Best Ski Towns: Lake Tahoe region

We’ve already listed South Lake Tahoe as a Pit Stops for Kids Best Ski Town, but there are multiple hamlets dotting Lake Tahoe that deserve recognition. Beyond South Tahoe, the towns of Kings Beach, Tahoe City, and Homewood are also great ski communities, with their own activities and dining options. Here’s the scoop on the Lake Tahoe region in winter!

Tahoe with kids

West Shore:

West Lake Tahoe includes Tahoe City and Homewood, and is known as a quieter, more authentic–if you will–Tahoe. Families staying in this area will love the solitude, but will also need to drive about 30 minutes to most major ski areas.

Where to stay: We recommend a vacation home in the Homewood area (we’ve stayed in Tahoma), or Squaw Valley lodging. We love staying in the village at Squaw for the best ski-in, ski-out option on the west side.

homeaway rental

Where to ski: The closest ski area on the west side of the lake is Homewood, which is also one of the oldest. Tahoe locals love Homewood for it’s amazing lake views, affordable lift tickets, and hometown vibe. We love it for beginners and for sleeping-in mornings while staying in a west lake vacation home! Also nearby: Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are less than 30 minutes away (located between Tahoe City and Truckee).

Where to find snow play: For fun sledding and very basic, beginner skiing, head to Granlibakken, located in Tahoe City. For nordic skiing and general snow play, follow North Shore Drive just a mile or two from Tahoma and Homewood to Sugar Pine Point State Park. Also along North Shore Drive are multiple state sno parks (just get a CA sno park permit to put on your car). Want to go ice skating? Head to Squaw Valley, and take the tram to the Olympic ice skating rink at mid-mountain.

getoutfitted ski gear

North Tahoe:

North Tahoe is known for great eateries, lakeside lodging, and proximity to Northstar California. The town of Kings Beach is both sporty and artsy, with plenty to do in both summer and winter. We love the ‘ski town’ vibe, which is very casual and kid-friendly.

Where to stay: We love to stay at Northstar, either in a vacation rental or in the Village at Northstar. Other options include a vacation rental in Truckee, or lodging in a hotel along the lakeshore.

Northstar Village s'mores

Where to ski: As you can tell, we love Northstar! This resort has everything for all level of skiers and riders, and some of the best lessons in Tahoe as well. We recommend getting a private lesson for your whole family (more fun, and also more economical). Also on the north shore are Diamond Peak and Sugar Bowl (near Truckee-Donner area).

Where to find snow play: Families looking for snow play in North Tahoe can head to Truckee to ice skate on their community rink, or ice skate at the Village at Northstar. Sledding is fun at Kingvale sledding and tubing center, or at Soda Springs ski area, located near Sugar Bowl. As with the west side, it’s always a good idea to head to sno parks, too.


For South Lake Tahoe, see our South Lake Tahoe Best Ski Town page.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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