Family-Friendly Winter Vacation in Lake Tahoe

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Advisor - Joy Cravens
Curated By

Joy Cravens

  • California

  • Gujarat

  • Nature Escapes

  • Family Travel

  • Winter

  • Mountains

  • Skiing

A beautiful view of the mountain with snow and lake below.
Curator’s statement

Nestled amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe offers a magical experience that will captivate all ages. From world-class ski resorts to picturesque snow-capped mountains, there is no shortage of adventure and beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or simply looking to create cherished family memories, Lake Tahoe has it all.

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Where to stay in Lake Tahoe

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Things to do in Lake Tahoe

The Village at Northstar is the place that includes an ice skating rink.

Skiing & Snowboarding – Lake Tahoe is renowned for its world–class ski resorts. Northstar Resort offers a wide range of slopes suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to pros. The resorts ski school offers excellent programs for kids, making it the perfect destination for the family.

Snowshoeing – Explore the landscapes by snowshoeing through the trails of Lake Tahoe. Many resorts and local companies offer guided tours.

Sledding and Tubing – Take the kids for a sledding to tubing adventures at one of the many designated snow play areas.

Ice Skating – Show off your moves on the ice at one of the area’s outdoor skating rinks, such as Northstar Village or Heavenly Village.

Snowmobiling – Experience the thrill of snowmobiling while exploring backcountry trails and taking in breathtaking views.

Scenic Gondola Rides – Hop on a gondola ride to enjoy stunning views of Lake Tahoe without the need to ski or snowboard.

Family Snowman Building Contest - Have blast building snowmen together as a family, make memories!

Indoor Fun at Kid-Friendly Spots – Head to family friendly spots like the KidZone Museum in Truckee.

Day trips

Emerald Bay State Park: Just a short drive from South Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park is a must-visit destination. Enjoy breathtaking views of Emerald Bay and Fannette Islands from the overlooks.

Reno, Nevada: Less than an hour drive from Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Reno offers a change of pace with it’s vibrant city atmosphere.

Donner Pass: Located near Truckee, Donner Pass becomes a winter wonderland, perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Heavenly Mountain Resort: If you’re already in South Lake Tahoe, consider spending the day at Heavenly Mountain Resort, where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice skating.

Places to eat & drink in Lake Tahoe

Macduff’s Public House is an Irish pub-style eatery.

Breakfast Spots

The Red Hut Café (multiple locations) A local favorite known for it’s fluffy pancakes, hearty omelets and their “Chili Size” dish.

The Old Post Office Café (South Lake Tahoe): The Old Post Office turned into a cozy breakfast spot. My favorite place for breakfast, the memories of family vacations past come flooding in every time I step foot into this space.

Fire Sign Café (Tahoe City) The charming café serves up delicious breakfast with a focus on fresh ingredients and unique twists on traditional recipes.

Lunch Spots

Base Camp Pizza Co (South Lake Tahoe) After a morning on the slopes refuel at this family-friendly pizza joint.

Mac Duff’s Public House (South Lake Tahoe) this Irish pub-style eatery serves hearty lunches like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and a variety of tasty burgers.

Dinner Spots

Evans American Gourmet Café (South Lake Tahoe) Sophisticate yet family-friendly dining experience, offering a diverse menu or American and international dishes made with locally sources ingredients.

Artemis Lakefront Café (South Lake Tahoe) A charming lake front restaurant specializing in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, serving flavorful dishes and warm ambiance.

Samurai Restaurant (South Lake Tahoe) Ideal for adventurous eaters, this restaurant serves up delicious Japanese cuisine, including sushi options for kids.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Mica Sangiacomo’s guide, 3 Days like a Local in Lake Tahoe.

Advisor - Joy Cravens

Travel Advisor

Joy Cravens

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.