Who says après is just for skiing? With plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy this spring, and long afternoons perfect for soaking up the sunshine, we’re convinced you can après-anything! It seems only fitting Read on for our favorite places to sit back, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved cocktail.
Pioneer Cocktail Club
If you’ve been missing exciting combinations and artistic cocktails with unique, fresh ingredients, then head over to Pioneer Cocktail Club. They are famous in Tahoe City for their seasonal cocktails, offering winter warmers like the Hot Buttered Rum, made with homemade “Brown butter batter,” and summer refreshers like the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, made with Mezcal. They also have a delicious food menu full of updated bar eats, from sassy wood-fired pizzas (try the Green Meanie or Nice Hawaiian Punch) to Lemongrass Chicken Wings and Cauliflower al Pastor. Check out their dog-friendly patio (complete with heaters), or enjoy limited capacity service indoors.
If the local’s bar is more your scene, then you’ll feel right at home at the Bridgetender. Famous for their burgers and Bloody Marys, “BT” as the locals say, has a large selection of beers on tap and generous portions of pub fare. Located right on the Truckee River at Fanny Bridge, their outdoor patio is the perfect place to soak up the afternoon sun. After a long day on the slopes or an epic mountain bike ride, we love to share the Totchos – tater tots smothered with nacho toppings!
If you’re more of a wine drinker, there is no better spot to peruse and sip on unique blends than Uncorked. With multiple locations in the Tahoe area, Uncorked focused on limited
production wines that are farmed mindfully from key regions and appellations around the globe. Enjoy a large selection of unique wines and extremely knowledgeable staff to help you pick out a bottle, or perhaps sample a few different varietals with a flight. And if you need some cheese to go with your wine, never fear, the Charcuterie Plate is divine.
Boasting locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and a rotating selection of house cocktails, Fat Cat is a casual bar, famous for its burgers and hometown feel. If you’re in the mood for a view and good people-watching, grab a seat on their pooch-friendly patio – they even have pup patties you can order for them!
Tahoe Tap Haus
Famous for their wide selection of local brews, Tahoe Tap Haus has 16 beers on draught and at least 8 are always from breweries within 100 miles. Their dog-friendly patio is the perfect spot to enjoy their selection of fresh California Pub Fare after a hike or bike ride along the Truckee River Path.
Tahoe is famous for many things, but one of our favorites is Spring Skiing! With plenty of sunshine followed by epic snow dumps, spring in Tahoe is famous for bluebird pow days – we call it Miracle March for a reason! Ski resorts in Tahoe have received up to 44″ of fresh snow in March alone, with another 12-17 inches projected in the next week! If you’re ready for a quick escape to the mountains, come experience why spring is the best time to ski Tahoe!
So Much Sunshine
Longer days mean more hours of sun to enjoy the slopes – and your après! Did you know? Tahoe typically receives about 300 days of sunshine a year? That means you’re 76% likely to see the sun during daylight hours – those are pretty good odds if you’re looking for some springtime sunshine! Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen to the slopes – the alpine environment combined with the reflection off the snow can sneak up on you quick!
The Tahoe region averages over 35″ of snowfall in March – making it similar to December and February in terms of new snow. As an added bonus, all this new snow is on top of the great base that’s been building up all season long, so you’re bound to find plenty of snow when you visit in the spring. The storms in this area generally roll in and out quickly, meaning conditions can transform overnight. Waking up to feet of new snow is more the rule than the exception in Tahoe!
That’s right, after those storms roll out, we are blessed with blue skies! No lingering gray days here – we’re spoiled by all the bluebird powder days we get in Tahoe. The conditions are also perfect for enjoying your lunch outside or taking a beer break when your legs get tired from endless runs.
If this season has taught us anything, it’s that après outside is just as fun! From parking lot basecamps to extended outdoor seating at resorts, enjoying snacks and drinks outside after skiing is only getting more enjoyable as the weather warms. Take advantage of the sunny afternoons and pack a cooler and some camp chairs to set up a car bar, grab a table at one of the restaurants now open for limited dine-in, or enjoy some local brews back in the comfort of your vacation rental hot tub – book one of our many homes with hot tubs here.
Although it’s still winter, we are seeing beautiful, sunshine-filled days in Tahoe, and many restaurants are open for outdoor dining and takeout. We love supporting the local businesses that are working hard to provide quality food and service during these trying times. If you’re visiting Tahoe this season, our local and shops and restaurants need your support! Here are our favorite spots to dine outside in Tahoe these days.
With some of the best views in Tahoe City, Za’s Lakefront overlooks the Tahoe City Marina and offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Their patio is now open for outdoor dining from 11:30 am – 8:00 pm daily. We love their delicious thin-crust pizzas and nightly specials: Prime Rib Sundays and Fried Chicken Tuesdays never disappoint! They also have a wonderful selection of hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive beer and wine list. Check out their website for current specials.
A longtime local’s favorite for a burger and a beer, The Bridgetender has converted much of their parking lot into outdoor tables and set up a number of heaters. They have a killer happy hour and are famous for their Bloody Mary’s, so it get’s busy during peak times, but it’s worth the wait! The menu is full of classic bar food, perfect to fill up on after a day out skiing or playing in the snow. Open from 11 am daily.
Tahoe House is a quaint little bakery and café famous for their amazing pastries, fresh-baked bread and cookies! You can count on them for a morning pick-me-up, and enjoy your breakfast or lunch on their outdoor tables or take it with you for a stroll along the West Shore Path. We love the croissants and scones for breakfast, fresh made sandwiches for lunch, and always pick up a pie to take home! Open from 6 am – 4 pm weekdays, and until 6 pm Friday and Saturday.
Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que
A no frills BBQ joint with amazing views of Lake Tahoe – what could be better? Moe’s dishes up classic BBQ meats with an amazing assortment of sides s. You can order a family platter or smaller plates, and enjoy them on the picnic tables outside, or take them down to Common’s Beach for a picnic. They even have live music outside sometimes, so check out their website for updates.
Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted across the state, and certain businesses are reopening in Tahoe, travelers are returning to the area to experience the beauty of mountains in winter. We are happy to be able to offer safe accommodations to guests, and want to remind visitors to travel smart, and visit safely this winter. Plan your Tahoe visit with us – we’re committed to enhanced cleaning protocols and doing everything we can to make your visit safe. Here are more ways you can visit and enjoy Tahoe safely this season:
1. Abide by the California Responsible Travel Code
There are a million reasons to visit California, and whether you are coming from near or far, we ask that you respect the environment, local culture and all the different kinds of people who visit our state. The California Responsible Travel Code was developed to help promote the safe and respectful travel throughout our state. It’s important to know and understand what it means, as well as familiarize yourself with local guidelines before visiting. As the state reopens, different counties may have different rules. Please be sure to check CDC Guidelines and local restrictions to ensure you abide by all rules and regulations when traveling. You can find state-wide updates and county by country specifications here.
2. Ski Safely
Resorts in Tahoe are open for skiing and snowboarding this season, with varying adjustments to ticket sales, reservations, and enhanced safety protocols. Skiing and riding is an inherently safe, socially-distanced form of outdoor recreation – and staff and operations teams at the resorts are working hard to keep the slopes open this season. All guests are required to wear a mask when in public areas – this includes lift lines, bathrooms, and on the chairlift. Make sure to check with the resort ahead of time to see if you need to purchase tickets in advance. Some resorts are requiring reservations, some are limiting day tickets, and others may only allow those with a season pass. With a multitude of ski resorts in the area, it’s best to check with each one directly to make sure you know the rules and are staying up to date on current weather and mountain conditions before you go!
3. Eat Local
Restaurants have re-opened in Tahoe for outdoor dining and take-out, and ordering from local businesses is a great way to support our small mountain towns when visiting. Many restaurants are offering special to-go items, like family dinners or batch cocktails. Even in the middle of winter, Tahoe is blessed with plenty of sunny days. Why not order lunch from Moe’s BBQ and enjoy a picnic on the beach? Or cozy up under one of the many outdoor heaters at Za’s Lakefront! Enjoy some of the best views of the lake and their famous pizza, open for lunch and dinner on Saturdays & Sundays!
4. Take a Walk
The Truckee River bike path is fully paved and plowed, and meanders along the crystal blue waters of the Truckee River all the way from Squaw Valley to Lake Tahoe. Put on some warm layers, bring a thermos full of cocoa, and enjoy the snowy scene without the hassle of shoveling or struggling with snowshoes! The river path is the perfect stroll for families, dogs, or anyone just wanting to get out and enjoy nature.
5. Enjoy a Scenic Snowmobile Tour
Have you ever felt the exhilaration of speeding through the wilderness on packed snow? Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting way to get out and explore the vast natural beauty of the Tahoe area. With trails through pristine meadows and up into the mountains, snowmobile touring offers a new way to explore the wilderness, and some epic views of Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Snowmobiling offers exciting tours for all ages and ability levels. Zoom across over 100 miles of trails that travel through the pristine National Forest, and enjoy a warm drink and unbeatable views from the top of Mt. Watson. You’ll be sure to come home with lots of memories and gorgeous pictures to share.
We’re Open – and Ready for YOU!
Winter is in full swing, and we are ready to welcome you back to enjoy all that Tahoe has to offer! The governor has removed the stay-at-home order for the Greater Sacramento region, which allows businesses to re-open under certain regulations. Short-term lodging and vacation rentals can now be booked, and outdoor dining has been reinstated. You know the drill: practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands. You can read the updated county and regional guidelines here.
Enjoy Winter in Tahoe
What’s the best way to enjoy winter in Tahoe? Outside, of course! Tahoe is full of amazing adventures and ways to enjoy the snow, and full of delicious treats for après-activities! Here are our Top Five Winter Activities that easily lend themselves to social distancing.
Skiing and Snowboarding
It goes without saying Tahoe is known for it’s multitude of skiing and snowboarding options – and with 15 downhill resorts in the region, there is no end of gorgeous terrain. You can find the perfect run for anyone, from first-timers to experts, and plenty of local expertise if you need gear, guides, or lessons on the hill. Tahoe enjoyed some early snowfall in the end of 2020, and we’ve had a few minor storms in January. The days continue to be sunny and beautiful, and resorts are continually grooming trails and opening more terrain this week. It’s a great time to get your ski legs back, or try your turns on the mountain for the first time! You can check out all the resort snowfall, trail stats, and more here.
If you’re hesitant about skiing too fast, but still looking for a way to enjoy the snow, why not try cross-country skiing? It’s a great way to exercise, and Tahoe has some of the best views and highest-rated XC trails in the country! As an added bonus, dogs are allowed on certain trails at some XC Ski resorts. You can check out the fill list of groomed trail options here.
Turns out the joys of sledding down a snowy hill as a child is just as fun as an adult! If you’re looking for an easy, family friendly activity that doesn’t require much planning, sledding is the answer. There are plenty of options for sledding in Tahoe, ranging from free local hills where you’ll need to bring your own sled (and trek back uphill!), to expertly groomed terrain complete with tow ropes and even after-hours light shows! Here is a list of all the options for sledding in the region.
Ready for a more relaxing way to take in the sights? Since the roads are relatively clear of snow, it’s a great time to take a scenic drive around the lake. Tahoe has plenty of overlook pull-outs so you can stop and snap a picture, or even wander down a trail for a different view. Now that restaurants are offering outdoor dining, you can even stop mid-way for lunch with a view!
Although winter can often bring stormy weather to the lake, it can also offer some dramatically calm days on the water. If you time it right, you can even head out for a kayak paddle on the crystal clear waters and have the lake to yourself! If you decide to do this, be sure to check weather forecasts, as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. Always wear your lifejacket, and never paddle too far from shore. If you are launching your own boat, it needs to be checked for invasive species before you can paddle in Lake Tahoe.
COVID-19 Policy Updates: Our Commitment to You
Although restrictions differ across the state, we are committed to following local county guidelines and updating our policies as necessary. As of this writing, we are continuing to provide enhanced cleaning between all rentals, and excited to accept new reservations! At this time, we are not changing our cancellation policy – please refer to your booking agreement for specific details. You can always check for more updates on our website.
‘Tis the season for peace and joy, although it feels a bit different this year! Despite a year of adjustments and changes, there are plenty of ways to keep holiday traditions alive in a safe and cheerful way this season! Many of us are longing for connection with family and friends, and finding unique ways to do so while staying safe and socially distant. Today, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to continue spreading holiday cheer, supporting small businesses, and staying healthy and safe this season.
Tune into a Virtual Chorus Concert
We love cozying up by the fire and listing to Christmas Carols. This month, Truckee Tahoe Community Chorus presents its premiere Virtual Chorus Video, “Here We Come A-Caroling” on Vimeo, streaming Dec 1-31, 2020. There is nothing quite like live music, and this holiday arrangement is sure to spark some festive cheer. Stream the video here! Arranged by Josh Sparkman, copyright 2017. Recorded with permission of Beckenhorst Press, conducted by Susan K. Horst and edited by Douglas DeVore and David W. Nelson.
Take a Snowshoe Tour
Snowshoeing is the perfect socially-distanced activity that is fun for the whole family. Tahoe Adventure Company offers a variety of snowshoe tours, from private guided treks, sunset tours, and even full moon snowshoes! They’re taking extra precautions to clean gear and rentals, maintain social distancing, and requiring everyone to wear masks when you’re not actively hiking. They are also limiting their tours to 2 parties per group, so you can enjoy the adventure and feel safe. Studies show that getting outside and being active helps combat stress, so what are you waiting for? Call to book your tour today!
Backcountry Safety Awareness Week
Shop Local and Win Prizes
Small businesses need our support more than ever this holiday season. As if the amazing collection of shops and locally made goods wasn’t reason enough to buy all your gifts locally this year, you can also win prizes just for shopping! North Lake Tahoe businesses have teamed up to make holiday shopping even more rewarding this year with a Holiday Scavenger Hunt. Win points for over 100 challenges – some can be done from home, others in North Lake Tahoe. You can join any time, compete on your own or on a team, and win weekly prizes leading up to the grand prize awarded January 3rd. It’s free to join, just download the free Goosechase App, and search for the North Tahoe Shop & Win Contest!
Please remember to adhere to all local guidelines while shopping small this season: maintain social distancing, be aware of limited numbers of customers allowed in stores, and wear your mask. Your patience and support is greatly appreciated by our community! If you’re looking for more ways to support local businesses without leaving the comfort of your couch this season, you can browse the online Gift Card Market or shop online at your favorite stores here.
Stream a New Film
Does anyone else feel like they’ve finished Netflix? If you’re looking for interesting and inspiring films you can’t find online, why not stream a special showing from the Tahoe City Art Haus Cinema. The cinema is a longtime local favorite for indie films and summer drive-ins, and although the theatre is currently closed it is offering a virtual cinema! You can choose from a variety of films and watch from the comfort of your own home. Check out what’s streaming here.
We’re heading into winter here in Tahoe, and with colder weather and new regulations at state and county levels, we are once again asking that everyone do their part to help our community stay safe, and continue to support local small businesses. You know the drill: practice social distancing, avoid unnecessary gatherings, wear a mask, and wash your hands. You can read the updated county guidelines here.
Ski Resorts are Opening!
The first storms of the season have blanketed Tahoe in beautiful white snow, and cooler temperatures mean the resorts are making snow as fast as they can. With some resorts already open, a large number are also planning on opening in the coming weeks. When visiting resorts, please remember to check ahead for important weather and occupancy updates – some resorts are requiring tickets to be purchased in advance, while others are limiting the number of skiers and riders per day. As always, practice social distancing, wear a mask, and please be patient – we are all navigating these new restrictions and undoubtedly there will be delays. Remember, ’tis the season of giving, and it costs nothing to be kind.
Lake Tahoe Ski Area Opening Days
Northstar – November 20
Heavenly – November 20
Boreal – November 23
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows – November 25
Kirkwood – December 4
Diamond Peak – December 10
Homewood – December 11
Sugarbowl – TBD
Mt. Rose – TBD
Exploring a new place is one of the best parts of traveling, especially when you have great recommendations from friends and family. We’ve rounded up a list of local favorites – from dining to activities – so the next time you are in Tahoe you can feel like a local and enjoy these hidden gems.
Step back in time at the River Ranch, located on the banks of the Truckee River, and full of old Tahoe charm. The River Ranch has been around since 1888, and was a popular watering hole along the narrow gauge railway. We think the Ranch has one of the most underrated happy hours in town, and the view from the riverfront tables on a spacious outdoor patio can’t be beat. Happy hour is from 3-5, first come first served, and dinner reservations are strongly recommended.
What started as a popular food truck, Red Truck has also taken up a permanent home at the Tahoe Truckee Airport – and it’s a favorite lunch spot for locals. You can grab a bite to go or enjoy it on the lawn outside. There is a little playground for kids and it’s always fun to watch the planes take off. With fresh, sustainable food full of flavor, you’re sure to find something delightful at the cafe. Open for breakfast and lunch, 9 am – 3 pm seven days a week. They also post daily specials on twitter and facebook!
If you’re in the mood for a longer hike, Ellis Peak is a lesser-known hike that still offers amazing Tahoe views and beautiful wildflowers in the spring. It is a multi-use trail, open to hikers and bikers, and dogs can come but have to be on a leash. It is just under 7 miles out and back, and the top scrambles along a cliff edge. There is a nice lake, Ellis Lake, to stop at and enjoy before or after reaching the top of the peak. Head up early in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat.
Charter Sailing Catamaran
The best way to enjoy the lake when it’s not quite swimming season – charter a catamaran! The 55 foot Sierra Cloud offers private tours, daily afternoon cruises, and a sunset tour. You can enjoy the easy cruise of a catamaran above the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe all season long. You can even do a Sunday morning Mimosa cruise!
Looking for some high alpine adventure that’s safe and fun for all skill levels? Via Ferrata is an assisted climbing course on the Tram Face above Squaw Valley. Via Ferrata, Italian for “iron way,” originated in the high Alps of Italy during the first and second world wars, and assisted troops traveling across rugged mountain terrain without any climbing experience. Using ropes, cables, anchored ladders, and suspension bridges, climbers scramble their way over the rocks with a professional guide. With multiple routes and varying difficulty levels, Via Ferrata is a fun and challenging activity that offers great new views of the valley floor.
Yes, Tahoe is famous for summers on the water and winter on the slopes, but have you ever visited us in the fall? Read on for our favorite things about Tahoe in the fall, and make sure to plan your getaway soon! Fall is wonderful and fleeting at our high mountain lake.
It’s no surprise that the crowds start to dwindle after Labor Day – with kids going back to school (however that looks these days) and summer vacations ending, the beaches and trails begin to feel emptier. With warm weather often lasting into October, you can still enjoy the picturesque Tahoe shores and sights, and you’ll have fewer crowds to compete with for the best spots. Bonus – the water in the lake is the warmest it will be right now!
It’s officially the low season! Many of our rentals have much lower rates after Labor Day, making it the perfect time to take advantage of all those vacation hours you have to use up before the end of the year. For even more savings, head up for a mid-week getaway – we have rates as low as $125/night. Check it out here.
Perfect for Daytime Adventures
Temperatures average in the 60’s in October, and with generally sunny skies it makes for perfect hiking and biking weather. Even though it’s cooler, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and pack plenty of water. You can still get sunburned and dehydrated more quickly at altitude.
Final Days on the Water
Most of the boating traffic has died down, but there are still plenty of beautiful days to get out on the water. Our friends at Lake Tahoe Boat Rides have plenty of rental options, from speed boats to party boats and even a private yacht charter. There truly is nothing like enjoying Tahoe out on the water. Make sure to check the weather often, as wind and waves can come up quickly on the lake.
There is just something about the trees turning yellow orange that makes everyone want a cozy cup of apple cider and a warm fire. While we may not get the stunning array of colors the east coast is famous for, we do have a plenty of aspen groves and colorful leaves scattered among the pines. Tw of our favorite spots to catch the foliage are hiking to Marlette Lake, or taking a little drive to Hope Valley.
Ready to plan your visit to Tahoe this fall? Head on over to our booking page to find the perfect spot for your fall getaway.