When one's breath becomes visible and there’s crispness in the air, we know winter has sidled in. If the cold weather sparks wanderlust within you, there are several cozy getaways within about an hour’s drive from Reno.
Here are several options for a snuggle-inducing seasonal sanctuary:
On Lake Tahoe’s north shore, the Franciscan Lakeside Lodge has beachfront or forest-facing cabins equipped with lodgepole pine furniture, well-appointed kitchenettes, living areas and Wi-Fi. Some also have fireplaces that warm up both the temperature and ambiance in the winter. The Franciscan’s cabins were also named some of the coziest from coast to coast by USA Today.
Outside of Tahoe’s South Shore on the Nevada side are cabins at the Zephyr Cove Resort, built in the early 1900s and restored to their original glory. These rustic, pet-friendly accommodations feature full kitchens, decks and fireplaces. Many have lake views. If the scenery isn’t absorbing enough, the historic resort has a restaurant on-site, plus offers exhilarating snowmobile tours and picturesque winter cruises on the M.S. Dixie, steps from the cabin doors.
It takes a village
Ski resort villages are abundant in alpine charm. Skiers and snowboarders can hop on lifts just outside their door. Accommodations, as with the two options below, frequently feature modern amenities juxtaposed by wood trimmings.
Amidst the north Tahoe woodlands is Northstar California, which is surrounded by an abundance of lodging options. Here, the level of coziness and cost varies from reasonable to “please Santa, I’ve been very good…” The Village teems with twinkling lights, with a central ice rink encompassed by shops, restaurants, fire pits and a movie theater. A plethora of private homes are for rent surround the Village, or try the cozier Timber Creek Lodge.
In an area that once hosted the Winter Olympics, the Village at Squaw Valley has studio to three-bedroom suites, each with fireplaces and heated, slate-tile flooring that boost the coziness factor. They’re located above shopping, dining and activities, and below Squaw Valley’s gondola-accessible High Camp, where the Olympic Museum, hot tubs, food, bars and general merriment can be found.
Rustic and removed
Nestled in the Hope Valley near Kirkwood Mountain Resort is Sorensen’s Resort. Located among some of the most beautiful scenery in the Sierra, this intimate getaway has a Norwegian flair. There are many options here to keep warm in the middle of a cold winter, from the wood-burning stoves in rustic, rentable log cabins, to the wood-fired sauna on-property and the natural hot spring pools at Grover’s Hot Springs State Park nearby. Guests keep entertained in the resort’s 165 forested acres with tubing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and a full-service café. The resort also hosts workshops on a variety of topics, like sketching, star-gazing and photography. Stay in a log cabin with a wood-burning stove or opt for a bed-and-breakfast experience instead.
Activities at your doorstep
In 2017, Granlibakken Tahoe celebrated its 95th year. Tahoe’s west shore evokes a feeling of going back in time, before many of the structures that now dot the shoreline were built.
At this family-owned resort, take in some history, along with a ski- and sled-friendly hill, nearby cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, year-round pool, hot tub and sauna. A hot breakfast is provided for guests, and eco-conscious visitors can assuaged as Granlibakken has won many awards for its environmental efforts.
If you're with a group, head to Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. Most of the 50 rooms at this property offer guests privacy, but there are other bunkbed-outfitted options for groups. For a bringing-the-outdoors-in feel, book the Great Indoors room with its electric “log” fire, glowing stars, forest wallpaper, grass carpeting and a canvas tent over the (real) bed.
Local art adorns the walls, an on-property brewery is opening in early 2018. Mountain fare like fondue and artisan hot chocolate can be enjoyed around a large communal dining table where tales of Tahoe adventures are swapped.