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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Viola

Living In Lake Tahoe: Is It Worth It?

Updated: Jan 4

Living in Lake Tahoe: Pros and cons

If you're wondering what it's like to live in Lake Tahoe (and if living here is the right fit for you), then this blog post might help!

In this post, I'm listing some of the pros and cons of living in Lake Tahoe. Back in 2020, I published a blog called Living in Lake Tahoe: Pros and Cons. But after living in Lake Tahoe for a bit longer (and gaining more experience on what it's like living here), I wanted to write an updated version.

Here's a quick background on me: I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 from Los Angeles to pursue outdoor photography. I am originally from New York, and as of writing this post, I have been living in Lake Tahoe for two and a half years. If you'd like to know more about my story, click here.

And with that, let's get into it! Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Lake Tahoe.




Living in Lake Tahoe comes with a lot of perks! Here are some of the best things about living here.


Lake Tahoe from the Flume Trail
Lake Tahoe from the Flume Trail in Incline Village

 Views along the Rubicon Trail on Lake Tahoe's west shore
Views along the Rubicon Trail on Lake Tahoe's west shore

While I haven't been everywhere, I am willing to bet that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In addition to the crystal clear and brilliantly blue lake, there are snow-capped mountains, towering alpine forests, waterfalls, and numerous smaller glacier lakes that surround the area. To be able to wake up every day and have such spectacular scenery at your fingertips is incredibly special, and it's the number one reason why I moved here.



Snowshoeing at Chickadee Ridge in Lake Tahoe
Snowshoeing at Chickadee Ridge

Clear kayaking at Bonsai Rock in Lake Tahoe
Clear kayaking at Bonsai Rock with @clearlytahoe

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, then you'll feel right at home in Lake Tahoe. When people think of things to do in Lake Tahoe, skiing and snowboarding might be the first things that come to mind. But there is soooo much more to do. Take it from me, I live here, and I don't ski or snowboard!

Lake Tahoe has tons of gorgeous hiking trails, both easy and challenging, as well as kayaking, paddleboarding, rock-climbing, biking, snowshoeing- I could go on and on. In terms of year-round outdoor recreation, Lake Tahoe truly has something for everyone.



Hidden Beach in Lake Tahoe
Hidden Beach in Lake Tahoe

D.L Bliss State Park in Lake Tahoe
Easy to access beauty from D.L Bliss State Park

One thing that I noticed about Lake Tahoe, especially after traveling to other, more vast mountain towns, is that most of the attractions are within easy reach. The beaches, hiking trails, ski resorts, etc., are all very accessible. Meaning, you don't have to drive very far to get to them.

An extension to this point is that some of the most beautiful views in Lake Tahoe are reachable via a very short hike or even just a drive! Personally, I think it's kind of nice not having to hike 10 miles to reach a stunning vista or alpine lake (unless you want to of course!)



Secret Cove in Lake Tahoe
The turquoise waters of the east shore

If you are a beach person, then Lake Tahoe won't disappoint. Lake Tahoes 72-mile shoreline is home to some pretty fabulous beach spots. A phrase that I like to use when describing the beaches in Lake Tahoe is "Alpine Caribbean." The water resembles that turquoise color you see in the Caribbean, but instead of palm trees, it's pine trees and mountains surrounding the beaches.

Many of the beaches in Lake Tahoe have small sections of sand and large granite boulders, which, by the way, are surprisingly comfortable! Most of them are big and flat and make for a perfect spot to lay out your towel and soak up the sun.



Fall colors at Spooner Lake State Park in Lake Tahoe
Fall colors at Spooner Lake State Park

A snowy day at Emerald Bay from Inspiration Point in Lake Tahoe
A snowy Emerald Bay from Inspiration Point

Lake Tahoe receives about 300 days of sunshine a year, and its climate can best be described as mild. Even in the winter, even when it's snowing, it never really gets that cold. Well, at least not to someone who experienced a few bone-chilling, east coast winters. There is very little humidity year-round, which is great if you're not a fan of muggy weather. However, the lack of humidity does have its downsides. More on that later in the post.

Another great thing about living in Tahoe is that it has all four seasons. You'll get to enjoy spectacular fall foliage in autumn, winter-wonderland conditions in the winter, flowing waterfalls in the spring, and perfect beach weather in the summer.



Southern Oregon Coast
Southern Oregon Coast

Burney Falls in Northern California
Burney Falls in Northern California

If you are interested in exploring the west side of the country via road trip, Lake Tahoe is a relatively central location to base yourself out of.

Remote locations in Northern California like Burney Falls, Mt. Shasta, and Avenue of Giants (just to name a few Norcal gems) are much easier to get to than if you lived in, let's say, Los Angeles. I would say that Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, Nevada, and California are all very doable road trip adventures from Lake Tahoe.

Also, Reno International airport is only an hour away from Lake Tahoe, and there are budget-friendly shuttles that take you to and from Lake Tahoe to the airport.



California Burger in Stateline, South Lake Tahoe

This one does depend on the neighborhood, as some areas of Lake Tahoe are sleepier than others. I live in South Lake Tahoe, which has plenty to do in terms of nightlife and entertainment. But in general, breweries and taphouses are a big thing in Tahoe, as is live music. Tahoe's restaurants range from divey to upscale and serve up everything from pizza to prime rib.

Lake Tahoe is also known for its casinos, and Stateline in South Lake Tahoe has the most casinos in one place. The casinos in Tahoe pale in comparison to the casinos in Vegas. But they are fun to pop into every once in a while.



Now that you've heard the good, here are a few of the negative aspects that come with living in Lake Tahoe.


Incline Village in Lake Tahoe
Incline Village is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Lake Tahoe

Residential street in South Lake Tahoe

The lack of affordable housing isn't a new problem in Lake Tahoe, but the pandemic has definitely made the issue worse. Many people who live and work in Lake Tahoe can't afford the ever-increasing rent prices. And as far as buying a house, from what I hear, it's a ridiculously overpriced market.

When I moved to Lake Tahoe, I found a studio apartment in South Lake Tahoe for a little under 1k a month, including utilities. Those housing deals are still out there, but they are harder to come by. And when they do come up, they get snatched up pretty quickly.

I've used both Zillow and Craigslist to search for an apartment in Lake Tahoe, and I've had decent luck with both.