A wide sandy beach, cool water lightly lapping at our feet, bright, warm sun, and a holiday weekend. Sounds like the perfect beach day. What surprised me was that the beach was not on the Atlantic ocean, Pacific Ocean, or even the Caribbean. It was on the north shores of Lake Tahoe, a beautiful lake in the mountains near the border of California and Nevada.
When planning a recent trip to North Lake Tahoe during Independence Day Weekend, a quick internet search found that the state recreation area in the town of Kings Beach was one of the top recommended places for family friendly activities. The nice lady from Google let us know that the beach was a short 15 minute drive from our hotel, so it was settled. We’d spend the morning on the beach.
Kings Beach did not disappoint. Once we parked, we shlepped three chairs, an umbrella, beach bags, snacks, sunscreen, and two kids a short walk to a nice sandy stretch of the beach. We set up and the kids immediately headed for the water. The first step in the water was cold, but we quickly got used to it. One of the things the kids loved was the calm water. The recently were in the Atlantic Ocean, where a wave had taken out and scared my son, so the calm ripples were a welcome relief. The water was shallow and calm for quite a distance, allowing us to be adventurous and explore the lake further from shore. The bottom was quite rocky and we were without water shoes so we did have to be careful as we walked. But the crystal clear lake made it a breeze to find the sandy, stone-free spots to walk on.
Of course one of the best parts of the beach is playing in the sand. We forgot the sand toys (opps), but the sand was wet and easily moldable so we used our imaginations and made castles and fortresses the old fashioned ways – with our hands.
The park had a great play structure right next to the beach. As soon as the kids saw it, they had to conquer it. It proved to be a welcome break from the sand and water.
After a few hours on the beach we packed up to head to lunch. We took advantage of the numerous and spacious bathrooms to get the kids in dry clothes and make sure everyone had a potty break. Afterward we headed out to grab burgers and beers on a restaurant deck nearby overlooking the lake; a great way to end a fantastic and surprisingly fulfilling beach day.
- Cost: Free to enter
- Parking: You can park in a lot near the beach, $10 for the day. Bring cash and exact change.
- Restrooms: There are a number of large, individual unisex restrooms near the beach and the parking lot. Some have benches, making it easier to use for changing.
- Other Activities: Besides the beach and play structure, there are paddle boats and kayaks for rent, barbecues and picnic tables available.