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Old 10-08-2013, 08:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm also looking to head out to Tahoe for the first time this season and was wondering why Sierra is never mentioned in any of the Tahoe threads? As in should I look into riding else where as my season pass includes a few free days there excluding Saturday's, but I don't want a bad experience just to save a few bucks. My questions are is south lake within a reasonable distance from the Sierra resort, and or should I look into the other resorts all together? Also I plan on going mid march during spring break, so nightlife will be coming in as a close second to actual riding and south lake sounds like where I want to be. What sites do you guys use to look for condo style lodging? any help is appreciated.
Sierra is awesome! If i lived closer to south lake and the hwy 50 side id get my pass there. They have great parks, great on a powder day, not too far from south lake. Id choose sierra or kirkwood over heavenly.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know this is an old thread, but since people are still posting I thought I'd chime in for the newbs looking to hit up Tahoe...SOUTH LAKE SUCKS! There, I've said it. But I guess I'm old. If you're looking to party all night and hit the mountain with a throbbing head, South Lake is for you. All-night casinos (I actually like the Lakeside Inn, with their 24-hour cheapo Mex restaurant and low-stakes casino -- they cater to snowboarders with no money). But other than that and Heavenly (ugh!), there is no there there.

That said, it is a gateway to Kirkwood. Seriously, if you're going to Tahoe, fuck everything else and just go to Kirkwood. Trouble is, Kirkwood isn't really at Lake Tahoe. It's 45 minutes off South Lake. So we use South Lake (and the Lakeside Inn) as a cheap sleepover on our way from Tahoe City (Alpine, Squaw, Homewood, Northstar). Stay in Tahoe City, it's mellow, with decent restaurants, board shops, dogs wearing bandanas, total mellow California vibe. And the mountains are all really close by...put on your gear at home at be at the lifts in 20 minutes. I honestly don't get the appeal of South Lake. It's a shithole honky-tonk, and Heavenly is totally overrated and overcrowded (unless you want to take pictures -- but even then, Homewood is far more beautiful and way less crowded).
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's definitely still stuff to do in North Lake, but most of the bars/restaurants close at a decent hour. There are some casinos on the North Shore, the CBC and the Tahoe Biltmore right across the stateline, but they're nowhere near as classy as the South Lake casinos, but you still get to gamble and get free drinks.

If you're looking to get rowdy at night, or just have more options, definitely look into South Lake. Granted, if you stayed in Truckee, Reno is only a quick 30-40 minute drive.

Northstar and Squaw would be the two main resorts I would hit. Both villages have an extensive list of restaurants and shops, so the girlie can keep busy during the day if she decides not to ride. Heavenly/downtown South Lake also has a great scene for someone not really interested in riding.

Kinda just depends on what you're looking for/to do.
What do you count as a "decent hour"? And you mentioned hotels.com, you strictly talking about S. Lake Tahoe? Considering I grew up in Vegas (after the aforementioned birth in Reno) and my gf doesn't gamble I have no wish to spend time at a second rate Vegas. If we want Vegas, we'll just go there. I would like a few chill bars, and activities to do. I'll probably take a day off of boarding to hang out with her. So is there some shit to do?
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You should be good with the North Shore. Hit Northstar (ride the back side), Ride Squaw all sorts of options there, and take the lady to Homewood for a day. I suggest staying Tahoe City over Truckee. In TC you're down by the lake. It is pretty sleepy, but there is still plenty to do.

South Shore is fun, but second-rate Reno is pretty much what you got there. Heavenly is ok, but just doesn't get the snow that Squaw gets. Heav is very big and spread-out, but just eh riding. The views are gorgeous and, while Homewood also offers lake views, Heavenly's are from a more elevated perspective (2200 ft higher) and they also offer a pretty cool desert view. Kirkwood is always worth the drive and usually gets much more snow than most other resorts. It is also a long, windy drive (Though I LOVE the drive) from South Lake.

Sierra is much more low-key, but good tree riding for sure.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just a few things to add...

Sierra is 35-40 minutes from Heavenly gondola (someone mentioned 15-20). It is a really fun mountain for powder and groomer/park days, and it seems pretty easy to find lift ticket deals.

Kirkwood is awesome, but only on powder days or if it has snowed recently. Keep in mind that Tahoe gets huge storms then 1-2 weeks of sunshine. Mountains like Heavenly and Northstar take way better care of their groomers and parks than Kirkwood. On any given day Kirkwood can be a block of ice while Heavenly feels like a dream. So base your decisions on weather and conditions.

Lastly, I live in South Lake and it's paradise to me. The population of South Lake is 10 times the 2nd biggest town (Tahoe City), so naturally there will be a few more noticeable dirtbags. Also the casinos are much larger, and where there are casinos, there will be a few weirdlies (as my father in law calls them). But the majority of people here are amazing and inspiring and outdoor enthusiasts just like me and you. The lack of modernization is a result of environmental laws against development (to protect the lake), and that's a good thing. Perspective is a funny thing. It's Lake Tahoe... it's the most beautiful place in the country in my opinion. If you travel here and fixate on anything negative, that has more to do with you and less to do with Tahoe.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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While alot of people have different opinions, I think the thing you should pick up on is the driving distance between most of the resorts is within an hour so you can always drive and see different areas. There is something for everyone in the Tahoe region.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's funny even in the thread people are split between North and South Tahoe. I'm gonna run the options past ze gf because really I just want to board and I don't care where. If I give her some control it'll make my life muchhhh easier. Alqwa! Answer my other Q's haha.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There ain't shit in North Lake. We had a cabin in Carnelian Bay, right in between Northstar and Squaw/Alpine. 15 minutes to each or so. Sure there are some casinos across the state line but meh. If your girl won't get bored then this area is key because Northstar gets shit on but is fun to dick around, Squaw is pretty epic and Alpine isn't too shabby.

If it hasn't snowed recently Alpine has better conditions supposedly, and was true on our trip.

No experience with Heavenly. Sierra has a local feel to it, compared to the mega resorts. Northstar village is huge, Squaw seemed a little smaller, neither felt hoppin and poppin like Breckenridge's town area. I think Southlake would be better for that. Northstar/Squaw villages felt dead at night.

Last edited by jdang307; 10-10-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wvbms View Post
Just a few things to add...

Sierra is 35-40 minutes from Heavenly gondola (someone mentioned 15-20). It is a really fun mountain for powder and groomer/park days, and it seems pretty easy to find lift ticket deals.

Kirkwood is awesome, but only on powder days or if it has snowed recently. Keep in mind that Tahoe gets huge storms then 1-2 weeks of sunshine. Mountains like Heavenly and Northstar take way better care of their groomers and parks than Kirkwood. On any given day Kirkwood can be a block of ice while Heavenly feels like a dream. So base your decisions on weather and conditions.

Lastly, I live in South Lake and it's paradise to me. The population of South Lake is 10 times the 2nd biggest town (Tahoe City), so naturally there will be a few more noticeable dirtbags. Also the casinos are much larger, and where there are casinos, there will be a few weirdlies (as my father in law calls them). But the majority of people here are amazing and inspiring and outdoor enthusiasts just like me and you. The lack of modernization is a result of environmental laws against development (to protect the lake), and that's a good thing. Perspective is a funny thing. It's Lake Tahoe... it's the most beautiful place in the country in my opinion. If you travel here and fixate on anything negative, that has more to do with you and less to do with Tahoe.
Any nice dining/non casino food? I'm not real big on eating in Casinos seeing as how I grew up around them. So help a brother out haha.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Absolutely!

Naked Fish is my favorite restaurant in town (about 1/2 west of Heav gondola). Mainly sushi and they have fresh fish coming in about 4 days a week, so really great quality, not to mention great sushi chefs. They also have some good cooked entrees if sushi isn't your thing (try the butterfish entree).

The Chart House is amazing and has some of the best views of the lake of any non casino restaurant. Go up for sunset and request a window seat.

Scusa is the best Italian in town. It's like 5-6 miles or so west of casinos/Heav gondola.

Blue Angel is great for sandwiches and $15 entrees. Really creative chefs there and has a good laid back, ski town atmosphere. We always try to eat on the couch with coffee table by the fire place. It's about 2-3 miles from gondola.

Riva is on the lake and has a fine dining side and a bar/lounge side, food priced accordingly. Never had anything bad there. 2-3 miles from gondola.

Edgewood Golf Course is about a mile from the gondola and sits on the lake. They have a fine dining restaurant and Brooke's Bar which has high end bar food.

I could keep going... there are several options right there in the village at the gondola, Base Camp Pizza, Gunbarrel Grill, Kalani's (pricier sushi/Pacific Rim), Stateline Brewery, etc...

This should be enough places to look up.
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