Bliss Beach

Pine-fringed splendor on California’s A-list alpine lake


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Who says every perfect beach has to be a wave-pummeled runway of sand on the edge of a giant ocean or sea? Certainly not throngs of summer visitors hiding on the myriad shores of Lake Tahoe. Perched above 6,000 feet (and straddling the California/Nevada state line), North America’s largest alpine lake covers more than 70 miles of prime Sierra-encased shoreline -- with swaths of secluded sand and boulder-strewn beaches and coves lapped with water so clear and cobalt you’d swear you were in Turks and Caicos if it weren’t for those lanky pine trees, bear sightings and big-toe-bracing 65 F water temperatures.

Nominating a best beach in Tahoe is a bit like choosing a favorite cheese in France. But when pressed, savvy bucket-listers aim their umbrellas, paddleboards and treaded sandals for D.L. Bliss State Park on the lake’s southwest shore. Here, beyond a sweet campground at the end of a threadlike access road, a pair of sandy hideouts -- Lester Beach and Calawee Cove -- offer two of Tahoe’s prettiest finds, furnished with soft sand, smooth boulders for leaping into fresh mountain water, stunning sunset views and nearby access to the Rubicon Trail, one of the area’s blue-riband lakeside hikes.

Photos: Shutterstock, Sean Gallup/Getty Images, Danita Delimont/Getty Images, Danita Delimont/Getty Images

Did you know?

Black bears abound around Bliss Beach --campers need to store food in special lockers.


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