Bright lights and all-night partying typical of Las Vegas join the Sierra Nevada Range and California’s skiing mecca to bring you South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the convenience of walking from your lakeside casino hotel room straight to the gondola at Heavenly Mountain Resort, or cross the Nevada state line to California and find a cozy, quiet chalet near Sierra-at-Tahoe. The town sprawls out across the south shore of Lake Tahoe giving visitors the chance to explore different areas. Younger crowds may want to bunk near Stateline on the Nevada border for late nights at casinos and clubs while families and those seeking a more intimate experience can head farther west into the California side of town.
Why South Lake Tahoe is Different
The après ski scene in South Lake Tahoe is lively and draws groups other than just snow sliders. The party starts on the hill at Tamarack Lodge at Heavenly Mountain Resort with live djs and appearances from the Heavenly Angels. Afterward, the gondola takes party-goers down the mountain, straight to the heart of downtown Stateline, Nevada where casinos and clubs offer a different takes on the après experience.
Nearest Ski Mountain
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Straddling the border of California and Nevada, Heavenly Mountain Resort is the only mountain where skiers and riders can shred in two states. A gondola rises from the middle of town, making transportation a breeze with proper planning.
Sierra-at-Tahoe, the home mountain to Olympic athletes such as Hannah Teter, Jamie Anderson and Maddie Bowman, is eleven miles from town with plenty of varied terrain for everyone in the family. Also, Kirkwood rises about 30 miles south of town and offers an off-the-beaten-path experience.BEST ADVICERESTAURANTS NIGHTLIFE AND EVENTS
For those who party as hard as they ski, Stateline, Nevada is home to the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which combines the rock n’ roll theme of the popular Hard Rock Café with luxury rooms plastered with rock memorabilia and art. In the morning, walk across the street and catch the gondola to Heavenly Gondola.
Families can head to the Fireside Lodge Bed and Breakfast, which features log cabin style rooms, daily happy hours and marshmallow roasting, hot tubs, a sauna, and bike and kayak rentals in the summer. The Fireside Lodge is located in California near the iconic Emerald Bay.
For those on a budget, many casinos offer ski & stay packages with discounted room rates and lift tickets. Alternatively, the Howard Johnson has affordable rooms without the bustle of a casino.
Use the “Explore Lake Tahoe’s Best Lodging Deals” box above and right to find the Tahoe lodging choices that best fit you.
Much of South Lake Tahoe is best suited for a younger crowd planning to spend their days on the slopes and nights in a club. The casinos are often a destination choice for spring breakers and bachelor parties with the option to visit a different club every night of the week. College students on a budget should have no problem saving a few bucks by seeking out après ski, and happy hour deals ranging from beer and tacos to sake and sushi.
While the nightlife is South Lake Tahoe’s largest draw, families can find plenty to after sunset like s’mores and ice skating in the Heavenly Village and kid-friendly arcades at casinos.
Stay close to the mountain and enjoy $5 taco and beer specials at Azul Latin Kitchen. Also located in the Heavenly Village, Fire + Ice is a create-your-own -meal experience. Start by choosing to fill your plate with your choice of Asian, Italian, American and seafood inspired ingredients and sauces, then watch as they’re prepared by grill masters in front of you on a communal grill.
The Brewery At Lake Tahoe offers pub food like pizza, burgers and fried appetizers paired with eight full-time and five rotating seasonal beers.
Party goes can gear up for MontBleu casino where the Opal Ultra Lounge features go-go dancers, body painting and bottle service all night. Travel back to the disco era during boogie nights every weekend at Club Blu.
For live entertainment, catch a comedy show at the Improv at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. Two new comedians take the stage each week with emcee and host Howie Nave.
Lake Tahoe Lodging
Use the “Explore Lake Tahoe’s Best Lodging Deals” box above and right to find Tahoe’s best Lodging choices and deals. Lodging choices are pre-ordered by price, but you can enter your own search parameters.
For New Years, the athletic fields of Lake Tahoe Community College campus are transformed into a multi-stage venue for the SnowGlobe Music Festival – a spectacular three-day electronic music festival, including some big air ski exhibitions performed by some of Tahoe’s top athletes.
The Lake Tahoe Adventure Film Festival curates some of the best projects from all corners of the adventure film industry and produces 10 to 12 minutes clips showcased during the early winter months at the Montbleu Casino.
Off Mountain Activities
South Lake Tahoe is one of the few mountain towns that brings all the amenities of a beach town to snow hounds. During the winter and summer two paddle wheel boats take guests on cruises across the largest alpine lake in North America. The MS Dixie II and the Tahoe Queen offer tours throughout Emerald Bay, which features some of the most stunning views of the lake and shoreline as well as dinner cruises and yes, more nightlife. Rock the Boat parties hosts several late-night dance parties on the water.
If you’d like to explore the Sierras on something other than skis, then call Lake Tahoe Adventures. The company offers guided snowmobile tours or rentals throughout South Lake Tahoe. The South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena offers open skating and rentals. Additionally, drop-ins are welcome to join hockey and curling classes.
By Jenn Sheridan