Lake Tahoe has a split personality: half California, half Nevada. The two meet along the lake’s southern shore, where high-casino hotels (in Nevada) bump up against the base village for Heavenly (in California). Millions of dollars have been spent on upping the experience along this part of the lake. Relax at fire pits year-round at The Shops at Heavenly Village, with boutiques, eateries, and a multi-screen movie theater in a handsome stone and timber complex. Craft beer enthusiasts can sample local brews at Stateline Brewery & Restaurant. Outdoor concerts draw serious big names—think Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars—during summer. After all that party atmosphere, consider retreating to the zen-like calm of local day spas, such as Serenity Spa in the Heavenly Village.
In the adjacent South Lake Tahoe community, daytime diversions are easy to find as well. During the warmer months, Ski Run and Tahoe Keys Marinas offer watercraft rentals, as well as standup paddleboards for rent—with instruction or on your own—at expansive Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach. Afterward, dine with locals at favorites like The Naked Fish (excellent sushi), Himmel Haus, an expansive temple to all things delicious and German (plus some choice Belgian brews), and Base Camp Pizza Co. You don’t have to look far on this side of the lake to find some nighttime fun either—Whiskey Dick’s Saloon is a classic hipster dive bar with live music, Rojo’s Tavern offers a lively dance scene with DJs, and South Lake Brewing Company and Tahoe AleWorx, where you can draw your own pints, are two great spots to sample some of the area’s tastiest craft brews.