe’s West Shore is a destination for beaching, hiking and camping. Just 3/4-miles south of the campground, the beach awaits with picnic facilities and a pier. The rocky beach joins park’s forest-covered trails with the lake’s cerulean waters, inviting beachgoers to additionally explore the park’s woodsy environment. The public can enjoy the Sugar Pine Point State Park beach for a day-use fee, and those camping in the park can visit it for free.

West Lake Tahoe Beaches: Emerald Bay

Perhaps one of Tahoe’s best-known attractions, Emerald Bay showcases a 360-degree view of Emerald Bay, Fannette Island, Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm Castle. The dazzling panorama earned the site the title of a National Natural Landmark, and it’s well-regarded as one of the most photographed spots in Tahoe. The best news? This West Shore Lake Tahoe Beach is open to the public. Play on the beach, launch a paddleboard or boat into its waters or seek out the popular Vikingshom Castle, about a mile-long hike uphill on a moderately easy trail.

Whether you’re visiting Tahoe City in the north or farther south in South Lake Tahoe’s communities, you’re never far from a picturesque place to get your daily dose of surf and sand on the West Shore. Beyond the West Shore, you can learn more about North and East Shore Lake Tahoe Beaches and South Lake Tahoe Beaches here. For fun outside of the water, find all the activities and recreation options in our Things to Do in Lake Tahoe guide.