Go: Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, oh Tahoe, how we love thee. Your beauty and majesty, beyond compare. All seasons you beckon, “Come, find rest.” I’ll pause my spontaneous poetry to get to the point.
This legendary lake is just shy of 4 hours from Silicon Valley, so when you go you need somewhere to stay. Today’s article is about my favorite place to stay in all of Tahoe. It’s called Granlibakken. (Write that down.)
Here are 5 reasons why it’s at the top of my list:
Granlibakken is the first Tahoe ski resort! That’s right, quite the claim to fame. It was founded in 1947 by a Norwegian named Kjell “Rusty” Rustad. Granlibakken means, “hill sheltered by fir trees.” Rusty was an accomplished skier and sailor. He built the ski hut in 1947 out of logs he harvested from the ski slopes (see photo at the end of this article). There are framed pictures of old Tahoe life throughout the resort. I love to stop in the halls and read the story they tell. Many a native Tahoean learned to ski at Granlibakken, my step mom and her siblings included.
Your stay includes a complimentary breakfast feast every morning. This isn’t some “continental breakfast” with nary a gram of protein in sight. The options are hearty, healthy, delicious, and seemingly endless. The hours are also generous: during my recent stay, breakfast was open for a 3-hour window, from 7-10 am. The breakfast is so filling we needed only a snack for lunch.
There’s so much to do right there on the property.
-They celebrate holidays; holiday meals and festivities are always included for lodging guests. There’s a Thanksgiving feast, a Christmas dinner, a New Year’s Eve banquet and dance, an Easter egg hunt and brunch. We were there for New Year’s Eve a couple years ago and had the most special time partying the night away as a family.
-In the winter, you can walk to the ski hill! It’s small, and perfect for beginners. You rent your equipment right there in the lodge that Rusty built. There’s a popular sledding hill right next to the ski hill. You can cross county ski and snow shoe on the trails, rental gear is available in the lodge as well. The ropes course, “Treetop Adventure Park,” is open year round. There are plenty of larger ski resorts are nearby.
-The pool, hot tub, and sauna are open year-round.
-In the summer, there is tennis, hiking and biking trails. Click here to see jawdropping photos of Lake Tahoe in the summer.
I’m all about living the good life (on less) and Granlibakken makes the cut, no question about it. It’s the best bang-for-your-buck in Lake Tahoe. The lowest priced room is $139/night. The free breakfast buffet fuels you up for the day ahead. Equipment rentals and lift tickets are the lowest around, which makes teaching your kids to ski or snowboard easy on the pocketbook.
Everything about Granlibakken is easy. It’s centrally located and easy to access; it felt like Highway 80 plopped us right there. Our bed was very comfortable. The daily housekeeping keeps your room tidy. Our unit was charming and simple—exactly how things should be in the mountains. Rolling out of bed and walking to the breakfast feast is the best. Then we walked to snowboard and didn’t break the bank to do so. Doesn’t get any easier. I like easy!
There you have it, folks. I’m a big fan. Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or already planning next winter’s vacations, Granlibakken is a Tahoe treasure. Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions.
One more story: We bought our home from a family that had owned it for 55 years. One of the adult sons lives two doors down from us. He walked by as I was unloading our minivan. I told him we were getting back from Granlibakken. A big smile overtook his face as he told me, “My parents took us there to learn to ski!” It really is a special place with rich history, and only a short(ish) drive away.
I’ve written some other articles about Tahoe. Click on the word “Tahoe” below to check them out. There’s a great video in there of a mysterious and unforgettable boat ride.