The following content is created in consultation with Northstar. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles' editorial staff. To learn more about Northstar, visit Northstarcalifornia.com.
The winter resort experience has certainly been perfected in Northstar. Perched above the shores of Lake Tahoe, this laid-back but luxurious resort takes the modern ski vacation to new heights.
From impeccable grooming and snow coverage to a world-class ski and snowboard school and some of the tastiest on-mountain cuisine California has to offer, Northstar hits high marks in every category. There's a ski-in/ski-out Ritz Carleton, too, not to mention a fleet of highspeed lifts, complimentary s'mores and daily champagne toasts, but instead of spoiling all the surprises we'll let you take a closer look at what to expect from this one-of-a-kind mountain resort.
With 3,170 acres at your disposal, Northstar serves up an extensive menu of world-class skiing and snowboarding. The Big Springs Express Gondola whisks guests out of the village in style. From there, take your pick of 97 trails, ranging from impeccably groomed corduroy slopes for every ability to dramatic glade skiing and expert chutes, where you'll find untouched stashes of the resort's 350 annual inches of snowfall. Add one of the largest snowmaking systems on the west coast, nine high-speed lifts that guarantee you'll spend more time carving turns than standing in line, and a renowned collection of pipes and parks, and it's easy to see why Northstar remains a perennial favorite of seasoned skiers and riders.
Does all this talk of terrain make you want to brush up on your skills? Good. Because Northstar's ski and snowboard schools offer some of the finest instruction in the country. From spirited group lessons to focused privates, there's something for every ability of skier.
Snowboarders have it even better. Beyond the traditional snowboard school, shredders can enlist in the Burton Snowboard Academy, where they'll enjoy a 1:4 coach:student ratio, free access to the latest Burton equipment, a specifically designed terrain park full of mini rollers and mini halfpipes (perfect for learning) and a Lounge, replete with flat screens, coffee bar and firepits.
Food and Drink
Always known for their delicious dining options -- from sushi to tapas to hand-tossed pizza -- Northstar ups their culinary game this winter season with Mountain Table, a bi-monthly dinner experience in renowned on-mountain eatery Zephyr Lodge. Featuring a menu of fresh, California-sourced ingredients, you'll pair seasonal dishes with regional wines, craft beers, great company and the unmistakable, panoramic view of the Sierra Nevada’s Pacific Crest through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Also new for 2015 is tōst, a new on-mountain ritual in which skiers and riders are invited to sip daily bubbles at 2 p.m. on East Ridge. Apres ski has never felt so casually elegant, or distinctly Californian.
And don't forget to swing by the base at 3 p.m., where complimentary s'mores are served around the village ice rink.
Off The Slopes
You'll relish time out of your boots too thanks to Northstar's mountain village. Cruise boutiques for the latest gear from Patagonia, Helly Hansen, Burton and more, or swing by the 9,000 square foot ice rink, where you can lace up or relax in a heated cabana while noshing on a complimentary s'more. Kids will love the the movie theater, while everyone will be ready for a well deserved dinner to cap the day.
Like the diverse ski terrain options, Northstar offers lodging packages for every budget. Book anything from family-friendly condominiums to luxury mountain homes and suites, all within walking distance of the lifts.
Or stay directly on the slopes. Nestled in the pines at mid-mountain, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is a ski-in/ski-out destination of the highest caliber. Guests will enjoy in-room fire places, floor to ceiling windows and private balconies in this stone and timber hotel whose pitched roofs and rustic architecture evokes the iconic mountain lodges of the twentieth century. Treat yourself to a massage at the slopeside spa or a dip in the outdoor pool before tucking into French-inspired California cuisine at Manzanita, where the organic, locally sourced fair is prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. There are even ski valets, who happily lay out your skis on the snow each morning.
The EpicDay Experience
New this season is Vail Resorts' EpicDay Lift Tickets, which can get you up to 25 percent off on day passes as well as enable you to bypass the ticket window by ordering online. Set up an EpicMix profile to track your skiing or riding (runs, vertical and more!) and even get a report card tracking your progress from the ski and snowboard school.
To learn more about Northstar or to book your next ski and snowboard vacation, visit Northstarcalifornia.com.