Hi All! I've definitely taken my share of tips form the TA forums over the years so now it is once again to contribute!
Trip Report below ;)
We live in LA and opted to fly instead of drive since it can be a bit of a nightmare-ish drive. We had an easy hour and 10 minute flight out of LAX into Reno for $120/pp via Southwest. Arrived in Reno and picked up our Thifty rental car for $136/5 days. The gentleman who helped us with our car rental couldn't locate our reservation for some reason but thankfully we had the email confirmation number on our phone so he pulled it up that way. Not sure why their system wasn't finding it with our name but glad we sorted that out!
And off we went on the drive from Reno to South Lake Tahoe. Drive took us about an hour, the first half was more freeway and then turning into a very scenic drive closer into South Tahoe.
Checked in to a 2 bedroom Cabin at Tahoe Beach and Ski Club (using our timeshare). Night #1 was spent borrowing a board game from the rec room and having a game night in the room.
Day 2 was all about snow boarding! We bought or lift tickets online for Heavenly a week before our trip at $76/full day. In the lobby of our hotel they had some discount magazines and we snagged a 2 for 1 rental on snowboards. Cost came to about $32 for 2 people to have their gear. We rented from Rip N Willies and found their staff and shop to be top notch! Location is right on ski run blvd so its right there.
We are beginner snowboarders so we kept things easy and enjoyed the green runs. Enjoyed some lunch and a drink at Snow Beach and enjoyed the day with amazing views, plenty of sunshine and some good riding conditions. I've heard its not the best snow season this year but we're too green to know the difference so to us it was plenty of nice snow and no ice and we were thrilled!
Day 3- a bit sore! Great day on the mountain but really feeling it :) Decided today would be a great day to spend some quality time enjoying some mineral hot springs! Headed over to David Walley's Resort Hot Springs. We were a group of 6 so their usual $20/pp was discounted to $16/pp. Sadly, this was the only thing on the trip that I wouldn't do again.
Walleys was in serious need of a cleaning. The pools were pretty dirty and some really smelled horrible. The other thing I didn't like was it had no natural look to it. It was a concrete slab with cement jacuzzis that contained mineral water. I wish they would had done some natural landscaping so it didn't feel like you were in someones back yard. I saw a sign saying they were closing for 3 days this week to drain the pools, acid wash etc so hopefully after that it will be clean. Last note on this- it felt like you were at a retirement facility. Nearly all patrons were 65+.
Night time consisted of some gambling at the nearby casinos. My favorite was Mountbleu but did't have much luck anywhere really. Still fun to get some nightlife though.
Today we opted for a fun day at Squaw Valley. We took the very scenic hour and 15 min drive to the north shore of Lake Tahoe and enjoyed walking around the Squaw Village. Had lunch at Blue Coyote Sports Grill (very tasty and affordable) and then rode the Cable Car up to High Camp where we skated at the Olympic ice Pavilion. We skated around 5pm and had the entire rink nearly to ourselves. The view from the rink and the Cabe Car for that matter is SPECTACULAR. I think this is a must do. Cost was $29/pp for the cable car ride up/down, ice skating and rental of skates included. After taking that all in (at sunset mind you :) we enjoyed a hot drink at the bar overlooking that view and then enjoy a night time ride down the mountain. Lovely, lovely time.
Checked out and drove back over to Reno. We ate the Saturday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Harrahs and it was quite tasty! Then headed to Club CalNevada for some CHEAP gambling. Found plenty of $3 tables and $5 for everything from BJ to Let it Ride to 3 card poker. Lost but had a blast. Then off to the airport and back to LA.
All in all it was another wonderful trip. I would have gone back to Squaw to snowboard but being beginners our bodies could only really take one full day before pooping out. Next trip I'll spend at least 2 days on the mt.
There was snow everywhere but we didn't actually see it snow while we were there. Can't wait to be back there next season!