North Lake Tahoe is home to the greatest concentration of skiing in North America, so it is no surprise that most visitors spend their days carving corduroy on world-class slopes such as Northstar California, Palisades Tahoe, and Diamond Peak Ski Resort. For fans of skinny skis, resorts such as Royal Gorge have miles upon miles of groomed tracks begging to be explored. The appeal is easy to understand: there is no other place where skiers can snag powdery turns and sparkling lakeside views at the same time.
But, here’s the secret: there is more to North Lake Tahoe than just skiing. When you’re ready to trade in your planks for a pair of proper winter boots, read up on the region’s Traveler Responsibility Pledge and then check out our suggestions below. Here’s to creating a lifetime of memories!
Envision this: dancing snowflakes quietly falling upon Lake Tahoe before melting into the twinkling blue water. Truly, the lake itself is a highlight of the North Lake Tahoe region–and those are strong words coming from skiers!
For visitors looking for active fun underscored by scenic views, we recommend renting a pair of snowshoes from the Tahoe Adventure Company and heading out for a day filled with exploration. Families with children love building snowmen and snowshoeing around the small-and-local Speedboat Beach while folks ready to tackle longer adventures can enjoy the popular Page Meadows trail on the west side of the lake. There are very few places around the world where snow meets the shoreline, so soak in the unique surroundings and find a raging fire to cozy up to at the end of the day. Insider tip: The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village and Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort have spectacular fire pits!
Ask any kid ever and you’ll hear the same thing: there is no greater fun than a perfectly curated sledding hill! Fortunately, North Lake Tahoe has a number of established sledding hot spots like Granlibakken Tahoe and Tahoe City Winter Sports Park that carefully groom hills and offer sled rentals for the entire family. If you opt to spend the day zooming downhill, please mind your manners and follow the “slediquette” guidelines to ensure we all do our part to take care of the planet.
Are your child’s zoomies still at an all-time high? Take them ice skating! Local spots like the Village at Northstar Ice Skating Rink are free to the public (skate rentals not included) and a great place to meet up with friends while enjoying the evening stars above. Pro tip: It’s a lot quieter if you visit mid-week so ditch the weekend crowds if your schedule allows.
After hours packed with skiing, skating, sledding, and shoreline snowshoeing, we suspect you’ll have quite an appetite. Thankfully, diverse cuisine and nightlife are cornerstones of North Lake Tahoe. Both Jake’s on the Lake and Big Water Grille offer fine dining with sweeping views of the region; you’ll have to decide whether you want surf or turf to fill your belly. For visitors looking to carry the fun into the evening hours, hop over to the Fat Cat Bar & Grill for live music or the Crystal Bay Club & Casino for energetic dancing alongside your dining. With dozens of restaurant options stretched along the shore, we recommend picking a few favorites so you can try a new spot every night.
There are limitless ways to experience the beauty of North Lake Tahoe. Whatever combination of unforgettable winter activities you choose, you can also choose a hotel, rental property or resort that fits your unique style. Plan your visit now, know before you go and don’t miss out on a vacation that’s way more than just a ski trip.
North Lake Tahoe spans two states (Calif. and Nev.) and boasts two dozen beaches, 11 downhill ski resorts and 10 cross country ski areas, hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails, and communities filled with local artisans and shopping experiences. For more information, visit gotahoenorth.com.