Best Ski Towns: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Spring is a wonderful time of year to spend in South Lake Tahoe! Skiing and other snowsports are still on offer, and sunny skies and warmer temps make hiking and lake days possible, too.

Note: As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation as any travel is at your own risk.

If you do decide to travel at this time, here are our recommendations:

  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
  • Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
  • Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.

During a time when many vacations are not possible, outdoor activities in road trip-accessible locations offer the ability to safely social distance. asked me to share my favorite activities and tips for exploring South Lake Tahoe, so start here as you plan a safe and responsible vacation.

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:  It’s hard to go wrong! If you want to stay on the Nevada side, you can opt to be at the heart of the action at the base of Heavenly ski resort, or away from the crowds closer to Sierra-at-Tahoe. There are many lakefront hotel options in South Lake Tahoe as well. Look for suites or condos run by hotels and resorts, which will allow you to have more space and the use of a kitchen.

Where 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.

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Disclaimer: This post has been written in partnership with All opinions remain my own.