Tahoe is synonymous with skiing. The steep slopes, expert slopeside help, and backcountry terrain are what make it famous worldwide. Not only is the skiing and snowboarding season spectacular, but the whole area becomes a winter vacation paradise. But, what about the rest of the year? Snowboarders, skiers, and holiday makers alike are looking for someplace to stay other than the typical hotel in Tahoe.
If you’re looking to stay in Lake Tahoe for more than just the skiing and snowboarding season, then you have a wide variety of places to choose from. There are a number of small inns and hotels that specialize in taking care of skiers and snowboarders. Some are even accessible by car, making them prime destinations for drivers who want to give the slopes a try.
Bryce Resort And Spa
Located just outside of South Lake Tahoe, the Bryce Resort & Spa is the largest ski resort in the area and certainly one of the mainstay resorts of the area. The resort comprises of four distinct ski areas: Bryce, Amphitheater, Emerald and Squaw. And, if that isn’t enough, it also features an indoor pool, Spa Bryce, a children’s camp, and nine restaurants and bars.
The area is named after pioneering American botanist, explorer, and politician, Frederick Law Olmsted. A visit to the site is definitely worth it just for the serenity and beauty of the place. You can walk downtown through the meadows, enjoying the fresh air and spectacular views. And, at night, you can also go for a swim at the pool and look out at the twinkling lights from the vantage point of a snowflake-adorned pool fence.
Bennett Valley Ski Resort
Just 15 minutes away from South Lake Tahoe, Bennett Valley is another premier ski resort that features expert terrain, nightlife, and accommodation for all budgets. Bennett Valley opened in 1916 and over the years, it has steadily expanded its territory, incorporating a number of smaller ski resorts into its fold. Now, it’s one of the largest ski resorts in North America, boasting a vertical drop of more than 2,300 feet and 28 trails across 3 mountains. You’ll find expert-level terrain, some fantastic panoramic views, and secluded spots for those who want a quiet vacation.
One of the main draws of Bennett Valley is its historic atmosphere and collection of vintage sports cars that line the streets. If you’re a car aficionado, then this is one place to be. There’s also the Solstice Ski and Sundance movie theaters which show first-run theaters and have excellent food and comfortable recliner chairs for those who want to spend the day watching a movie. And if all that isn’t enough, there’s also the Bennett Valley Inn, which offers some of the best dining experiences in the area. Everything about Bennett Valley screams vintage ski chic, making it a perfect place for snowboarders and ski fans to unwind.
Just north of Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Stars ski resort sprawls over 19 hectares of skiable terrain and features some fantastic panoramic views of the lake. From the middle of town, you can enjoy amazing sunsets and gorgeous lights on the snow. There are also a number of hiking trails which wind their way through the woods and offer a secluded, yet adventurous, getaway.
Sierra Stars is a great resort for beginners and intermediates who want to explore a larger variety of trails than half of a hill would offer. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, then you couldn’t find a better place than Sierra Stars. The resort is home to a variety of bars, restaurants, and eateries which are open all year round, making it perfect for those who want to continue their vacation activities after the slopes have gone down.
Just 30 minutes away from South Lake Tahoe is Northstar California, yet another premier ski resort. It opened in 1962 and quickly became a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. The resort is famous for its high-speed chairlift which zips you straight to the summit in a matter of seconds. And, if that isn’t enough, it also features the country’s first superswim and has become a top destination for scuba divers. In addition to the standard ski runs, the ski museum at Northstar is a great spot for kids who want to learn more about skiing.
If you want to stay in Lake Tahoe for a less expensive vacation, then Northstar is the place to go. The resort is home to a variety of bed and breakfasts, hotels, and inns which are less than $100 a night. The snow sports activities don’t cost extra.
Honeymoon Valley is the smallest and one of the most charming of the Lake Tahoe resorts. The only thing that it lacks in comparison to the other resorts is a ski village. However, what it does have is gorgeous mountain scenery, rustic log lodges, and some of the most comfortable chairs you’ll ever lay your head on. If you have a taste for the simple life, then Honeymoon is the place to be.
The area was once the site of a Gold Hill mining camp and subsequently became popular with vacationers looking for a change of pace from the bustle of the city. There are no specific activities aside from skiing, but it’s a good place for kids to practice their skiing skills while having fun in the snow. A typical vacation at Honeymoon Valley doesn’t cost much more than what you’d spend at the other big resorts. That’s all the more reason to visit this year-round destination.
Tahoe City, located at the south end of the lake, is the oldest and one of the most established resorts in the area. It first opened its doors in the 1950s and has since then become a mecca for families and a destination for those who want to explore California’s largest city while on vacation.
The ski town boasts a vibrant nightlife as well as a variety of upscale bars, eateries, and hotels which are less than $100 a night. This makes it a perfect place to be for those who want to continue their vacation activities after the slopes have closed. There are also some of the best golf courses in the area which are open all year round. And, if you’re a fan of casinos, then Tahoe City is where you want to be. There are plenty of riverboat and land-based casinos which provide endless fun for adults and kids alike. The whole town exudes a glamorous atmosphere and is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation.
West Lake Tahoe
West Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular places to stay in Lake Tahoe. The resort features over 20 km of slopes, ranging from easy to expert, as well as four golf courses. In addition to the skiing, there are also several other activities available such as snowboarding, sledging, and dogsledging. The whole resort is accessible by bus, making it easy for anyone to get around. And, for those who want to stay in one place for the whole vacation, there’s the Westin Heavenly Resort & Spa. It’s hard to find a bad thing about this place. Everything from the food to the service to the lodging is fantastic.
It gets even better. Westin also operates a number of other resorts across the country, including one in Dubai which is the largest ice-skating rink in the Middle East. It’s easy to see why Dubai would want to have a Westin residence. Everything about this place seems to be designed for luxury and convenience. You would have to pay a bit more than you would at the other big resorts in case you want to partake in any activities other than skiing, but it’s totally worth it.
Where To Eat In Lake Tahoe?
While lodging is only one side of the vacation equation, eating out costs a lot more money. This is especially true in Lake Tahoe where you’ll spend a lot of time eating pizza and drinking beer. Because of this, it’s critical to plan out where you’ll spend your money and what you’ll spend your money on. This way, you’ll ensure that you have money left over to spend on the other parts of the trip.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a collection of restaurants and eateries from around the area that are worth your consideration. From pizza and pasta to Chinese and Thai food, there’s something here for everyone.