So, you've just spent the day busting pow, playing in the park, hitting the bump runs or racking up a gazillion vertical feet cruising the groomers, and your stoke level–and not to mention thirst–is high. It's time to find a good apres watering hole, preferably a short walk from the base of the lifts.
Here are five favorite hangs to order a cold one and share your adventures with others, or simply sit back and reflect on your busy day.
The Belt Room Bar, located on the main floor of the Lodge at Sugar Bowl, is an old-school establishment with a slightly European vibe, harkening back to the days of wooden skis, leather boots and cable bindings. The array of black-and-white photos that line the walls stretch back to the early days of the resort, which was built in 1939. The drink menu is generous and the view of the ski hill spectacular.
Le Chamois and Loft Bar, or simply "the Shammy," is an institution at Squaw Valley, having served beer and pizza–mostly the former–to generations of legendary Squallywood hardmen and women. Located in the shadow of the tram building, the walls are lined with photos and other memorabilia dating back to Le Chamois' opening in 1969. If you're planning to hang out in Squaw for a while, check out the $40 Buddy pass–good for 20 pints of Budweiser–or the $60 pass for pints of better brew.
McP's Pub Tahoe, located across Lake Tahoe Boulevard from the bottom of the Heavenly gondola, has a jumping apres scene, with live music, featuring local bands pounding out a variety of musical genres, and daily drink specials. The upstairs balcony, as one local puts it, is like "hanging out in someone's treehouse."
Tavern 6330, formerly known as Baxter's Bistro, has an outdoor patio, warmed by fire pits, that sits less than 50 feet from the bottom of Northstar's Village run and offers a grandstand view of most skiers and snowboarders coming off the hill. Located on the ground floor of the gondola building, the Tavern has a good selection of wines and microbrews, has a relatively inexpensive apres food specials and offers live music on weekends and daily through the holidays.
The West Shore Cafe and Inn, located across the street from the Homewood parking lot, has an award-winning and upscale ambience that may deter a few, but the posh surroundings can't take away the establishment's main attraction: The bar sits a few feet from the west shore of Lake Tahoe. You may have to spend a bit more for your apres drink, but the view of Big Blue is worth every penny.