ON-SITE ACTIVITIES AND FOOD
We’ve been to Northstar a few times over the years, although it’s been at least five years since our last visit. The village is clean, pretty and up to date, however there aren’t a ton of offerings when compared to a place like Whistler. Still, they’ve got more in terms of dining and commodities than say Mt. Bachelor, Bogus Basin and some others.
We opted to stay in Northstar so we regularly found ourselves eating breakfast at the local grocery store and café as the food was decent and not too expensive. There’s also a coffee shop, pizza place, bars and some other options for mid-day or dinner time eats. Overall though, we spent most of our time heading to Truckee for meals.
Northstar also has a few family friendly activities to keep kids entertained while you do your thing. A movie theater, skating rink and mini golf course are just a few.
WHAT BIKE TO BRING
Bike selection is a tough choice for Northstar. If you’re solely riding the bike park then bring a DH bike. If you’re an explorer and like riding local trails off the mountain then you’ll want a 160mm bike at the very least. There are tons of great places to ride in the Tahoe area. If you want to pedal or shuttle, you’ve got options and we’d highly suggest bringing two bikes if you’ve got ‘em. The views and solitude found on the local Sierra trails are truly spectacular.
WHERE TO STAY
A common theme held by locals and employees is that Northstar’s pricing and attitude has gone nose up thanks to the swarms of Bay Area visitors. We were given a discount to stay at some condos in Northstar off Coyote Fork and were pretty blown away at the still extremely high price and low quality accommodations. Our condo unit had uncomfortable beds, mold in the shower curtain and was generally run down and looked as if very little had been changed since the 90s. There are plenty of nicer spots to stay in the Northstar village, like the Ritz Carlton and Northstar Resort, however we’re not sure just how affordable that is for most visitors.
Our best recommendation would be to look in King’s Beach or Truckee. Granted there’s always camping as an option and plenty of places to do that if you’re looking to sleep under the stars. Truckee is a really cool town with some old time history and plenty of great restaurants and bars. Next time we go back to Northstar we’ll be looking at Truckee as the place to stay.
A visit to Northstar wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Lake Tahoe. It’s an incredibly beautiful lake with an amazing shoreline and vistas. If you’d like to take a break from the bike park, there are marinas on Tahoe that rent boats, wave runners and other watercraft for the day. Crystal Bay and Kings Beach are the closest towns on the water and have plenty of options for lodging and restaurants as well. Truckee also has some outdoor dining areas, a little mall area the historic downtown and hosts the Truckee Bike Park. We definitely suggest a stop by the public park as it’s a real fine example of what can be done when passionate people work with willing municipalities.