If life begins at 40, as they say, then Northstar, opened in 1972, is just picking up speed. That’s certainly true for the Tahoe resort’s skiing. A slew of new, lightly treed glades off the Martis and Backside lifts debunk the stereotype that Northstar is for beginners, while snowmaking and grooming operations (No. 8) continue to be among Tahoe’s best, even keeping the slopes buttery during last winter’s dry spell. But where Northstar excels is in delivering luxurious base-village amenities and a kid-friendly attitude. Call it Tahoe’s sweetest family resort—literally, thanks to free s’mores daily in the village. After a day on the hill, parents can unwind with a drink at the outdoor cabanas and fire pits that encircle a skating rink, with restaurants, shops, and bars not much more than a ski pole’s length away. “Love the European-ski-village concept!” — Paul Tolme
MANDATORY RUN >> Ride the Martis Camp Express on a powder day and ski Sugar Pine Glade until it’s tracked out.
ON-HILL LUNCH >> The Zephyr Lodge’s architecture is as good as its food, which includes a design-your-own Asian noodle bowl and brisket grilled cheese.
APRES SPOT >> Sip a chocolate martini or pomegranate mojito at the Chocolate Bar in the village.