Tahoe Keys, California

Living in the Tahoe Keys

Iyna Bort Caruso

Tahoe Keys is a waterfront neighborhood made up of lagoons and canals. But the show-stopping body of water is the lake it borders: Lake Tahoe.

It’s the largest alpine lake in North America and one of the deepest. Plunk down the Empire State Building and it would be fully submerged. The lake even inspired its own folklore centered on a monster named Tahoe Tessie. Trivia and tales aside, what lures homeowners to the lake is its rugged beauty and the wilderness charm of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The lake straddles two states, California and Nevada. California accounts for the lion’s share of communities that rims the lake. The private community of Tahoe Keys is at the southern end in the city of South Lake Tahoe.

Gaming and skiing came to the Lake Tahoe region in the 1940s. Later, the world descended for the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. Construction began on the Tahoe Keys development that same decade. Today, the community has more than 1,500 homes and townhouse condominiums. A large concentration of casinos and deep-powder ski resorts, including Heavenly, Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe mountains, are close by. Reno-Tahoe International Airport is about an hour’s drive away.

Over the years, most of the homes at Tahoe Keys have been rebuilt or remodeled.

Architectural styles of private homes range from mountain chalets to contemporary estates with staff quarters. The most desirable are the exclusive few on Lake Tahoe itself. However, the lake lifestyle is fully embraced by homeowners throughout the development.  The majority have private docks or boat slips at Tahoe Keys Marina and Yacht Club. The 740-acre community offers access to such amenities as pools, spa, basketball and tennis courts. Bike trails lead to the beach. Tahoe Keys is 195 miles east of San Francisco, making it especially popular with Bay Area residents as a vacation home destination.