Activities include indoor and outdoor excursions, dining and nightlife

Quick Notes:

  • There’s lots of nightlife to be found in the area

  • South Lake Tahoe is known for high-energy casinos

  • Just about any outdoor sport can be found in the area

Located in Nevada, the South Side of Lake Tahoe has a different energy than its counterpart. But this part of Lake Tahoe is more than just an assortment of skiing resorts. Located high in the Sierra Nevada mountains it is also a mountain town that comes alive in the snow with plenty of winter sports and cold weather activities.

Outdoor activities

In South Lake Tahoe, visitors have access to just about any winter activity possible and even some that you wouldn’t expect. If you’re looking for a few hours of quiet exploration, you can get out into the forested back areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range on cross country skis or snowshoes. If you want something louder or faster, you can get out into some of the same areas on snowmobiles. If you’d rather not venture out into the backcountry at all, you can enjoy winter sports like ice skating, tubing, or sledding that are closer to town.

It is also possible to explore Lake Tahoe’s Alpine meadows or trails in an unexpected way — by dogsled. Teams of barking and excited huskies can pull up to four people in an adventure that is reminiscent of Alaska or Northern Canada. Alternatively, you can book an excursion in a more traditional horse-drawn sled which makes for a smoother, though shorter, ride.


There’s a reason that South Lake Tahoe has been compared to Las Vegas. There are rows of glittering casinos ranging from the expected large chains like Harrahs and The Hardrock Cafe to smaller, more regional ones like the Lakeside Inn and Dotty’s. The casinos offer everything you could need to enjoy a cold winter evening, from games to drinks to limited amounts of entertainment options.

If you want to combine your activities with lodging, the casinos will not only accommodate you, they’ll go out of their way to welcome you wholeheartedly. This includes possible incentives to hit the gambling tables or stop by one of their restaurants.

Dining, shows, And nightlife


Because of the high numbers of casinos in South Lake Tahoe, there are tons of options for winter nightlife. These include a range of restaurants, concerts, and dance clubs. Styles of food and music range across a spectrum of options and many establishments remain open until the early hours of the morning.

What are some of the highlights you’ll find? The Basecamp Beer Garden is a dog-friendly boutique hotel and restaurant that’s right by the lake. The boathouse on the pier offers water views and a great happy hour. If you’ve got energy and are looking for something more exciting, try the Opal Lounge or the Fat Cat music and artists’ space.

Quiet places for fireside cocktails and water views

South Lake Tahoe isn’t all noise and glitter. There are quiet spots too.

While South Lake Tahoe is known for its excitement and energy, it is possible to find some quiet if that’s what you’re looking for. In the winter, many restaurants will have a fire going, some of which are even located outside. It can be the perfect place to pull up a cozy chair and sip on a warm cocktail with friends or loved ones.

You can also find plenty of winter water views at South Lake Tahoe. Restaurants with heaters and covered areas are happy to seat guests outdoors. You can also find quiet spots indoors with large picture windows for nature viewing.

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