Ryan’s guidebook

Ryan
Ryan’s guidebook

My favorite restaurants

There are an abundance of options when it comes to eating out at the Lake. Here's a few of my favorites.
This is probably my favorite restaurant in town. Grab a table on the upstairs patio, order a tasty craft beer and take in the view. The fish tacos are the best I've ever had, anywhere. Period.
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Freshies Restaurant & Bar
3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd
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This is probably my favorite restaurant in town. Grab a table on the upstairs patio, order a tasty craft beer and take in the view. The fish tacos are the best I've ever had, anywhere. Period.
The local's hang out, and a good one at that! Great breakfasts, big sandwiches and a full bar. They occasionally have live music in the adjoining dining area, too! A very family-friendly place.
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Casey's
212 Elks Point Rd
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The local's hang out, and a good one at that! Great breakfasts, big sandwiches and a full bar. They occasionally have live music in the adjoining dining area, too! A very family-friendly place.
A hip and vibrant sushi joint conveniently located just over the state line. They have consistently good food and a big local following. This place can get busy on the weekends!
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The Naked Fish
3940 Lake Tahoe Blvd
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A hip and vibrant sushi joint conveniently located just over the state line. They have consistently good food and a big local following. This place can get busy on the weekends!
Another trendy restaurant, but one that hits the mark when it comes to the food. Sizable portions of great Mexican dishes in a fun atmosphere. They serve monster-sized margaritas here. You've been warned!
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Azul-Latin Kitchen
1001 Heavenly Village Way
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Another trendy restaurant, but one that hits the mark when it comes to the food. Sizable portions of great Mexican dishes in a fun atmosphere. They serve monster-sized margaritas here. You've been warned!
Great burgers, outdoor seating and tasty beers make for a great lunch or dinner option. There's almost always live music here.
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California Burger Company
1001 Heavenly Village Way
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Great burgers, outdoor seating and tasty beers make for a great lunch or dinner option. There's almost always live music here.
Just down the road at Stateline, this joint serves up traditional Thai dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. I'll usually order ahead and take it to go as it's pretty close to the house.
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My Thai & Noodle
177 US-50
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Just down the road at Stateline, this joint serves up traditional Thai dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. I'll usually order ahead and take it to go as it's pretty close to the house.
Incredibly popular, Base Camp has consistently good pizza. Another gem in the Heavenly Village, just over Stateline.
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Base Camp Pizza Co.
1001 Heavenly Village Way
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Incredibly popular, Base Camp has consistently good pizza. Another gem in the Heavenly Village, just over Stateline.
Located 5 minutes from the house in the Roundhill Mall, this is the closest sushi restaurant to the property (There's 3 within 10 minutes of your front door!).
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Harumi Sushi
212 Elks Point Rd
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Located 5 minutes from the house in the Roundhill Mall, this is the closest sushi restaurant to the property (There's 3 within 10 minutes of your front door!).
The newest restaurant in town. I haven't made it there yet, but it gets rave reviews. It's right down the road from the house (next to Harumi Sushi).
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Los Mexicanos
3564 Lake Tahoe Blvd
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The newest restaurant in town. I haven't made it there yet, but it gets rave reviews. It's right down the road from the house (next to Harumi Sushi).
A Tahoe tradition! Awesome quick-bite haven with delicious (and healthy!) menu options. Outdoor seating is available, or alternatively, take your order to go and walk down to the beach. Great smoothies!
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Sprouts Café
3123 Harrison Ave
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A Tahoe tradition! Awesome quick-bite haven with delicious (and healthy!) menu options. Outdoor seating is available, or alternatively, take your order to go and walk down to the beach. Great smoothies!

My favorite bars

Life at the Lake lends itself to apres-play brews and cocktails enjoyed in the company of friends. Here's a few of my favorite watering holes.
Now, this is a bit of a drive. Ok, it's actually pretty far. But, it is BY FAR the best bar in the area. It has a small but excellent rotating selection of craft brews, a full bar, outdoor seating, and great live music. It's always hopping and it's THE local's choice for post-fun fun. An expensive Uber, but by far my favorite place to grab a (real) pint. Designate a driver and check it out!
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The Divided Sky
El Dorado Freeway
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Now, this is a bit of a drive. Ok, it's actually pretty far. But, it is BY FAR the best bar in the area. It has a small but excellent rotating selection of craft brews, a full bar, outdoor seating, and great live music. It's always hopping and it's THE local's choice for post-fun fun. An expensive Uber, but by far my favorite place to grab a (real) pint. Designate a driver and check it out!
Another local favorite, close to home. Good grub, draft beers, and a lively vibe make this a good choice. Somewhat of a local tradition for apres ski drinks if you're skiing at Heavenly.
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Mott Canyon Tavern & Grill
259 NV-207
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Another local favorite, close to home. Good grub, draft beers, and a lively vibe make this a good choice. Somewhat of a local tradition for apres ski drinks if you're skiing at Heavenly.
You have to love the chill atmosphere and friendly staff here. They have some good draft beer, a full bar, and live music. It's really close to home and has good food to boot! Family friendly and a great option after hanging out at Nevada Beach, which is within walking and biking distance.
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Casey's
212 Elks Point Rd
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You have to love the chill atmosphere and friendly staff here. They have some good draft beer, a full bar, and live music. It's really close to home and has good food to boot! Family friendly and a great option after hanging out at Nevada Beach, which is within walking and biking distance.
Often overlooked, but well worth a visit, this establishment also has a high(er) end restaurant. The bar is unassuming and friendly with a full bar, draft beer, and a fairly extensive wine list. This is really convenient when staying at the cabin.
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Toast Tahoe
605 US-50
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Often overlooked, but well worth a visit, this establishment also has a high(er) end restaurant. The bar is unassuming and friendly with a full bar, draft beer, and a fairly extensive wine list. This is really convenient when staying at the cabin.
The closest bar to the house. 3 minutes from the front door, this is really a restaurant with a small bar attached to it. But, you can't beat the location. It's a 30 second stroll to the sand and the water. Busy during the summer (especially on weekends), it may be best to try to Uber it here as parking can be an issue. Or, spend the day at the beach here and pop in whenever you feel like it.
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Zephyr Cove Restaurant
760 US-50
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The closest bar to the house. 3 minutes from the front door, this is really a restaurant with a small bar attached to it. But, you can't beat the location. It's a 30 second stroll to the sand and the water. Busy during the summer (especially on weekends), it may be best to try to Uber it here as parking can be an issue. Or, spend the day at the beach here and pop in whenever you feel like it.
Right on the water at the Ski Run Marina, Riva is a standout establishment known for it's Wet Woody cocktail and quality food. Hit it up on Wednesdays for excellent drink specials. Busy on the weekends, but worth the wait.
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Riva Grill On the Lake
900 Ski Run Blvd
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Right on the water at the Ski Run Marina, Riva is a standout establishment known for it's Wet Woody cocktail and quality food. Hit it up on Wednesdays for excellent drink specials. Busy on the weekends, but worth the wait.
On the South Shore lies this idyllic spot, right on the sandy shore of Lake Tahoe. Good food, great Rum Runners and exceptional views, the Beacon usually has live music. Link this spot up with a day at Kiva Beach for a great slice of Tahoe's finest.
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Beacon Bar & Grill
1900 Jameson Beach Rd
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On the South Shore lies this idyllic spot, right on the sandy shore of Lake Tahoe. Good food, great Rum Runners and exceptional views, the Beacon usually has live music. Link this spot up with a day at Kiva Beach for a great slice of Tahoe's finest.
The 'local's' casino. Well priced drinks, liberal slots and always bustling. This has been a traditional location to start off a night out for years. Many end up returning in the wee hours to get one last cocktail before bed. Open 24 hours.
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Lakeside Casino station
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The 'local's' casino. Well priced drinks, liberal slots and always bustling. This has been a traditional location to start off a night out for years. Many end up returning in the wee hours to get one last cocktail before bed. Open 24 hours.

My favorite beaches

There are some world class lounging spots around the lake. All of them with mind numbing views. Here's a few.
The most popular beach on the east shore, and with good reason. A large beach with full amenities, including a resatuarant, bar, and dock. Rent paddle boards, take a paddle-boat cruise, or play volleyball, this spot has it all. Including the crowds. Go early to get a parking spot and stake out you patch of paradise. Less than 5 minutes from your front door.
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Zephyr Cove Resort
760 US-50
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The most popular beach on the east shore, and with good reason. A large beach with full amenities, including a resatuarant, bar, and dock. Rent paddle boards, take a paddle-boat cruise, or play volleyball, this spot has it all. Including the crowds. Go early to get a parking spot and stake out you patch of paradise. Less than 5 minutes from your front door.
My favorite of the "big" beaches on this side of the Lake. Ample parking, ease of access to amenities such as a supermarket and restaurants, and outstanding views are among the draws to this beautiful beach. Hit up Safeway for snacks before you head down to the water.
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Nevada Beach Campground
Bittlers Road
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My favorite of the "big" beaches on this side of the Lake. Ample parking, ease of access to amenities such as a supermarket and restaurants, and outstanding views are among the draws to this beautiful beach. Hit up Safeway for snacks before you head down to the water.
Just 15 minutes north of the house is this gem of a State Park. Amazing setting with beautiful walking paths, a snack shop and pavilion, and excellent photo opportunities. Not to mention a great, sandy beach! Go early to get a parking spot, or alternatively wait out the crowds until just before sunset and get in when everyone's leaving. The sunsets here are world-class.
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Sand Harbor Rentals
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Just 15 minutes north of the house is this gem of a State Park. Amazing setting with beautiful walking paths, a snack shop and pavilion, and excellent photo opportunities. Not to mention a great, sandy beach! Go early to get a parking spot, or alternatively wait out the crowds until just before sunset and get in when everyone's leaving. The sunsets here are world-class.
This little State Park is a stone's throw (albeit a looong throw!) from the house. It's a 30 second drive, tops. You can walk there, but the highway can be downright treacherous during peak tourist season. A small beach with picnic tables and bbq facilities, along with a boat launch and paddle board rentals make this the best bet for a convenient trip to the Lake. You can easily combine a hike to the top of Cave Rock with a trip to the beach in a leisurely afternoon. I love this spot.
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Cave Rock
1430 US-50
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This little State Park is a stone's throw (albeit a looong throw!) from the house. It's a 30 second drive, tops. You can walk there, but the highway can be downright treacherous during peak tourist season. A small beach with picnic tables and bbq facilities, along with a boat launch and paddle board rentals make this the best bet for a convenient trip to the Lake. You can easily combine a hike to the top of Cave Rock with a trip to the beach in a leisurely afternoon. I love this spot.
This is probably my favorite beach on the South Shore. It has epic views of Mt. Tallac, a chill family-friendly vibe and free parking. The water tends to be warmer here which makes it a great place to swim. Check out the Beacon for a sunset cocktail on your way back!
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Kiva Beach
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This is probably my favorite beach on the South Shore. It has epic views of Mt. Tallac, a chill family-friendly vibe and free parking. The water tends to be warmer here which makes it a great place to swim. Check out the Beacon for a sunset cocktail on your way back!
Also located on the South Shore, Camp Rich is a famously laid-back locale. It features a good restaurant (the Beacon), bike trails, a dock, paddle boat rentals and a good amount of parking.
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Camp Richardson Resort Beach
1902-3098 Jameson Beach Rd
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Also located on the South Shore, Camp Rich is a famously laid-back locale. It features a good restaurant (the Beacon), bike trails, a dock, paddle boat rentals and a good amount of parking.

Standout activities.

There's no end of things to do here at the lake. I've narrowed it down to some of my favorites, including some of the most popular for people visiting from out-of-town.
If you're looking for epic views of the lake and the mountains, this is your jam. The gondola departs from the Heavenly Village, which is a 10 minute drive from the house. Paid parking is available in the garage behind the Village. Don't park in the Raley's lot across the street! YOU WILL get towed and/or ticketed.
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Heavenly Gondola
4080 Lake Tahoe Boulevard
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If you're looking for epic views of the lake and the mountains, this is your jam. The gondola departs from the Heavenly Village, which is a 10 minute drive from the house. Paid parking is available in the garage behind the Village. Don't park in the Raley's lot across the street! YOU WILL get towed and/or ticketed.
One of the very best easy trails in the area. The trailhead starts at Emerald Bay. It's a relatively gentle mile to the lake, but don't under-estimate the fact that you're at over 6,000'. It's best to get an early start as parking is limited. Definitely pack a lunch and keep a keen eye out for eagles!
Eagle Lake Trail
Eagle Lake Trail
One of the very best easy trails in the area. The trailhead starts at Emerald Bay. It's a relatively gentle mile to the lake, but don't under-estimate the fact that you're at over 6,000'. It's best to get an early start as parking is limited. Definitely pack a lunch and keep a keen eye out for eagles!
A historic landmark, Vikingsholm was built in 1929 as a summer home for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. It's well worth a trip, even if you don't pay the $10 for the tour. A short walk brings you to the edge of Emerald Bay, with astounding views.
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Vikingsholm
California 89
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A historic landmark, Vikingsholm was built in 1929 as a summer home for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. It's well worth a trip, even if you don't pay the $10 for the tour. A short walk brings you to the edge of Emerald Bay, with astounding views.
This is a great way to get on the water and really experience Lake Tahoe. Plus, it's literally 30 seconds from the front door at Cave Rock State Park. Day Go offers top-of-the-line Hobie equipment so you're sure to find whatever personal watercraft that suits your needs. Early mornings are your best bet to get flat water; afternoons can bring wind and waves. Check the local weather forecasts before booking.
Day Go Adventures
Nevada 28
This is a great way to get on the water and really experience Lake Tahoe. Plus, it's literally 30 seconds from the front door at Cave Rock State Park. Day Go offers top-of-the-line Hobie equipment so you're sure to find whatever personal watercraft that suits your needs. Early mornings are your best bet to get flat water; afternoons can bring wind and waves. Check the local weather forecasts before booking.
Located just outside the quaint town of Markleeville, this little hot spring boasts great views at a good price. There's a few trails in the area and a couple of restaurants back in town worth visiting, too. Unpretentious and family friendly.
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Grover Hot Springs State Park
3415 Hot Springs Rd
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Located just outside the quaint town of Markleeville, this little hot spring boasts great views at a good price. There's a few trails in the area and a couple of restaurants back in town worth visiting, too. Unpretentious and family friendly.
A new and welcome addition to South Lake Tahoe, this is a great way to work out the driving/flying/travelling kinks. Super friendly staff and a variety of classes make a trip to this side of town worthwhile.
Blue Granite Climbing Gym
1259 Emerald Bay Rd
A new and welcome addition to South Lake Tahoe, this is a great way to work out the driving/flying/travelling kinks. Super friendly staff and a variety of classes make a trip to this side of town worthwhile.
I mention Zephyr Cove Resort in this section as they offer quite a few recreational activities. There's volleyball, paddleboat rentals, paddle wheeler cruises (on the MS Dixie II), and horseback riding, just to name a few.
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Zephyr Cove Resort
760 US-50
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I mention Zephyr Cove Resort in this section as they offer quite a few recreational activities. There's volleyball, paddleboat rentals, paddle wheeler cruises (on the MS Dixie II), and horseback riding, just to name a few.
Stunning is the word that comes to mind when I think of Hope Valley in it's fall colors. But, it's also gorgeous any time of year and the wildflowers in this area can be stunning. Worth the trip by itself, it's especially gratifying when linked with a side trip to Grover Hot Springs which is another 20 minutes or so down the road.
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Hope Valley
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Stunning is the word that comes to mind when I think of Hope Valley in it's fall colors. But, it's also gorgeous any time of year and the wildflowers in this area can be stunning. Worth the trip by itself, it's especially gratifying when linked with a side trip to Grover Hot Springs which is another 20 minutes or so down the road.
The centerpiece of the Tahoe skyline, Tallac beckons when viewed from the east shore. It's no joke - you need to be fit and prepared - but the views are world-class from the summit. The trail starts steep and pretty much stays steep. Buy a map (or download one to your phone), bring layers, plenty of water, and a hat. And start early!
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Mount Tallac Trail
Mount Tallac Trail
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The centerpiece of the Tahoe skyline, Tallac beckons when viewed from the east shore. It's no joke - you need to be fit and prepared - but the views are world-class from the summit. The trail starts steep and pretty much stays steep. Buy a map (or download one to your phone), bring layers, plenty of water, and a hat. And start early!
What can possibly beat an outdoor concert at Lake Tahoe in the summer? Especially when its less than 10 minutes from home?! Check their website for upcoming shows. A no-brainer Uber option.
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Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena
50 Stateline Ave
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What can possibly beat an outdoor concert at Lake Tahoe in the summer? Especially when its less than 10 minutes from home?! Check their website for upcoming shows. A no-brainer Uber option.
This venue wins the local vote for best music venue at the Lake. They bring in terrific talent and the Crown Room offers an intimate experience. This is about 30 minutes from the house, depending on traffic.
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Crystal Bay Casino
14 NV-28
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This venue wins the local vote for best music venue at the Lake. They bring in terrific talent and the Crown Room offers an intimate experience. This is about 30 minutes from the house, depending on traffic.

My favorite ski resorts

The skiing in and around the Lake Tahoe basin is some of the best in the world. Boasting one of the deepest snowpacks anywhere, skiers and boarders flock from around the globe to the numerous ski resorts that dot the mountains in a relatively tight geographic area. Here are a few of my favorites:
The closest ski resort to the cabin and one of the best. You have multiple options when you choose to ski at Heavenly. California or Nevada? Gondola or tram? Or ski lift? Steep or mellow? It's a massive resort with equally massive views...
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Heavenly Mountain Resort
4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd
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The closest ski resort to the cabin and one of the best. You have multiple options when you choose to ski at Heavenly. California or Nevada? Gondola or tram? Or ski lift? Steep or mellow? It's a massive resort with equally massive views...
My favorite ski resort in the area. Famous for its deep snowpack and steep terrain, Kirkwood is many a local's favorite in-bounds playground. Give yourself plenty of time to get there on a powder day as the highway can be treacherous and slow-going.
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Kirkwood Mountain Resort
1501 Kirkwood Meadows Dr
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My favorite ski resort in the area. Famous for its deep snowpack and steep terrain, Kirkwood is many a local's favorite in-bounds playground. Give yourself plenty of time to get there on a powder day as the highway can be treacherous and slow-going.
A great family-friendly resort with pretty good terrain, too. It's small enough to feel quaint, but big enough that you get a good range of green, blue and black runs.
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Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort
1111 Sierra-At-Tahoe Rd
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A great family-friendly resort with pretty good terrain, too. It's small enough to feel quaint, but big enough that you get a good range of green, blue and black runs.
Mt. Rose has the unique distinction of having Tahoe's only above-tree-line skiing. Add the gnarly double black diamond "Chutes" and you have a lot of variety in a fairly small package. Unpretentious and with a high base elevation, Mt. Rose is worth a visit.
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Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe
22222 NV-431
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Mt. Rose has the unique distinction of having Tahoe's only above-tree-line skiing. Add the gnarly double black diamond "Chutes" and you have a lot of variety in a fairly small package. Unpretentious and with a high base elevation, Mt. Rose is worth a visit.
Famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley has maintained it's reputation for high-level terrain for decades. It's a bit further afield than some of the other resorts mentioned, but it's probably the single best resort in the area in terms of terrain and facilities. Crowds and traffic can be issues on weekends and holidays. Plan ahead and get an early start if you're heading there on either.
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Squaw Valley Adventure Center
1960 Squaw Valley Rd
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Famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley has maintained it's reputation for high-level terrain for decades. It's a bit further afield than some of the other resorts mentioned, but it's probably the single best resort in the area in terms of terrain and facilities. Crowds and traffic can be issues on weekends and holidays. Plan ahead and get an early start if you're heading there on either.
A great resort with a great snowpack, I love Sugar Bowl. It's a bit of a drive from the cabin, but the distinct lack of cat-tracks and an abundance of powder are a strong draw...
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Sugar Bowl Resort
629 Sugar Bowl Rd
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A great resort with a great snowpack, I love Sugar Bowl. It's a bit of a drive from the cabin, but the distinct lack of cat-tracks and an abundance of powder are a strong draw...