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The unincorporated community of Olympic Valley went through several transformations before finding its niche as a premier skiing destination in the United States. Its first inhabitants were Washoe Indians, who traveled to the valley during the summer to hunt and forage. White settlers traveling through the area in the 1800s coined Olympic Valley's more common name, Squaw Valley, when they noticed the Washoe women, known as squaws, foraging in the valley. In the mid-1800s, Squaw Valley was home to a lucrative, though short-lived, operation mining silver ore. Squaw Valley's journey to its current fame began with the opening of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in 1949. In 1955, owner Alex Cushing convinced the International Olympic Committee to allow Squaw Valley to host the 1960 Olympic Games, despite the fact that the fledgling resort only had one lift and a 50-room lodge at the time. With several improvements and upgrades, Olympic Valley became the smallest place to ever host the Olympic Games. These games were also the first to ever be televised live. Since the 1960s Olympic Valley has grown into a world-renowned ski resort. With the shopping, dining, and lodging options that have sprung up in the valley, as well as its proximity to Lake Tahoe and California state parks, there is plenty to do in the Olympic Valley area during the summer and winter.
If you decide not to spend every waking minute of your visit to Olympic Valley on the slopes, there are other activities to enjoy. Families can enjoy snow tubing and other activities at SnoVentures, take a ride on a dog sled tour, or take to the aerial tram. Summer activities include golf, mini golf, a mountaintop disc golf course, hiking, biking, and more!
The gastronomical variety is more than you would expect from such a small resort community. here are restaurants on the mountain, as well as in The Village located in the valley below. Some restaurants are only open during the ski season so check before you go.
You can get a cup of coffee just about anywhere, but why stop there? Mountain nectar has freshly-prepared smoothies, and the selection of decadent treats is out of this world. Olympic Valley is also home to the U.S.'s only ski in/ski out Starbucks.
Many of the local restaurants have full service bars and stay open late for dancing, drinking, and socializing. Restaurants often feature full bars, so greater opportunities for nightlife excitement do reside under Dining and Cafes.
There are quite a few sporting goods shops in The Village, and each one is unique. You can also find specialty shops, selling everything from wine and other food, to housewares and souvenirs.
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