Located at the meeting point of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the world. South Lake Tahoe, the largest town around the lake, is situated on the south shore and offers beautiful views of mountains covered with fir and pine trees, deep blue water year-round, and a wealth of outdoor activities. A popular location for skiers and snowboarders during the snowy winter season, Lake Tahoe is also home to miles of beaches for sun-tanning, boating, water skiing, and swimming in the summer. Both the north and south shores offer plenty of hiking and biking trails and retreats for campers. On the Nevada side of the town (Stateline, NV), is a long stretch of more than ten casinos–a haven for those looking for a world-class gambling experience.
Originally a town of several smaller communities, South Lake Tahoe has developed into one large area consisting of approximately 21,000 permanent residents. The population fluctuates massively in the winter, and triples around New Years, as there is a massive influx of tourists visiting for the holiday season. There are two main parts of South Lake Tahoe: the Western part of town, centered around “The Y” – the X-shaped intersection of US Highway 50 and California state highway 89, and the Eastern part, centered around the CA-NV state border. The former is distinctly residential, and the latter is distinctly commercial – it is the home of all the casinos and larger hotels, and Heavenly’s Gondola starts in this area.
Traveling from “The Y” toward Stateline, motels, hotels, resorts, and small businesses line Highway 50, before arriving at ‘Heavenly Village’ a town center created at the foot of the Heavenly ski resort’s Gondola. Heavenly Village is comprised of shops, restaurants and two Marriott resort hotels. There is also a multi-story parking garage at Heavenly Village. Heavenly Village is the center of activity for the majority of visitors to the South Lake Tahoe region, and is bustling with activity year-round.
One block northeast of Heavenly Village is the official California-Nevada state line, and the unincorporated settlement of Stateline, Nevada, which is home to four major resort casinos, and two smaller local casinos.