BringFido's Guide to Lake Tahoe

Posted by Billy Francis

Lake Tahoe is a pet-friendly vacation hot spot on the border of Nevada and California. Home to gorgeous beaches for fun in the sun and world-class ski resorts when temperatures drop, this diverse destination has it all. Bring your furry best friend along to explore the wonders of the largest alpine lake in the U.S., crash each night in incredible accommodations with premium perks for pups, and dine at welcoming dog-friendly restaurants.

Things to Do

“I’m having more fun than the rest of my pack.” Photo by BringFido/Melissa Halliburton

From a pet-friendly museum to a guided fishing trip, there’s something for every visitor to this slice of “pawradise.”

Rafting on “Ruff” Waters

If your pooch is a chill seeker and not a thrill seeker, Truckee River Rafting offers self-guided rafting trips along a peaceful 5-mile stretch of the Truckee River. All ages and skill levels will enjoy this 2-4 hour gentle meander down a flowing Lake Tahoe tributary, and pups float for free.

Run Between the Pines

Bijou Dog Park brings Lake Tahoe’s canine community together. Surrounded by towering pines, this fenced space features off-leash sections for both small and large dogs. Inside, you’ll find grassy areas with shade, fun agility equipment, benches where humans can perch to watch the action and water fountains for pups to rehydrate between laps.

“Mountain mutts unite!” Photo by BringFido/Jessie

Sample Lake Life

Kiva Beach is a great place to dip a paw in the water in South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy stunning mountain views surrounding the lake while Fido plays on leash along the shoreline. Bring lunch and enjoy a bite at the Kiva picnic area, then take a short walk to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center where pups are also permitted and you’ll find dog waste stations. From the visitor center you can access many of the pet-friendly trails. Dogs are only allowed on the section of Kiva beach east of Tallac Point to protect local wetlands.

Have “Reel” Fun

Water-loving Weimaraners are welcome to join you on a guided fishing trip with Tahoe Sport Fishing. Your captain for the day will take you to the hot spots for kokanee salmon, rainbow, brown and lake trout, and provide you with everything you need for a day on the water. Just let them know you’re bringing a pooch along before you book.

“What view?” Photo by BringFido/Drew

Gaze Across the Sierra Nevada

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Donner Memorial State Park is one of the most dog-friendly state parks in California. Fido is welcome to join you on the Lakeside Interpretive Trail, the Zig Zag Trail and along the shore of beautiful Donner Lake. During your visit, snap a photo with Pioneer Monument, one of California’s historical landmarks, dedicated to the emigrants who crossed the rugged Sierra on their westward journey in the mid-1800s.

Discover it on a Drive

Lake Tahoe Loop is a 72-mile drive around the lake that takes roughly three hours to complete, but you can spend a lot longer on it if you stop to take in the incredible sights along the way. Stop at Inspiration Point for a short walk with your pooch down a paved pathway to a stunning overlook of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island. Or, take a quick detour near Incline Village for elevated views of the water at Lake Tahoe Scenic Overlook.

Mooch with your Mutt

History buffs and mutts can hang out together at Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City. Dogs are welcome to join you inside this reconstructed cabin, converted into a pet-friendly museum, to learn about the maritime history of Lake Tahoe, hear about the resort and pop culture of the past, and take in one of the largest Native American basket collections in the country. Fido can make a splash at nearby 64-Acres Beach when you’re finished.

Places to Stay

“Nobody said anything about needing a chaperon.” Photo by

Book a room with a lake view or stay in your own private lake house on a trip with Fido to the Jewel of the Sierra.

Reserve Remarkable Views

Hotel Azure Tahoe is nestled among the pines near the shores of Lake Tahoe and within walking distance of many dog-friendly restaurants. Each room features fresh, modern decor and beautiful views, and first-floor rooms are pet friendly and include private lawns. There are also three separate relief areas on the property for Fido to sniff out, and Kiva Beach is just a short drive away.

Mountain Lodge

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort is a classic mountain lodge that has been lovingly sprinkled with modern touches. Four-legged guests receive a 'Pawssport' at check-in with a welcome letter, homemade treats, and waste bags. This 4-star hotel is located close to shopping in Incline Village and pet-friendly trails like those found at Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park where dogs are welcome from mid-October to mid-April.

“I’m not diving - this fur took hours to perfect!” Photo by Airbnb

The Lake House

If you’re searching for a pet-friendly secluded stay on the water, make a reservation at Villa De Lago in historic Cave Rock. Located in a hidden enclave, the expansive property features a private pier, floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the water, and a huge fireplace to gather around when you’re finished stargazing with your Staffy.

Location, Location, Location

PlumpJack Inn, tucked at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in North Lake Tahoe, and just steps away from the legendary ski lifts of Palisades Tahoe, was built as the home for the 1960 Winter Olympics. Nowadays, you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy this rustic, boutique hotel with your furry best friend. He’ll receive a bed, bowls, treats and waste bags at check-in, and he’s welcome to join you on the patio of the inn’s Plumpjack Bar. You’ll also be near other dog-friendly Squaw Valley restaurants, and close to the starting point for Truckee River Rafting.

“Time for another chapter.” Photo by Fireside Lodge

Pause for Toasty Paws

Located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, Fireside Lodge is a quaint cabin-themed hotel nestled beneath towering pines. Each room is decorated in a unique country mountain theme and features a cozy fireplace, and breakfast is provided each morning. The lodge offers a welcome package for pets that includes pet covers, bowls, treats and dog towels, and Fido might even meet the resident pup. The inn backs up to a national forest which has miles of pet-friendly hiking trails for walking during summer and cross-country skiing during winter.

Fun Cabin

People and pups who value epic backyards will love this updated 1940s cabin. The fenced space outside features a hot tub, synthetic turf, a putting green, dining area and a gas fire pit to keep guests entertained from sunrise to sunset. Remote workers can also take a break from the rest of the pack with Fido in the insulated work-from-home shed office.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

“Three’s company!” Photo by

Drink a beer under the veranda, take a memorable picture of your pooch before lunch, and enjoy free dog parking at these pet-friendly restaurants around the lake.

What Ales You?

After a day on the Truckee River, head to the outdoor beer garden at Alibi Ale Works - Truckee Public House. When you arrive, grab a water bowl and treats for Fido from the dog station and find a seat at a shaded picnic table. The menu features delicious small plates, sandwiches and salads and a list of over 18 rotating Alibi Ale Works craft beers as well as wine, coffee and kombucha.

Dine at a Historical Destination

Rosie’s Cafe is an American diner full of novelties with great views from the pet-friendly deck. Formerly a grocery store, this historic hangout serves up delicious breakfast items like Swedish pancakes, hot sandwiches for lunch and items from the grill. Don’t forget to snap a memorable picture next to the bear sculpture made of pennies and stop at nearby Scraps Dog Bakery to grab a snack for Fido.

“Shakespaw’s” Favorite Place

MacDuff’s Public House is within walking distance of Hotel Azure and hotel guests receive a 15% discount with a room key. Find an umbrella-shaded table on the enclosed pet-friendly patio and soak up the atmosphere for lunch or dinner. Pups can enjoy a refreshing drink of water from a MacDuff-branded drinking dish, and may even be slipped a piece of bacon by a dog-loving server.

“I’m hiding until she tries to put her doggy bag in here.” Photo by

Retreat to Eat

The Getaway Cafe is a short drive from Fireside Lodge and is a great place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with the whole pack. Head to one of nine outdoor tables to enjoy breakfast items such as Huevos Rancheros, a Chorizo Quesadilla, Banana Nut Pancakes, or a BBQ Burger later in the day. Top it off with a Bloody Mary, mimosa or draft beer.

Honoring a Beloved Dog

Casey’s American Cantina is named after a dog, a German Spitz who lived to be 23 years old, which should make your pup feel young whatever her age. Dine out with your dog on the casual and inviting patio and enjoy steak and eggs for breakfast, burgers for lunch or pizza for dinner. Wash it down with a draft beer or glass of wine.

Park Your Pooch

Eat on the covered patio at Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet, or take your meal to go if you’re midway through a day on the lake or a rafting adventure at nearby Truckee River Rafting. Park your pup at the dog parking spot, which features water bowls and a hook, and go inside to grab sandwiches, pastries, coffee, fresh-baked breads and gourmet to-go meals.

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do in Lake Tahoe? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by BringFido/Melissa Halliburton.