10 activities for non-skiers at Lake Tahoe-Truckee

Tahoe Donner’s snowplay tubing hill is fun for all ages. Photo: Tahoe Donner

Just because you don’t like to “shred gnarly pow-pow” doesn’t mean Tahoe isn’t the winter destination for you.

While it may be tempting to sit at the bar in the lodge and get sloshed while your more snow-inclined friends hit the slopes, don’t be that person.

Instead, try one (or all) of these 10 activities that will get you out appreciating all that this area has to offer.

1. SNOWSHOEING

From easy in-town trails to backcountry excursions, choose your own adventure when you strap on a pair of snowshoes in the Tahoe Basin. Rabe Meadows in Stateline is a great option if you’re new to the activity, but Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe is the ultimate spot to snowshoe thanks to its gorgeous views of Mount Tallac.

2. HELICOPTER TOUR

Get a new perspective on Big Blue from a helicopter soaring above the giant alpine lake. Tahoe Helicopters out of South Lake Tahoe offers a range of tour options, including a 10-minute ride around Emerald Bay ($80/person) and a 45-minute circle around the whole lake ($340/person).

3. ICE SKATING

Channel your inner Michelle Kwan and head to Heavenly Village to get your skate on. If the twinkly lights don’t get you in the holiday spirit, a warm cocktail by the nearby fire pits surely will.

Wilderness Adventures offers dog sled tours from the Resort at Squaw Creek. Photo: Sean Field

4. DOG SLEDDING

Explore the Sierra with the help of an adorable pack of pups. Dog sled rides are available around the basin, including from Kirkwood with Running Creek Dog Sled Rides and the Resort at Squaw Creek with Wilderness Adventures.

5. SPA DAY

Kick up your feet for a day of pampering at one of the dozens of spas around the lake. At spots like MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa and The Landing Resort and Spa, you can enjoy the spas’ other amenities like a eucalyptus steam room, whirlpool and dry sauna after your treatments.

You don’t need to know how to ski to get up into the mountains high above Lake Tahoe. Photo: Zephyr Cove Resort

6. SNOWMOBILE TOURS

Get up above 9,000 feet on a snowmobile tour with epic views of Lake Tahoe. Zephyr Cove Resort offers private excursions as well as two-hour scenery-focused rides up into the mountains with a bigger group.

7. SNOW TUBING

Adventure Mountain near Echo Summit has nearly 40 acres of groomed sledding, tubing and snow-play fun. You may not possess the skills to carve down a mountain on skis, but with a tube and gravity on your side, the mountain is your playground. Other tubing areas can be found at Tahoe Donner, Heavenly Mountain Resort, and Northstar-at-Tahoe.

8. BREWERY TOUR

Thanks to Tahoe Brew Tours, hit up three breweries on the North or South Shore without having to guilt one of your friends into being the DD. Along with transportation, the package include three sample flights, appetizers and behind the scenes tours with the brewmasters.

9. GAMBLE

While others may get their exercise from riding the slopes, you can get buff from pumping that slot machine lever and rolling dice all day. From Stateline to Crystal Bay, there is no shortage of casinos to choose from on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

10. BOAT CRUISE

It may be chilly out, but that doesn’t keep a handful of boats off the waters all winter. The 500-passenger M.S. Dixie II — the largest cruising vessel on the lake — offers daytime and dinner cruises. The 80-foot Safari Rose is know for its more intimate sunset champagne cruises to Emerald Bay.

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