This is the crème de la crème of ski resorts. Northstar-at-Tahoe not only brings you beautiful scenery with white snowy mountains, but also relaxation in their Village. After a day on the slopes, it’s great fun for even a picky family like mine as there is really something for everyone to do here. You can enjoy roasted marshmallows or a hot toddy around the Village fire pits, go skating with your kids, or spend some money shopping at their boutiques and art galleries. You’ll also find great food here, whatever you feel like noshing on, whether it’s sushi or steak, or even pizza. There is 120 acres of terrain for you to ski, snowboard and snowshoe! Because they believe that families who play together stay together, their accommodations are a bit on the high end but the flexibility is there, from a hotel room to studio condo to a 6 bedroom mountain home. You can even get a bunch of dvd’s to keep your little ones busy and ask for high chairs for your baby. There’s a shuttle that will take you to their huge rec center where you and the kids can have as much fun as our teenage daughter did with ping-pong and foosball while my husband and I drank cocktails. They offer an adventure park for your kids along with a children’s center which is like a daycare center. With their never-ending first class hospitality with a lively après ski scene, and with so many other things to do, it’s a vibrant, energetic place that you will really love. 1-800-GO-NORTH or www.northstarattahoe.com.
Better than before, it’s the result of a $50 million renovation! We’re taking big bucks here that have completely made a difference at one of the landmark ski resorts in Tahoe. It’s all about luxury. Affordable luxury. Every one of their 405 guest rooms, suites and penthouses have been remodeled to match their more relaxed image. The site of the 1960 Olympics has never been better. Our family liked the new softer colors of the décor, and the outrageous service. My kid’s favorite? The ice skating rink, they said, is “rad.” My favorite? Their heated swimming pools. However, their awesome new shopping promenade and four restaurants are nothing to sneeze at either. I love designer clothing and pretty jewelry to bring back to my mother-in-law, so this was one of my favorite places to purchase necklaces, bathrobes and exercise wear and an outfit for dinner. Oh, and their full service spa is wonderful! I just love to be pampered, and here I can just let all of my daily stress roll off my back, literally, as I indulge in a magnificent, healing Swedish massage, and then spend time getting a pedicure as my feet really take a beating when I’m skiing. Then, I am off to the health center to do some leg exercises with my best friend. Plus, they have a kids program called “Mountain Buddies” so while you’re out skiing or golfing at their 18 hole championship golf course, you won’t have to worry about the little ones because they are having a blast, too! In the summer, there’s a lot to look forward to as well including tennis courts and guided hiking and horseback riding. This is also the time they bring out on-site fly fishing and also rafting on the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River! Check out one of the finest resorts ever. 800-327-3353. www.squawcreek.com.
Any time of year is the right time of year at Jenkinson Lake. It’s so much fun and it’s affordable camping for the whole family with, of course, spectacular views and that wonderful pine scent that release when you crunch the needles with your hiking boots out on the trails. There are 2 boating launch ramps, seven family campgrounds with 159 sites that each have a table, fire ring and barbeque. There’s a fab nine-mile Sierra Foothill run around the reservoir on either campground road and even a place to let your dogs run. Our sheltie, honey, really liked the dog park, and she sniffed all the doggie scents out there but we had to check her for ticks that kind of go with the territory. Boating is great out on the lake, as there is nothing like being on the water lounging around or catching fish. Actually, the fishing is very good here. My husband James proudly caught the biggest trout ever that we cooked up over the fire. This is a great place to kayak as well as the waters are so calm and soothing to the spirit. There’s a lot of nice areas for meeting up with other campers, yet when you’re here you can also get some privacy and climb on a boulder to meditate. It’s such a pretty mountain lake, I think you would really like there. The best part is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have good old-fashioned fun! $6.00 per vehicle for day use, if you have a boat, the total is $12.00. The season begins May 1st through September. Take Hwy 50 W to Pollock Pines, exit at Sly Park Road. Go left, and about 4.5 miles to Jenkinson Lake Recreation Area on the left. (530) 644-2545 or (530) 644-2792.
Connie Werner Reichert was inducted into the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance “Wall of Fame” in 2008. Please send your comments to Connieis.pacbell.net. Follow the former Radio Personality & TV Newscaster/Producer/Newswriter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Chickipedia. Her blog is at http://conniereichert.livejournal.com.