North Lake Tahoe: Sand Harbor + SUP at Kings Beach

It’s kind of ridiculous but I’ve been a little giddy about writing this post. Maybe it’s because I saved it for last or because the pictures are from one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Either way, I’m excited to share it with you and relive our time there.

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If you’ve ever been to Tahoe or are familiar with the area then you’ve probably heard of Sand Harbor.

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If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a highly coveted state park along the coast of Lake Tahoe known for its sandy beaches and breathtaking views.

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I purposely reserved the trip to Sand Harbor for the last full day we were there which was a Monday, hoping that we could avoid the notorious large summer crowds.

But that didn’t do us any good. In fact, the only reason my shots of the beach aren’t full of people is because it was before noon {side note: if you go to Sand Harbor, get there before 10am} and we chose the side of the beach that was rockier than the rest.

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We also had Coco with us and dogs aren’t allowed in the park at all so we had to be incognito while we were there.

Luckily, she blends right in the with the sand…

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Doesn’t she look so wise in this picture?

Even with the incredible surroundings, it was hard for me to relax knowing we were breaking the rules so after an hour or so, we decided to leave and go get lunch before searching for a dog friendly beach.

At some point along highway 28 (in Nevada), we saw a group of cars and a hiking path that looked like it led to an unnamed beach so we decided to stop off and check it out. The hike down was about a half mile and offered little peaks through the trees at the lake.

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Really, I couldn’t have dreamt up a prettier site if I tried. We never figured out the actual name of the beach but there were plenty of other people and dogs there so we just assumed it was dog friendly.

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Coco was brave enough to follow us into the water at first but she kept trying to balance on the rocks and trees to avoid having to actually touch the water.


Eventually, she gave up and sat on the beach while letting out small cries here and there.

Brandon was sun burnt from  paddleboarding the day before so he stayed with her while I went swimming and tried to balance on a few rocks myself.


I was slowly falling down in that picture.

We forgot to bring chairs and Coco was completely out of her element {read: not in a soft, fluffy bed with a treat-filled Kong} so we decided to pack up and head back to the hotel.

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After all of that time swimming and hanging out in the sun, I got a major craving for some soft serve so we stopped at Susie Scoops in Incline Village for a cone.


Pure perfection, my friends.

On a final and quick note, I wanted to share one last experience we had in North Lake Tahoe which was trying standup paddleboarding (SUP) for the first time. The first morning of our trip, which was a Sunday, we made it to the beach by 9am and rented a couple of boards from Tahoe Paddle & Oar in Kings Beach.


I know that sweatpants on the beach looks completely ridiculous but, in my defense, the temperatures drop to 40°F overnight and we were at the beach fairly early so it was still chilly from the night before. However, I don’t have an excuse for my cheesy pose.

We rented the boards for about three hours and paddled about 4 miles round trip to Crystal Bay which is a private section of Lake Tahoe with multi-million dollar houses nestled along the coast. I can’t even.


Unfortunately, I failed to get a waterproof cover for my phone in time for our trip so all I had was an old school disposable camera to take pictures with which explains the crapola shot you see above. That was the only decent picture from the entire 27 pictures we took and it still doesn’t come close to doing the real thing any justice.

We did manage to get a few good pictures with my phone in the shallow water at the end, including this one of Brandon losing his balance.


Ha! He probably won’t be thrilled that I shared that one. We both were a little shaky at times but neither of us fell once the entire time.

Standup paddleboarding was so much fun and I think everyone should give it a try at least once. We didn’t have any sort of lessons before hand; the guy at the rental stand briefly explained how to paddle and keep your balance and that was it. The most important tips I took from it was knowing when to bend your knees to stay balanced and to use your core to help you paddle so you don’t overwork your shoulders. Overall, I found it to be pretty easy and thought it was a total blast.

Alright, I’m done with Tahoe for now but hopefully not for good. I hope some of you found the recaps to be helpful and that I didn’t overload you with pictures and unnecessary blabber. I’m not an expert on the area by any means but I’m more than willing to answer any questions you have if you are planning a trip there.


Have you ever tried SUP?

Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?