Getting Around Tahoe

By: Cam Schilling

Getting around South Lake Tahoe without a car during your visit doesn’t have to be hard, it can even be fun!

Welcome to Tahoe, where fun times are waiting and the traffic doesn’t matter – or it shouldn’t. Traffic can be bothersome at times, but this town has grown and adapted with the seasonal congestion in mind. When traffic conditions are less than ideal, the good news is that you can still make your perfect agenda happen by planning ahead a bit and getting around Lake Tahoe without a car to worry about. Today there is an abundance of affordable and convenient options to get around the lake whether you find yourself on foot, on wheels, or on the water.

Can You Get Around Lake Tahoe Without A Car?

Visiting Lake Tahoe without a car and wondering how you’ll get around? Don’t fret! Check out, Tahoe’s travel information hub:

Getting Around South Lake Tahoe on Two Wheels

If you’re on the go and want to skip planning out rides or perusing the bike rental stores, you might want to try one of the LimeBikes or their new electric scooters that you’ve probably seen around town. The bright green LimeBikes, which were also made possible thanks to The League, have been wildly popular around town since they arrived in 2017 and the process to use the scooters mimics that of the bike: download the app to your smartphone, once the app is downloaded the scooter wheels can be unlocked by scanning a barcode linked to your account. When the user is done, scooters and bikes can be left wherever they are or at a nearby hub listed on the app.

Electric Scooter Tahoe
Photo credit: Tahoe Daily Tribune

When it comes to biking around Lake Tahoe, no car is no problem. With a network of over 50 miles of paved and dirt paths around the lake, the bike is always a solid option to get around Tahoe South. On particularly busy days you will even save time by avoiding the highway auto traffic. Not only can you bike around the entire lake via the road bike lane, but for those that would rather not cruise on the busy highway, there is a paved bike path completely separate from the road that stretches around the south shore and beyond.

Bike Bench Lake Tahoe

For a nice visual with details on how exactly to get from point A to B on bike or foot no matter what that entails, take a look at the interactive map put out by the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition. Remember that safer is always better, and the South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue is now offering free loaner helmets. So no excuses!

Don’t forget about the lake! You may not have realized that this big beautiful lake can also be used as a quick and convenient way to commute around Tahoe. The Water Taxi from Action Watersports is a scenic way to get around the marinas at Camp Richardson, Lakeside, Round Hill Pines, or Timber Cove, and they will transport bikes for free.

Note: Water Taxi operations are suspended for Summer 2021. Please check back for details at a later date.

Plan Ahead If You Must Park

When attending large events like the Summer Concert Series be aware that lots will fill up quickly, transit services get stuck in traffic too, and you WILL have to pay for parking at any of the major casinos. Similarly, when planning a day at the beach, it’s not only the commute you need to consider but parking and availability. If you want the option of choosing that prime beach towel real estate or want to explore Emerald Bay without the crowds, you MUST aim to be there around 9 am (for weekends or a holiday even earlier!). The lots are full by 10 am and the later it gets the heavier the traffic. We recommend parking at Anderson’s Bike Rental or the Y and biking over if possible.

South Shore Water Taxi Map
South Shore Water Taxi Map by Camp Richardson
Photo credit: Action Water Sports Water Taxi

Check out these tips for driving to Tahoe South if you do plan on visiting with a car.

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