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Jan. trip jumped at us

Manassas, Virginia
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Jan. trip jumped at us

We ended up with a semi-freebie trip (air & timeshare swap) to go somewhere and our 18 yr old son has been chomping at the bit to go somewhere, ANYWHERE out west, so I kinda stumbled onto Tahoe. Actually it's been on wife and I's radar before, so this seemed like perfect timing.

Our son's main interest will be snowboarding and snowbunnies but we'll still try and do some family stuff in the eves. I saw some good reviews on the magician at the horizon, figure that would be a cool thing and maybe the improv at harrahs. Any other activities would be appreciated.

Looks like theres plenty of dining options and I've been reading a good bit on TA and yelp and have a few spots I really thinmk look good. The red hut for breakfast looked my kimd of dive good greasy way to start the day and the chart house for a splurge dinner with a view. We'll prob do the harrahs buffet, the one on the 18th floor, supposed to have a cool view as well. Oh yea, guess I should mention, i'm still recovering from a broken hip so ol' gimpy dad will probably be spending a good bit of time in the casinos mainly harrahs, so I'll be able to use points for some comp things so any advice on good places in any particular casinos would be appreciated. We're trying to maintain a budget since I haven't worked for a while. My wife will probably try and ski a day or two, but she hasn't skiied in 10 or so years so we'll see. I saw theres several spas around town, maybe I should look into that.

Anyway, any and all advice on must do's, maybe do's, avoid like the plague/rip-offs would be greatly appreciated.

Long Barn...
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1. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

It sounds like you timeshare must be very close to Heavenly and the Stateline casinos. There are other activities for you to do including a Lake boat tour, ice skating, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and dog sled riding to name a few. Of course some of these are weather and snow related. There is a nice arcade at Harvey's for your son and multiplex movies at the Horizon and Heavenly Village.

I really can't think of any - must do's or rip offs- of course everyone has different tastes and desires, so just enjoy Lake Tahoe and the beautiful area.

San Francisco Bay
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2. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

Ideally you would fly into Reno, Nevada, rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and drive to south lake tahoe. You may be flying into San Francisco, though. Not sure you can get a 4WD there.

Weather could be anything from cold clear sun to a blizzard.

If you and your wife won't be skiing, the car will be very useful, since everything is not within walking distance from the spread out town of South Lake Tahoe.

By the way, your son may have to walk fast through the casino areas, as they do not allow people under 21 to linger.

Edited: 12:21 am, November 05, 2012
Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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3. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

The suggestion of the Arcade in the basement at Harvey's is perfect for your son. When our sons were teens, they had to painfully wait until they were 21 to enter a casino, so they spent a lot of time there.. There is a tunnel that runs underground between Harvey's and Harraha's. You can go back and forth between casinos. The hotels are both owned by the same company.

The Forrest Buffet on top of Harraha's is ok, and the view really nice. We also like the Hard Rock Cafe in Harvey's for fresh salads, hamburgers and other dishes.

Have fun!

Granite Bay, CA
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4. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

I also recommend going to the Charthouse for a special meal - make reservations at sunset (they will know what time) and for a window table.

We don't live in Tahoe but this is our must go to place when we are there.

There is a "mongolian BBQ" place inside of the Marriott Timber Lodge that is more like a Benihana type place but with rockin music. Pretty fun and your son would like it - it's usually packed with people.

If you want to go to the North Shore your son could check out Diamond Peak and you could check out the Hyatt for a nicer place.

Have fun!

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5. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

Fire & Ice is near the Gondola between the Marriott Timber Lodge and the Grand Residence. I believe that's the place.

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6. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe are really distinctive areas and one doesn't easily transit between the two, especially in winter road conditions. As mentioned above, ideally OP would rent a car at the Reno-Tahoe airport and make the 90 minute drive to South Lake Tahoe. There is also a South Lake Tahoe casino shuttle from the airport to the casino areas.


Everything OP is discussing is in South Lake Tahoe, but there are many additional skiing options outside of Heavenly Valley.

Your son could look at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Diamond Peak, Sierra Ski Resort, even Kirkwood for alternatives.

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

If your son is going to ride the mountain for more than three days it would save you money to just buy him a season pass. The day rates are really high and they have incentives to buy the season pass. Also that way he could ride a bit here and there each day and not worry about getting the full amount out of each day since you are paying one price for the week.

Hope you get some good conditions!

South Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

You and your wife can ride the Gondola and stop at the observation deck. It has a spectacular view of the lake. Tour the lake on one of the paddle-wheel boats (the lake never freezes), or go for a snowmobile ride. Many activities offer a free shuttle from your hotel.

As far as food goes, yes the view from the Forrest Buffet is really nice, but plan on eating early, as it gets dark around 4:30, A very good Italian restaurant that locals enjoy is Sul Lago, on Highway 50 about 2 miles from your hotel. It's a nice break from the crush of corporate food in the village. The Red Hut? Absolutely. Try the blueberry strudel french toast.. I'd skip eating at the Stateline Brewery, as the last time we were there the food was just awful and the service was, too.

The crowd at the Montbleu Casino tends to be rowdier (and younger). I think you'll like Harveys/Harrahs. If you want a good laugh, head 3 miles north of your hotel on Highway 50 to the Safeway grocery store (at the Roundhill shopping center) to check out their slot machines. Yes, the grocery store has about a dozen video poker machines.

There a number of day spas, but I can't make any personal recommendations (I prefer going whole hog at the Peppermill in Reno). I will offer this: make sure where you book isn't right on the main road (HWY 50), as it can get very noisy.

I hope you have a great trip.

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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9. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

What time share are you staying at? There are a number of time shares in the Tahoe area both south and north Tahoe. We recentlys stayed at the Marriot Grand Residence. Very close to lots of restaurants and movies. However, it would be helpful to confirm where your time share is as you can trade into several locations on the Lake and it would help to be sure we are giving you the right advise. If South Lake Tahoe and if at the Marriott - the resort itself has a ton of activities for adults and children throughout the day. Its an easy walk to the movie theaters; shopping, grocery store; restaurants; etc.) The swimming, jacuzzi area is nice - and its a fun area. For saving money, the kitchens at the Marriott are well equipped and easy to make food - they even have such things as fun cooking challenges with other guests. When we were there they taught us how to make spooky drinks for Halloween - what fun! and there were activities for teens and kids.

But without knowing your time share name, its harder for us to give you good advise....Most of them are quire nice and good locations - have fun.

In the winter, they also have a sleigh ride you can do at Borges.

The magician show was fun - when we were there we were given discount coupons at the concierge desk at our time share.

If you have a car and if the weather is ok for a drive, I would recommend also driving over for a day trip to Virginia City - a historic gold town - very touristy, but still fun.

Edited: 6:08 pm, December 02, 2012
10. Re: Jan. trip jumped at us

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