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Holiday Getaways- Lake Tahoe

Updated on January 13, 2015

Come December, Lake Tahoe transforms into a beautiful paradise with snow clad mountains, frozen water bodies and beautiful christmas trees dotting the landscape. Tahoe is covered in a thick white blanket of snow with temperatures dropping to a freezing -11℃ .

This place is a must visit during the winter months of December- March if you are a skiing enthusiast or simply enjoy snow boarding, since aside from the spectacular sights, there are all kinds of snow activities going on in full swing.

Located on the borders of California and Nevada, the magnificent lake for the most part of it, remains frozen, and offers limited access for visit during the freezing months, but opens up gates to many other activities in its vicinity. If you are visiting the place from Northern California, it is an easy 6 hour drive and is a great driving experience.

I just returned from my visit to the place and never in my life have I felt an emptiness simply from returning home from a vacation so special. For my husband and I, it was our first time witnessing a heavy snowfall and all the magical moments, and all I can say is that we truly enjoyed our trip. For most part of our holiday, we stayed in South Lake Tahoe and just could not get enough of the place so we decided to stay put for the rest of our journey.

Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort
Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort
Lake Tahoe at Sunset
Lake Tahoe at Sunset

Accommodations

South Lake Tahoe has every kind of accommodation from casino hotels, to smaller hotels, to motels and even private homes or condos. It is best to book ahead and go through reviews of many of these hotels in order to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. You may want to book your stay at one of the casino hotels for most part of your holiday to enjoy the best in entertainment. Mont Bleu, Harrah’s, Hard Rock and Lakeview offer great stay options and have good spas and casinos. You could also consider Holiday Inn Express, Fantasy Inn, Fireside Lodge etc, not very far from Heavenly’s Gondola Rides for a relaxed and romantic stay.

Mont Bleu, South Lake Tahoe
Mont Bleu, South Lake Tahoe

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Eating Out

South Lake Tahoe offers some amazing dining options at both big and small restaurants. A tiny quaint cafe may also surprise you at times with its catchy title and great breakfast/lunch options. There are some restaurants that have a unique European touch, and offer cuisines that fully satisfy the gastronomical quests of both meat lovers and vegetarians. The impeccable guest services and the ambience of these restaurants makes the experience even more memorable.

If you are feeling like having a pizza for dinner and want to enjoy some live music by the fire, go to Base Camp Pizza, a rugged restaurant at the base of Heavenly’s Gondola rides. This place offers you amazing Italian pizzas with the luxury of a live band performance.

If you want to spend a romantic evening in the backdrop of the lake, reserve a table at the Edgewood restaurant which provides a beautiful ambience and a great dining experience.


*Try the Warm Pear Crisp at Base Camp Pizza, an absolute delight and my personal favorite among the desserts.

*Do not miss the creamy Pesto Mozzarella Bagel at Rude Brothers Bagels, a great breakfast cafe to sit and discuss the day’s itinerary.

Beautiful Christmas Decoration
Beautiful Christmas Decoration

*Keys Cafe is a must visit to enjoy the mouthwatering Reuben Pastrami sandwich.

*Dine at Scusa Ristorante and enjoy a glass of red wine with their creamy Lobster Ravioli, and Cheesecake with a Brûlée and Caramel Sauce for dessert.

Trailhead of Hope Valley
Trailhead of Hope Valley

Things to do

Book a cruise through Lake Tahoe Cruises and take home some great memories while cruising through the cold waters of Lake Tahoe. The ship offers a beautiful fine dining experience and spectacular sights of Emerald Bay and Zephyr Cove, and the snow clad mountains.

A Nearly Frozen Lake
A Nearly Frozen Lake

Snowmobiling

At about 8, 000 feet above sea level, this experience is totally worth your money. It is a winter wonderland. As beginners, riding over thick surface of snow can be a little intimidating, but as you gradually make headway and get a hang of the vehicle, it is much easier and tons of fun. Also, this adventure activity involves a knowledgeable guide, who familiarizes you with the vehicle and the route leading up to the mountain before the journey commences.

If you are lucky enough, you also get the opportunity to experience heavy snow fall during the journey which makes the experience all the more magical and enjoyable.

Mountain Slopes Covered in Thick Snow
Mountain Slopes Covered in Thick Snow

*Make sure to wear a helmet, waterproof jacket and pants, snow boots, gloves and a face mask, since it can be really chilly up there.

Snow Tubing/Sledding

If you enjoy the adrenaline rush of any kind, snow tubing and sledding are great snow activities to be also enjoyed with your family. Once you get on the snow tub, it is not easy getting off, since the thrill of sliding off the smooth surface of snow makes it addictive and you want to do it over and over again.

Sledding is also fun, but can be a little risky since the sled more often than not, lands over the thick pile of snow bordering the other lanes.

Snow Tubing at Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe
Snow Tubing at Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe

*Go snow tubing with Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe. The rates are very reasonable and worth it.

Snow Tubing at Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe

Gondola Rides

Heavenly’s scenic Gondola Rides are a 2.4 mile ride up the Heavenly Mountain and are a must visit. The journey is breathtaking and offers panoramic views of the snow covered mountains and the picturesque lake in the background.

The ride stops at the observation deck which is located at 9,000 feet, before it finally reaches to the top of the mountain.

Once you are there, indulge in a thrilling ski adventure for an entire day on the challenging slopes or just walk around and absorb the thin crisp air.

Breathtaking View of Gondola Rides
Breathtaking View of Gondola Rides

Skiing/Snow Boarding

You just cannot do Tahoe without doing it's skiing adventures. While Heavenly offers some amazing skiing facilities, it is probably a little expensive for those trying their hands at skiing for the first time.

Indulge in an exciting day of snow boarding or skiing at Kirkwood Mountain Resort located in Kirkwood. The resort offers great programs for kids, adults, private and women. The challenging and adventurous terrain of Kirkwood does provide a very rewarding experience at the end of the day.

*Take the beginner’s lessons at Kirkwood Mountain Resort if you are skiing for the first time. All the programs offer ski gear and an expert to teach you the basics.

Skiing Sessions at Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Skiing Sessions at Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Lake Tahoe truly is an excellent place to visit and spend quality time with your loved ones. It is amazing how wonderfully the place transforms and shifts in accordance with the seasons.

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    • profile image

      Mohtashim 2 years ago

      wow, I'd love to there and try Skiing :)

    • Caroline Andrade profile image
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      Caroline andrade 2 years ago from San Jose, California

      Yes it truly is an amazing place to try skiing! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Lakshmi 20 months ago

      Its very nice

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