Where rich Californians go to play, the Sierra Nevada range surrounding the crystal clear Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada is arguably the most beautiful ski area in the US. The lake itself is 12 miles wide, 22 miles long and 1,645 feet at its deepest. Surrounding it are numerous ski resorts, of which Squaw Valley is best known for hosting the 1960 winter Olympics, and boasts the most high-tech lifts and equipment. With a base of 1,890 metres and spread across 6 peaks and 4,000 acres, Squaw reaches 2,760 metres above sea level at its peak and offers a brilliant array of skiing. Other resorts north of the lake are Northstar, Mount Rose and Alpine Meadows. South of the lake, resorts include Heavenly, Sierra and Kirkwood.

Where to stay: The Resort at Squaw Creek – a large, copiously fitted complex with everything from single rooms to split-level penthouses with stunning mountain views. The resort has the biggest spa in the Lake Tahoe area, several top restaurants serving American classics, a private ice rink and three swimming pools. From $290 per night, To see Lake Tahoe packages and choose resorts, go to www.skilake