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5 Days in Tahoe in Winter: Sample Itinerary

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Tahoe Life

Make the most out of your next Tahoe trip! Check out our ideal 5-day itinerary below.

Day 1: Explore Tahoe City and Kings Beach, then head to the East Shore for a sunset.

Your first day will be spent taking in the views around iconic Lake Tahoe. Grab that shot that will make your Instagram followers jealous, and drink in the beauty of the jewel of the Sierras.

  • Downtown Tahoe City: Downtown Tahoe City is the quintessential mountain town. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, and you can also take in the view or build a snowman at Commons Beach, located right downtown. Stay nearby.
  • Kings Beach: Head east about 10 miles to Kings Beach, a beach community where you can enjoy views of the Tahoe shore from just about every shop and eatery. The Kings Beach State Park offers an expanse of sandy beach and a public pier, perfect for taking some photos. Stay nearby.
  • Stateline Fire Lookout: If the snow levels permit, do the short hike up to the Stateline Fire Lookout in Crystal Bay. The 1.5 mile loop features awe-inspiring views of Lake Tahoe, as well as an interpretive trail at the top so that you can learn about the local flora and fauna. Stay nearby.
  • Catch a sunset: Take the scenic route to Sand Harbor to catch a magnificent winter sunset. Crunched on time? Kings Beach State Park and Speedboat Beach also offer wonderful views of the sunset over Lake Tahoe. Stay nearby. 

Day 2: Ski at on of North Tahoe’s resorts, then aprés.

This itinerary wouldn’t be complete without some Tahoe skiing. Spend your first day skiing at one of these iconic North Tahoe resorts, followed by an aprés-ski cocktail or beer.

Ski:

  • Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows: Over 6,000 acres of world-class terrain, 42 lifts to access that terrain, and over 450 inches of annual snowfall--need we say more? Squaw-Alpine is a great place to spend a day, or two...or three. Stay nearby.
  • Northstar California: With a bustling village, unique mountain experiences (Northstar knows how to aprés!), and wide groomers lined by well-spaced trees, Northstar is a mountain that has something for everyone. From their famous terrain parks to the daily champagne toast at the top of the mountain at 2PM, Northstar knows how to keep the stoke high all day long. Stay nearby.
  • Homewood Mountain Resort: Homewood’s tagline is “where the mountains meet the lake.” This low-key resort lives up to its tagline, with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe from the Madden Chair and many of its runs. If you’re interested in venturing into the backcountry check out Homewood’s Snowcat Tours--offering access to 750 acres of backcountry skiing in an intimate and guided group. Stay nearby.
  • Diamond Peak: Another mountain that offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe, Diamond Peak is located just across the lake from Homewood in Incline Village. Diamond Peak offers comprehensive lesson programs for kids ages 3+ and world-class grooming and snowmaking.  Stay nearby.

Aprés-Ski in North Tahoe:

Tahoe knows how to aprés. From casual bars filled with other tired ski bums to relaxing retreats featuring specialty cocktails, you’ll be sure to find an aprés style that suits you.

Enjoy a cocktail with a view:

  • The Lone Eagle Grille offers fireside aprés in a cozy log cabin atmosphere complemented by  stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Stay nearby.
  • The West Shore Cafe has a pier, aprés-ski s’mores, and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. Stay nearby.
  • Gar Woods in Carnelian Bay has live music all winter long, and beautiful views from their bar and pier. Pair the views and music with one of their iconic Wet Woody’s and you may be tempted to stay a while. Stay nearby.

Unwin(e)d:

Casual Aprés:

  • Big Water Grille: Enjoy cocktails, an extensive wine menu, and beer at the Big Water Grille, located close to Diamond Peak. Stay nearby.
  • Fat Cat Bar & Grill: Fat Cat is located in the heart of Tahoe City, and offers a great happy hour food menu as well as drinks, beer, and wine in a casual setting. Stay nearby.

Day 3: Explore a Donner Summit ski resort, then have dinner in Truckee.

Ready for another day of skiing or riding? Head up to Donner Summit above Truckee for some of Tahoe’s most laid-back resorts. Don’t let their relaxed vibe fool you--these resorts boast some of the highest snowfall totals in the region.

Ski:

  • Sugar Bowl Resort:This laid-back mountain often sees the most snow in the region, and offers some of the best terrain in Tahoe without the crowds. This resort was a favorite of Walt Disney’s, and also has a fascinating history in the Tahoe area. Stay nearby.
  • Tahoe Donner: If you’re looking for a great place to get the kiddos on skis, or maybe you’re a beginner yourself, Tahoe Donner is the place to go. Tahoe Donner boasts 40% beginner terrain, a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and interchangeable passes for parents with non-skiing children. Generations of Tahoe locals and visitors have learned to ski at Tahoe Donner, and it's easy to see why. Stay nearby.
  • Donner Ski Ranch: This historic family-owned resort offers something for everyone. Donner Ski Ranch might be Tahoe’s best kept secret--affordable lift tickets, access to some amazing side-country and backcountry, and no lift lines make this mountain a great place to explore some of Tahoe’s best terrain. Check out their Old-School Days, with low “throwback” lift ticket and rental packages. Stay nearby.
  • Boreal: If you’ve still got some leftover steam in your legs, head to Boreal for a night skiing session. Boreal is open 9AM-9PM daily, and night tickets can be purchased starting at 3PM. Whether you come out for a day shred or a night shred, Boreal has some of the most innovative terrain parks in the region as well as wide-open groomers and fun off-piste skiing and riding. Stay nearby.

Dinner:

We’re sure you’ve worked up an appetite after two full days of downhill skiing and shredding. Truckee offers some great options for dinner, or have our concierge team help you to hire a personal chef for an unforgettable dinner in the comfort of your own home.

If you’d like to go out, here are a few of our favorite spots in Truckee to grab a bite to eat.

  • Truckee Tavern & Grill: This restaurant located in the heart of downtown Truckee serves up seasonal menus using only the freshest ingredients. Stay nearby.
  • Restaurant Trokay: Treat yourself to some of the best cuisine that Truckee/Tahoe has to offer with a dinner at Restaurant Trokay. Opt for an entree off of their a la carte menu, or indulge in a Chef’s Tasting Menu, featuring innovative cuisine and expert wine pairings. Stay nearby.
  • Cottonwood Restaurant: Take in the twinkling lights of Truckee at night from this restaurant on the hill. This iconic restaurant was built from salvaged railroad ties, and serves comfort food in a warm and welcoming setting. Stay nearby.

Day 4: Go snowmobiling, followed by tubing.

Adventure is always around the corner in Tahoe/Truckee. On your fourth day, get the adrenaline and laughs going with a day filled with snowmobiling and tubing.

Snowmobiling:

Snow Tubing:

  • Squaw Valley SnoVentures Area: Fun for the whole family, Squaw’s snow-tubing area features two lanes for tubing serviced by a surface lift. Stay nearby.
  • Tahoe Donner Snowplay Area: The Tahoe Donner Snowplay Area is affordable and fun for the whole family. Whiz down the slopes on an inflatable tube, or make snowmen and play with the snow toys provided. Sledding and tubing is safe and fun for the whole family at this supervised and groomed hill. Stay nearby.
  • Northstar Snow Tubing: Slide down Northstar's groomed 200 yard slope on inflatable tubes. Don’t worry about tired legs-Northstar’s rope tow escorts tubers all the way to the top of the hill, so that the fun can last for hours. Stay nearby.

Day 5: Do a yoga class in the morning, then go sightseeing in Truckee.

End your trip with some relaxation and rejuvenation. Restore those tired muscles with a yoga session, followed by a quick exploration of Truckee and Donner Summit.

Yoga:

  • Yoga Room Tahoe: Located in the Cobblestone Center in Tahoe City, Yoga Room Tahoe offers a convenient sanctuary and classes for all ability levels. From restorative yoga classes to sports-focused power yoga, you’ll relax and rejuvenate those tired muscles after a week of Tahoe fun. Stay nearby.
  • The Sanctuary Yoga Studio: From pilates to sound healing meditation, The Sanctuary located in Crystal Bay offers well-being classes for all abilities. Find your balance with a Yoga Roots class, or relax into a restorative Yin Yoga meditation. Stay nearby.
  • Tahoe Yoga & Wellness Center:The knowledgeable instructors Tahoe Yoga & Wellness Center in Truckee will ensure that you leave Tahoe feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Classes range from power flow workshops to meditation and massage. Stay nearby.

Sightseeing:

  • Donner Summit: The iconic view of Donner Lake from Old 40 is worth the trek. If the road is clear, head up to the Rainbow Bridge for panoramic vistas of Donner Lake and the surrounding High Sierra. If the snowpack allows, hike up to the train tunnels on Donner Summit for an interesting glimpse into traveling over the summit in the past. Stay nearby.
  • Donner Lake: Once you descend from Donner Summit, head to the Donner State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum. The museum offers incredible insights into the infamous Donner Party, as well as the travelers and settlers who preceded and followed them in traversing Donner Summit. Stay nearby.
  • Downtown Truckee: Truckee feels like an old-west town. The rugged mountain town is full of shops, eateries, and bars to warm up after your excursion around Donner. Visit the old jailhouse on Jiboom Street, which used to be the red-light district of Truckee. The past is still tangible in the small shops, bars, and points of interest that line the streets. Stay nearby.

Need some help planning your vacation? Get tips, advice, and assistance from our friendly concierge team. Our entire staff here at Tahoe Luxury Properties is made up of folks who call this area home, and we are always happy to help to ensure that your getaway is memorable. Learn more.