- Things You Must Do
- First tracks Northstar
- DJ Snowcat
- PEEK at Harrah's
- Kirkwood powder skiing
Not long ago, I got a phone call from an old friend.
“We’re coming to Tahoe. We want it to be awesome.
GQ should send a photographer to do a photo essay of this trip. Let’s party, but I’m not just talking party.
We’re not in college anymore…I’m talking about the good life.”
So, my friends were planning a guys’ trip to Tahoe for the upcoming winter.
And those friends knew a guy in Tahoe (me) who could help.
I was happy to assist in their planning and even happier to tag along.
They were arriving on a Thursday evening, and staying through last chair on Sunday; I had one evening and three full days to plan.
It had to be epic.
Where to stay
For the "money is no object" contingent of our group, we booked The Landing, Tahoe's only five-star lakeside boutique resort.
The "good life on a budget" contingency headed to the nearby Basecamp Hotel
, which caters to outdoor thrill seekers and delivers a sleek, modern boutique hotel experience that doesn't break the bank.
For more on lodging options, click here.
First order of business: Kick-off dinner on Thursday.
The obvious choice: one of the five-star restaurants at the casinos—but some of those are only open on weekends.
Besides, I wanted to go local and find something that subtly whispered “good life” instead of screaming it at me.
I chose Edgewood Restaurant in the clubhouse at Edgewood Golf Course, located on the South Shore in Stateline, Nevada. Early arrivals can enjoy a cocktail while taking in sweeping views of Lake Tahoe.
Edgewood hosts the annual Tahoe Celebrity Golf Tourney, which features the likes of John Elway and Michael Jordan.
If this place is good enough for Elway and MJ, I figured it would work out just fine for us.
Morning: We began our day at Northstar California with the best trail grooming in Tahoe, (Tip: If the timing works out, hit up First Tracks at Northstar, which gives you access to the mountain an hour before the general public.)
Afternoon: Beer tasting in Tahoe City, then back to the hotel to regroup.
Evening: Dinner at Basecamp Pizza in Heavenly Village.
Great vibe, good food, live music, and cornhole (what guys’ trip would be complete without a little friendly competition)!
Night: A trip to the casinos to risk our hands at a turn of pitch and toss.
All Day: This was our party day, and no mountain knows how to party like Heavenly.
We hit the snow, and between turns we checked out the DJ Snowcat—yep, just like it sounds—to get us amped up for the next run.
At lunchtime we indulged at Booyah’s on the mountain, which features exotic burgers.
We’re talking Angus, elk, turkey, buffalo, lamb, and even salmon, plus 97 (!) different kinds of beer—one for every run at Heavenly. When the lifts closed we beelined to Unbuckle at Tamarack, an on-mountain après party which Forbes Magazine called the best Après-ski party in North America.
We knocked back half-price drinks while the DJ spun tunes and the Heavenly Angels go-go dancers grooved on stage.
Evening: No subtle whispers of the good life tonight; we were gonna go ahead and shout.
We dined at Friday’s Station Steak and Seafood Grill on the top floor of Harrah’s casino and resort, followed by cigars at the super posh (and only slightly cliché) Cliché Lounge.
Night: When the party starts at 11 p.m., you know you're going to be out late.
PEEK at Harrah’s features 6,700 square feet of space to party and the DJs they bring in are some of the best in the world.
Just to prove to ourselves that we’re not in college anymore, we reserved one of the intimate VIP sections. I’ll leave the rest of the night up to the imagination.
Morning: I couldn’t let this bunch leave Tahoe without experiencing the Rare Earth that is Kirkwood.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this place; I figured they had to see for themselves.
(Tip: If a powder day is in the forecast, plan your Kirkwood day to coincide.)
Afternoon: An early dinner and goodbyes at the iconic Kirkwood Inn and Saloon.
The ultimate guys ski trip. The good life as it can only be done in Lake Tahoe.