The Best Vacation Rentals to Book in South Lake Tahoe, California

Gondola Vista offers a true sense of isolation in the wilds of California
Gondola Vista offers a true sense of isolation in the wilds of California | Courtesy of Gondola Vista / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
17 December 2021
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South Lake Tahoe is California living at its finest. Mountain fun, lakeside relaxation, and a whole host of indoor activities are all within reach of this city hugging the Nevada border. Skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains and suntanning on El Dorado Beach are just two of the reasons you’ll be flocking back at all times of the year. Need a third, fourth, or twelfth reason to visit? Let these South Lake Tahoe vacation rentals do all the talking, bookable on Culture Trip.

Gondola Vista, for a stay across state lines

Gondola Vista modern room with shaggy rug, fireplace, flatscreen and wood panelling
Courtesy of Gondola Vista / Expedia

This South Lake Tahoe vacation rental ticks all of the boxes. It straddles the state line, offering instant access to the gems of Nevada and California in a heartbeat. It’s just a ten-minute walk to the village, with casinos, restaurants and more all on-site. The lake and the slopes? Moments away. And most importantly, this home is decked out with an outdoor fire pit, indoor fireplace, and deep soaking tubs that’ll do the jobs that the flames can’t.

Sierra State of Mind, for warming up

Sierra State of Mind large kitchen and living room with sofa, table and breakfast bar
Courtesy of Sierra State of Mind / Expedia

Get into the Sierra state of mind in this five-bedroom house only five minutes from the airport. Sit surrounded by pine trees on the balcony’s long couch, watching critters perk their noses up at the smoked scents coming from your barbecue. The smell of a crackling fire will mix with the cold California air when you step inside. You’re welcome to hop in the hot tub as soon as your luggage hits the floor, just leave time for a solo soak in your room’s standing tub.

Contemporary Tahoe Cabin, for a cabin-style stay

Contemporary Tahoe Cabin with corner couch, fireplace and flatscreen tv
Courtesy of Contemporary Tahoe Cabin / Expedia

No need to lean into the lake part of South Lake Tahoe – this four-bedroom cabin on the Heavenly Valley Creek will treat you to a different type of waterfront relaxation. Hang out however you like, whether that’s in front of the fireplace watching the game, or out on the balcony watching the birds fly by. The huge open-plan kitchen-diner-living room is a great place to stay in and socialize, but downtown and the lakefront are only five minutes away by car, so you won’t ever feel far from the action.

1261 Country Club Drive, for golf enthusiasts

261 country club drive traditional room with wooden bed, rocking chair and ceiling fan
Courtesy of 261 country club drive / Hotels.com

The lake can wait – golf comes first when you stay in this four-bedroom vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe. A short walk with a little bite will have you on the links of the Lake Tahoe Golf Course and Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. This house sleeps ten which means your foursome, four caddies, your swing instructor, and your jealous friend who still thinks you fabricated a hole in one can all come along. Go ahead and put them on grill duty so you have steaks to celebrate a return from your round.

555 Tahoe Keys 6, for water babies

55 Tahoe Keys 6 living area with patio doors, flatscreen and leather sofa
Courtesy of 55 Tahoe Keys 6 / Hotels.com

Fans of the water, the drink, and the good life will find a happy harbor in this unusually-designed condo. It’s a three-bedroom, single bathroom abode just a stone’s skip away from the lake. You’ll have views of the water if you look north, but we insist on peeking behind you. South Lake Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club is your neighbor and they’ve got a sundowner cocktail waiting for you after you unpack. If you want more water, there’s a big indoor pool and a seasonal outdoor pool to splash into.

2232 White Sands, for rain and shine

2232 White Sands room with headboard, curtains, leather bench and bathroom
Courtesy of 2232 White Sands / Hotels.com

While it’s far from a shame that this five-bedroom home is right on the lake, you may gently sigh when you realize that you’ll be spending more time on the water than in this roomy vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe. You’ll likely devote minimal time to the private spa tub, outdoor pool, or barbecue grills, opting instead to go on a boat tour or kayak from the rental’s very own dock. Rain in the forecast? We guess you’ll have to settle for a day spent watching the raindrops from the big arch windows in the living area. Or playing a game of pool in the game room.

2478 Cold Creek Trail, for a grand old time

2478 Cold Creek Trail room with piano, wood floor and lace curtains in traditional style
Courtesy of 2478 Cold Creek Trail / Hotels.com

The dream South Lake Tahoe vacation rentals you could only picture in your mind are real, and this Victorian-style six-bedroom beauty is one of them. Entertain yourself (and your guests) on the grand piano, or bunker down in the game room. Better find a place on the porch quickly – we have a feeling the seats beside the grill and in the hot tub will find butts fast. You won’t feel left out in the cold if you don’t secure a spot – tiptoe into the bathroom and you’ll find a soaking tub waiting to warm you through.

Nestled Pines Retreat, for a restful retreat

Nestled Pines Retreat four poster bed with carpet and sofa
Courtesy of Nestled Pines Retreat / Booking.com

Tucked into a quiet neighborhood bordering the High Meadow Trailhead, the only thing keeping you awake in this four-bedroom home will be the crickets – and the kids playing in the game room all night long. This vacation rental is only a ten-minute drive from the airport which means you’ll get parked and unpacked before your airport coffee gets cold. Spark up the barbecue and get grilling, or strap on your snowshoes and head into the nearby trails, then flop onto the massive corner sofa in the living room.

Moonlight Ridge, for a big backyard

Moonlight Ridge living area with sofa, fireplace, wooden furniture and kitchen behind
Courtesy of Moonlight Ridge / Booking.com

How will you spend your time in the moonlight? If we were you, we’d spend time beneath all celestial bodies in the sky in the massive backyard of this three-bedroom vacation home in South Lake Tahoe. You’ll want to stoke the wood-burning stove in the living room every now and again, but sitting outdoors gazing at the mountains is as good a plan as any. With cafes and a pizza joint within a ten-minute walk, you can dine al-fresco all day and night.

Mule Meadows, for California-style R&R

Mule Meadows room with balcony, desk, armchair, leather bench and wooden flooring
Courtesy of Mule Meadows / Expedia

A four-bedroom beauty on the edge of Washoe Meadows State Park, this South Lake Tahoe vacation rental is precisely located at the intersection of relaxation and wandering. Kick your feet back in front of the fireplace or on the balcony, and fill the big tub with complimentary designer toiletries. No matter where you are – even in the dining room and bedrooms – you’ll have views of the hills from wide windows throughout the home. The minute your feet are ready to roll, you’re only minutes from the park’s refreshing trails.

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