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Weekender: Lake Tahoe During Slush Season

Caleb Pershan | March 18, 2013 | Story Weekend Escapes

The cabin’s rented and the car’s packed. The only problem with a trip to Lake Tahoe this weekend: the snow is melting, not falling, and the temps are climbing into the upper 50s. But don’t back down now. You can stay off the slushy slopes while still making the most of the mountains. Here’s where to go and what to do.

Have food with a view
Technically, it's "apres ski" but without the "ski" let's be real: it's happy hour for food. The West Shore Cafe offers one of the best around, with "wow" views of the crystalline lake, dungeness crab fritters, and creamy baked oysters. Upstairs the views from the hotel rooms are just as good.

Cross country ski or snowshoe
There's one kind of skiing that gets easier with warmer temperatures: “Cross Country skiing is nice to learn when the snow is soft in the spring because it’s more forgiving,” says Debbi Waldear, Manager at Kirkwood Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center. Ditto for snowshoes. Explore 80 groomed kilometers of stunning trails, including dog-friendly paths, and you have the option to swap skis for snowshoes at any point.

Explore Truckee's art scene
Truckee is home to several fine art galleries worth your while. Down Donner Pass Road you’ll find La Galleria, Riverside Studios, Art Obsessions, and Carmel Gallery. There’s plenty of work by local artists at each, as well as a chance to see art beyond mountainscapes.

Sip hot chocolate
The Red Hut CafĂ© in South Lake offers diner-style breakfast all day—but more importantly, it boasts some of the best hot chocolate in the mountains. If temperatures really rise, order the off-menu frozen hot chocolate to cool off. Farther north? Try The Chocolate Bar, where dark hot chocolate is thick, doughnuts are plentiful, and a firepit crackles outside.

Dance the night away
Not that we'd ever recommend you go to Tahoe to go clubbing. But if that's your thing, last month Paris Hilton and JWOWW rang in the opening of PEEK Nightclub at Harrah’s. The club includes 40 intimate VIP sections, several dancing floors, and resident DJs.

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