My family and I just got back from the best week in Lake Tahoe, California and I wanted to give you all the details in case you are planning a trip!
Shop the Look
Lake Tahoe is stunning! The trees are unreal the scenery when skiing down the mountain allows you to view the lake! It is just overall gorgeous!
This was my third time (I think) in Tahoe but first time skiing at Heavenly ski resort where we skied. My parents used to live in San Francisco (this is where they got married) and they used to come to Lake Tahoe every weekend! It is a little bit of a further flight from the east coast where they currently live so we don’t make it back as often but it sure is beautiful!
Why Lake Tahoe
The views of Tahoe are incredible and so picturesque. Lake Tahoe is 36 cubic miles and there are a few ski resorts that sit on different sides of the lake. It really depends on where you fly into which might make the most sense. We flew into Reno, Nevada and drove about an hour and a half to Heavenly. I am going to call out a few that we have been to and where we went this trip!
Heavenly: This is where we skiied this trip! I will say that this is not a beginner mountain there are virtually no greens on this mountain and some lifts don’t even access blue at all. We loved this mountain because our family has been skiing a long time but just keep that in mind when you are choosing a spot. This mountain also sits on the edge of California and Nevada so you are constantly skiing between the two states all day which is fun! There is a cute village at the bottom and you take a gondola up to the main lifts (view above).
NorthStar: We have skiied NorthStar in the past. It is on the north side of the lake and sits in California. There is a small village here with a variety of hotels! It still has the same picturesque views!
Homewood: This was my parents favorite place to ski when they used to live here! The lift tickets are cheaper than some of the bigger mountains but it is a much smaller mountain. There is no where to really stay at the base.
There are a ton of others too you can look at! We have also skiied Palisades (formerly Squaw Valley) and loved that too!
Where to Stay
Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe
We stayed at the Marriott that is at the base of the main ski lodge at Heavenly ski resort. My parents got a two bedroom suite for the six of us and it had two bedrooms (one bedroom with two queens) a living room and full kitchen. We also had access to a heated outdoor pool and a hot tub. The heated pool was great because that’s not something that is typical in a ski village!
This hotel sits at the base of the main gondola that takes you up the mountain to ski at Heavenly. All the mountains are like this with the gondola because the resorts are at the base of the mountain and the weather is too hot most of the year to ski straight down into the village.
We didn’t realize this when we booked a “ski in and ski out” hotel. We have stayed at true ski in and ski out hotels in the past and to me that means you ski down to your hotel. The gondola is almost like a bus to me and we one day stood in a line of about 2,000 people for 20 minutes to get down to the base of the mountain. It was a bite of a hassle but it moved quickly and after researching the other resorts this is pretty typical for Tahoe. Just something to keep in mind!
The little village we stayed in had some cute restaurants and outdoor live music. We enjoyed Fire & Ice the most! We actually didn’t eat any meals out though which was amazing. There is a grocery store not even 100 yards from the hotel that was super easy to walk to. We got groceries for every meal and cooked everything at home! My parents love to cook so this was perfect for us.
Other Things to Do
If you aren’t a big skiier, there are still other things to do that we enjoyed on days that we weren’t skiing. We cross country skiied at Camp Richardson where they offer snow shoe and cross country ski rentals and course. This is big to look for if you are planning on renting equipment, there are a lot of trails in the area if you start searching but be on the lookout for places that provide day rentals and trails. I’m including the trail map here! We cross country skied the bottom 3 mile loop and my parents the next day snow shoed the lake loop and then had a drink at the Beacon Bar and Grill on the water.
I had never cross country skied before so I wasn’t sure what it would be like. I pictured it like polling when you are stuck on a straight path when skiing. It is absolutely nothing like that and so much easier. Your back foot is not connected giving you momentum to push yourself forward almost like an elliptical. It was SO FUN!
It was also an affordable way to breakup the trip since my parents and I didn’t have an interest in skiing three full days (hello sore knees). So this was a fun way to get us outside and still enjoying the scenery. As opposed to an expensive lift ticket, cross country skiing was only $19 for the rental and the trail pass. SCORE!
How to Stay Warm on the Slopes
I hate being cold and if I get cold I’m cranky and no one needs a cranky Zo on the mountain ruining the day for everyone. SO I’ve figured out the master system to stay warm on the slopes! The only thing that is different in this graphic than I actually wore is mittens haha. I didn’t pack up the ski stuff at my parents house and I was stuck with mittens instead of gloves but I actually LOVE them so much more they keep your hands so warm. So I’m also linking you some mittens 😉
I love to have a fleece as my base layer because you can zip it all the way to the top and it will keep your neck warm! The North Face Fleeces are my favorite.
This jacket I found on eBay (it’s still on there!) I bought it a few years ago and I highly recommend North Face 3-in-1 Jackets because you get three jackets for the price of one. It has a shell water resistant jacket that can be worn alone on warmer days or it can be zipped into the down warm jacket to become one big coat with the best of both worlds.
I got my googles on Amazon and they were so cute! I love how reflective they were and they didn’t fog up at all. So much more affordable than some other options.
I’m including my hats but more for après ski I 1000% believe that every . single . person skiing or snowboarding or even walking on a mountain needs a helmet. Please be smart!!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this helps you figure out your next trip to Tahoe!