South Lake Tahoe 4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

South Lake Tahoe Beach
South Lake Tahoe Beach
Views from The Landing Resort and Spa
Views from The Landing Resort and Spa
The Heavenly ski resort gondola starts from the centre of town
The Heavenly ski resort gondola starts from the centre of town
One of the Stateline casinos
One of the Stateline casinos
Heavenly Resort sits right above the town
Heavenly Resort sits right above the town
Should I ski or gamble at the casino or do both?
Should I ski or gamble at the casino or do both?
There are lots of shops in South Lake Tahoe
There are lots of shops in South Lake Tahoe
Another of the Stateline casinos
Another of the Stateline casinos
The Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe CA
The Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe CA
Views across Lake Tahoe
Views across Lake Tahoe
The casinos are one of the main activities in town
The casinos are one of the main activities in town
South Lake Tahoe Beach - view from The Landing
South Lake Tahoe Beach - view from The Landing
The Landing is a luxurious South Lake Tahoe hotel
The Landing is a luxurious South Lake Tahoe hotel
Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe
Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe
South end of Lake Tahoe
South end of Lake Tahoe
Apres ski drinks after a day at Heavenly Resort
Apres ski drinks after a day at Heavenly Resort
Some lodging is really close to the Heavenly gondola base
Some lodging is really close to the Heavenly gondola base
The gondola ride up from South Lake Tahoe to Heavenly is pretty fast
The gondola ride up from South Lake Tahoe to Heavenly is pretty fast

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe and Stateline are two adjacent towns that straddle the state borders of California and Nevada. Other than the presence of two large casinos, the distinction between the two states isn’t that obvious, and many visitors to the area refer to the two towns (aka cities) collectively as “South Lake Tahoe”.

South Lake Tahoe has a population of about 21,000 and it is very popular with tourists who come to enjoy the beauty of the lake, try their luck at the casinos, enjoy the other activities on offer, or even to get married! During winter and spring, the main focus becomes skiing and snowboarding at the South Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

South Lake Tahoe is a completely mixed bag. It’s very upscale on one hand whilst simultaneously being a little dingy in some spots. It’s low key and relaxed in some respects, yet it also has the vibrancy associated with the casinos. Chances are that whatever you’re looking for in South Lake Tahoe, you’ll find it.

Where is South Lake Tahoe CA and Stateline Nevada?

As the names suggest, South Lake Tahoe CA is located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, whilst Stateline is just on the other side of the border. South Lake Tahoe/Stateline is 100 miles northeast of Sacramento and 190 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the most common gateway airport, which is 56 miles to the northeast, a drive that takes just over an hour.

South Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

During winter and spring, the main focus becomes skiing and snowboarding at the South Lake Tahoe ski resorts, and the town is the main lodging base for Heavenly Mountain Resort and Sierra at Tahoe.

The Heavenly Ski Resort is the key South Lake Tahoe ski resort, with the Heavenly Gondola conveniently starting right in the heart of South Lake Tahoe and only a stone’s throw from the Stateline casinos.

Sierra at Tahoe is 15 miles (25 minute drive) southwest of South Lake Tahoe.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is 34 miles south of South Lake Tahoe.

Other ski resorts close to South Lake Tahoe and Stateline:
  • 23 miles away on the west shore of the lake is Homewood
  • A little further north and 37 miles away is Alpine Meadows
  • Squaw Valley is 37 miles away (1 hour drive)
  • Mt Rose is easily accessible to the northeast of Lake Tahoe, 37 miles away
  • Diamond Peak in Incline Village is 28 miles north of South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe Lodging
On the California side, South Lake Tahoe lodging comes in almost every form imaginable from upscale hotels and condos to incredibly cheap motels and lodges.

The Landing Resort & Spa | South Lake Tahoe The Landing Resort & Spa
 $$$$
5-star spa resort with luxury rooms featuring gas fireplace, large TV, marble bathroom some with spa bath, heated floor & heated toilet seat. Up-market restaurant & bar onsite plus heated pool, steam room, gym & massage services & more...
Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
 $$$
3-star 1 br suites with kitchenette & separate living areas located 5 mins walk to lifts. Restaurant & bar onsite plus hot tub, sauna, gym & massage services. Cooked breakfast is included...
California side: South Lake Tahoe Lodging Listings

On the Nevada side, there are various casino hotels which tend to provide very good value for money. 

MontBleu Casino Resort Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa
 $$
4-star deluxe hotel-style rooms (for up to 2 guests) with quality linen (some with spa tub) located 10 mins walk to lifts. Onsite restaurants & bars, casino, nightclubs, theater plus pool & spa complex, fitness center and spa services...

Nevada side: Stateline Casinos and Hotels Listings

Pros of South Lake Tahoe CA

  • Perfect location to access Heavenly Ski Resort.
  • The town is also well situated to use as a base for the other South Lake Tahoe ski resorts.
  • The beach area in particular is very scenic.
  • The South Lake Tahoe lodging is very diverse and caters to a range of budgets from dirt cheap to luxurious.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective 

  • Stateline is awesome if you like gambling and the casinos offer great nightlife, good value for money lodging, inexpensive food and drink, and the ability to smoke inside if you want.