South Lake Tahoe Luxury Guide

What’s the best thing about South Lake Tahoe? You don’t have to choose. Lake or mountains? They’ve got both. Summer or winter? Either—every season is amazing. Luxury and adventure? Yes and yes. You see, you can have a rugged, adventure-packed visit and still enjoy the finer things in life when you visit South Lake Tahoe. Choose your favorites or choose it all; no matter what, you’ll be in awe of the rich experiences that await in South Lake Tahoe.
Prepared By:

Shannon Lowery

Writer & Traveler

South Lake Tahoe is an outdoor appreciation paradise. Spectacular scenery, exhilarating activities, and a rich history heavily influenced by the landscape are what Lake Tahoe does best. However, if you think you have to rough it in the wild or party like you’re in college to fit in, think again. Luxury experiences, romantic activities, and cultural offerings can all be enjoyed in South Lake Tahoe year-round. Keep reading for three days of elevated experiences in Lake Tahoe. And consider yourself warned because three days just might not be enough. 

This story was created in partnership with Visit Lake Tahoe.

South Lake Tahoe Luxury Hotels

In South Lake Tahoe, there’s a place to stay for every kind of traveler. From budget accommodations to campgrounds to casinos, you’ll find it all. For those looking for luxury, check out the Landing Tahoe Resort & Spa or the Edgewood Resort. For an experience out of the ordinary, there are impressive vacation homes and houseboats available to rent, as well. 

Sailing on Lake Tahoe

How to Get Around Lake Tahoe

Nothing’s as top-tier as having someone else do the driving, wouldn’t you agree? Lucky for you, once you get to South Lake Tahoe, there are plenty of ways to get around that will spare you the hassle of driving yourself plus help reduce traffic and carbon emissions. One of the best ways to get around Lake Tahoe is with the Lake Link, a free on-demand shuttle service available seven days a week. Think of it like a super Uber, Lake Tahoe-style. In the warmer months, biking and scooters are also popular. You can even take advantage of the free mountain biking shuttle or just cut through the lake itself on a water taxi

Luxe on the Lake

One full day on the water in South Lake Tahoe is a must, and there’s no shortage of on-the-water experiences that will make all your friends back home jealous. For the height of thrill, give parasailing a try. Soar high above the lake’s crystal-clear waters while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views. If you’re more inclined towards surface-level exploration, opt for clear-bottom kayaking or paddle boarding. Peer into the fascinating marine landscape below, spotting fish and other aquatic life. For an unforgettable underwater experience, dive into the depths of Emerald Bay State Park where you can marvel at rock formations, sunken forests, and unique geological features. No matter how you choose to embrace lake life, remember to abide by the Rules to Lake By.

Parasailing in Lake Tahoe

As the day winds down, embark on a serene sunset cruise around Lake Tahoe to witness the warm evening glow over the water. Reserve a booze cruise to pair your evening excursion with a sampling of sumptuous California wines or your favorite adult beverage. Imagine sipping a generous pour from the privacy of a secluded beach as the sun casts the mountains in magnificent silhouette. Later, stay out for incredible stargazing under skies as clear and pristine as the waters of Lake Tahoe. 

Alternatively, if visiting during winter, swap paddling for ice skating at one of the local rinks. You can also snowshoe or snowmobile through the picturesque landscapes around the bay. Keep stargazing on your agenda, though, as the winter sky is notoriously even more dazzling in the colder months.

On-Land Leisure

What would Lake Tahoe be without the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains? Jump start a day of land-based activities with an early tee time at one of South Lake Tahoe’s picturesque golf courses surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. Then, hop on a gondola ride to kick off your elevated mountain experience, complete with hiking, mountain coasters, and ziplining all served with sweeping views of the cerulean lake below.

People hiking in Lake Tahoe, CA

During winter, trade golf clubs for ski poles and enjoy the Champagne powder of Tahoe’s world-renowned slopes. If you’re looking for a unique experience, try fat tire biking through the snow-covered trails.

No matter when you visit, be sure to have a meal to remember at one of South Lake Tahoe’s ambiance-forward restaurants. At spots like the Riva Grill, Jimmy’s or the Sage Room, inspired menus are paired with equally divine views of the lake. 

Hot Springs, Spas & Spirits

Spas and luxury go together like Tiffany’s and diamonds. So treat yourself to the well-deserved tranquility of a spa day at one of Lake Tahoe’s luxurious spas. Unwind with a variety of soothing treatments at Blue Water Day Spa, where locally-sourced products can help with everything from stress relief to sun damaged skin. Likewise, enjoy a full physical and spiritual transformation with a vitality-focused treatment at BioSpirit Day Spa. For rejuvenation via natural hot springs, head to Steamboat Springs or Carson Hot Springs.

Edgewood Resort is one of the best hotels in Lake Hotel

Continue your pampering with a glass of your favorite locally-made libation. After all, the craft beer scene in Lake Tahoe is downright thriving. Sip something stronger at the Tahoe Blue Vodka distillery or visit the wineries and tasting rooms that dot the area. If you have time, stop by Vikingsholm Castle, a historic mansion where impressive Scandinavian architecture and luxurious adornments will make you feel like Lake Tahoe royalty. Finally, go all out with a bit of raucous fun at one of the area casinos.

Whether you’re looking for a summer holiday or a winter getaway, the year-round splendor of South Lake Tahoe never disappoints.

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