Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Everything the RV Renter Needs to Know

Straddling the border of Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is one attraction that gives so much. It’s a major destination, attracting visitors from all across the country—and even world—every year. And for good reason. Tahoe is packed with opportunities for summer recreation, leisure, luxury, and beautiful sights and sounds. It’s natural while incorporating plenty of the finer things in life (if that’s what you’re looking for).

When you visit Tahoe, you can make the trip completely what you want it to be. Want to stay strictly in nature and “rough it” in your rental RV? You can do that. Want to enjoy wine tasting and eat meals at five-star restaurants while staying at a beautiful resort? There are plenty of ways to make that happen. Tahoe is a place that offers something for everyone, no matter how old you are or what you’re after.

Why Visit Lake Tahoe in Your Rented RV?

Lake Tahoe really provides two separate kinds of experiences. There’s North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. The North Lake side is where you can find the pure wilderness that means “getting away from it all.” If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll prefer it up north. South Lake, on the other hand, has a tendency to be a bit more rambunctious. Commonly called “the Las Vegas of the Lake,” you’ll find lots of activities, tourist attractions, casinos, and nightlife. You can make your trip to Tahoe exactly what you want it to be, and even blend the two if that’s what feels best for you.

Watersports and Boating

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America—only smaller in size than the Great Lakes. Obviously, with that much water, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to have some fun in and on it. Even spending a day visiting the various marinas and looking at all of the moored boats is a great time in and of itself.

You don’t need to tow your own boat, either. There are many opportunities to rent a vessel of your choosing. Or, you can relax and enjoy a cruise while someone else does the work. Classic wooden boats, paddle wheels, and sailboats all make multiple trips across the water every day.

Some opportunities you can find on Lake Tahoe are:

  • Jet skis
  • Kayaks
  • Parasailing
  • Water skiing
  • Stand up paddle boards
  • Paddle boats
  • Yacht cruises
  • Tours

Fishing

Lake Tahoe has incredible fishing. Not just on the lake but also on its 63 tributaries, there are plenty of places to fish—and a wide variety of fish to catch. Spinning, baitcasting, trolling, and fly fishing are all popular here, and each offers you the opportunity to catch something unique. Fishing is particularly nice in North Lake, but South Lake offers opportunities as well.

You can make a day of it and explore on your own, or you can hire a pro to take you out. There are dozens of charters around the lake that know all of the best hiding holes for fish and can almost ensure you catch a few. Not an angler? It’s a great place to learn, and there are several shops located around the lake that will be happy to help you gear up.

These are some of the fish you can expect to catch:

  • Mackinaw Lake Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Silver Trout
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Mountain Whitefish

Hiking

Not only is Lake Tahoe one of the largest lakes in North America, it’s also surrounded by mountains and incredible hiking. Because it’s at a higher altitude, you’ll find mountainous—even strenuous—hiking trails. In both North and South Lake, there’s plenty of opportunities to get out (and up) into the woods.

The Tahoe Rim Trail is probably the lake’s most famous trail. It circumnavigates the entire lake and runs for about 165 miles. Not feeling quite up to that one? Don’t worry. There are plenty of trails that are between one- and 10-miles round trip that won’t leave you feeling totally dogged at the end but will still offer you gorgeous scenery.  

Diving

As gorgeous as it is topside, Lake Tahoe is gorgeous underneath as well. Its crystal blue waters give amazing clarity to SCUBA divers who want to get to the heart of an alpine lake. While it is often considered an advanced diving lake due to the lake’s altitude, there are also opportunities to learn while you’re out there.

There are several areas in the lake that are known for interesting dives. They range from sandy bottoms (perfect for beginners) to sheer cliffs that shoot thousands of feet into the sky. There are even sunken barges and passenger boats that date back to the 1920s and 30s. With such clear water, you’ll have an unobstructed view of anything in the lake.

Golfing

If you’re a regular golfer, you know that a good course partnered with good scenery makes for a great day on the links. You’ll find that in spades around Tahoe. It’s often considered one of the best golfing destinations in the United States. And there’s plenty of diversity found in many of the courses, especially ranging between North and South Lake.

You’ll find private and public courses, ranging in cost from quite pricey to very affordable. Nearly all of them have views of the mountains, and many also run close to the lake as well. If it’s your thing, don’t miss the American Century Championship celebrity golf course every fall at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Some popular courses include:

  • Edgewood Tahoe
  • Lake Tahoe Golf Course
  • Carson Valley Golf Course
  • Tahoe City Golf Course
  • Brockway Golf Course
  • Dragon at Nakoma

Campgrounds and RV Parks for Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe caters to visitors. From lodges and hotels to rental lake houses, people love to stay near the lake. Turns out it’s also the perfect place to enjoy from the comfort of your rental RV. There are RV resorts and campsites scattered on all sides of the lake, so it’s really just a matter of finding the one that best suits your needs. On the Nevada side, many of the campsites are associated with casinos, which offers another way to enjoy yourself (albeit responsibly).

Meeks Bay Campground

There are a number of campgrounds supported by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the US Forestry Service. Meeks Bay Campground is one of the most popular. There’s quick access to the lake and to hiking trails nearby, and it’s easy to access. It’s on the west shore (California side) of Lake Tahoe. While there’s drinking water available, there aren’t other utility hookups, so you’ll be dry camping. But that’s part of the fun of renting an RV.

Carson Valley Inn RV Resort

On the Nevada side, Carson Valley Inn RV Resort is set up to be the comfort you’re looking for. Located roughly 100 yards from the casino and main building, the RV resort offers full utility hookups as well as a number of other amenities. You’ll have access to the indoor pool, spas, and fitness area inside the hotel, plus Wi-Fi and coin laundry facilities.

Tahoe Valley Campground

A little farther out in the wilderness, Tahoe Valley Campground blends nature with luxurious amenities. You’ll find yourself sitting in a forest of tall pine trees, all while enjoying full utility hookups. More than that, you’ll also have access to fishing, a swimming pool, nature trails, a store, and many other perks.

Gold Dust West Carson City RV Park

This RV park proudly proclaims it’s in, “the Middle of Everywhere.” Gold Dust West in Carson City gives you a little bit of urban flair to your camping experience. In addition to the full hookups, there’s also fast access to Lake Tahoe’s more natural side, like fishing, hiking, golfing, and biking. There’s 24-hour security to help you feel safer, Wi-Fi and cable, and a seasonal pool and spa to help relax. And of course, you’ll have access to the 24-hour Gold Dust casino, just 100 yards away.

Comstock Country RV Resort

Comstock Country RV Resort gets you away from some of the more urban areas and adds more peace and relaxation to your vacation. Just 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, the campground is lush with trees. There’s free Wi-Fi and cable with HBO and ESPN, a pool and spa, and paved roads throughout. Because it’s in Nevada, there’s a casino nearby for dining and entertainment, but you’ll enjoy being away from it all in these woods.

Places to Eat Near Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Because Lake Tahoe is a mix of government-protected and private lands, you’ll find all kinds of dining options. In fact, eating is one of the main reasons so many people flock to Lake Tahoe. They know they’re going to enjoy several good meals while they’re here, often with beautiful wines and other accompaniments. Almost any way you look, you’ll find a restaurant that fits your needs.

Dining at Lake Tahoe

Tahoe is rich with good dining. On the Nevada side, you’ll find many casinos—and with those often comes impeccable food. Even elaborate buffets may be an option for you. Pizza joints, wineries and craft breweries, and lodge-style food will all be on the menu, depending on where you happen to be. You can expect fresh fish from the lake. Keep an eye out for small cafés with signature dishes, as every little town (on both the Nevada and California sides) will offer their own unique touch.

Dining Outside of Lake Tahoe

It’s hard to say if it’s really dining outside of Lake Tahoe, but there are lakefront restaurants circling the lake on all sides. You can point in almost any direction and find great food, from fine dining to pop-up fish shacks. South Tahoe has all-you-can-eat buffets in true Nevada style. You’ll find plenty of craft breweries as well—or if that’s not your thing, lots of family-friendly restaurants (and even a few that are pup-friendly as well). From grilles to lodges to bar food to everything else, you’ll find amazing food in and around Lake Tahoe. 

The food scene in both North and South Lake is something to write home about. Even if you opt to not take advantage of your rental RVs kitchen and eat out every meal, it’s unlikely you’ll come across any food you’ll regret eating. Visit as many of the quaint mountain towns you can, and you’ll find something special in each.

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