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Best Places to Enjoy a Sunset Cocktail

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Nothing beats being out on the water on a crisp summer evening in Lake Tahoe, away from the hustle, bustle and heat that exudes from some of Tahoe’s closest cities (like Reno and Sacramento). It’s the reason why people come here, to relax, unwind, and most importantly, see the big blue body of water that everybody is always talking about.

Therefore, if you are up in the Sierra Nevada and perhaps driving around the lake (or circumnavigating it by boat) and want to stop and grab a drink or an appetizer, here are some of the best spots along Highway 89- aka Tahoe’s West Shore- to enjoy the view.

Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge, Tahoe City

Some of the best views of the lake can be seen heading towards Emerald Bay down West Lake Boulevard (also called Highway 89) and there are plenty of places to pull over and skip a rock or two on Lake Tahoe’s pebbly beaches. However, one of the first stops to enjoy a drink that’s only 2.3 miles south of Downtown Tahoe City is Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge. Out on the deck overlooking the lake, Sunnyside’s friendly staff serves excellent fish tacos and lakeside libations such as the Mountain Mule, Dirty Snowman, or Escalade Margarita. Did you end up being the designated driver? No problem…Sunnyside offers a Zero Proof menu with mocktails including the First Breeze and Shaken Colada minus the rum.

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West Shore Café and Inn, Homewood

Four miles south of Sunnyside at the base of Homewood ski resort opposite of the mountainside is the cozy and elegant West Shore lodge and restaurant, ideal to spend time at during a weekend romantic getaway or intimate wedding. Watching sunrises and sunsets are both incredible from this lakeside spot…when the sun rises over the East Shore it casts a pinkish gold tint over the Tahoe Basin, and followed by a similar peaceful alpenglow at sunset. The ambiance makes having a cocktail here a memorable experience, especially shared with friends. Popular drinks include the Hakuna MaTahoe and the West Shore Old Fashioned.

Chambers Landing Lake Tahoe
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Chambers Landing, Tahoma

Perched over the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Chambers Landing is technically Tahoe’s oldest bar. Built in the late 1880s, the small boathouse used to be a sundry store and post office that the Tahoe Steamer delivered goods to, but now it’s known for its infamous Chambers Punch, a sweet rum drink that’s a cross between a Monaco and a Mai Tai that goes down a little too smooth on a hot summer day. Generally open Memorial Day through Labor Day, it’s easiest to visit Chambers Landing by boat and there’s always plenty of parking by the dock- and it’s hard to miss since it juts out into the water.

It’s easy to spend a day bar hopping around the lake, especially if you have access to a boat. But even if you don’t, it’s worth stopping at one of these West Shore gems to catch a gorgeous Tahoe sunset.

Top Destinations

From walking to the beach, to finding the nearest ski resort, to taking a day trip to some of the nearby destinations.  Check out the options!

Lake Tahoe is a magical place.  Surrounded by mountains with access to the crystal blue water, excellent trails, world class ski ressorts and more within the Tahoe basin.

Beyond any of the mountain passes lie many additional opportunities that are a relatively easy day trip.  Some are on your way to Lake Tahoe from the San Francisco Bay Area  such as the Sierra Foothills and Gold Country.

Others such as the former mining town of Bodie and the Bodie State Historic Park as well as Carson City, Reno, and even a little farther to Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lake offer plenty of interesting options.  As a day trip or for ideas on where to stop while exploring California and Nevada, check out some of our travel ideas.