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Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley

Head to Lake Tahoe, where California meets Nevada, and you’ll come across a strikingly beautiful year-round destination. But with its average 125 inches of annual snowfall, the winter months are when Tahoe truly shines, offering the best of winter sports and the coziest of shopping and lounging options. Add the Orbitz ski destination sale to the mix, and we’ve got your perfect getaway weekend in Lake Tahoe.

 

FRIDAY

Settle in at North Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Ski Resort, an amenity-packed resort spread out of 6,000 acres with 42 lifts. (The 1960 Winter Olympics was held here.) Alongside its expert terrain, it offers all kinds of family activities like sledding, snow-tubing and ice skating. Non-sporty types can flock to Trilogy Spa for deluxe body treatments and massages…accompanied by champagne or hot chocolate.

Thrill-seeking dog-lovers can take advantage of the nearby Wilderness Trail, which offers dogsledding ($110 per adult) by energetic huskies across jaw-dropping vistas of the Sierra Nevada.

For small town charm, head slightly north to the historic town of Truckee for galleries, yoga classes and shops like Bespoke, which sells wares from local artisans. You can also cross-country ski or go snowshoeing at the Donner Memorial State Park. (Yes, those Donners.)

While in Truckee, nosh on upscale New American dining at Cedar House Sport Hotel. Fans note the 30-day dry-aged Wagyu New York strip, house-baked breads, and birds-eye view of the open kitchen.

Breweries abound here, and Lake Tahoe Brewing offers craft, oak-barrel aged brews at their taproom and tasting room. Their brewpub is a spacious spot that’s good for group gatherings.

 

Tahoe Queen

Tahoe Queen

SATURDAY

The Tahoe Queen, a Mississippi paddlewheeler, will help you take in the glorious landscape of South Lake Tahoe. Newly renovated and roomy, this touristy jaunt ($51 for a 2.5 hour cruise) is worth it for visitors and locals. There’s a full bar for those imbibing.

Parents, old souls and romantic types can opt for an old-fashioned sleigh ride. Sand Harbor Sleighride provides good views and simple family fun.

Locals rave about Sprouts Restaurant for lunch. It features a healthy, nutritious and eclectic menu (such as their Mexican Volcano Salad, and Ugly Gooey Excellent Nachos).

We’re not going to lie: Nightlife revolves around resort bars and casinos. But if you want to stop for a non-watered down libation before heading to the table games at the MontBleu Resort Casino, try The Brewery at Lake Tahoe for craft brews and specialty cocktails.

 

David Walley's Hot Springs

David Walley’s Hot Springs

SUNDAY

Heavenly Ski Resort offers stunning vistas of the lake and offers the popular “Heavenly Gondola” rides that carry passengers across the lifts.

Ready for some lounging? David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort is twenty minutes from South Lake and for $50/day, patrons get access to outdoor mineral hot springs and panoramic views.

South Lake Tahoe’s The Naked Fish has uber-loyal customers (read: make a reservation). Since 1999, the stylish restaurant’s mission has been to bring the highest possible quality fish to their customers—an ethos that’s obviously working.

To round out the weekend, consider Harrahs Friday’s Station. This steakhouse’s food is unremarkable, but it’s situated atop the hotel tower, and offers unparalleled views of the lake. Enjoy drinks and dessert there; then head downstairs for blackjack or big name shows (Bruce Springsteen and Los Lobos are both scheduled for February 2015.)

 

WHERE TO STAY

Check out the Orbitz ski destination sale to find your perfect—and perfectly affordable—Lake Tahoe hotel.

Tagged: California, Family time

Gretchen Kalwinski

Gretchen Kalwinski

Gretchen is a Chicago-based arts, culture and travel writer, and writing coach. She’s working on her first novel, and tweets sporadically at @gretchel.
Gretchen Kalwinski

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