Moving to and Living in Lake Tahoe, Nevada: The Definitive Guide


Stunning natural scenery along the shores of North America’s largest Alpine Lake is just one of the draws for buyers considering Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The area is home to breathtaking views, sandy beaches, majestic mountain ranges and endless options of things to see and do! 

This guide serves a brief overview of what you can expect when moving to and living in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. From stunning properties, private beaches, ample amenities and plenty of recreation opportunities, Lake Tahoe is a slice of paradise.

History of Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe is steeped in history. The Lake itself was formed millions of years ago as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin. It was inhabited by Indiginous people for many years. The first European-American to see the lake was Lt. John C. Fremont during his second exploratory exhibition in 1844. 

Up until 1945, Lake Tahoe was actually named Lake Bigler, despite being known to locals and cited on surveys as Lake Tahoe. The area surrounding Lake Tahoe, on the Nevada side, was originally a transportation hub for surrounding mining and logging industries. At this point it was already recognized as a vacation destination for nearby Virginia City residents in the mid 1800’s. 

During the first half of the 19th century, the area only contained a handful of vacation properties. Following the WWll population and building boom, there was a dramatic increase of development in the area. From 1960-1980 the population grew from 10,000 to over 50,000, and  the summer months saw nearly 90,000. In 1980, development slowed down significantly due to controls on land use. 

Stunning Neighborhoods

Lake Tahoe is filled with neighborhoods and communities that are dotted along the shores and set throughout mountain side. A mix of full time residents and vacation homeowners, Lake Tahoe offers a wide range of real estate. From cozy cottages that conjure up memories of simpler times to luxury estates that feature state of the art amenities, there is a diverse housing market. 

Many of the neighborhoods in Lake Tahoe are small, tight-knit communities. Gated and non gated areas are situated along the eastern shores and along Highway 50. Though mainly single family homes there are some condo and townhome communities as well. Some popular neighborhoods in the Lake Tahoe area include Elk Point, Glenbrook, Lake Village, Cave Rock, Zephyr Cove, and Hidden Woods among many others. 

So Much To See and Do

Lake Tahoe is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts regardless of the time of year! Residents and vacationers enjoy many nearby resorts and recreation areas. Some of the famous attractions include:

Cave Rock

Located along the southeastern shores of Lake Nevada, atop the Sierra Mountain Range is Cave Rock. Visitors can spend the day out on the crystal clear waters. Boating, fishing, picnicking and water sports are all favorite pastimes of the area. There is a small beach in the area as well where children can splash around in the water or build sandcastles along the shore.

Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort

The largest ski area in California and Nevada, Heavenly Mountain provides a winter wonderland. Located near the Stateline of the south shores many people flock to the area for skiing, snowboarding, tubbing, and snowmobiling. Visiting in the summer month? Take a trip on the tree skimming, Heavenly Mountain Gondola. Other popular ski resorts include Alpine Meadows Diamond Peak, Boreal Mountain, Sugar Bowl and Mount Rose

Trails Galore

Winding through the Sierra Mountain Range and miles and miles of trail networks. Hiking, walking and biking through this majestic area will allow you to find some of the best lookout points. Nearly all areas and neighborhoods in Lake Tahoe have easy or direct access to the trail systems that meander along the coast and through the natural forestry. 

Lake Tahoe - Nevada State Park

Consisting of over 14,000 acres of land, Nevada State Park is nestled along the eastern shores in the northeast area of Lake Tahoe. Sand Harbor is a well loved feature of the park that offers a large sandy beach, picnic area, and trails. Sand Harbor is home to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.  Other areas of the park include Cave Rock, Marlette/Hobart Backcountry and Spooner Lake.

Looking to move to Lake Tahoe? A local expert realtor is ready to help find your dream home.

Restaurant Options for All

The benefit of living in a tourist area is the wide selection of dining options! Speckled along Highway 50 near the Nevada California stateline are a number of restaurant establishments loved by locals and visitors alike. Choices include The Oyster Bar, Edgewood Restaurant, Red Hut Cafe, Chart House, Los Mexicanos and Harumi Sushi.

Heading north on Highway 50 will provide access to nearby Carson City, the capital of Nevada. There restaurant goers will find a further amount of choices and options, everything from fine dining to national fast food.

Plenty of Amenities Nearby

Though many of the homes and communities are privately nestled along private beaches and within heavily forested areas, giving a sense of seclusion, residents of Lake Tahoe are actually within minutes of everyday shopping and amenities. 

Carson City is anywhere from 20-40 minutes from residents along Lake Tahoe. It may feel as if the rest of civilization is worlds away, the reality is your errands and running around can be quickly accomplished!

Carson City is home to many shops, grocery stores, service areas, medical offices, and more. Along Highway 50, when entering Carson City residents can find a Costco, Walmart Superstore, Target, Marshall, Best Buy and much more. 

Education Options

Education is an important factor when considering a move to a new location. Lake Tahoe area schools are managed and operated by Douglas County School District. There are 2 schools located in the Zephyr Cove area which include

Zephyr Cove Elementary School

Home to 150 students, Zephyr Cove Elementary is an above average ranking school that enjoys a low teacher to student ratio of 1 to 12. Zephyr Cove Elementary School offers education for students from kindergarten through grade 6 and promotes a safe and inclusive learning environment. A range of extracurricular activities and programs are offered to provide a well rounded experience for children.

George Whittell High School

George Whittell High School is located in the Zephyr Cove area along Lake Tahoe. The school was named the best non-charter High School in the entire state of Nevada by U.S. News & World Report. Offer classes for grade 7 through 12, George Whittell High School is home to only 162 students. There is a 4 to 1 student to teacher ratio, ensuring no child’s needs are overlooked. The school provides extracurriculars and sports as well as clubs for students to participate in.

Are you interested in living in Lake Tahoe? If so, check out all the homes available for sale here. If you are ready to speak with an agent, get in touch with us here. We are experts in the Lake Tahoe real estate market and would be happy to help you find your next home!

Get in touch with a local Lake Tahoe expert now!

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