Alpine Meadows#10 in Best Things To Do in Lake Tahoe
If you want to avoid the crowds that flock to nearby Squaw Valley, consider visiting the lesser known Alpine Meadows. Often referred to as Lake Tahoe's hidden gem, this 2,400-acre ski facility features more than 100 runs, not to mention several snowboarding parks. Its diverse activities suit a variety of interests; recent visitors recommend a stop here, whether you're a novice skier looking to take your first stab at shredding powder or you're a double black diamond daredevil wanting to take a walk on the wild side. What's more, there are ski schools, play areas and special programs for kids. Note that 75 percent of the trails are designed for intermediate or advanced skiers.
For the most part, recent visitors gave glowing reviews of the diversity of the ski runs and the on-site kids programs, while others said the customer service is a little lacking and the expensive lift tickets don't match the limited facilities and restaurants. But all reviewers agreed, the views are unparalleled.
Alpine Meadows is nestled next to Squaw Valley in the Olympic Valley, about 10 miles west of Tahoe City. The winter season spans from November to mid-May. The lifts are open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during ski season. Lift ticket prices vary by month and day, but you can expect to pay at least $100 for an adult one-day ticket. To save on lift tickets, purchase in advance online. You can also save by purchasing multi-day packages. Because Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows operate as one mega-resort, you can easily hop between the two (lift tickets and season passes are interchangeable between each resort) thanks to the free shuttle. For more information on ticket prices, lodging and summer activities, check out the resort's website.
More Best Things To Do in Lake Tahoe
#1 Emerald Bay State Park
Carved millions of years ago by passing glaciers, this state park is a must-see for anyone looking to experience Lake Tahoe's beauty. Sheltered by towering trees, this inlet along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe is known for its colorful granite cliffs and stunning panoramas. Follow Highway 89 south from Tahoe City (about 20 miles) or north from South Lake Tahoe (about 10 miles) and you'll come across the Emerald Bay Lookout, the park's crown jewel. And you should make sure you have a camera on hand – the scenery is breathtaking and travelers say there are photo opportunities everywhere you turn.
But staring off into the sunset isn't the only thing to do here. Emerald Bay State Park is also home to several attractions. Budding geologists can hop a boat out to Fannette Island (the only island on Lake Tahoe) where evidence of glacial activity abounds. If you're into history, a stop at Vikingsholm is a must: Built in the 1920s, this former summer home is one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the country. Plus, many of the materials used to construct Vikingsholm came from the Lake Tahoe area, making this mansion an authentic part of the landscape. Adults can tour the home for $10 (children ages 7 to 17 and college student pay $8). Getting to the house takes a bit of doing. After parking in the Vikingshom parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay, visitors must hike via a steep 1-mile trail that drops 500 feet in elevation. Those with medical conditions or mobility issues are advised not to attempt this hike.
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