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Summer Guide 2015

Hop a Plane to Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe  

Speaking of ski towns that are equally nice in the warmer months: North Lake Tahoe. It claims the highest concentration of ski resorts in the country, yet, come summertime, those in the know head to its hundreds of miles of high-elevation hiking and mountain-biking trails; a slew of unspoiled, secret-feeling state-park beaches; and abundant après-ski-season amenities, such as Squaw Valley’s Umbrella Bar and High Camp Pool and Hot Tub, with views of the lake from 8,200 feet ($44 for the tram ride and pool pass; And now that Jet Blue has launched daily nonstop service to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from JFK (as of May 28)—the first direct connection from New York—it’s possible to dip a toe into many of Tahoe’s seasonal pleasures in a single well-planned weekend. Plus, the flights are relatively cheap, with round trips hovering around $298—about the cost of a typical weekend car rental in New York.

Where to Stay: The ecoconscious (and dog-friendly) 40-room Cedar House Sport Hotel (from $195; offers an intimate alternative to Tahoe’s sprawling ski resorts—plus modern, minimalist-leaning décor, an in-house adventure concierge, and on-site cooking classes and themed pop-up dinners from esteemed local chef and culinary instructor Jacob Burton.

What to Do: Combine two of North Tahoe’s favorite pursuits—water sports and wellness (this is the birthplace of the Wanderlust yoga festival, after all)—with a yoga session conducted entirely atop a stand-up paddle board ( What better motivation to improve your boat pose than the threat of capsizing into the bracing waters of an alpine lake? Alternate plan: Pick up a (waterproof!) Lake Tahoe Water Trail Map & Guide, rent a kayak for the day ($75;, and navigate your way around the lake’s 72-mile shoreline from a seated position.

Where to Eat: The Ritz-Carlton’s Manzanita restaurant’s new six-course “chef’s counter” tapas tastings (Friday and Saturday nights) deliver the same small-group dining and top-chef face time as the resort’s standard chef’s table dinners, but for about half the price—and half the post-feast sluggishness (from $95, reservations required;