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Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

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Sydney, Australia
4 posts
Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Hi All

I would like some advice on staying in the Lake Tahoe area over Christmas. My husband and I will be travelling with our 2 sons (8 years and 6 years) from 12/24/12 through to 12/26/12. Is anyone able to advise whether Sunnyside Resort in Tahoe City or Northstar at Tahoe Resort would be better suited to a family Christmas vacation over the holiday period? Which location has more activities for families and children of this age? Can anyone recommend better/more appropriate accommodation than I have suggested?

Also, we are hoping for a white Christmas (Christmas in Australia is HOT!) and wondered if we might be in luck at this time of the year in Tahoe?

Thanks for any assistance.

Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
9,326 posts
1 review
1. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

I prefer Sunnyside because it it on the lake. Northstar is not on the lake, it's a drive to get there.

No guarantee on the white Christmas. I'd say you've got about a 20% chance, based upon past years. Ten years ago it was more like 80%.

Level Contributor
10,862 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Sunnyside is at the lake and while in the summer it might be nice it's not directly close to the ski resorts.

Northstar in the winter has all the activities you'd want at a ski resort. Ice skating, skiing or snowboarding, gas fire pits for warming up. The whole village atmosphere along with holiday activities.

I agree that Christmas can be a crapshoot. 2010 was so fantastic but other years have not been as good. Crossing my fingers for you.

Sydney, Australia
4 posts
3. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Thank you both for your responses. More food for thought.

One more question if you don't mind - We are not going to be skiing. Does this change your recommendation and is there still enough to do in this area to warrant a 2 night stay with the kids?

Level Contributor
10,862 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Well in that case I think you will enjoy the area plenty. I think those who go to ski and the conditions are not good feel some disappointment but if you aren't skiing you can ice skate at squaw up at high camp which has tremendous views.

You can also ice skate at Northstar and hang out at the fire pits along the edges. I know when I take the kids and they are off snowbaording I love just being at the ice rink reading a book/kindle and enjoying the scene.

There will be holiday activities going on as well.

Level Contributor
1,432 posts
850 reviews
5. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

If you are not skiing then it might make more financial sense to stay outside the ski areas. We are coming 12/15 and the prices at the Marriott at Heavenly nearly tripled the weekend before Christmas. We are moving over to Northstar during that time where the prices aren't quite as high, but we're finding a minimum 4 or 5 night stay that week at some of the condo rentals. So, if you're not skiing I'd recommend staying elsewhere during Christmas. You pay a premium rate to stay in a ski area during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

Sydney, Australia
4 posts
6. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Thanks both for your replies. They have been very helpful. We are looking forward to our trip to Tahoe immensely! Can't wait to get there. We love the US!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
41,679 posts
408 reviews
7. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

I would much rather be at Northstar-at-Tahoe. It is a great self contained resort with a nice village that has shopping, dining and a great ice skating rink. It is also a great atmosphere at Christmas time.

Skiing or not doesn't really matter, it has plenty of other activities. See the links below.



Sydney, Australia
4 posts
8. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

Thanks scottca075. I think Northstar sounds exactly like what we are looking for out of our (hopefully) white Christmas in Tahoe. Can you recommend any particular accommodation at Northstar or is it simply a matter of selecting the room type you are looking for? Thanks again for your helpful advice.

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
27 reviews
9. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

I love Lake Tahoe... the drive around the lake is awesome ... such a lovely area .. and there should be snow on the mountains if not on the lower levels... so the scenery will be fabulous.

You could take a drive up to Reno .. just to show the kids the lights and that huge archway over the street ...

There used to be a Ponderosa Ranch, from the Bonanza TV series, not that the kids would know about it, but it closed its doors in 2004. What a shame.

We had a Christmas there a few years back and the swimming pool was covered in snow .. and heaps of ice on the side of the roads after the clearing trucks went through.

We were disappointed with our Christmas lunch at one of the bigger hotels on the Nevada side ... we expected a beautiful Christmas themed dining room, with Christmas music playing and views over the lake. But it wasn't decorated out, or music playing, nor did it overlook the lake. Hopefully they've improved.

Whether there is heaps of snow or not, you will find the kids will just love playing in it, no matter how deep it is.

Also during the round the lake drive, pop into Squaw Valley ... they had the winter Olympics there way back.

10. Re: Australian Family in Lake Tahoe for Christmas

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