Blog Post Updated on March 6, 2022
When it comes to picturesque destinations to go skiing, you will be hard-pressed to find any more idyllic than Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country and stunning views of the lake itself. Combine this with their close proximity to the ever-evolving mecca that is Reno, Nevada and you have the makings of the perfect ski and snowboard destination.
For a long time, when I was younger, I can remember a multitude of advertisements dotting ski magazines touting Reno Tahoe as an excellent ski destination.
Why wouldn't it be? Reno Tahoe boasts the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America. It is also conveniently located within close proximity to many of Lake Tahoe's best ski resorts like Northstar, Palisades Tahoe and Mount Rose. Add in that the "Biggest Little City in the World" is an après ski lovers dream filled with bars, restaurants and, of course, casinos and it is easy to see why Reno Tahoe is an excellent choice for your next ski vacation.
How Reno, Nevada Rose From the Ashes
Back in the 80s and 90s, the nightlife in Reno, Nevada was the driving force behind this city's success. Skiers and boarders from all over came to visit Lake Tahoe's best ski resorts. Then Reno fell on hard times.
The casinos, once the catalyst behind the city's tourism, began to struggle in large part due to the rise of land-based casinos and legalized gambling. As the casinos fell, so too did Reno. No longer the après ski mecca of the past, it struggled to attract anyone to visit, let alone the ski and snowboard community.
Big trees fall hard, but you can't get back up if you don't try.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Reno, Nevada is back and better than ever. By attracting companies like Tesla, Blockchains and Google, the city of Reno has seen a resurgence in the last decade that has turned it into a mini Silicon Valley. Investments from businesses like this brought with it the finances to rebuild and reinvent itself. Along came the Burning Man Concert and an influx of art, new businesses, restaurants and breweries. Reno has returned to its former glory yet in a new and in many ways better version of its past self.
Reno Tahoe has returned and now it is poised for yours.
Here are five reasons we love Reno Tahoe and believe you should book a ski vacation there in the near future.
1. Close Proximity to Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts
As previously mentioned Reno Tahoe has the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America and all of them are a short drive away. The distance from Reno to Lake Tahoe (depending upon where you go) is quite close. Within 40 minutes or less, you can be skiing and snowboarding at some of the region's best resorts.
Northstar Ski Resort
Looking for family-friendly? Then Northstar Ski Resort is a must. Northstar is easy to navigate, making it ideal for families looking to stay together throughout the day. But, don't let this fool you into thinking Northstar is easy. Certain areas of the mountain can be super challenging. This gives parents who enjoy breaking off from the family for a few serious turns throughout the day the option to do so. Then, you can all reconvene in their base village and take advantage of their complimentary S'mores at Four.
Want an out-of-bounds ski experience that is all inbounds? Then Palisades Tahoe needs to be on your list. With the ability to ski pretty much anywhere on the mountain it offers some of the most fun skiing I've ever experienced. Plus, anytime you can end your day at the legendary Le Chamois for après ski it doesn't get much better.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Not to be outdone in all of this is Mount Rose. Located a convenient 20-minute drive from downtown Reno this no-frills ski resort boasts a whopping 8,262' foot base elevation. That means they can start their season earlier and end later than the other local resorts. Don't let the phrase "no-frills" fool you into thinking this place isn't worth your time. Mount Rose is legit! The area they call The Chutes features gnarly trails that are every bit of a 50-degree pitch.
2. The Reno Craft Beer Scene Just Keeps Growing
There is nothing better than a cold craft beer after a hard-charging day on the slopes. Lucky for you, you can drink plenty of them in Reno's ever-growing craft beer scene. Hell, there are so many of them that, you can turn après-ski into your own little Reno beer crawl. Add is stops at a few of the Reno distilleries and you could easily take a break from the slopes and make a day out of it.
Lead Dog Brewing is always fun too. With plenty of space to spread out, you and your crew can relax and play games while you sample their many beers.
Brasserie St. James is also a must. Their atmosphere screams après ski and complements their tasty comfort food and delicious craft beers. Fun fact, their beers are brewed with water that they get from a spring directly underneath the brewery itself.
Finally, if are just talking beer, IMBIB Custom Brews is arguably my favorite. The atmosphere doesn't rival The Depot or Brasserie but the brews are unique, very well made and enough to draw you in and keep you there for hours.
3. Reno Tahoe is an Après Ski Foodie's Paradise
No ski day is complete without a proper après ski session. Reno Tahoe's bar and restaurant scene has you fully covered. Many of the aforementioned breweries in Reno are brewpubs and have excellent food to complement their craft beer. However, this is the tip of the iceberg. The food scene in the city and the surrounding area goes far beyond that.
Midtown Eats is popular and for good reason. One look at the menu and you'll be hooked. A modern take on southern BBQ classics, your best bet is to order a bunch of dishes and split them amongst everyone at the table.
Von Bismarck is an absolute must! This upscale Biergarten serves German food that is to die for. It's legitimately THAT good and the perfect pairing for their extensive collection of German beers. Order the schnitzel (pictured above) for the table, you won’t regret it. It's the largest I've ever seen in my life.
If you want to venture out of the area I highly recommend The Bourbon Pub in Northstar Village. Opened in 2019 by internationally acclaimed restaurateur Michael Mina they are putting their creative spin on traditional pub fare. Just get the nachos and you'll instantly understand when the server shows up with your dish and a mezzaluna knife that looks like a Medieval weapon. Oh, the carnage that will ensue.
4. The Nightlife in Reno is as Good as it Gets
I've already mentioned some of the great bars, restaurants and breweries in the area. For me, that is all the nightlife that I need to finish up my Reno Tahoe après ski experience. That said there are plenty more late-night options for the taking, especially if you are into gaming and craft cocktails.
Want to try your luck at blackjack, roulette, poker and more? Throw a stone and you should have no trouble hitting any one of the many casinos in Reno. When I was there, I stayed at the Peppermill and although this resort is on the opposite side of town than the others it's worth a visit. It's Vegas without being Vegas. Opulent beauty at every turn, cocktail bars and, of course, all the games a gambler could want in a casino.
If betting isn't your thing (it's not mine either) I highly recommend checking out some of the swanky craft cocktail bars that have popped up around town. They say Death and Taxes are the only two guarantees in life. Adding a visit to the bar with that name should be the third. All of the cocktails they are stirring up a Death and Taxes are creative and handcrafted with the freshest seasonal ingredients.
No day is ever complete without dessert, a dessert bar that is. For this, you must stop at Reno's only dessert bar, The Arch Society. There you can and should pair their outrageous desserts with some of the finest cocktails made with locally sourced organic ingredients.
5. Scale the World's Tallest Climbing Tower
The Sierra Nevada Mountains that surround Reno are quite high but they aren't the only thing in the city to boast a lofty elevation. Head downtown and you can find the Guinness World Record’s Tallest Climbing Wall. Located on the side of the Whitney Peak Hotel, climbing it will have you reaching new heights and a whole new perspective on the area.
Scale the face of the Whitney and then bask in the beautiful views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains that you love to ski and snowboard on. It's breathtaking!
Book Your Flight to Reno Tahoe Airport
Chances are, you are already booking a flight to Reno Tahoe. Before you go, make sure you are prepared by having the right après ski clothes for your adventures.
Grab yourself our one-of-a-kind If You Don’t Après Ski Tee to stand out at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts and après ski in Reno Tahoe.
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