Bay Area Realtors Weigh In on Owning a Private Spot in Lake Tahoe

Kings Beach private beach property on the market for $34.5

A beloved bay area destination year-round, Lake Tahoe is a superlative outdoor playground. Beyond its legendary ski resorts, its crystal-clear waters make it a beach, boating and hiking paradise in the summer months—just ask Larry Ellison, who retreats to Incline Village on the Nevada side when he’s not visiting his own Hawaiian island. But with its wonders come crowds of people, so we asked a group of expert Realtors what they would recommend if they were looking for a private, convenient spot for lake and ski vacations.

King's Beach 9950 Lake Street property for sale for $34.5 million

As you might guess, being on the lake itself is a true luxury. “The end-all be-all is lakefront,” says Bill Dietz, president of the real estate division of Tahoe Luxury Properties. Rare residences that have sandy beaches (most of Tahoe has a rocky shoreline) sell for $15 million and up. Sue Lowe with Chase International currently has an eight-and-a-half-acre property with a private sandy beach at Kings Beach (pictured above) offered at $34.5 million. For the best of both worlds, Dietz recommends looking for homes with beaches near the laid-back, lakeside town of Tahoe City, just a 10-to-15-minute drive to top-rated ski resort Squaw Valley.

Martis Camp beachfront and woods.

On the Nevada side of the lake, Incline Village has a potent combination of attractions (including Nevada’s tax benefits). It also has a thriving community of full-time residents, and three community-owned beaches open only to Incline Village homeowners and guests. “You can buy a beautiful house for $3 million to $7 million with all the amenities—a shared private beach, a pier and boat buoys,” says Lexi Cerretti with Sierra Sotheby’s, who specializes in Incline Village and Glenbrook.

A five-bedroom contemporary lake house at Martis Camp.

While not on the lake itself, the private community of Martis Camp (pictured above) is another strong contender for all-season vacations, especially for active families with young children. Located near Truckee, it has its own ski lift into Northstar, a Tom Fazio–designed 18-hole golf course, and large family recreation center that includes a pool, bowling alley and movie theater. Martis has also added a private half-mile-long beach on the lake, opening this summer. Of its 671 homesites, only 64 were left at press time. Among 20 built homes currently for sale is a contemporary five-bedroom home for $6.8 million. Also at Northstar is the new mid-mountain residential community, Mountainside Northstar (pictured below), aimed at skiing and hiking enthusiasts. The latest homes to break ground there are aimed at fans of modern architecture: The six residences (starting at $3.4 million) and 11 condominiums (starting at $2 million) were designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the firm that created Apple’s sleek iconic retail stores. Notes Gregory Mottola, a principal in BCJ’s San Francisco office: “We’ve learned from our work in the Bay Area that there’s an appetite for the ‘alpine modern’ home.”

A Stellar Townhouse at Mountainside at Northstar.

A version of this article appeared in the June/July 2015 issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Deeds and Don’ts: Your Own Private Tahoe.