Most well-rounded: Truckee, CA
Keeping a low-pro just 13 miles north of Life List–worthy Lake Tahoe is this unritzified ski town—despite the swank Ritz at
Northstar up the street. The historic main drag can please teenagers and grandparents alike, with a Blue Bottle Coffee–loving
cafe (Elijah Bleu’s), jazz lounge (Moody’s), and a growing number of tasting rooms (the Pour House, Truckee River Winery).
Slopes: The closest of the big guns is blue square–saturated Northstar (check the website for lift prices), but black diamond skiers come for the chutes on its Lookout Mountain. Laid-back powderhounds prefer Alpine Meadows (from $71), while the extreme skier–scenesters stick to Squaw Valley ($86; squaw.com), aka Squallywood. Beginners head to Tahoe Donner ($39) and Soda Springs ($35).
Sleeps: Something for everyone: just-gimme-a-bed at revamped Truckee Tahoe Lodge (from $159); eco-chic-boutique Cedar House Sport Hotel (from $170); and Northstar’s chichi Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe (from $399), with 2 outdoor pools, a restaurant by celeb chef Traci Des Jardins, and a concierge who unbuckles your ski boots for crying out loud.
Info: 35 miles from Reno-Tahoe Int’l; truckee.com