This ski resort takes on an entirely different persona in the summer months. Life moves very slowly at Northstar California, arguably the top destination ski resort in Lake Tahoe.
Of course, there are no skiers or snowboarders hustling toward the lifts this time of year. Northstar’s famed Village is one laid-back summer spot, especially in the cool mornings when the majority of early risers can be found sipping on coffee drinks at Starbucks.
Speaking of cool, one of the nice things about a Northstar summer visit is playing a round of golf just a few minutes away from the Village. Two things come to mind when playing Northstar Golf Course: the two nines are distinctly different and the price is not-Tahoe like — meaning it’s reasonably priced for resort golf.
What’s reasonable in Tahoe? Depending on the time of year, Northstar’s prices range from $60 to $80 ($35 twilight rate). Most Lake Tahoe courses charge $100 to $185 during prime-time hours.
Although a fun track, don’t be fooled into thinking Northstar won’t offer a challenge. In fact, it offers quite a bit, especially on the back nine where target golf is a way of life on the tight, tree-lined fairways that lead into some small, challenging greens. Mishit a shot and expect to pay the price on the scorecard.
However, the front side is quite the contrast and is a suitable track to get your game in shape. The first nine holes feature some generous fairways in an open meadow that begs most golfers to pull out the driver, which mostly stays in the bag on holes 10 through 18. There are several dogleg holes and water hazards that will present a challenge to any level golfer.
The 6,844-yard course was designed by Robert Muir Graves. It includes the Martis Valley Grille, a nice place to grab an early breakfast, an afternoon lunch, or a beverage or two at the 19th hole.
The Northstar summer experience features much more than golf. If a relaxing vacation is the goal, you’ve come to the right place. There are numerous lodging choices that are located in the Village, which has shops, restaurants, a roller-skating rink and fire pits. There are also several concerts scheduled this summer in the Village.
Many of the Village condos offer full kitchens, a balcony, and a fireplace that’s nice to crank up on cool evenings.
For a little different experience, lodging is also available in more quiet, tree-lined areas that are minutes away from the Village. There is also a very luxurious Ritz-Carlton at mid-mountain and a Hyatt Residence Club located in the Village.
More energetic folks can take advantage of all the summer activities available at Northstar. Most stays include free access to an upscale fitness center that has an outdoor pool and spa. Besides golf and roller-skating, activities include hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, Geocaching, a kids adventure club, star-gazing tours, tennis camps for children and adults, and ski lifts to check out Northstar’s majestic mountain.
Visit northstarcalifornia.com for more information and deals on stay-and-play packages.