Copied and pasted from an early reply I had. Some things have changed (Heavenly hotels) but terrain is the same.
Added: slack country: Mt Rose highway and Donner Pass are good road accessed, lift accessed slack-country, I know Alpine much better than others. In fact, most slack-country is still considered in-bounds, but you can hike further (munchkins, outer-outer)
As a tahoe local for a few seasons I can offer advice on mountains, food and beer. Obviously I have limited thoughts on lodging (as far as price or accomodations) I can comment on proximity.
Northstar: it's out of place, much like a eastern mountain with better snow. The one good side, Lookout Mountain, has steeps, but limited vertical, and a bad double fall line. Northstay caters to the Bay area family skier. I'd go if you had an extra day. You aren't missing anything.
I have limited knowledge of in bounds, but there's lot's of great hiking in the area. I'd talk to someone at Alpenglow (tahoe city) or the Backcountry (tahoe cite and truckee) as far as conditions and reccomendations
no need to mention, not worth much.
Staying in Incline can be nice (Hyatt) but I'd guess expensive You can access both north shore and south shore resorts on storm days. 89 closes at Emerald Bay during storms, but beautiful drive on nice days, cut out early one afternoon, and do yourself a favor.
Not bad, I've never had it on an epic day, but can see the goods. There are some cool caves for extra-curricular breaks. Good pick if you fly in/out of the bay area (cheaper flights, but longer drive) as Sugar Bowl is the farthest west and right on the highway at Donner Pass. Good backcountry (and train gaps) from Donner
Think huge terrain park
Believe the hype. great mountain, lot's of lifts (maybe too many) and can have an attitude. But it's all about meeting the right people. Some local skis exclusively KT-22, but ton's of other great stuff to be found. Can be very expensive. My buddy got married this summer at Plumpjacks. Probably one of the nicer hotels I've ever stayed at. If you have the money, you can stay there, but I guess during the winter it's expensive.
my local mountain, I'm partial to it. It's the the valley next to Squaw. Closer to the lake, with a higher base lodge. When you get there, you can get the idea of the mountain very quickly. Head for Summit 6, and base everything off of there. In bounds you'll want to stick to laps on Summitt, with an ocassional trip to Scott Chair, and Sherwood (depending on weather and timing post storms. Most things off of summitt are north facing and can stay soft and fluffy for a while, but you need to know where to look. Without giving away too much info, the best stuff you have to hike to (not too long of hikes) and most hikes bring you back to lifts. Of course, longer hikes OB can bring hike out, but never lost, you are either in Truckee river watershed or Ward Creek (which leads into the lake) Heading too far east off of summitt can bring you into a new basin, but you rarely see tracks going in that directions. Spring days, plan to be at the ice bar for some beers in the afternoon sun.
Much smaller place, slower lifts, but good stuff to access, or windy storm days this may be a good bet (or only bet) as many other places can be on wind hold. Homewood rarely has these problems. Great lake views, very laid back vibe.
I don't know much about the mountain itself, but southshore is a weird place. Hotels on the California side met their prime in the 50's and 60's and haven't changed much since then. As soon as you cross the state line you're hit with casinos. Heavenly is big, with great views.
If you're going to the south shore, this is where you need to be. Longer to get to, and you have to go over two passes. If it's storming, get early (night before?) as the road often closes.
see Northstar, but smaller. This is on Rte 50, and may be a good bet for a morning if you have to fly out of Sacremento/Oakland/San Fran in the afternoon.
make a trip, this place is amazing. I've never been here on a mid-winter weekend, but all of LA commutes on 395 Friday night and leaves Sunday night.
Questions about where to get food or drink? Give me locale, and I can offer advice.