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.

Get Started


About Lake Tahoe

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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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When you book at least 72 hours in advance, we can generally include rentals in your lesson package. However, our rental selection is limited, and so we recommend to call if your lesson is less than 72 hours ahead.


  • All lessons include a lift ticket, and it is best to purchase the learn to ski package if you need rentals.
  • If you are not taking lessons, lift tickets and rentals are sold according to the rates below.
  • If you are booking last minute and we have no more rental equipment available, we recommend you visit Tahoe Dave's, which is a local retailer with five locations in the North Tahoe area, with rental packages starting at $32/day.
  • Likewise, if you need to rent any winter apparel, Tahoe Dave's also offers rentals on ski pants, jackets, and gloves.

LIFT TICKETS RATES

Regular Rate Holiday Rate Half-day
Adult lift ticket $35 $40 $17.50
Child lift ticket (12 and under) $25 $30 $12.50

EQUIPMENT RENTAL RATES

Adult Child
Ski package (skis, boots, poles) $35 $30
Snowboard package (board, boots) $35 $30
Cross-country package $20 $14
Snowshoes package $20 $14
Boots only $15 $12
Helmets $6 $6

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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.

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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!

(530)430-SNOW

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