Where to Stay
With a variety of room configurations that include built-in bunk beds, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino is an ideal homebase to explore the north shore. Yet, you’re likely to spend most of your time at the gorgeous private beach with a shallow wading area, on chaise lounge chairs with food and drink service, and on the water thanks to the onsite rentals. If you can pull yourself away from the sand, a veritable lagoon of adult and kids’ pools await, as does a kids camp that offers parents free time to hit the spa, ride mountain bike trails, or relax on a sunset cruise.
Set within a village of shops and restaurants at the base of the Heavenly gondola, Marriott Timber Lodge enjoys a central locale in South Lake Tahoe that’s walking distance to the water. The grand, alpine-style hotel features condo-style rooms with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and living spaces with fireplaces. Parents can claim the master suite, while kids get a game-filled activity center and dedicated splash zone at the pool deck.
With outposts in Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe, Basecamp Hotels offer families affordable lodging in a fun, camp-themed setting. Rooms are decked with stylish, outdoor-themed decor including a few with indoor tents and electric campfires. Plus, kids can nab s’more kits to roast on the real fire pits outside.
For retro-themed glamping, reserve a shining Airstream trailer at Zephyr Cove Resort on Tahoe’s southeastern shore. Set amidst the pines at individual campsites, the newly built coaches sleep four and are outfitted with luxe amenities—fully equipped kitchen, lounge seating, bathroom—and include campsite upgrades such as a gas grill, Adirondack chairs, and free wood for the fire pit.
Often referred to as the crown jewel of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay is home not just to glassy waters, but also to one of the lake’s most popular campgrounds. Set on a sugar pine and manzanita-forested promontory overlooking the bay, Eagle Point Campground at Emerald Bay State Park offers 100 campsites equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and water spigots. For added serenity and adventure, book one of the remote boat-in sites that overlook the bay’s centerpiece, Fannette Island. From either campground, you can follow the Rubicon Trail to Vikingsholm, a magnificent, Scandinavian-style former summer home that is open to the public with seasonal tours. Just book well in advance, and make sure to use onsite bear lockers as family campers aren’t the only ones active during summer.