Do you have one of those places you like to go that refreshes you? A place that makes all the stresses and struggles of daily life just melt away for a few days… your happy place! For me, it’s Lake Tahoe. No matter the season, there is no place that makes me feel more relaxed than here.
My family and I just got back from 3 days in Lake Tahoe and let me just say… if you haven’t been there lately in the Winter, THIS is the year you must go. Thanks to the numerous California storms we’ve had this January, the mountains are covered in many feet of fluffy snow. It was the most snow I’ve ever seen, and even though we don’t ski, we certainly had the time of our lives playing in it!
We made the 7 hour drive, with my sister, her husband and two kids caravaning behind us. The car was stuffed with bulky cold weather luggage, lots of snacks, tablets and movies. We managed to make the 7 hour drive go pretty quickly and we rewarded at the first site of snow as we began to gain altitude. I was amazed at how quickly the snow increased and how much there was, especially at the highest elevation. Yes, I was raised near the beach all my life, but I have ever never seen this much snow! Incredibly, the roads were very clear and well-maintained and we easily and safety made as we dropped into Lake Tahoe.
We stayed at The Ridge Tahoe in Stateline, NV, about 2000 feet higher than South Lake Tahoe. The snow up there was just as high as we’d seen on our drive and the kids could nearly contain themselves. We stepped out of the car and the cold took us by surprise. It was in the low 20s and after being in the car for 7 hours, we were definitely not dressed for those temperatures! We warmed up inside while we got checked in and then headed to our room to get changed into appropriate clothes. The kids were so excited to go play so we packed on the layers and snow boots and headed outside to catch a free shuttle that would take us down into South Lake Tahoe for dinner. The kids couldn’t resist the piles of snow and were pretty much covered by the time the shuttle came!
We enjoyed dinner at our favorite pizza place in Tahoe, Basecamp Pizza in Heavenly Village. The wait was so long, but it was oh so worth it! Try the Basecamp pizza and the Blood Orange Margarita if you stop by. You won’t be sorry!
The next three days were packed full of fun, and we didn’t ski once! Maybe at some point in the future we will learn to ski, but for now, all the kids want to do is play in the snow. Being a holiday weekend, it was pretty busy everywhere we went but we still managed to have a blast.
3 Best Places to Sled
- The hill behind Heavenly Village parking structure – there is a long sledding hill up behind the intersection of Bellamy Ct and Transit Way, near the entrance to the parking structure. It gets pretty busy here when Heavenly is busy, but it’s a great spot to play if you don’t want to go too far from the action.
- Intersection of Hwy 50 & Hwy 28 – from South Lake Tahoe, head toward Zephyr Cove on Hwy 50 until you reach Hwy 28. Soon after you get onto Hwy 28, you’ll see a left turn into a public sledding area. This area is much more remote, but can also be busy during busy tourism times. The hill here is very long and steep and tons of fun! Bring a picnic and enjoy a snowy lunch like we did!
- Bijou Bike Park – From Hwy 50 in South Lake, take Al Tahoe Blvd to Bijou Park. During the rest of the year, this is a BMX bike park, but during the winter, it’s a super fun place to sled. It’s especially good for younger kids because the hills are small, but fast. To our surprise, this area was actually very quiet. There were people there, but there are so many hills available that you likely will get a hill all to yourself for sledding.
When the kids weren’t sledding, they wanted to ice skate. Luckily, there are some great options in Tahoe to try out!
- Heavenly Village Ice Rink – during the winter, the miniature golf course in Heavenly Village is turned into a small ice rink. It can be busy but is so much fun. It’s decorated with pretty lights and you’re surrounded with snow-covered hotels and shops. For just $20 per adult or $15 per child, you can skate the whole day (or come and go as you please) and skates are even included. It’s a great option because kids will get tired after awhile but will likely want to come back a few times throughout the day to do it again.
- South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena – if you want a true ice skating experience, with well-cared for ice, head over to the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena on Rufus Allen Blvd. This is a professional, full-size rink and a great indoor options for families.
Lake Tahoe will always remain one of our favorite places to visit. It’s almost like a home away from home for us now. No matter the season, it’s full of great adventures and the perfect getaway for a family.
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