When it comes to living near the water in California, the ocean has company. For everyone from tycoons to Hollywood royalty to enthusiasts of seemingly impossible concentrations of nature and water sports and dreamy views of blue, Lake Tahoe is where it’s at. (Especially now that the Sierra Nevadas are overflowing with powder this season!) Thinking of putting down roots—of the vacation or everyday variety—on this most spectacular of freshwater lakes and mountains? We’ve got three neighborhoods you’ll definitely want to consider.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a favorite spot in the area for its location, which puts the lake, skiing resorts, and casinos within easy reach. This is a best-of-both worlds setting for active types, with a bustling energy that still allows people to drink in the natural surroundings—as well as take part in the abundant recreation—without feeling too far removed from society. It’s also a highly walkable location, with strolling along the lake and into the village to take advantage of its abundant shops, eateries, and nightlife as favorite activities.

Traditionally, South Lake Tahoe is a desirable spot—so desirable, in fact, that upscale listings are tight right now.


If you want to be close enough to the lake to drink it in but ensconced in a private, country atmosphere in the mountains, Truckee may be for you. Fifteen miles north of Lake Tahoe and with a bustling and historical downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and charming street fairs, Truckee offers a different breed of luxury living. Numerous homes designed in the chalet and rustic mountain style offer expansive space and breathtaking views.

If you want serenity on the rocks, then look no further than this beautiful log-built stunner resting 6,820 feet above sea level. No detail was missed in the craftsmanship, not to mention it was built to accommodate a growing family and their friends with 6,226 square feet, four bedrooms, media room, spacious loft, family room and two workshops.

14262 Martis Peak Road is listed for $2,495,000.

West Shore

Remember the scene in “The Godfather: Part II” where Fredo faces off against little brother Michael Corleone…and then ends up dead in a rowboat on Lake Tahoe? So do luxury homebuyers seeking out one of the key locations of the movie—which also happens to be a prestigious lakefront community.

The West Lake Tahoe compound today known as Fleur del Lac was ground zero for the Corleone’s west coast mafia operations in the movie. In real life, it was a luxury property built by Hoover Dam tycoon Henry Kaiser in 1938 that has since been turned into 22 luxury condos complete with luxurious amenities such as a pool, tennis courts, a fitness center and a yacht club—plus a few rowboats.

Located between Tahoe City and Emerald Bay, the West Shore is a contrast of water and winter sports and activities and exploration among unspoiled natural beauty. One of the main draws of living on this side of the lake: the peaceful environment. Another is the range of homes. Outside of Fleur de Lac, there are numerous lakefront and lakeview residences, including this 13,200-square-foot custom, gated, waterside manor.

Designed to provide the ultimate in resort-style living, the estate offers six bedrooms, eight baths, a chef’s kitchen, and a full suite of entertainment amenities including movie theater, billiard room, and subterranean 2,500-bottle wine cellar. On one-and-one-half acres with 180 feet of water frontage, the property also features a 145-foot rock cribbed pier, a boat slip, and lift.

1970 West Lake Boulevard is listed for $16,800,000.

Which of these Lake Tahoe neighborhoods float your boat?