Visiting Tahoe doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and doesn’t mean you have to ski/snowboard the whole time you’re there, or at all. To make the most of your trip do some advance planning. Check out possible fun places to stop on the road, other activities you don’t want to miss, and where to party in the evenings.
1. Avoid weekends and holidays if you can.
Weekends can get very busy on the slopes and accommodation prices are at their highest. Things are even more extreme in the winter holidays. Unless you are looking for a festive treat then don’t plan your Tahoe skiing trips during these times. If you can get away in the middle of the week you’ll find the best deals all around.
2. For the best snow, go in late January.
Traditionally, January gets the most snow (although this year is shaping up a little differently), followed closely by February. If you’re more flexible consider March. It is off-season so it will be quieter and warmer. Many resorts have snow makers that work through the night keeping powder on the slopes when Mother Nature has been less helpful.
3. Get in shape.
Most of us only ski occasionally. So unless you feel that hobbling around the bar in the evening after skiing is a look you want to go for, it might be good to do some aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises beforehand. There are great bodyweight exercises you can do right at home.
4. Use Ridejoy’s Tahoe rideshare route.
Not only will sharing a ride to Tahoe on Ridejoy save you money, you will meet someone new and have an epic road trip. Just find someone on Ridejoy that is leaving the same day as you and connect.
5. Indulge your sweet tooth and fill-up.
The chances that you and your traveling buddy have a sweet tooth are pretty high, so while on route to Tahoe from San Francisco make a stop at the Jelly Belly Candy Factory. You can take a tour and see how the famous Jelly Bellys are made or just hit the gift shop and stock up on your favorite flavors. For some real fuel, stop at Ikeda’s for lunch. They serve all the usual fare from sandwiches to burgers. Make sure to get one of their fabulous pies for the road to enjoy at your hotel.
6. Book lift tickets and equipment in advance.
Many ski areas offer discounts for booking online and for certain days – if you do some research. Liftopia is a great resource for getting up to 80% off lift tickets. Ski shops also offer online deals and coupons on their websites to use in their shops, leaving you more money to spend on other adventures.
7. Go to the North Lake Tahoe SnowFest.
The SnowFest takes place every March and has over 100 different events to entertain you. Test your skills in one of their ski races or see how much ice cream you can stomach in an eating contest. The festival also has parades, concerts and a Mardi Gras party.
8. Go beyond just skiing.
Tahoe has plenty of outdoor activities, so if you’re bored with the slopes or skiing isn’t your thing, take a romantic sleigh ride, get your heart pumping racing down a hill in a tube, go snowmobiling or check out the rush of dog sledding. At night, sing along to the live music that many of the local bars have or laugh until your stomach hurts at a comedy night. Explore the village of Truckee, which is packed with a western feel, history, shopping and a wild nightlife.
9. Check road conditions.
Always make sure you check road conditions before setting off. Snow can make road conditions pretty treacherous, which can take time away from skiing and having fun. Make sure the car has snow chains, no one likes sliding all over the road or even worse getting stuck because you just can’t drive. Though at least you’ll have that pie to eat that you picked up earlier.
10. Have some indoor fun.
If the cold is getting to you, don’t worry about being stuck in your hotel room, Tahoe has something for everyone. See the latest movie, go bowling, visit the Nevada Museum of Art in downtown Reno, or try your luck in a casino. Taste wine in the cozy wine tasting barn at Truckee River Winery and make sure you have lunch one day at BurgerMe!, who’s burgers you won’t forget. Just make sure you check any diet plans at the door.
If you find anything unusual, or just plain wonderful on your trip to Tahoe, let us know. One thing we know for sure is that there is plenty of fun to be had and good food to eat along the way and at the ski areas. Don’t hesitate to bring someone along who doesn’t ski, they will have plenty to keep them happy.
photo 1 credit: TORCH MAGAZINE via photopin cc
photo 2 credit: snowbuzz via photopin cc