Tahoe ski resorts are just one attraction at this great ski town. This Tahoe review covers Tahoe skiing and more Tahoe things to do.
Location: Tahoe is located on the border of California and Nevada. Not counting heavy traffic especially on weekends, it’s about a 4 hour drive from San Francisco, 2 hours from Sacramento or 45 minutes from Reno. The most popular nearby major airports for your Tahoe ski vacation are Reno-Tahoe International (KRNO) or Sacramento International (KSMF).
Weather: For Tahoe skiing, keep in mind that the snow falls from about November through April. January is the coldest month with an average daily high of about 40 and a low of 15. Summer temperatures normally range from about 75 to 40. Don’t expect to swim in Lake Tahoe unless maybe with a wetsuit. It never freezes but surface temperatures are about 40 to 65.
Tahoe Ski Resorts: The major Tahoe ski resorts include Heavenly Mountain, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Sugar Bowl. Heavenly Mountain and Squaw Valley are huge. Kirkwood gets the most snow and has some of the best views of the Sierras. Kirkwood lets you get away from the crowds, but it’s mostly intermediate and advanced terrain.
Lodging: There’s a wide range of choices for your Tahoe ski vacation including budget motels, casino hotels, timeshares, and other rental properties. Harvey’s (Highway 50 and Stateline Avenue) is one of the best casino hotels. There’s also a convenient Heavenly Sports Embassy Suites (4130 Lake Tahoe Boulevard).
Tahoe Things to Do: While Tahoe skiing is a major attraction, no Tahoe review would be complete without mentioning all the other outdoor sports including hiking, boating, and horseback riding. Gambling is legal on the Nevada side. The casinos look like casinos, but the atmosphere seems practically wholesome compared to Vegas. For fine dining, there’s Evan’s American Gourmet Café in an intimate little cottage (536 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe); or Mirabelle for good French food if you ignore the surrounding strip mall (290 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline). There are lots of mediocre restaurants geared towards tourism, and even bad restaurants get crowded on weekends. Some local favorites for cheap eats include Sprouts Natural Foods Café with lots of vegetarian options and fresh juices (3123 Harrison Avenue, South Lake Tahoe); and Freshies with great fish tacos and options for vegans and the gluten free (3330 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe). So you can eat healthy on your Tahoe ski vacation.