Christmas in Tahoe: Hotel Specials, Holiday Dinners + Spicy Cocktails
Photo courtesy of Go Tahoe North

Christmas in Tahoe: Hotel Specials, Holiday Dinners + Spicy Cocktails


With the last few storms, Tahoe has become a sparkling winter wonderland. What better way to celebrate the Christmas weekend than to be surrounded with glittering snow, eating warm meals and snuggling around cracking fires? Here's our list of the best places for holiday dinners, seasonal drinks, cozy rooms and playtime in the mountains.


Northstar California offers fireside s'mores—some with crispy bacon.(Northstar California)

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Après-Ski Delights

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, located mid-mountain at Northstar California, will be offering several on-slope events such as their signature Marshmology program by the fire pits—check out the bacon-wrapped s'mores—and the Après-Ski Champagne Experience featuring Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial and a raw bar with shrimp cocktail and ceviche. // 5001 Northstar Drive (Truckee),

Wild Bill's BBQ at Snowflake Lodge

If you're already on the slopes of Diamond Peak and don't want to leave to grab some sustenance, Chef Bill Vandenburg has expanded Wild Bill's BBQ offerings at the mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge. Authentic southern barbecue is slow-cooked and smoked on site with housemade barbecue sauces and tasty sides. Enjoy lunch by the lodge's fireplace. // 1210 Ski Way (Incline Village),

Seasonal Specials at Gar Woods

The lakeside dining at Gar Woods will be even more spectacular with snow-covered views and their special holiday dinner. The restaurant will serve braised lamb shank ($39), pan-seared California sea bass with lobster risotto ($39), and filet Oscar with Dungeness crab ($49) for their holiday dinner specials. // 5000 North Lake Boulevard (Carnelian Bay),

Holiday Dinners at the The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

If you plan on skiing or boarding the slopes of Northstar, Manzanita restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe will be offering a Skier's Lunch Buffet for $39 per person. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrate with a Fred Flintstone-style Niman Ranch pork tomahawk, heirloom baby beets and tater tots fried in duck fat. // 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court (Truckee),


Warm up with spicy cocktails from West Shore Café and Wolfdale's.(West Shore Café)

West Shore Café Warmers

If you are at Homewood, warm up with these $12 spicy West Shore Café cocktails: the Mountain Mule with Tahoe Blue vodka and ginger beer, a spicy pear margarita with serrano chili, or the Mexican hot chocolate with chili liqueur and whipped cream. // 5160 West Lake Boulevard (Homewood),

Resort at Squaw Creek's "Garden to Glass"

The Six Peaks Grille's "Garden to Glass" cocktail menu mixes in ingredients from their various indoor gardens. The newest signature cocktail is the KT-22, made with Hangar One vodka, pomegranate juice, and fresh-pressed lime; the drink is finished with a float of barrel-aged Grand Marnier. // 400 Squaw Creek Road (Olympic Valley),

Wolfdale's Martinis

Wolfdale's Asian-fusion restaurant and bar in Tahoe City has a unique martini menu. For $14 each, try the Thin Air with Bluecoat gin, fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime, and served with a sugar-frosted rim. If you want something more fiery, the Volcano has silver tequila, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, fresh lime, cranberry juice and a black volcanic salt rim. // 640 North Lake Tahoe Boulevard (Tahoe City),

Cottonwood Cocktails

At this cozy hilltop spot in Truckee, not only can you score some warm drinks, but you can enjoy them with one of the best views of the historic town. The Hilltop Toddy ($9) will banish any chills with earl grey and chamomile teas, bourbon, honey, lemon juice and a dash of spiced brandy. A festive touch is added with a cinnamon stick and lemon wedge. If you want to drink your dessert, the Thin Mintini ($8) has Godiva chocolate liqueur, Van Gogh Dutch chocolate vodka, and creme de menthe topped with shaved chocolate. // 10142 Rue Hilltop (Truckee),


Blue Wolf Studios in Kings Beach sells handmade pottery, jewelry and their own Tahoe-shaped wood key rings.(Blue Wolf Studios)

North Tahoe Arts

When Christmas shopping for your favorite people, Tahoe is a great place to keep your dollars local. Tahoe and NorCal artists feature many of their wares at the non-profit North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City. To clear the air before a hectic week, pick up a singing bowl or desktop chime by Sounds of Solace for your boss or favorite co-worker. // 380 North Lake Boulevard (Tahoe City),

Live Love Yoga Boutique

If your vinyasa-loving sister refuses to step out of her leggings, then Live Love Yoga is her store. Pick up a "Namaste All Day" tank by Spiritual Gangster or a professional yoga mat by Manduka. If you're there on a Friday evening, Live Love Yoga breaks out the wine and cheese for a little happy hour. // 2540 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, Suite 6 (South Lake Tahoe),

Blue Wolf Studios

For your snowboarding brother who can't get enough of Big Blue's runs, get him a blue Tahoe mug or one of their handmade Tahoe-shaped keychains. This little Kings Beach art studio also has a professional ceramics studio in the back. // 8493 North Lake Boulevard (Kings Beach),

Cooking Gallery

You are one lucky girl if your boyfriend is your personal chef. Show him how grateful you are for the late-night dinners with a set of farm-style serving dishes or the latest cookbook by Alton Brown. This two-story haven for chef's and food lovers also has their own label of jams, pickles and holiday pumpkin butter. // 10084 Donner Pass Road (Truckee),


The Resort at Squaw Creek lights up the valley for the holidays. (Harry Thomas)

Granlibakken Tahoe

During Christmas, if you book a room at Granlibakken Tahoe—where you can enjoy their outdoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna—the resort's Christmas celebration is included in the stay. The event features a Christmas Eve torchlight parade with skiers carrying torches down Granlibakken Hill and a Christmas Day buffet with slow-roasted turkey and traditional yule-log desserts. // 725 Granlibakken Road (Tahoe City),

Resort at Squaw Creek Stay & Play

Each room at the Resort at Squaw Creek has a view of Squaw Valley and with the resort's Stay & Play vacation package you'll get a $75 daily resort credit to use at any restaurant, the Spa at Squaw Creek, or skating, ski and snowboard rentals. The Resort's ice rink is also available to holiday guests. // 400 Squaw Creek Road (Olympic Valley),

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

If you want to stay on the North Shore, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe is featuring their Snow on Sale package which allows guests a free fourth night stay when booking three consecutive nights. Stay for their Christmas Day buffet with a make-your-own-cookie station. // 111 Country Club Drive (Incline Village),

The Landing Resort & Spa

This award-winning hotel and spa in South Lake Tahoe features both garden and lakeview suites as well as gas fireplaces in each room. For the holidays, you can score 20 percent off stays from December 16 to 31. Use that extra cash for a warm riverrock massage at the Landing Resort Spa or a ski trip to nearby Heavenly. // 4104 Lakeshore Boulevard, (South Lake Tahoe),


Diamond Peak is celebrating its 50th anniversary with special events during the ski season.(Diamond Peak/Go Tahoe North)

Squaw/Alpine Tahoe Super Pass

Squaw/Alpine is partnering with Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl with the Tahoe Super Pass, which allows you to ski unlimited on special days at all four resorts. Squaw/Alpine is also offering their "Women of Winter" clinics for intermediate skiers and riders. In addition, if you carpool to Squaw/Alpine with four or more passengers, you will receive free POW (Protect Our Winters) parking at the resort. // 1960 Squaw Valley Road (Olympic Valley),

Winter Stargazing Snowshoe Tour

On December 21 and 28 take advantage of the dark skies above Northstar on a snowshoe tour and telescopic viewing with star guide Tony Berendsen. After a tour through the forested landscape, enjoy an educational presentation of the constellations and telescopic viewing on the back terrace of the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Tours are $63 and snowshoe rentals are available for $21. // 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court (Truckee),

Adventure Mountain Sledding

Rent an inner tube for $30/day at South Lake Tahoe's Adventure Mountain. Fly down the mountain on 15 machine-groomed sledding runs or warm up at the new Adventure Mountain Lodge's rock fireplace. // US Highway 50 (South Lake Tahoe),

North Lake Tahoe Sauna

Sweating in a sauna is touted as one of the best ways to detox, which is just the thing you may need after all the holiday feasting. North Lake Tahoe Massage & Skin Care offers 45-minute infrared-sauna sessions for only $10. Add some doTERRA essential oils to your experience for an even more luxurious getaway. // 6921 North Lake Boulevard, Building 1 (Tahoe Vista),

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