Lake Tahoe in Spring, Still Doable

I have been to Lake Tahoe twice in Spring for skiing, it is fun, not crowded, and affordable.

Best Western Station House Inn

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by JesusW on April 24, 2006

Good place to stay, the only two things I would ask would be: indoors pool and Jacuzzi and closer to the gondola.

They have a cozy place for you to sleep, big soft beds, wired Internet connection (you have to bring your Ethernet cable or ask for one at the reception) nice bathrooms, a real fireplace at the reception–where you can also check your e-mail with their computer. The reception personnel is very helpful if you need to arrange for transportation and tours in the area. There is a big plus in this hotel, they include breakfast on your daily stay, and not just coffe and doughnuts like in other cheaper hotels, but a full hearty real breakfast with several options: pancakes, pancakes with bacon, eggs several styles, french toast, etc.

I don´t have any regrets of choosing this hotel.
Best Western Station House Inn
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96150

Holiday Lodge

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JesusW on January 8, 2007

If you are skiing at Heavenly this hotel is very convenient, a couple blocks from the Gondola. The hotel has a large parking lot and the rooms are small but cozy. As any modern hotel that can be respected, you get free wireless Internet connections and if you don't want to bring your laptop, just pass by the reception and use theirs free of charge.

There are two swimming, pools one outdoors (not a good idea in Winter-Spring), and the second one is indoors and heated (not much but enough), the water was way too much chlorinated so I recommend you bring your goggles. The plus is a nice Jacuzzi.

For long stays there is the convenience of coin operated washing machines, not a bad deal. In the morning you can have a coffee or hot cocoa with a donut or bun at the small snacks and beverages room. For a heartier breakfast you can stop at some of the coffee shops or restaurants in your way to the Gondola.

Also if you are into gambling, the casinos are just a block north, very easy. Or get there for the buffets, not the best food in town, but great if you are in a budget.

Their website is
Holiday Lodge
4095 Laurel Avenue
South Lake Tahoe, California
(530) 544-4101

Bob Dog Pizza

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by JesusW on April 22, 2006

Great pizza and very close to the Gondola.These are thick pizzas, not only the crust, but the toppings. They don´t have the normal "Dominoes" variety but more rich and meticulous recipes, and with more imagination. We tried the BBQ Chicken and were very satisfied, all four of us were hungry and one pizza was enough to satisfy us.They also offered Calzones, Paninis, hot wings, salads, chicken fingers.To find them, once you finish your skiing at the Gondola, walk to the left on the main avenue, at the corner you will see the Village Center Shopping Mall in front of you, walk left on your side of the street and you will find the cinema complex, cross the street and you will see Bob Dog on your left.
Bob Dog Pizza
3141 Highway 50 Suite C2
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96150
(530) 541-0809

Forest Buffet

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by JesusW on April 23, 2006

The buffet is mainly Asian food and some pasta, pizza, roast beef and Virginia Ham, plus things you have at home like mashed potatoes, veggies, eggs different styles, rolls, etc. In other words, not exactly international, and not something to call home about.Flavors were bland, I guess the clientele of the hotel has lost the joy of strong flavors and prefer neutral ones, otherwise I can´t find a good reason to eat here as you only have a limited stomach and can`t take advantage of an Eat-All-You-Can-For-One-Flat-Price deal, of course if you are always hungry this is a cheap way to make your dollars last longer, but is not a very enjoyable or memorable meal. Even the desserts were not that appealing to me and I love cakes and pies.The service was good, our waiter made sure we had our drinks and checked on us several times during our meal, good guy.But the best thing of this place is the location, location, location, being at the 18th floor of the tallest building in the area gives you advantage views from both the lake and the mountain, unfortunately you can´t get to a balcony and are confined behind the glass, but even then, if you get a window side table you are warranted a great view.The prices are OK for a buffet, I had expected more variety and quality being a renowned casino, but was frankly disappointed. At $11.9 + tax per adult and $8.99 per child (April 2006) the price is right, but the flavours were not.In their website they claim to be the "best buffet in Lake Tahoe", I don´t know who votes and who counts on this, but certainly not gourmets.
Forest Buffet
Harrah´s Casino, 18th floor
Lake Tahoe, California, 89449
(775) 588-6611

Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JesusW on April 23, 2006

I have never done snowmobiling before, being from a tropical country, and I found this a great idea to share with the family. I went with my mom, sister, and niece.

We found the operation to be perfectly safe and professional. For me a snowmobile was something only hard guys would drive, and it would be more difficult, but after the basic and very handy instruction they give you at the start of the tour, it seemed like a very good idea to have chosen this tour. When you sign up you are equipped with a helmet and snowshoes, and that is great as we weren´t ready to walk in the snow. They also have snow pants for rent if you need them, and that is very clever.

First thing after getting all the safety instructions they get your picture, I thought that it would be like the one they take of you before boarding the boat to Alcatraz, just a ripoff with bad scenario, but at the end of the tour it came out to be a good looking picture; a little bit expensive, but it was good quality and came in a nice picture holder along with a great panorama of Lake Tahoe taken on a clear day from the top of the mountain... a nice souvenir.

The ride of course is for novices, the guide will take predetermined routes and won´t go too fast. You have to chance to experience the ride at your own pace, as there is another guide at the end of the convoy to make sure everybody arrives with the group in a safe way.

The scenario is breathtaking, literally, not just because of being in a cold place at medium-high speeds, but because of the beauty of the area. You get to go to the top of the mountain and you have to get off the snowmobile and climb to the very top, and you get an unobstructed view of all the surrounding area—including of course the majestic Lake Tahoe, and if you get a clear day it is amazing. After getting down from the summit you are driven to another spot where you get a really cool vista of the Lake to have pictures taken. There is no big hurry to leave, and the guides are there for your safety, not to rush you out fast.

Before the end of the ride, you get a break to enjoy some hot cocoa. Be careful, it is very hot!!!

Definitely it wasn´t an extreme sport, but it felt like one for a newbie. Great experience and completely safe.

Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center
Highway 50
Lake Tahoe, California

Emerald Bay D.L. Bliss State Park

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by JesusW on April 23, 2006

An incredible place, just a few minutes from the busy city of Lake Tahoe, CA.

We were driving around the lake, counter clockwise, starting at Lake Tahoe. It was a very nice ride until we found this place, we got stunned at the view from the parking lot. We climbed a little hill and spend the next 15 minutes just enjoying the wonderful vista. The previous days had been snowing and the mountain at our back was completely white with fresh snow, and suddenly my niece spotted a waterfall not far from where the parking lot. We couldn´t resist its spell, and made the hike through the snow. It was fun to fall in the holes of fresh soft snow, and it was very gratifying to reach that small cascade—what a view!!!

Too bad we arrived late in the afternoon and didn´t knew there were tables to hold a picnic, otherwise it would have been an excellent spot to spend a couple or more hours, even then, it was the highlight of our trip around the lake.
Go for it.

Emerald Bay D.L. Bliss State Park
Highway 89
Lake Tahoe, California, 96143
(530) 525-7277

Heavenly Ski Resort

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JesusW on April 24, 2006

I have never tried skiing before and found the Heavenly Ski School a very good way to learn. The place is amazing and safe; I can´t compare with other places, but for me as a beginner it was excelent.

You start at the base of the mountain, you have the option to rent your equipment in several stores in the area or rent directly from Heavenly, is more pricey but they have good equipment and in my case is came bundled with the ski instruction. You can leave the skis overnight in their shop after the initial setup, which is very convenient. Also included in my lesson fee was the use of the gondola and day pass for the lifts. One 2-hour, 45-minute class with rental equipment and gondola/lift ticket was $115 per person.

As we are not used to walking arount town with the ski boots, we found extremely convenient to rent a locker at the top of the gondola (there are other at the base) to keep our street shoes inside, and so we didn´t suffer the boots more time than needed. There is a flat fee of $5 for the whole day with unlimited accesses, just remember your locker and pin.

At the top of the gondola you find restrooms and a small restarant named Adventure Peak Grill, the food is mediocre but extremely expensive, we eat there as they are the only source of hot food in the area, as going to the base is not an option because you have to pay for the ride up again. At the top of the gondola you also find beside the ski school an area for tubing, snowshoeing, snowbycicles, etc., which cost extra of course.

There are several lifts in the area some for students and the normal ones for skiers. The system is very convenient and specially safe, the operators are very professional and keep an eye on you in case of any trouble.

Some of my friends like to ski in other resorts around Lake Tahoe, but I found Heavenly to be very convenient and easy. When I pass to more difficult levels I will try those, meanwhile this is a very enjoyable vacation spot.

Heavenly Ski Resort
Highway 50 at Ski Run Blvd
Stateline, California, 89449
+1 775 586 7000

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