Spring break in Tahoe on a budget | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Spring break in Tahoe on a budget

Get in your spring skiing before the last signs of winter melt away.

Flowers are blossoming and Easter is just around the corner, which can mean only one thing: Hello, spring break! When planning a vacation there is one thought that nearly everyone has: How do I experience the highlights inexpensively? You want to see all of Tahoe, but you also want to be efficient.

From insider tips on meals under $10 to shopping suggestions and more, here's what we have for you.

For the college kid

Let's be real. All you care about are happy hours and where you can eat cheap. If this is an accurate statement, check out Kalani's Restaurant in Heavenly Village, where a daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. offers edamame, sushi rolls and other Hawaiian foods plus unique mai tais, mojitos, margaritas, and — of course — sake, beer and wine.

Also found in Heavenly Village is Gunbarrel Tavern — on Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m., enjoy $3 well drinks, $2 PBR Tallboys and additional wine, draft beer and food specials. McP's Taphouse is another solid option. With over 40 beers on tap, happy hour is held weekdays from 3-5 p.m. The menu boasts half-price appetizers, $3 well cocktails, $3 select beers and a $2 beer of the day, among other deals.

After you've had your booze, you'll need to satisfy your appetite. In the mood for American cuisine? Izzy's Burger Spa offers $4 burgers, $2 fries and 20-ounce drinks for just over $1.50. You'll find it at 2591 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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For those with a different palate, consider Taqueria Jalisco, located on Harrison Avenue, for burritos under $4, quesadillas under $3 and $1.50 tacos. If you're a pizza person, Vinny's is up your alley: Custom-make a pie for $9-$16, or get a specialty pizza for $13-$25. Split it with your friends to save the cash.

Want to class up your time in Tahoe? The wine and art pairing is all the rage lately, so swing by Lake Tahoe Paint & Sip or take a look at the online schedule — sip some wine while bringing out your inner artiste. Prices range from $25-$50 depending on the day, time and artwork. Visit http://www.laketahoepaintsip.com for more.

For the family

Chances are you're looking to catch the end of the ski season. Depending on how large your family is, this could be pretty costly. Pro tip: Buy your tickets online ahead of time if you know this is something you want to do. Of the three major resorts located on South Shore, Sierra-at-Tahoe offers the lowest prices, but has fewer trails than both Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts. Visit each resort's respective website to learn more.

If the weather isn't optimal for being on the mountain, but you still want to be active, consider skating at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. If you need to rent gear (both hockey and figure skates are available), admission costs $15. If you brought your own skates, access to the rink is $13. Children 6 and younger get in for $6. Learn more online at http://www.tahoearena.com.

For the connoisseur and history buff, visit Benko Art Gallery and Tallac Historic Site, respectively. The former features work — paintings, photography and more — from six Tahoe-based artists, while the latter is one of the most visited places on the South Shore. While the buildings are currently closed for winter, the waterfront grounds prove to be a great location for exploring and are open year-round.

As is the case with vacationing, you'll need to get your souvenirs. Head to On Tahoe Time in Heavenly Village and bring a piece of the lake home with you — a majority of the items are made by local artists and range from woodworks, paintings and unique knickknacks you won't find anywhere else. Your standard cheesy tourist objects can be found at Black Bear Trading Co., at 4125 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Want a tie-dye shirt with Lake Tahoe printed on the front? They'll probably have it.

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