There are tons of options when it comes to boating on Lake Tahoe. You can take a ride on the Safari Rose, enjoy a trip on the M.S. Dixie to Emerald Bay or sail the Woodwind, but in this post I’m just going to talk about personal boating on the lake. You can enjoy all types of activities on the water, whether it’s wakeboarding, tubing or even parasailing. Because I live on the south shore, most of what I’ll discuss relates to the south shore, but the north shore has a ton of options as well.
A few years ago my friend and I went in and bought a boat together. It’s a pretty old boat, 1982 Bluewater, but it does the trick. At least we thought it would. After confirming the motor was in good shape prior to buying it, our first trip on the water it died on us. A small tip: if you have a boat on the lake, make sure to buy Vessel Assist first. We didn’t and it cost us a fortune to get towed back in, while with vessel assist, who are available 24/7, it will only cost you $67 per year. Either way, that was a few years ago and we are looking to enjoy another fun summer out on Lake Tahoe.
One of my favorite places to go on the water is into Skunk Harbor on the east shore. It’s a small, beautiful inlet. If coming from the south shore you’ll want to drive your boat along the east shore. You will pass Zephyr Cove on your right and then Glenbrook Bay. The next small inlet will be Skunk Harbor. The clear lake allows for some beautiful views of the rocks underneath the water. A few of my other favorite places to go on the lake include Emerald Bay and Meeks Bay. Emerald Bay is a gorgeous section of the lake with its famous island. Taking your boat from the south shore along the shore west and the large inlet on your left will be Emerald Bay. You can’t miss it! You’ll follow the other boats around the island counter clockwise. Meeks Bay is past Emerald Bay on the west shore. After Emerald Bay, you will pass Rubicon Bay and then will see Meeks Bay on your left. You’ll probably see lots of people on the beach enjoying the sun. It’s a great place to throw down the anchor and enjoy some lunch.
There are some popular places to dock your boat or rent on the south shore. One of the most convenient places is the Lakeside Marina in South Lake near the casino corridor. They offer boat slips or buoys. It’s a little on the expensive side for a slip, about $1,900 per season, but honestly it’s super convenient. That’s for a boat about 20 feet or less, while they also offer larger slips for a higher price, but there are only a few. The buoys are even cheaper, but be careful if you have a shorter boat, they tend to get tossed around in the waves. If you can hook-up with an owner in Tahoe Keys, potentially they will rent out their dock to you. You can usually find them on Craigslist. Another place to buoy your boat is at Round Hill Pines Marina on the south shore just on the Nevada side. They offer buoys from $1,700 per season.
To rent boats, you can go to Lakeside Marina. They rent out powerboats up to 27 feet along with single and double kayaks, paddle boats, paddleboards and jet skis. For prices, call (530) 541-9800. You can also rent boats from Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe off Ski Run Blvd. They offer several lengths of power boats with or without towers along with pontoon boats. For prices, visit here.
There are other places to go on the lake along with other places to dock or rent boats. While I only mentioned a few, I hope they were helpful in giving you enough information and places to go if you can get on the water. My goal in this post was to give a quick summary, as I’ll be discussing more options for boating along with places to visit on the lake in detail as the summer takes off. If you have a favorite place to go boating on Lake Tahoe, leave a comment below! Also, follow me on twitter @sberei!