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Winter has arrived in full force this year, and we couldn’t be happier! Snow is blanketing the peaks around Lake Tahoe, the village is bright with Christmas lights, and there is a distinct feeling of holiday cheer and excitement in the chilly air. If you’re joining us in Tahoe for the holidays, there are plenty of wonderful activities and fun for the whole family happening over the next two weeks, from ski resorts opening to visits from Santa, sleighrides, and more. Read on for our favorite holiday activities in Tahoe, and be sure to check out our website for all the winter activities available at this time of year.

Caroling, Sleigh Rides, and Santa!

The Village at Palisades Tahoe has a full roster of holidauy events starting December 20th and continuing through their New Years Celebration. Some highlights include: The Great Basin Carolers performing classic Christmas Carols in the Village December 20-24th, winter carriage rides through the Village December 27-31st, and a visit from Santa himself December 23-24th. If you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer, Palisades Tahoe is the place to find it! You can view their full schedule of events for the season on their website.

winter holiday sleigh ride

Photo: Palisades Tahoe

Snowshoe Tours and Night Sky Stargazing

If you’re eager to get out on the snow but away from the crowded slopes, there are a number of snowshoe tours operating in the area. Take a guided tour with Tahoe Adventue Company through the snowy Tahoe forest and learn about the natural history of the area, and then take a peek at some stunning stars through professional telescopes with award winning astronomer Tony Berendsen. They also offer Full Moon Snowshoe Tours – check their website for dates and price. These tours last about 4 hours, all equipment is provided, and are great fun for the whole family! Book your snowshoe adventure today!

Sledding and Tubing

All this new snow isn’t just for skiing – it also means the hills are ripe for sledding and snowtubing! Check out our list of the best sledding spots in our winter activities section, or head over to Palisades Tahoe for some fun after dark with Disco Tubing! Featuring LED lights, lasers, and a live DJ, Disco Tubing is a party on the hill! It’s happening every night from 5-8pm December 26th-31st. Advance tickets required – purchase online for your desired time slot.

snow tubing under led lights

Photo: Palisades Tahoe

Shop Local

Still need to cross some last-minute holiday gifts off your list? Tahoe City and Truckee both boast an impressive number of locally-owned businesses, filled with handcrafted art, jewelry, clothing, and more designed in and inspired by the Tahoe mountain community. When you shop locally, nearly 70% of your money spent stays in the community, and you are contributing to the unique mountain town atmosphere we know and love. Check out Alpenglow Sports, Bluestone Jewelry, and Tipsy Gypsy in Tahoe City for all your gifting needs.

Awesome Spots for Apres

After a long day on the slopes, shopping, or sledding, you deserve a delicious libation. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of good food and drinks in Tahoe City; the hardest part is just choosing where to go! A few of our favorite spots after shredding the slopes are: River Ranch – famous for their happy hour specials; The Tahoe Bridgetender – the classic neighborhood bar; Uncorked – for the wine-o; and Pioneer Cocktail Club – for unique and artsistic cocktails. You can also view our full list of dining recommendtions in the Explore Tahoe section of our website. Wherever you end up, cheers to spending the holidays in Tahoe!

We’ve gotten our first few snowfalls in Tahoe, and while the resorts aren’t opening until next month, now is the perfect time to start your winter preparations! From the best exercises to add into your routine, to making sure all your ski gear is ready to rip, read on for our top tips on how to get ready for winter now! Ski season will be here before you know it, so be prepared to get out and enjoy it with these tips.

Lunge and Squat

The best way to get ready for ripping down the slopes? Start incorporating these leg exercises now, so you won’t get the jelly-legs fatigue on day one! Trainers recommend incorporating this leg-blaster series into your routine: squats, alternating lunges, jump lunges, and jump squats. For each exercise, repeat each move 10-20 times, rest for 15 seconds, and then repeat the circuit a total of 6 times. Are you sweating yet?

Wax Your Skis

There’s nothing worse than hitting the fresh slopes with soft edges and slow sticks! Bring your skis or boards in for a tune-up now, before lines get long on the mountain. Ask for a hot wax and edge sharpening, and you’ll be ripping come opening day. If you have an at-home tuning station, take stock of your inventory and get any wax or tools you’ll need now so mid-season adjustments are quick and easy. 

Check Your Pass

Have you double-checked your pass? If you haven’t already, there is limited time remaining to buy most season passes. Many resorts have new or adjusted rules this season regarding the number of passes sold, reservations required for ski days, or advanced lift-ticket purchases. Check out each individual resort for specific updates. If you already have your pass in hand, make sure to keep it somewhere safe until opening day. Maybe now is the time to stash it in your ski jacket so you’ll always know where it is. 

Check Your Gear

Ever pull on your snow pants in the morning only to realize you forgot about that late-season snag and now there’s a hole in your knee? Or go to grab your gloves, but can only find one? Dedicate some time to pull out your ski gear now, go through what you have, if anything needs repairs, or you need to make any wardrobe updates. If you’re in need of gear and advice, check out any of our local Tahoe ski shops, staffed with the most knowledgeable folks who can answer questions about outerwear, gear, and everything in between!

Book Your Winter Rental

Your ski vacation won’t be complete without booking the perfect place to stay! We anticipate this will be another busy ski season in Tahoe, and bookings for popular weeks are already going fast! Check out our website for the latest availability, and if you need any help planning the perfect stay, we are here for you! Just give us a call or contact us through social media for anything you might need!  

Summer is winding down, and these lazy, hazy days of August are reminding us that all good things must come to an end. As the kids go back to school and there is a hint of cooler temps in the air, there are still plenty of ways to get in your final dose of summer activities. Here are our favorite ways to wind down summer in Tahoe.

Photo: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Take in the Views

Cooler mornings are perfect for early hikes or bike rides, but if you’re not in the mood for a sunrise session, why not let the gondola do the hard work for you? Catch an Aerial Tram ride at Squaw Valley or a Scenic Gondola Ride at Heavenly. You can explore trails on the top of both mountains, enjoy gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe, and either hike or ride back down. If you’re looking for an exhilarating way down at Heavenly, take the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, a gravity-powered mountain coaster that winds all the way back down the mountain, with epic views to boot!

Photo: Heavenly Mountain

Make a Splash

The Lake is about as warm as it gets by this late in the summer, making it the perfect time for water sports. Swim, SUP, kayak or wake surf – however you want to get out on the water, there’s a way to enjoy it in Tahoe. Did you know some of our rentals come with a private pier or buoy? You can search for homes with a buoy here. Many of our lakefront homes also come equipped with paddleboards, canoes, or kayaks, so you can explore the shore right from your rental!

Catch a Sunset

Is there anything better than a lazy afternoon winding into a beautiful warm evening? Maybe not – unless you add a cocktail! Enjoy the sunset overlooking the lake from one of our lake view homes, or at one of our favorite cocktail spots in town. If you’re up for an adventure, head up to Eagle Rock and watch the with sunset with one of the best views of the lake. You can even make a delicious batch of pineapple margaritas to go and enjoy it at the top!

Stay Safe

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.

River Ranch

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. 

River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant - Tahoe City, CA | OpenTable

Red Truck

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!

Red Truck Catering Truckee

Ellis Peak

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. 

Ellis Peak trail is easy to miss, hard to forget

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! 

Via Ferrata

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. 

Adrian Ballinger at the monkey in the middle bridge on the Tahoe Via Ferrata

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.

 

Less Crowded

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!

 

Better Rates

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.

 

Cooler Weather

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.

 

Fall Colors

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.