The Complete Guide to Tahoe

So you’ve heard conditions are the best ever...

  • But how do I get there?
  • Where should I stay?
  • What are chains?

We know that planning a trip to Tahoe takes a lot of hard work, so we made this guide to help you each step of the way.

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About Lake Tahoe


Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, situated on the border between California and Nevada. At 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, getting from one side to the other is no small feat. So your first decision to make is whether you want to visit North Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe.

  • North Tahoe is known for its many cabins and quiet, small mountain-town feel. It is a bit more spread out, and there are eight major ski resorts to choose from.

  • South Lake Tahoe is much more centralized, and is known for its casinos, hotels, and a full suite of nightlife options for tourists. There are three major resorts on the south shore.

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Places to Stay

Step 1 - Decide where you want to ski.

Both North Tahoe & South Tahoe each have a full range of accommodations options from budget to luxury, but we'd all rather drive 10 minutes to the slopes than over an hour, and driving from one end of the lake to the other can be brutal, especially in bad weather.

Compare Resorts

Step 2 - Search Google, Airbnb, and/or a few of the other rental listing agencies below.

Step 2b) If you're staying in North Tahoe and want some more inspiration, below are our favorite places in North Tahoe that we can personally vouch for.

Our Favorite Airbnb Listings in North Tahoe

Each of these properties are great for families and owned by lovely hosts with invaluable local knowledge to help guide your stay; note that availability can be limited especially over holidays.

(Note that all estimated driving times below represent the distance from Homewood Mountain Resort.)

**Please note that Airbnb prices are subject to change. Prices last updated on 1/24/17.

Our Favorite Hotels and Inns in North Tahoe

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View All Resort Details

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Sledding Hill Tickets

We encourage all guests to book tickets for the sledding hill online in advance. When you do so, you'll be able to complete the mandatory waiver online, and you will then receive an electronic confirmation that you can present directly at the sled hill. Unless you purchase online, expect to wait in line at least 45 minutes on weekends and holidays.

  • All sled hill tickets include a saucer rental for the day.
  • Guest staying at the Granlibakken lodge are eligible to receive 50% off.
  • An all-season sledding pass is available for $100/person.


Regular Rate Holiday Rate*
All-day Ticket $20 $25

*Dec 21-Jan 6, Jan 12-14, Feb 15-23

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Other Things to Do

Personally not a fan of skiing or snowboardng?
Not a problem.
Tahoe has activities for everyone!

Whether you're staying in North Tahoe or South Lake, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Tahoe. If the weather is nice, we highly encourage getting outside and finding a bit of elevation to take in the picturesque views that have made Tahoe famous for so many years. When it's blowing snow in all directions, a spa day may be just what the doctor ordered.


Other Outdoor Activities

Warm & Cozy Things to Do

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Disclosure - while we've explored much of Tahoe's dining options over the last seven years, our expertise is on the mountain, not in the kitchen. Since you likely have your trusty smartphone nearby anyhow, know that Yelp and OpenTable work just as well in Tahoe as anywhere else. Nonetheless, here's a few favorites based on our personal experiences. (Most are North Tahoe, simply because that's where we live.)

  • Coffeebar in Truckee ($) No frills, just great coffee, sandwhiches, and snacks.
  • Fat Calf in Tahoe City ($$) Open late, an upbeat bar & grill with classic American dishes, cocktails & regular live music..
  • Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company ($$) Incredibly balanced, elegant and innovative beers. Tons of ales to try, and super chill and welcoming atmosphere to boot.
  • Fifty Fifty Brewing Company in Truckee ($$) Warm, inviting brewpub with a diverse selection of craft beer and good food. Known best for their award-winning Eclipse, a barrel-aged stout.
  • Marty's Cafe in Truckee ($$) A pioneer in serving French-California cuisine at affordable prices.
  • Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee ($$$) Housed in a historic ski lodge, boasting eclectic meals & deck seating with views of historic downtown Truckee.
  • Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay ($$$) fresh fish, contemporary American cuisine with beautiful lakeside dining.
  • MacDuff's Pub in South Lake Tahoe ($$) is by far the best Scottish Pub in Tahoe, with a friendly atmosphere and great combination of food and beer.

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Après ski, bars & nightlife

Uhh... is there Uber? (the most important question.)

Yes! Since early 2016, Uber and Lyft have both had drivers in both North and South Lake Tahoe. However, expect wait times to typicall be in the 10-15 minutes range, and fares will likely be a bit higher than in San Francisco or Sacramento, to compensate for the longer distances drivers must travel to pick you up.

Best Locations for Après Ski

  • Homewood: West Shore Cafe - enjoy free s'mores and $5 draft beer.
  • Alpine Meadows: The Chalet - Bavarian-style beer garden next to Scott chair.
  • Squaw: Le Chamois - the classic outdoor Après scene, a must-do after spring skiing.
  • Northstar: TC's Pub - classic sports bar in the village with burgers & TVs.

Late-night Shenanigans

Trip planned already, and now you're ready to book a lesson?

Book a Lesson at Homewood

Still have questions? Let us know!

Give us a call or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!


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