North Lake Tahoe Towns and Communities

Here in North Lake Tahoe, you won’t regret your decision to unplug and unwind. Whether you’re about high-mountain gambols or five-card stud, you’ll find the resorts and towns of North Lake Tahoe offer an enticing mix of attractions and activities.

Where to Go

If you’re enjoying North Lake Tahoe on wheels, you’ll quickly discover the spectacular views at every turn. We’ve got a few suggestions on where you’ll find a few of the best perspectives.

Where to Go Around Lake Tahoe


Alpine Meadows

The beauty of Alpine Meadows lies in the details: Empty hike-to back bowls that stay hidden and preserved, a throwback culture that feels like skiing in a bygone era, and don’t forget about those breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Easy-access Palisades Tahoe lifts whisk you from the base lodge to the summit in minutes. During the warmer months, the Alpine Meadows backcountry is a favorite spot for hikers and mountain bikers and all kinds of outdoor adventures.

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Carnelian Bay

In 1860, Carnelian Bay was named for the semi-precious red and yellow stones peppering the shoreline. Today, Carnelian Bay is an annual destination for wooden boat enthusiasts coming from around the country for a weekend of Lake Tahoe cruising with the Concours d’Elegance wooden boat show. Carnelian Bay also offers a beautiful stretch of beach with amazing Lake and Sierra views, and is centrally located to skiing and all recreational activities.

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Crystal Bay

The Lake Tahoe town of Crystal Bay overlooks its namesake above a tremendous granite-boulder-strewn point. The state line divides Crystal Bay, making the trip across the California / Nevada border just an easy stroll down the sidewalk. Try your luck at slots and table games, along with weekly tournaments and specials at the Tahoe Biltmore, Crystal Bay Club, and Jim Kelly’s Nugget.

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Donner Lake Sunset

Donner Summit

Tucked into a granite spine splitting the Sierra Nevada in half, Donner Summit, the town and the emerald lake below, are named after the tragic emigrant party. The history is displayed at the visitors’ center near the lake. On I-80, Donner Summit is a picturesque mountain town with local dining, shopping and outdoor activities. Downhill and cross country ski areas are plentiful in this area and include Sugar Bowl, Tahoe Donner, Soda Springs, Donner Ski Ranch, Boreal, and Royal Gorge Cross Country Center.

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Incline Village

Incline Village was named for the Great Incline Tramway built by loggers in 1878. Home to some of the most stunning mountain retreats in North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village features many exhilarating hikes as well as a stretch of relaxing beaches along the Lake’s East Shore. During winter, Diamond Peak Ski Resort offers great package deals, affordable ticket prices, uncrowded skiing, and spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

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Kings Beach

Kings Beach is named after card shark Joe King, who won the town site from George Whittell long before poker was part of a cable-TV lineup. Kings Beach is known for its expansive beach with amazing Lake Views, local shops, restaurants, and street vendors that set it apart from the rest of North Lake Tahoe. Kings Beach offers numerous options for down-home lodging, and it’s centrally located to all of North Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts.

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Sitting on Mount Pluto, an extinct volcano, Northstar is a pristine reserve, hidden in an eternity of trees and quiet valleys. Northstar offers a world-class ski experience in winter, and hiking and biking on the lift to trails in the summer. The quiant Village at Northstar offers a wide-range of dining, boutique shopping, ice skating in the winter, and roller skating in the summer. There are several lodging options in the Village, or around the outlying area’s served by Northstar shuttles.

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Olympic Valley

Between Truckee and Lake Tahoe is one of the most infamous and inspiring alpine settings of North Lake Tahoe. Olympic Valley and Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) is about adventure and exploration, with 3,600 acres of skiing and riding across 6 peaks. Once the snow melts, Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley transforms from winter wonderland to outdoor paradise.

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Tahoe City

Tahoe City lies on the shore of Lake Tahoe at the headwaters of the Truckee River. Enjoy the paved trail system along the Lake, across the historic dam and down the river. Outdoor concerts and movies on the beach, the Farmers’ Market, paddling, hiking, and mountain biking are just some of the fun things you can do in Tahoe City.

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Sunset Tahoe City

Tahoe Vista

Tahoe Vista is all about choice lodging. From cozy B & B’s to high-end ownership options or mom and pop motels, Tahoe Vista puts you at the lakeshore. It’s a favorite option of outdoor enthusiasts.

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Truckee, California is a mountain town. Once a rowdy logging burg, Truckee is the central gateway to North Lake Tahoe. In the winter of 1846, the ill-fated Donner Party holed up a few miles from the heart of town. Several ski resorts, three Sierra Club huts and the Pacific Crest Trail are nearby.

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Truckee River in the Fall

West Shore

A string of smaller Tahoe communities and state parks along Hwy. 89 is collectively known as the West Shore. It’s been a place of enchantment since the Washoe Indians as 9,000 years ago. Miners also relaxed at Chambers Landing, established in 1875, it’s the oldest bar and is bustling today among other fabulous local options for dining.

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