For the next time you 1) wanna know what summer actually feels like, and 2) wanna day drink your ass off, Zipcar your way over to Lake Tahoe and park it at one of these: Tahoe's 16 lakefront bars.
(FYI: a bunch of these spots are seasonal, so do your due diligence and make sure they’re open, otherwise you’ll pull your boat up to the pier and there won’t be anyone there to valet it for you -- and that’s no way to live life.)
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South Lake Tahoe
Paddle your kayak to the beach and then enjoy afternoon cocktails (try its signature Mango Mai Tai) at a picnic table on the longest (1,000ft!) pier in Tahoe.
South Lake Tahoe
Camp Richardson is a lakeside resort in South Lake with a beachside bar and grill. Take a water taxi or pull your boat up in its marina, then order its famous Rum Runner while you enjoy live music on the deck from 1-5pm on almost every day throughout summer.
One of the best places to drink in North Lake, period, Chambers is also the oldest bar in Tahoe, even though it always has the youngest (and rowdiest) crowd. There’s a pier and moorings for easy boat docking. Just go easy on the Chambers Punch if you’re captain for the day ‘cause that stuff is no joke.
You can bring your dog if you’re planning to sit on the lawn at this low-key grill that’s located near the Tahoe City Marina. The covered porch has stunning views of the lake that look even better when you’re enjoying tri-tip and ribs fresh off the grill, plus a cold beer (or something from the full bar).
South Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Keys Marina has 20 guest boat slips, so pull right up from the water and enjoy one of its Beach Runners on the waterfront lawn patio.
Park your dingy at the public pier (or nearby moorings) and then get a seat on Gar Woods’ very popular waterfront deck. The food isn’t cheap (fish tacos will run ya $18), but drinking a Wet Woody at one of North Lake's best damn places to drink should be on your boozy bucket list, so suck it up (literally) and just enjoy the day, checking account be damned.
To get to Hacienda, you have to walk into the Boatworks Mall and up the stairs. But once you’re sitting outside on the deck taking in the view of the lake and sipping reasonablypriced margaritas, you’ll totally forget you’re in a weird mountain town shopping center. Park your boat at the Tahoe City Marina if you didn’t car/bike/walk/Razor scooter over.
You’ll probably have to order food if you want to enjoy the marina views from Jake’s deck, but there’s a full bar inside and they’ll happily let you take your drinks outside to enjoy on the waterfront lawn. Dock your boat at the Tahoe City Marina. It’s just a short walk.
South Lake Tahoe
This BBQ joint is located right on Lakeside Beach (within walking distance of Heavenly Village) and overlooks the lake. It doesn’t serve liquor, but its beer menu ain’t too shabby and with a view like that, you really don’t need the hard stuff to be happy. Pro tip: get the Pickle Fries.
Located at the end of the Grove Street Pier, Moe’s has outdoor seating and lakefront views from every single table. Plus, it has really good meat. Like, really, really, really good meat, all of which goes really well with the 12 craft beers it has on draft (or a drink from its full bar). Don’t feel like staying off the boat too long? It has ready-to-go boat picnic coolers packed full of ‘cue and more.
Pier 111 Bar is at the end of a 275ft floating dock, so you’re literally suspended over Lake Tahoe while you enjoy cocktails, sunshine, and one of the best views in the world. You can pull right up to the dock and just hand your keys to the valet and you’ll be sipping on a cold one in no time at all.
South Lake Tahoe
This bar and grill has boat access via the Ski Run Marina, so take a break from the water to enjoy one of its signature margaritas on a large, sunny deck.
In the summer, it’s all about the SandBar at Christy Hill. There’s something a little magical about this spot -- tables are tucked into multi-tiered nooks and surrounded by foliage. But don’t let the romantic vibe fool you, ‘cause the best thing to order is the Sausage Feast ($27) and a reasonably priced (for Tahoe, anyway) beer ($5-$6). Plus, there’s boat access via the Tahoe City Marina, which is just a short walk away.
There’s a reason Sunnyside made our list of Best Bars in California, and that’s because its deck is one our favorite places to kick back in the summer with a Sunnyside Margarita or a Hendrick’s Cucumber Breeze. Plus, it has a guest dock, which is like valet for your (friend's dad's) boat. You’re soooo fancy.
Just steps from the beach, the Sunset Bar & Grille is the perfect place to cool off with a frozen drink. You can also rent a beach chair and umbrella and have a server come directly to you.
The West Shore Café is another one of our summer favorites thanks to the friendly staff, killer martinis, boat valet that ferries you between your boat and the dock, and the fact that you can drink and dine, not just on the deck, but on its private pier. Life is good. Life is really, really good.
1. Boathouse on the Pier3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe
2. The Beacon Bar & Grill1900 Jameson Beach Rd., South Lake Tahoe
3. Chambers Landing Bar6300 Chambers Lodge Road, Homewood
4. Dockside 700 Lakefront Bar & Grill780 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City
5. The Fresh Ketch2435 Venice Dr E, South Lake Tahoe
6. Gar Woods Grill & Pier5000 N Lake Blvd, Carnelian Bay
7. Hacienda Del Lago760 N Lake Blvd #30, Tahoe City
8. Jake's on the Lake780 N Lake Blvd., Tahoe City
9. Lakeside Beach House4081 Lakeshore Blvd, South Lake Tahoe
10. Moe's Original Bar B Que120 Grove St, Tahoe City
11. Pier 111 Bar Hyatt Regency111 Country Club Dr, Incline Village
12. Riva Grill On the Lake900 Ski Run Blvd Ste 3, South Lake Tahoe
13. The SandBar at Christy Hill115 Grove St, Tahoe City
14. Sunnyside Restaurant1850 W. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City
15. Sunset Bar & Grille760 U.S. 50, Zephyr Cove
16. West Shore Cafe5160 W Lake Blvd, Homewood
Located at the Beach Retreat & Lodge, this outdoor dinning spot offers views of the lake, happy hours, and live music twice a week.
One of Lake Tahoe’s few restaurants on the beach, locals flock here during the summer for their famous Rum Runner. In the winter, come enjoy live music and great American grub like killer mac and cheese.
This historic lakefront bar serves a menu dominated by grilled foods like fish, burgers, and steaks. They also host live music on the dock where the tables are located.
A meal at this Tahoe City grille includes lake views from a covered porch or the lawn. If you're into burgers, the dinner burger at Dockside is a full half pound (!!!), and goes well with -- well any drink from their full bar. Plus, weekend nights they do serious BBQ.
If you're lucky enough to be on a boat on Lake Tahoe in the first place, you can pull right up and dock at The Fresh Ketch for lunch, dinner, or just some drinks.
Hang out on the back patio or pull the boat right up to the dock at Gar Woods, but just be careful handling its Rock Hard Woody, which boasts 151, light rum, peach Schnapps, fresh juices, sweet and sour, and two more shots of 151 floating on top. The California-inspired menu includes dishes like pomegranate-glazed pork ribs, an ahi poke stack, and beer-battered coconut prawns.
It's a little bit hard to find (you have to walk into the Boatworks Mall and up some stairs), but this Mexican Cantina brings it with well-priced margaritas and classic Mexican dishes like tacos and burritos.
To hang out on the deck at this award winning restaurant, you'll have to order food. But if you just want to enjoy a drink (or a few), the bar is inside and they welcome people to hang out on their waterfront lawn.
This spot is truly 'lakeside' and serves tons of BBQ food alongside beer and wine. Our advice? Pickle fires are a good call.
Moe's serves killer (like incredible) barbeque at the end of Grove Street Pier. The southern comfort food includes ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and fried catfish. If you're busy enjoying a day on the lake, they do boat coolers full of everything you could need.
This bar is literally almost 300ft out into Lake Tahoe, giving it one of the best views you could hope for. Pull your boat up and let the valet take care of docking it while you grab a drink.
Easy boat access makes this bar & grille a convenient option if you're enjoying a day on the lake. If you have a few of their signature margaritas, then maybe let someone else drive for the afternoon.
The SandBar is an outdoor patio space at Christy Hill that serves picnic style snacks and plenty of drinks in close proximity to the lake, with incredible views.
Sunnyside has easily one of the nicest decks in Lake Tahoe, where awesome views of the lake come together with incredible cocktails like margaritas, bloody marys, and mai tais.
Being walking distance from the beach doesn't just provide nice views: you can rent a beach chair and umbrella from Sunset Bar and the servers will come to you.