One of the nicer places to live in eastern California is the Lake Tahoe area. The most populous city on the lake is South Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County. It’s home to about 21,500 people. The drive is a little over two hours by car from our Ernie’s Van & Storage locations in Grass Valley and Rocklin, so we are quite familiar with moving families into South Lake Tahoe.
If you’ve ever been to Lake Tahoe, you already know why people love it. The climate is a big draw—lots of sunshine, moderate temperatures in the summer, and excellent air quality. A whopping 288 inches of annual snowfall (almost all of it from October through May) factors into great skiing, tubing, and snowboarding.
During the warmer months, June through September, you’ll discover outdoor adventures aplenty. Were you to do a flyover in July, you’d see people on jet skis and water skis; parasailers, bungee jumpers and hang gliders; boaters, rafters, and fishers. There’s also kayaking, hiking, and suping (stand up paddleboarding).
But Lake Tahoe is a big body of water, covering 191 square miles and reaching depths of over 1600 feet. Besides South Lake Tahoe, people live in the west, north, and east shore areas. The west shore (where you will find the little community of Tahoma, pop. 1200) tends to get the most snow. Also on the west shore, Sunnyside-Tahoe City has about 1500 people. You’ll find Donner Pass about 14 miles to the northeast, named for the ill-fated Donner party that found the pass blocked by snow and was forced to spend the 1846-1847 winter on the east side of the mountains.
The oldest settlement on the lake is Glenbrook, Nevada, on the eastern shore. About 200 people call it home. On the north shore you’ll find the lake’s second-most-populous community, Incline Village, Nevada. About 9,000 people live there.
The primary industry around Lake Tahoe is tourism, with jobs in food service, lodging, entertainment, recreation, and retail trade. It’s a great place to locate if you love the outdoors—a lot of younger people find it suits their lifestyle for exercise and recreation. The natural beauty of the surrounding area and its laid-back, “take a vacation” vibe make Lake Tahoe a good fit for those who value serenity and healthy living, if not the corporate paycheck.