Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe: Terrific summer family getaway

Summer provides quite the contrast to the winter months when Northstar California ski resort is covered in white sheets of snow with skiers and snowboarders seemingly everywhere.

The spacious Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe pool area is major gathering spot for kids and their families during the summer months. The heated pool has comfortable lounge chairs and guests can enjoy lunch or beverages with poolside service.

The spacious Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe pool area is a major gathering spot for kids and their families during the summer months. The heated pool has comfortable lounge chairs and guests can enjoy lunch or beverages with poolside service.

The views and the vibe are refreshingly different in the summer, where the days proceed at a much slower pace at this North Tahoe location, where the venerable Lake Tahoe’s waters are not far away – a mere seven-mile drive is all it takes.

The picturesque, panoramic mountainous view can be seen from practically any room at the stately Ritz-Carlton-Lake Tahoe, located mid-mountain at Northstar California. Situated near downtown Truckee and Kings Beach, the Ritz-Carlton is a luxury resort that will rest your mind and challenge your body – assuming that’s part of your vacation equation.

While the winter months are focused mostly on skiing and riding, summertime offers a plethora of activities for all ages.

Ritz-Carlton-Lake Tahoe Golf packages: For the avid golfer, the Ritz-Carlton offers an enticing play-and-stay package. Starting at $599 per night, guests receive one night’s lodging and preferred tee times at two of Tahoe’s best 18-hole courses – Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood – which are approximately a 15-minute drive from the Ritz. The deal is available through Sept. 30.

Both of these scenic golf courses feature rolling hills, majestic pine trees and are challenging tracks, but not overwhelmingly difficult. Both Jack Nicklaus and Peter Jacobsen have left a footprint in Lake Tahoe. Nicklaus designed Old Greenwood and Gray’s was the product of Jacobsen’s team. Northstar California has an 18-hole course as well.

Old Greenwood is a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that is situated amid 600 acres of majestic pines.

Old Greenwood is a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in North Lake Tahoe that is situated amid 600 acres of majestic pines. The course is part of the stay-and-play package at Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe that is offered through Sept. 30.

Old Greenwood is a par-72 course that unfolds amid 600 acres of majestic pines. Gray’s Crossing is certified as only the second Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary in all of California.

Numerous children’s activities: To say the Ritz-Carlton-Lake Tahoe caters to kids in the summer might be an understatement. Step outside near the beautiful pool area and there are games and activities that could keep kids of any age busy for hours.

Well shaded by a grove of pine trees is a bocce ball court that children seem to love. The popular Italian game is similar to lawn bowling and is suitable for the entire family. In the same vicinity is a horseshoe pit, bean bag toss, nets for both volleyball and badminton, a small disc golf area, plus large board games and blocks for younger kids.

For more organized fun, the Ritz Kids program offers a variety of supervised physical and creative activities designed for children ages 5 to 12. The program does full (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and half days, seven days a week.

Ritz Kids programs include:

  • Adventure hikes
  • Crafts
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Lawn games
  • Lunch
Outdoor summer games at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe include a horseshoe pit, bean bag toss, nets for both volleyball and badminton, a small disc golf area, plus large board games and blocks for younger kids.

Outdoor summer games at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe include a horseshoe pit, bean bag toss, nets for both volleyball and badminton, a small disc golf area, plus large board games and blocks for younger kids.

The spacious pool area is another major gathering spot for kids and their families during the summer months. The pool has comfortable lounge chairs and guests can enjoy lunch or beverages with poolside service. No worries about the water being too cold; the large pool and nearby lap pool (adults only) are heated and the two hot tubs are soothing and quite hot.

Kids (and adults) won’t want to miss the free S’mores that are available late afternoon on a daily basis.

Adult activities: Highly recommended is a hike up Northstar ski resort. Tour guides are available, but frankly not necessary. One can chose a moderate, meandering, 2.3-mile round trip hike to Sawmill Lake or simply explore Northstar with no real destination in mind. Seeing a ski resort in the summer provides a very unique perspective, especially if you’re only accustomed to viewing the mountain as a skier or rider.

Mountain biking is another summer pursuit that offers a different experience on the hill. One can also take a short drive for activities such as kayaking, fly-fishing, tennis, boating, roller skating, or simply a relaxing day hanging out at the lake.

There’s a luxurious 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center with 17 treatment rooms, fabulous steam and sauna rooms (one for the women, another for the men), a multi-head shower system, a large whirlpool, and separate men and women lounge rooms complete with a fireplace, iced water and light snacks.

The outdoor fire pit area has ultra-comfortable couches that are a perfect location for reading or just hanging out during the day and in the evening it’s a terrific gathering place for people of all ages.

The fire pit area at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a great spot to hang out in the daytime and evening.

The fire pit area at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a pupular spot to hang out in the daytime and evening.

Lodging and dining: The guest rooms and suites have in-room fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows that serve as a personal observation post day and night. It’s difficult to ignore the tranquil mountain backdrop or the view of the slopeside outdoor pool area that seems to be beckoning guests to take a dip.

Lodging at the Ritz can range from a 455-square-foot club level room to the enormous Sugar Pine Residential Suite that is larger (2,363 feet) than some people’s homes. Note that there is a $30 per day resort fee and valet parking is $39 a day.

There are five dining venues, ranging from elegant private dining options at the Manzanita restaurant to the tasty offerings at the Backyard Bar & BBQ, which is open for lunch only.

For more information on the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/laketahoe or call 530 562-3000.

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