5 Fun Winter Reasons to Lodge in a Mountain Home

You’re planning a vacation in the mountains but there’s one detail you haven’t quite figured out – should you stay in a mountain home or a hotel? The two offer very different travel experiences. One comes with fresh linens and the convenience of a continental breakfast in the morning. But while fluffy hotel pillows might sound irresistible, we all usually end up craving the comforts of home while on vacation. That’s where lodging in a mountain home comes in. It’s more intimate, cozy, and filled with possibility for memorable times with family and friends. Here are 5 fun reasons to lodge in a mountain home during your next visit to Truckee. 


Scrabble pieces on the board, a scene from a game night in a mountain home.

#1 – Throw a Game Night

Don’t listen to what anyone else might say, you’re never too old for games! They can be just the thing to bring everyone together and make the evening a memorable one. Many mountain homes have an assortment of games and puzzles for you to use, or bring your favorite one with you. 

Need some inspiration? Here are a few games we recommend for a fun game night.

Settlers of Catan

If you’re the type to likes to dive deep into a game and spend hours working out strategy and tactics, Settlers of Catan is for you. It’s kind of like Monopoly, but with an Oregon Trail vibe. The goal is to settle the isle of Catan by building roads, cities, and settlements. Trade with players for resources and try to outwit them to the most victory points! Don’t make any plans for the night if you’re going to play Settlers, you’ll be here for a while.

Sushi Go

This is a quick game that is fun for all ages. It involves some math and is guaranteed to get your mouth watering for sushi!

Cards Against Humanity

By now, Cards Against Humanity is a household name. It’s an oldie but a goody and will get everyone laughing. It’s dubbed “a party game for horrible people” because some of the responses will shock you. Warning: this is not for the easily offended.

For more fun games to play during your visit, take a look at this roundup of The 14 Most Popular Board Games for Adults or stop by the Truckee Variety Co. in downtown Truckee. They have a variety of games that the whole family will enjoy.

A large meal laid out on a table in a mountain home.

#2 – Indulge Your Inner Chef

Take advantage of the kitchen in your rental and whip up a special meal. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, instead, it can be silly, fun, even exciting if you make it! Turn on some music, find a new recipe, and get everyone involved in peeling, chopping, and stirring while dancing around the kitchen. Here are some ideas for recipes you can make on your next ski vacation in Truckee. They’re low maintenance, feed a crowd, and can be made in less than two hours.

Here’s a local’s tip. There are limited groceries stores in Truckee and they get crowded, quick! To avoid the long lines and save time at the store, shop early in the morning or late in the evening. You can also avoid the hassle of grocery shopping completely by stopping by the Tahoe Food Hub. Their farm store features local (within 100 miles) produce, meat, eggs, dairy, and more. They even offer a Harvest to Order box online farmers market which allows you to build your own veggie box and pick it up when you get to town. If you subscribe to a dinner box service like HelloFresh, bring it to your cabin rental for an easy turnkey meal!

A man relaxing on a couch and holding a book in front of his face, reading.

#3 – Go Offline

Turn off the screens and go offline. How often do we do that these days? First (and this is important) make sure you get all of your work done before you leave for the mountains. Now that you’re free of distractions and work obligations, it’s time to silence your phone and turn off your laptop.   

But… what did we do before all these screens? Here are a few ways you can enjoy being disconnected during your stay in a mountain home:

  • Read a book (or two!)
  • Get crafty – knit, paint, etc.
  • Curl up by the fireplace
  • Bring an instrument and fill the house with music
  • Try to complete a 1000 piece puzzle

A snowman with a red scarf next to a small pine tree in a front yard of a mountain home.

#4 – Your Backyard Is an Outdoor Playground

You don’t need to drive to a sledding hill if there’s one in your backyard. Sometimes the best adventures can be found right outside your mountain home. Avoid the hassle of parking or traffic during the busy season and find the magic of your backyard playground.

When there’s snow on the ground, make a snowman in the yard or challenge everyone to a snowball fight. In the summer, practice your naturalist skills and see how many trees and plants you can identify, or play a fun outdoor game like spikeball, bocce ball, or frisbee. 

If you’re feeling nature deprived, try forest bathing in the backyard. Not quite sure what forest bathing is? Hint: it’s all about slowing down, using your senses to tune into nature, and it can have a huge impact on your health! Learn more here.  

A group of friends hugging as the sun sets in the background

#5 – Invite a Big Crew

Hotel rooms are great for a couple of people, but any more than that and they can start to feel cramped. When you stay at one of Truckee’s mountain homes, you’ll have the entire house to yourself which means more room to spread out and space for a crowd!

You will be surprised at how many people Truckee’s mountain homes can sleep. A three bedroom house with a couple pull out couches can easily accommodate 10 people, just make sure to check with the booking agent when you are planning your trip. Get a group of friends together and fill the bedrooms or organize a family reunion! 

Besides bringing people together under one roof to spend time together and make memories, splitting a mountain home with a group is a great way to save money on your trip to Truckee. Instead of spending $200 a night on a hotel room, everyone can split the cost of a mountain home which leaves you with more money in your pocket for a nice dinner in downtown Truckee or an extra day on the slopes.