Kings Beach: Not Your Ordinary Cup of “Joe”

Many visitors to North Tahoe get their first view of the Lake’s awesome beauty as they drive over the Brockway Summit on California State Highway 267.  If you continue down to the road’s end by the shoreline, and turn left onto Highway 28, you will be entering the lively lakeside town of Kings Beach.

With such a magnificent waterfront, you might think Kings Beach was named after royalty. But its name actually came from a regular Joe who turned out to be not so ordinary.  Joe King moved to the North Tahoe area in the Roaring 1920’s. He landed a job in Truckee as a Bouncer at the Pastime Club, which featured a “Game Room” with slot machines and poker tables.  There, Joe apparently honed his poker-playing skills, and according to local legend, he won the land that now bears his name during a high-stakes game against a wealthy real estate magnate.

Joe was instrumental in shaping Kings Beach into a bustling community, and over the years, the town’s landscape continued to change as times changed.  Here’s one interesting example:  Joe King originally had a shopping center built by the Lake, then it was subsequently converted into a bowling alley in the 1960’s. Incredibly, this bowling alley began hosting live concerts featuring iconic bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead.  But the music venue shut down at the end of 1968, and the building was completely renovated.  Today, this building is the North Tahoe Event Center, which is one of the area’s most popular places for weddings.

Kings Beach wedding at North Tahoe Event Center

Photo credit: Ciprian Photography

But of all the changes that have come to Kings Beach over the years, perhaps the most significant was the recently completed “Commercial Core Improvement Project.”  This $50 million upgrade of roads, sidewalks, parking areas, and landscaping has improved pedestrian safety, increased the clarity of the Lake water, and greatly enhanced the overall experience for visitors.  So this makes Kings Beach a better place than ever to bring your group for your destination wedding!

There are an abundance of attractions to enjoy in Kings Beach.  Let’s start with the beach itself.  Due to its south-facing shoreline, Kings Beach gets more hours of summer sunshine than any other beach on Lake Tahoe.  And the water near the shore is relatively shallow, which means that it’s typically warmer than other beaches.

Kings Beach in summer

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For group activities at the beach, you can rent kayaks and paddleboards at Adrift Tahoe, North Tahoe Watersports or Tahoe EcoSports.  On Friday evenings between mid-June and early September you can listen and dancing to free live music performances at a concert series called  Music on the Beach.  Across the road from the beach, another fun group activity is Kings Beach Miniature Golf, where your guests can not only enjoy a round of putt-putt golf, but there is also space available to rent for a casual party.

Among the numerous dining options in Kings Beach, check out the Log Cabin Caffe for breakfast, then grab a burger at the Char-Pit for lunch.  Dinner options include Jason’s Beachside Grille and Caliente’s Southwestern cuisine.  You could even have your rehearsal dinner at Caliente with a buy-out of the restaurant.

There are a wide range of overnight accommodations in Kings Beach.  The Brockway Springs Resort offers a collection of well appointed condominiums along a half mile of private shoreline.  Another popular beachfront lodging choice is Ferrari’s Crown Resort.  For your friends who are paying off their college loans, they can check out and check into Hostel Tahoe.  And finally, there are numerous options for rentals of private homes or condos by visiting websites like VRBO and FlipKey.

So whatever you have in mind for your North Tahoe wedding, Kings Beach provides great opportunities for your guests to have an unforgettable experience.