Winter Vacation, Lake Tahoe-Style from Outside elessard Tom Bettenhausen

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Looking for the ultimate winter getaway? With access to multiple ski areas, tons of public lands for on-the-snow adventures, and exciting village and town hubs filled with dining, nightlife, and entertainment options, the South Shore of Lake Tahoe is hard to beat. We tapped the pros at Visit Lake Tahoe for their recs. 

Outside: What makes the South Shore of Lake Tahoe a fun winter vacation destination?

Visit Lake Tahoe: With 300-plus days of sunshine per year and incredible West Coast snow, winter on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe is “Awe and then Some.” You can enjoy skiing and snowboarding with epic lake views and blue skies. Or go sledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. When the sun goes down, the South Shore of Lake Tahoe is not a sleepy town. We have amazing dining and bars, along with shows at Tahoe Blue Event Center and gaming. You’ll never run out of things to do.

Winter on the south shore of Lake Tahoe is “Awe and then Some”. (Photo: Visit Lake Tahoe)

What are some unique winter activities visitors can enjoy in Lake Tahoe?

Skiing and snowboarding are obviously key activities at Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Sierra-at-Tahoe. But there are plenty of winter activities for anyone who doesn’t want to strap in on the slopes every day. Here are some favorites: 

Tubing and sledding: Head to Adventure Mountain, Tube Tahoe, or Tahoe Snowmobiles Tubing Hill for top-notch sledding experiences. These sledding and snow-play areas provide rental equipment and groomed runs so you can maximize your fun. Or go the DIY route. Lots of local shops rent durable sleds that you can take out to nearby sledding hills at Sawmill Pond or Kahle Park. 
Ice skating at Heavenly Village and Edgewood: For a magical skating experience (think mountain views during the day and twinkling lights at night), check out the outdoor rinks at Heavenly Village and Edgewood. Both rinks offer rentals and nearby vendors with snacks and drinks. Looking for an indoor option? The South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena has you covered.
Snowshoeing along the shore: Experience Lake Tahoe’s backcountry on snowshoes. The area has tons of trails suitable for winter snowshoe adventures. Trails are rated similar to ski runs, from easy green options to black diamond trails and everything in between. Pick up rental equipment at a local shop in town, then hit the trail to explore. 
Snowmobiling with Zephyr Cove Resort or Lake Tahoe Adventures: Add a little adrenaline to your adventure with a guided snowmobile tour. You’ll cruise through snowy alpine meadows en route to panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.
Cross-country skiing at Camp Richardson: Ask any Lake Tahoe local for the beta on cross-country skiing and they’ll tell you Camp Richardson is the place to be. The resort offers 6.2 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails right on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. The on-site rental shop has everything you need to get out on the snow.
There is a wide variety of fun winter activities in Lake Tahoe. (Photo: Visit Lake Tahoe)

What kind of off-the-snow adventures should visitors make time for when they’re in Lake Tahoe?

When you’re on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, we have the benefit of straddling the California-Nevada border, so you get a mix of nightlife and gaming with other family-friendly activities. I definitely recommend taking advantage of both options. Here are some of my top picks: 

For nightlife and entertainment, check out concerts, comedy shows, and sporting events at the Tahoe Blue Event Center.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, taste-test your way around the South Shore on the Beer Trail.
Relax with a massage or facial at a local spa
Shop for art and locally made goods.

Whatever activities you’re interested in, there are accommodations to suit your trip—from luxurious meals and spa treatments at the Edgewood Resort to gaming and live music at Bally’s and the Golden Nugget.

Lake Tahoe has a mix of nightlife, gaming, and family-friendly activities. (Photo: Visit Lake Tahoe)

How easy is it to visit Lake Tahoe? 

Very easy! From San Francisco or Sacramento, you can get to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe by car with an easy drive up Highway 80 and Highway 50. If you’re from farther away, the Reno Tahoe International Airport is the easiest way to fly in from cities around the world. When you land at the airport, either rent a car or take the South Tahoe Airporter over the mountains. You’ll be here in no time at all. Once you’re here, much of the South Shore is walkable or accessible via LakeLink, rideshares, and taxis.

What are some things you want visitors to know before they come to Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe really is a wonder of the world. It’s the largest alpine lake in North America and has tremendous clarity—you can see as far down as 70 feet deep in the lake! When you’re here enjoying all that natural beauty, visitors and locals all need to work together to protect the awe. Check out Visit Lake Tahoe’s five Rules to Lake By that make everyone’s experience special and beautiful. As a local, my hope is that everyone can follow these simple guidelines to preserve the lake for future generations.

Visit Lake Tahoe welcomes you to come alive on the South Shore. Experience the awe of North America’s largest alpine lake alongside nightlife, spas, breweries, snow sports, and so much more. It’s Awe and then Some.

The post Winter Vacation, Lake Tahoe-Style appeared first on Outside Online.

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