5 Things You Should Do to Save Money in Lake Tahoe

By Shanie Matthews

Lake Tahoe is an absolutely stunning place that deserves the attention that it gets. But with so much incredible scenery and fun things to do come some negatives, too.

If you aren’t savvy about your Lake Tahoe vacation, it could be a pretty expensive trip. That’s why it is so important to know some tricks to the trade so to speak about ways to get deals when visiting the Tahoe basin.

Here are five ways that you can save a bundle.

1) Time your visit. Visiting Tahoe during the holidays can be the most expensive time to visit. This is most definitely when prices for hotel rooms increase and the choices dwindle as rooms are reserved. For example, before the holidays or that small window of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a superb time to find deals in lodging, whereas the weeks that belong to these holidays can be slammed packed. Also mid-week days can have great lodging discounts that wouldn’t be available on weekends.

2) Hit up the resorts for their combo deals. The bigger ski areas around the lake like Northstar, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Heavenly often offer combination deals that combine lift tickets, lodging and sometimes even a meal or two. Each resort offers its own form of amenities, so take your time researching which one pertains to your desires.

3) Take advantage of the entire lake. South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe offer two different styles of vacation. One bonus of the south side of the lake is that there are quite a few less expensive lodging options, whereas the north side has more ski areas that offer a more varied price range. By using both sides of the lake you can find the best deals and save a lot of money.

4) Find the free activities. Although there are a ton of things to do in Lake Tahoe that involve spending money, there are also a fair share of great activities that are free. Some free outdoor activities around the lake include sledding spots throughout the basin, ice skating at Northstar (if you bring your own skates) or hiking up to Eagle Rock. If educating yourself and loved ones sounds like a great deal, check out either the Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek Visitors Center in South Lake Tahoe or the Incline Village’s UC-Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, where you can learn all about our beautiful watershed.

5) Take a stroll. One of the best ways to take in the stunning scenery of Lake Tahoe is to take a walk. A free activity that is also fabulous for the heart, a stroll in Lake Tahoe can take the form of enjoying the beach, hiking, backcountry skiing a strenuous peak or snowshoeing through a forested meadow. Some advice: Be sure to take water, a little bit of food and a warm layer when heading out.

Photos: Shanie Matthews and Northstar

About the Author Shanie Matthews
A longtime Lake Tahoe local, Shanie is a freelance writer, Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher and positivity warrior. A true lover of the the gorgeous Tahoe region, she connects with the serenity of the mountains via skiing, biking and backpacking. She also believes in the gift of yoga and its way of allowing one to become his or her true best self, a passion she shares with the world with her online yoga studio.