Best Views of Lake Tahoe?

OK, this is a crunch day trip - going to Tahoe (coming in on I-80 from the West)

At what point should we head south for killer views and, ideally, actual access to the shore.
If we have time, we can play in Truckee, but the lake is the big draw here.

Thanks again for the help!

One of the best views is from Highway 431 about 2 miles above Incline Village on the north shore.

From I-80 take 267 to Kings Beach, then left on 28 to Incline. In Incline, turn left on 431 (the highway to Reno) and go up to the lookout point (big curve to the left, the view is on the right).

For shore access, go down to 28 again and left. Go through Incline and continue south on 28 to Sand Harbor. It’s a Nevada State park with beach access. Since it is a state park it will cost $8 or so to get in. There is free beach access at Kings Beach and at Tahoe City (West shore).

I grew up at Tahoe and still live in Nevada.

Thank you!

The gold-trail bit was a bit disappointing - there are only so many holes i the ground one can see before one’s eyes glaze over.

There really aren’t any bad views. Find a beach with bar service. I’m not familiar with the North Shore.

With blackjack, and hookers!
It’s not often you get to use that line non-ironically.

You sir, are besmirching the good name of the Straight Dope Message Board, fighting ignorance since 1873. Most of Lake Tahoe shoreline is in California, where both blackjack and hookers are illegal. While blackjack is legal on the Nevada side, hookers are not legal in that county. I’m shocked. Shocked to find gambling and hooking going on in here!

While Desert Nomad is absolutely correct about where to find the best views of north Tahoe, going by way of Mount Rose is definitely the long way around for a day trip from California. You might try 267 from Truckee. The views won’t be quite as spectacular, but you’ll drive a couple of hours less. The main thing to know is that 89 from Truckee is along the river; the scenery is hardly ugly, but no expansive lake views.

Are you committed to north shore? You might consider 50 to South Tahoe, and Pope Beach or Baldwin Beach.

My family used to go there when I was young; a friend of my grandmother’s would let us use her cabin. So I knew there were casinos; wasn’t sure about the county regulations on hookers, but I stand by my comment.

And c’mon, I couldn’t resist.

Most stellar views of Lake Tahoe do take a bit of driving. I second the aforementioned view from ST. Rt. 431 just beyond Incline towards the Mt. Rose Summit.

I’ll add the view from over Emerald Bay on the CA side is pretty great. The higher views from the highway otherwise are mostly on the Nevada side, such as from the several state parks between South Lake Tahoe and Incline Village.

The absolute best views are from several of the various mountain peaks. Probably my favorites are on the Nevada side: Snow Valley Peak (moderate day hike) and Mt. Rose (strenuous day hike.) On the CA side, my favorite view is definitely from Mt. Tallac (moderately strenuous).

I guess my best suggestion for a crunch day trip is to head to either Emerald Bay, with access to the lake and great high views, or go to Incline Village (Sand Harbor is a great beach) and check out the views from overlooks on 431 between Incline and the Mt. Rose Summit.

ETA: fastest way to Incline Village from the west is to take 267 from Truckee. Or you could just stop at King’s Beach, which isn’t bad.

Second Emerald Bay as a view. When we left California, I dearly wanted to go up 50 and see it on the way, but in the end efficiency and time meant we had to go out 80. I was willing to drive 200+ more miles on worse roads to see it again, though.

BESMIRCHING! I say BESMIRCHING! Those ladies are not whores, they are just scantily clad, tattooed, skimpily dressed junior high school students!