- Clark Vandeventer
First, USA Today readers named Lake Tahoe “America’s Best Lake.” Then USA Today Travel readers followed suit by voted Tahoe South the best ski destination in North America. Now, USA Today has listed Heavenly Mountain in the top spot on its list of the 10 best guys' ski trip destinations.
It's easy to see why. Sure, other destinations may have great snow and great terrain. Lake Tahoe, though, is completely unique. As Sally Gunter of Heavenly Mountain Resort once said to me, “How many other places in the world can you ski and have a view of a gorgeous alpine lake like here?"
Gorgeous alpine lake views! Photo credit: Heavenly Mountain Resort
And when it comes to planning a guys' ski trip, Heavenly and Tahoe South make other destinations seem positively pedestrian. There are resorts that market themselves as a “pure” skiing and riding experience, but Heavenly offers much more. Sure, skiing is great. But so is a party.
To me, Heavenly is all about the total ski/ride lifestyle. At Heavenly you get world-class skiing, along with a Snowcat that's been turned into a mobile, on-mountain DJ station. And of course the lake views are amazing, but in Tahoe South there's a great big party going on, 7 days a week in the casinos at the base of the mountain.
When you're ready to plan your guys' ski trip to Tahoe South, here are 3 things you need to know:
Booyah's in Lakeview Lodge at Heavenly
Located in the Lakeview Lodge at the top of the tram, Booyah’s serves exotic burgers — we’re talking Angus, elk, turkey, buffalo, lamb, and even salmon — and goes way beyond your basic “smothered in ketchup and mayo with a pickle on the side” (unless that’s your thing). For the beer-drinkers, they feature 97 micro-brews— one for every run at Heavenly. Plus, as an added bonus, it’s a full service restaurant, meaning you can sit down, relax, and be waited on.
While I don't normally take my party advice from Forbes Magazine, Forbes did call Unbuckle the best apres-ski party in North America. From 3:30 to 5:30 in Tamarack Lodge at the top of the gondola there's a party like none other (Thursday-Saturday). A DJ spins tunes while the Heavenly Angels dance on stage, and there are drink and food specials, and dancing. It’s basically one big party that is not to be missed.
Party all night
When the party starts at 11 PM, you know you're going to be out late. PEEK at Harrah’s features 6,700 square feet of space to party, with 40 intimate VIP sections, and the DJs they bring in are some of the best in the world. Opal Ultra Lounge at MontBleu also features rock-star status DJs, $1 drinks on Thursday nights, and the least expensive VIP table and bottle service in Tahoe.
Between the time Unbuckle ends and the parties at PEEK and Opal Ultra Lounge begin, you can take some time to soak in the hot-tub, take a nap, and throw some money down on the casino floor. Go all in. That's the way we do it at Heavenly Mountain Resort and Tahoe South.
Clark Vandeventer is the publisher of TahoeSkiBum.com. You can follow him on Twitter @clarkvand and read about his quest to work less, live more, and travel the world with his family at his travel and lifestyle design blog FamilyTrek.org.