At 191 square miles long and 1,645 feet deep, Lake Tahoe ranks just behind the five Great Lakes when it comes to total water volume. A couple dozen U.S. lakes are bigger, but what Lake Tahoe lacks in surface area it makes up for in unmatched beauty. Sitting at an altitude of 6,225 feet, it straddles the California and Nevada border, offering alpine scenery that can take your breath away.
Boaters enjoy the best of both worlds, natural and man-made. At the north and south ends you find the modest glitz and glamour of lakeside casinos and resort hotels, while in between nature is in full bloom. Mountains, meadows and forests encourage activities such as fishing, hiking, biking, skiing and various water sports, all easily accessible from marinas.
The western California side of the lake is called the Black Forest of Lake Tahoe with its mossy, deep-woods aesthetic. The Washoe Indians first settled here thousands of years ago, followed later by miners looking for rest and relaxation after scrounging for gold in the nearby American River. Chambers Landing, an outpost established in 1875 to serve those first prospectors, is still in business north of Tahoma, providing food and drink to a new influx of explorers.
On the eastern Nevada shore, you discover Cave Rock-Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, about three miles north of Zephyr Point and Zephyr Cove Marina. A short climb up Cave Rock Trail delivers a breathtaking, expansive view of Lake Tahoe. Other local attractions include Sand Harbor, Secret Cove and Tahoe East Shore Trail.
WHERE TO DOCK
Homewood High & Dry Marina
This full-service marina and storage facility on Tahoe’s west shore provides 125 secure moorings, launch services, supplies, repairs, gas, and grab and go food. The harbor features four launch bays, a 20×20-foot gantry, three fueling stations, a public fuel dock and pump out.
North Tahoe Marina
Down the road from Kings Beach, CA, this marina offers full-service gas dock, solar systems for moored boats, and on-site service and repairs. The marina is adjacent to Moon Dune’s white sand beach in Tahoe Vista and about a half mile east of the Ritz-Carlton Lake Club, an exclusive waterfront facility for hotel guests.
Tahoe City Marina
Located on the west shore, this marina has 81 rentable slips, 41 buoys, two fuel docks and a new public pier with free two-hour boat parking. The buoy field offers valet service, and on-site suppliers provide boat repair and winter storage. Restaurants and shops are in walking distance.
Tahoe Keys Marina & Yacht Club
The only full-service inland marina on Lake Tahoe, this marina offers seasonal, monthly, weekly and daily rates for its 250 slips, as well as fuel, detailing, repairs and storage. The 22-acre property also has condos and apartments, and the waterfront Fresh Ketch restaurant.
Zephyr Cove Marina
On the east shore of Tahoe, the marina is part of the Zephyr Cove Resort & Marina, with a beach, retail services, Sunset Beach Bar & Grille and general store. Short-term buoy rentals are available with reservations, and rental fees include shuttle service to moorings in the summer.
WHERE TO DINE
Alibi Ale Works
With a beer lineup that combines traditional European styles, fresh hoppy beers and experimental one-offs, this brewery’s newly opened Incline Village Public House is the go-to destination for beer lovers.
South of Zephyr Cove, this restaurant is one of three at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort. The chef pairs dramatic vistas with innovative, adventurous cuisine steeped in the classics, creating a fine gastronomic destination.
Evans American Gourmet Cafe
As the top Zagat-rated restaurant in the Sierras, this South Lake Tahoe dining spot is housed in a vintage cabin surrounded by towering pine trees. Chops and filets dominate the menu, along with poultry and seafood.
Lone Eagle Grille
Incline Village on Tahoe’s north shore is a winter sports mecca, but Hyatt Regency Resort draws people year-round, and Lone Eagle Grille keeps them coming back. Its panoramic windows, wooden beams and stone fireplace create the perfect atmosphere for expertly prepared game meats and seafood.
The Soule Domain
Just steps away from the Nevada casinos across Stateline Road, this family-owned restaurant has been serving creative California cuisine in a small log cabin behind the Tahoe Biltmore since 1985, emphasizing natural and locally sourced ingredients.