Where Can I find A Winter Wonderland in California? Lake Tahoe & Northstar!

by | Honeymoon Guides, Honeymoons,


Lisa Perkovic

The champagne is ice cold, the sun is sparkling, and the snow covers everything in a magic dust that makes the world look brand new. I promise, we’re on our first glass of bubbles. It’s hard not to wax lyrical when you’ve spent the day skiing under blue skies with your hubby by your side. And then get to stop in at a pop up champagne bar mid ski run for a cheeky après drink.

This isn’t just any après drink. It’s 2pm, which means it’s ‘töst time’ at Northstar California Resort. Every day at 2pm at the peak of Lake Tahoe’s luxe ski resort, skiers, snowboarders and snow bunnies alike are treated to a free töst; to celebrate the sun, the snow, each other and well, just life in general. Yes, that’s right, free bubbles, every day. Now that’s the kind of ski honeymoon we should all aspire to.

I’ve heard of free s’mores, free cookies, even free hot chocolate, but this takes things up a notch. After two days exploring Northstar’s 1,200 hectares of skiable terrain, it fits the bill. This ski resort is the fairytale of ski resorts. Not a pine needle seems out of place on the wide, cruisey blue runs we play on. We ski past views of sprawling Lake Tahoe, stop in for plates of hearty American BBQ for lunch at the Summit Smokehouse, and wait no more than a few minutes on the chair lifts during peak season. There’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. The only crowd we ever see is at töst.

Image via Northstar California Resort

Down in the Village, which is straight out of a Christmas movie, ice skaters twirl under the falling snow and fairy lights of the open air ice rink, acoustic singers croon out classics from the heated stage and couples warm up by the fire pits with a hot toddy and spiked hot chocolate. We stroll around the main square, stopping for free bite sized s’mores (why not?!) before settling in with Moscow Mules to watch the ice skaters.

The Village itself is home to more than 200 different apartments and rooms – most are ‘condo’s’, or what we would call self-serviced apartments, but not like we know them. Our one bedroom condo inside Catamount Lodge has towering ceilings, a roaring (electric) fireplace, a full size kitchen and a gorgeous bedroom that feels like it should be in a log cabin high in the mountains. We’re loath to leave, especially when we open a bottle of wine by the fire.

Image via Northstar California Resort

We do have to leave, and it’s for a really good reason. If Northstar is a winter wonderland, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is its fairytale castle. Perched in the mountains on the edge of Northstar, this five star resort has its very own gondola and is a study in serious mountain chic.

We pop in for dinner at Manzanita, where the chefs whip up fine dining mountain fare using seasonal local produce – rack of lamb with barley and date, crispy fried Brussels sprouts, dark chocolate mousse and a bottle of Californian red wine. Guests at the hotel enjoy all that and some seriously cool outdoor hot tubs. A post dinner dip under the stars – now that’s how to honeymoon!

Image via Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Image via Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe

After a day skiing, afternoon après drinks, a trip to the hot tub to ease sore muscles, and a feast on the mountain, we’re ready to do it all again.

Getting there – Northstar and Lake Tahoe are a three and a half hour drive north east of San Francisco.

Ms Zebra Says: Skiing overseas is simply on another level. There are so many great mountains to discover, but I’ll definitely be putting Northstar and Lake Tahoe on our next adventure list!!!

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.



We ask that the comments you leave on our site are respectful of each other and the personal stories that are told. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not fall within our site policies.


Trackback from your own site.