There is no wrong time to visit Lake Tahoe. But in the winter; it is magic. The southern shore of Lake Tahoe—nicknamed Tahoe South and straddling the Nevada/California border—truly has it all. So much, in fact, there is no way to see and do it all without a plan.
As such, here is a guide to getting the most out of your trip to Tahoe South.
Those who have been following Fabulous California since its onset know where this is going: The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe. I mean…right?
Winter at Edgewood Tahoe means the property’s annual ice-skating rink, Edgewood on Ice, is back and better than over. My favorite part: it has a Veuve Clicquot mobile bar to toast the beautiful Lake Tahoe backdrop.
If planning a bit more in advance, be aware that Edgewood Tahoe is now taking reservations for its new luxury villas that will open in the late summer of 2022. The first two buildings of Phase One, fronting the eighth and ninth fairways of the golf course, will be open. The private units will include villa suites with configurations of four two-bedrooms, two three-bedrooms and one five-bedroom with a den. Two additional units scheduled for completion in summer 2023 will expand the offerings to showcase a pair of two-bedroom, four three-bedroom, and one four-bedroom villa suites. They will all be the true ultimate in luxury. Like, beyond.
Edgewood Tahoe also happens to be just minutes from Tahoe South’s famed casinos offering the best in table and slots play, along with numerous nightlife options to dance and let loose. Hard Rock is among the newest casino/hotel offerings in the area. It has 539 rooms featuring balconies and Jacuzzi tubs, a 25,000-plus-sq.-ft. casino with massive sports book, world-famous retail store, multiple restaurants and bars, and an assortment of live-entertainment both indoors and out. There is also a terrific bar called Alpine Union on-site with fire pits and live music. Even if staying at Edgewood, plan on one night out here for sure!
Harveys is also a gem. An iconic resort on the shore, Harveys Lake Tahoe offers these great remodeled Tahoe Tower guest rooms and has a Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen on property, which I am obsessed with (and have never once seen the show – that is how good the food is!) The Tahoe Tower also features recently redesigned balcony suites with incredible views of the lake. Insider tip: check out the website when visiting the region as they bring in some great musicians, comics and other performers on a regular basis. So fun!
Heavenly Mountain Resort is the spot in the winter. There, enjoy scenic gondola rides with views for days, exceptional skiing and snowboarding, excellent culinary offerings and even instruction for beginners. While we are still working through COVID-19, note that face coverings will be required in indoor settings including restaurants, shuttle buses and rental locations. In addition, dining reservations are necessary at many of the on-mountain restaurants but can be made using the Epic Mix app and through onsite QR signage. Proof of vaccination must be shown for indoor dining, including cafeteria-style restaurants with payments via credit card only.
If a fan of sledding, you are also in luck. Tube Tahoe, operating out of Tahoe Paradise Golf Course; Tahoe Snowmobile Tubing Hill across from MontBleu/Bally’s Resort Casino & Spa; Sierra at Tahoe’s Blizzard Mountain; Adventure Mountain at the top of Echo Summit; and Hansen’s Resort, on Ski Run Boulevard, approximately a mile from the Stateline/Heavenly Village corridor, each offer dedicated groomed areas for tubing and snow play as well as lodge amenities.
If you have time, you must also grab an ax and get over to Yosemite Axe Throwing. It is equal parts fun and cathartic, especially after the past two years!
Also, while not re-opened until after the snow melts, if visiting after the winter months, you have to look into Tahoe Tastings, which offers daily wine tastings on Golden Rose, a vintage, one-of-a-kind 1953 Chris Craft Venetian Water Taxi. There are several tours, including a mid-day two-hour option that allows for the tasting of eight wines from nearby Northern California and an evening option timed out to enjoy the wine during sunset. Just some of the award-winning wines from the nearby California vineyards guests can expect to taste include Domaine Carneros, Lange Twins Family Winery, Navarro Vineyards, Rancho Victoria Vineyard, Renegade Winery, School Street and Via Romano Vineyard. There are also a private tour options if reserved in advance.
Tahoe South Beer Trail
Craft beer is an art form in Tahoe – and easy to enjoy thanks to the Beer Trail. Yes, Tahoe South tourism leaders offer a handy, dandy map of how to best navigate through the exploding craft beer scene in the area via its Beer Trail.
Beyond the food and drink at Edgewood (next level, friends, next level), Harveys and Heavenly as well as those along the Beer Trail, Tahoe South is home to eclectic, electric eateries all worth a visit. But don’t just take my word for it; explore for yourself. Here are some of my tried and true faves:
For even more ideas, visit tahoesouth.com.
Featured photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun – Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority