You won’t get a chance to see the Amgen Tour of California come through San Francisco this year, but you don’t have to travel far to see the pro peloton, which begins this Sunday and races its way though the state over the next eight days.
Though in its infancy compared to established Euro races, the Tour of California has positioned itself as a world-class race, and it’s the largest cycling event in the nation. Nineteen of the elite teams, like Radioshack and Rabobank, will compete in our state, and even without Lance Armstrong, it will still be a cycling superhero showcase. Among the crowd favorites will be Andy Schleck, who came in second at the Tour de France last year, and Santa Rosa local, Levi Leipheimer, who has won the Tour of California three times and held multiple top ten finishes in the Tour de France.
Stage One begins in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday at 10:30 am. At 6,300 feet, it’s the highest elevation start in the six-year history, and one of the most beautiful and grueling routes of the Tour. The route skirts the entire lake on Stage 1 and heads out to Sacramento for Stage 2. In poor timing, Highway 50 will be down to one lane for repairs, so plan your road trip accordingly.
Sometimes you just need a weekend away with the girls. So, tell the boyfriend to go climb something while you make your way to the Hyatt Regency at Incline Village—it's the only north shore resort right on the water (hello, unbeatable views).
Back by popular demand (last year's attendees are still raving), the all-inclusive getaway combines the best of health, wellness, and beauty in the form of fitness classes (think pilates and belly dancing), skincare presentations by experts in the field (think consultant to the A-list Marilyn Jaeger), and plenty of spa treatments to go around (everyone gets $100 spa credits).
Prom night was relived for some at the 007 James Bond themed Squaw Valley Prom 2011 at Squaw Valley's Olympic House. The 7th installment ran and was presented by High Fives Non-Profit Foundation and Biking for a Better World since 2010. Since its inception, there's been a tremendous growth and Squaw Valley Prom is one of North Lake Tahoe's most successful winter parties and fundraisers. Prizes were given to those who came in the best 007 James Bond, Bond girl, or Bond villain costume.
Squaw Valley is reporting its highest season snowfall on record (which dates back to 1970) this year as the resort nears the 700-inch milestone (they're at around 690 inches now). The last season that was this snowy was 1994-1995, which weighed in at 662 inches. To herald the snow gods, Squaw Valley is extending its 2011 ski season through Memorial Day Weekend (May 30) and offering a Spring Pass for $199, valid from April 4 through the end of the season. If you've already purchased a 2011-2012 season pass, you can add on the Spring pass for $129.
Though the weather may say otherwise, spring skiing season is officially around the corner. Take advantage of all that powder and ski for free at Squaw Valley when you book an April package at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. Rates start as low as $100 per person, per night for a two night stay, and includes breakfast.
The typical Tahoe weekend plan goes like this: Scramble to get as much work done by noon on Friday as is humanly possible, then load up the car, cross the Bay Bridge, and pray you'll make it to Truckee in less than six hours. If there's snow, chains, or an accident anywhere along the route, settle in for the long haul. Spend Saturday skiing and drinking, wake up Sunday with an altitude-hangover headache, and reverse the trek on Sunday.
But what if you've got kids in tow—and not the kind of superhuman toddlers who can whiz down a blue slope in their baby skis at 30 mph, but regular, old-school carpet crawlers who just want some snow angels and sleds?
For those who thought all that new-fallen powder was gift enough, here's another Tahoe treat: 20% off a midweek stay at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, two complimentary drinks at the PlumpJack Bar and a complimentary breakfast each morning you stay.
Perhaps you should play hookey from work and make it an extended weekend after the Squaw Valley Prom? Just sayin.'
Winter is back. Snow has returned to the Sierras with a vengeance—the mountains are expected to be blasted with 3 to 5 feet by Friday. All that new-fallen powder has got the Bay Area thinking skiing, and us turning our attention once again to Squaw Valley, which changed management this season after being owned by the founding Cushing family for nearly 60 years.
This North Tahoe resort is nicknamed Squallywood for a reason: Many ski films have been shot here, and the place has a bustling, party vibe. In November, the resort was sold to a private equity firm that plans to invest $50 million in on-site improvements, so expect the glam level to increase. 800-403-0206.
Though I’m not knocking a good double cheeseburger, if you’re headed up to Tahoe for a snowy three-day getaway, there’s better eating to be done along the way than at the In-n-Out in Auburn. In fact, if you stop in Sacramento—which is just about halfway there—you have some great options just five minutes off the freeway in the historical neighborhood of Land Park.
Here, are very trustworthy options, all within walking distance of each other.