Tahoe is a sprawling place that encompasses ten resorts and chunks of two states, but the scene is centralized within South Lake Tahoe, where dive bars feed casinos that lead to nightclubs that empty back out into the casinos. Let’s just say that first chair is usually pretty lonely around here.
With Your Boots Still On: Unbuckle, Heavenly
At 3:30 p.m., Heavenly’s Tamarack Lodge goes from a place with expensive burgers to a place where all hell breaks loose. DJ Snowcat spins while the scantily clad Heavenly Angels roam the crowd giving away swag and skiers try to make the most of the happy hour discounts. Did we mention this is mid-mountain?
Cheap Eats: Freshies
A Hawaiian-themed restaurant serving fish tacos at the base of the Sierra Nevadas? Only if it’s as good as Freshies, which has become the lunch and dinner hot spot for locals who don’t want break the bank. Go for a couple of Kalua pork tacos ($4 each).
Best Restaurant: Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe
Tucked in an unassuming cabin in the pines in South Lake Tahoe, Evan’s has a bold menu with an emphasis on complex international cuisine. How about chile “cheesecake” topped with Maine lobster salad, white corn fricassee, and a duet of avocado and chipotle aioli? That’s just the first thing on the menu. Make reservations yesterday, since it seats just 35 people.
Up All Night: Casino Royale
You can gamble away tomorrow’s lift money all night at any of Tahoe’s casinos, but if you want the liveliest party, you need to look beyond the tables and be mobile throughout the weekend. On Friday’s, the party is at Montbleu Casino’s Opal (think go-go dancers and body paint). Saturday night, head to Peek at Harrah’s for more yet more go-go dancers. Not your scene? McP’s Taphouse pours from 40 beers on tap until 2 a.m.