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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

North Lake Tahoe, California

North Shore of Lake Tahoe
Kings Beach

This was my first time to Lake Tahoe and the first stop on our road trip.  You can sort of break Tahoe into four parts:  the North Shore, the South Shore, the Nevada side, and the California side. 

The north shore of Lake Tahoe is about 12 miles off I-80.  You get off in quaint Truckee, California, and travel 12 miles down to the North Shore/ Kings Beach area.  The location of Tahoe made it the perfect first stop on our California road trip.  So close to I-80 and about 8 hours west of Salt Lake City. 


North Lake Tahoe is a beautiful little section of Lake Tahoe.  The southern portion of the lake seems to be the more popular area and the north shore was quiet.  There weren't too many hotel options for my limited grad student budget, and the place we stayed for a bargain price was a really terrible hotel. 

So I did some more research so I could recommend something better to you guys. 

If you are on a budget, Ferarri's Crown Motel is a great deal for $109 and 4.2 stars .
 There is the Rustic Cottages with prices from $99 to $375 and 4.8 stars. 

If you are looking to splurge and want the casino and the spa, head to the Nevada side of north Lake Tahoe. Technically in Incline Village, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino.

Almost all of the lodging options are right on the beach or main area of King's Beach, so it just depends on how much you want to spend.  I like to use to book my rooms as they always have the best price, easiest interface, and almost always free cancellations.

Browse Tahoe Hotels here 

The first thing I noticed about Lake Tahoe were the pine trees and the pine cones.  Leaving Salt Lake City you kind of realize how much you miss trees.  Sure you can find trees on the mountains, but not big pines like these.  The gorgeous pines bordering the lake, and the gigantic pine cones spewed across the beach was pretty picture perfect.  


If you are looking for breakfast in the Kings Beach area, the Log Cabin was "voted the best breakfast".  I had the cajun eggs benedict - which was featured on Rachel Rays Tasty Travels and Bon Appetit just to name a few.  

It was good.  Realllly good.  The eggs were a little lost and the english muffin completely saturated and disinegrating in the cajun hollidaise, but the hollandaise and the shrimp on this dish were just so darn good.  I am not sure I would change a thing. 

Thatcher got the breakfast burrito which he was happy about.  What we weren't happy about, was the price.  Breakfast for two cost nearly $40 dollar.  The breakfast entrees were about $13 each which was pricey for breakfast.  What got me was the diner coffee priced at $3.50 each.  It was a really tasty meal but a little pricey for breakfast in my opinion


After breakfast, we were excited to hit the beach with our dog, Olive.  I had done some research and had seen that a portion of Kings Beach was dog friendly, the access off Coon Street.  Dog friendly beach... YES!  Success one in the dog friendly road trip. 

We were a little disappointed to see that while a portion of Kings beach IS dog friendly, it is a very small and sucky portion.  The little sign above the no dog symbol shows you that the portion of the beach to the left of the launch, is the only dog friendly area.  

This area was completely covered in rocks and was not the wide open beach that I was excited to let Olive run and play on.  Regardless, we spent some time on the "beach" before walking around the boardwalk.  If you do want to use this dog friendly beach, it is the portion of Kings Beach off of Coon Street at the rotary. 

 The beach was beautiful and the water was crystal clear.  The same weekend I was in Tahoe, a Utah dive group was planning a trip to Southern Lake Tahoe to dive.  The southern portion of Lake Tahoe is a popular dive spot with crystal clear water, rock features and fish. 


The north shore had its fair share of recreation as well.  People were out parasailing, renting jet skis and enjoying the water.  You could rent paddle boards, kayaks, paddle boats, and pretty much any water craft you could think of.  Early in the morning, beach goers were setting up their claim on the beach, getting ready to spend the day by the water. 

Tahoe Paddle and Board is one of many rental options along Kings Beach. 

The sandy beaches, the crystal clear water and the mountains in the backdrop make for a gorgeous image of Lake Tahoe.  We had our eye on the shoreline when all of the sudden, what appeared to be a bost drove right on out of the water.  It appeared to be some kind of amphibious vehicle doing some kind of dredging or dock work in the lake. 

You have plenty of options when visiting the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. 
 Enjoy the beautiful beaches and rent a paddle board and head into the lake.  

Lake Tahoe was gorgeous and we were so happy to see sandy beaches and those beautiful pine trees.  I will have to come back to see the south shore! 

Next stop, Sausalito!

  • Note:  This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase items through these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks!


  1. Great photos! Tahoe is on the top of my U.S. bucket list! Good to know about the dog friendly areas, as we often travel with our dog as well.

    1. Hi Kacy! Thanks for stopping by! I love traveling with my dog and it can be tough to find dog friendly spots! While this portion is small and quite rocky, at least there IS a portion that allows dogs if you dog likes to swim :)


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