Best Ski Towns: South Lake Tahoe, CA

If a kid-friendly ski trip sounds like a great place to spend your spring break, South Lake Tahoe, CA is the perfect location! Having grown up in the Tahoe area, I am no stranger to the Sierra snow, sunny weather, and beautiful scenery that makes this family ski haven an obvious choice as a ‘Best Ski Town’. Split by the California/Nevada border, families are presented with the best of two worlds in South Tahoe: on the Nevada side, bustling businesses, resorts, and casinos. On the California side, a quiet ski village. We recently returned for a week of fun, powder, relaxation, and more powder; the following is a round-up of what makes Tahoe the perfect town for traveling families.

Where to ski: With so many world-class ski resorts dotting the shore of Lake Tahoe, you really can’t go wrong finding slopes that won’t disappoint. If you want to enjoy your family ski vacation without breaking the bank, however, we recommend Sierra-at-Tahoe. Located on the South shore of the lake near Twin Bridges, Sierra-at-Tahoe is truly committed to a family ski experience. You’ll find runs expertly groomed with families in mind, dedicated ski school instructors, extreme attention to the details of resort layout, and prices that make other Tahoe area resorts’ fees seem laughable. We’re expert skiers, and found Sierra’s slopes to be challenging beyond expectation, and yet families with beginners are catered to as well. We don’t know how they do it, but they do!

Where to stay: For our most recent stay, we opted for a HomeAway rental home, and couldn’t have been happier. We avoided the hustle and bustle of downtown South Lake Tahoe by renting near Sierra-at-Tahoe 15 miles into the mountains, and as a result, enjoyed amble wildlife viewing, space to play, snowshoe, and sled right out our front door, and room to spread out in our three-bedroom, two bathroom home. Read more about our Tahoe HomeAway experience and rent the perfect vacation home at!!

Sierra at TahoeWhere to eat: Hands down, the best food we ate in South Lake Tahoe was at Freshies (3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd). This ‘hole in the wall’ location inside a small strip mall serves up excellent Hawaiian specialties, great microbrews, and kid favorites like rice and noodle bowls in a fun setting. Be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds; word is getting out about this restaurant!

What to do when not skiing: South Tahoe is full of options for non-skiers, so what you choose will depend on the ages of your kids, how much time you have, and their sense of adventure! We loved sledding at Adventure Mountain (Hwy 50), a tubing mecca just outside of town. If you’re up for a longer outing, consider a snowmobiling cruise with Zephyr Cove Resort, located in town. South Tahoe on the Nevada side also provides plenty of distraction in the form of evening shows, buffets, gambling, and movie theaters.

How to get here: From Reno, Nevada, take Highway 395 to Highway 50 into town. From Sacramento, take I-5 to Highway 50.

Read more Best Ski Town picks!

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.




  1. I have never considered spring break in Lake Tahoe until now — and I am a Californian! There are a lot of great reasons to spend time there.

Leave a Comment