Lake Tahoe is one of the most visited lakes in the United States—for good reasons! The area boasts turquoise waters from the scenic lake, breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and a plethora of outdoor adventures. Start planning your visit with our tips for the best road trip to Tahoe! We know all the best-recommended stops and things to do on your way.
How will you fill your days once you arrive at Lake Tahoe? The opportunities for fun are endless! Take a look at our North Lake Tahoe Guide to discover all the best things to see and do in the area.
Plan the Best Road Trip to Tahoe
Don’t just stop at gas stations to fill up and stretch your legs on the way to Lake Tahoe; make the most out of your journey! We have lots of exciting recommendations so you can embark on the best road trip to Tahoe.
Travel From the Bay Area/San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
The drive from the Bay Area to the north shore of Lake Tahoe is usually about 3 ½ hours. Why take a boring drive when you can have an exciting road trip with lots of new experiences?
- Vacaville Premium Outlets – If you’re anything like us, once you’re about 20 minutes from home you’ll realize that you forgot something for your trip. Isn’t that how it always happens? Luckily for you, you’ll be passing by one of the best premium outlet centers along the way! Shop for any last-minute items you need for your vacation (winter boots, swimsuits, sunglasses, scarves, etc.)
- Sacramento – As the farm-to-table capital of the world, you need to stop in Sacramento for a delicious meal. Try a local restaurant, such as Bacon and Butter, for breakfast/brunch on your Lake Tahoe drive.
- Ikeda’s California Country Market and Pie Shop – Purchase some of the best homemade pies you’ll ever taste. Buy one whole pie to take with you and one slice to eat right away! You can also shop their selection of wine, coffee, meat, fish, homemade dips, and more.
- Maria’s Mexican Tacos – If you’re craving some drool-worthy Mexican food, visit Maria’s. This hidden gem is just across the highway from Ikeda’s.
- Truckee – Get out of the car for a bit and stretch out. You can pop into Ace Hardware and pick up a sled or beach chairs for the week.
Travel From Los Angeles, CA, to Lake Tahoe
The drive from Los Angeles to North Lake Tahoe is about 8 hours. You can take multiple days to tackle this trek and expand your list of sights to see. If you want to just take one day, we recommend you travel via US-395 and make these unique pit stops.
- Pack the car and hit the road early to avoid LA traffic. Scenic 395 will be waiting for you!
- Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop, CA – Stop by Erick Schat’s Bakery and grab a box of pastries. This bakery is arguably the most famous in Northern California—and there’s usually a line wrapping around the block to prove it! We’ll be impressed if you make it all the way to Tahoe without devouring your whole box of delicious treats!
- Convict Lake – Convict Lake is right off the highway just before the Mammoth Lakes. The 2.5-mile hike around the lake is a can’t-miss!
- Hot Creek – If you aren’t interested in hiking or don’t have time, visit Hot Creek on the other side of the highway. With boiling water bubbling up from the creek bed, this stream is definitely photo-worthy.
- Tioga Gas Mart & Whoa Nellie Deli – We know what you’re probably thinking; why would we recommend a gas station when you can just stop any one you pass? Well, this particular Mobile gas station near Mono Lake at the Tioga pass has a surprisingly delicious menu.
- Travertine Hot Springs (clothing optional) – Right off a winding dirt road just before the town of Bridgeport and outside Yosemite National Park, you’ll find Travertine Hot Springs. Take a dip!
- Topaz Lake Lodge and Casino – Just across the border in Nevada, you can try your luck at Topaz Lake. It’s the perfect way to pass the time as you wait for your EV to charge on the last leg of the trip.
- Lake Boulevard – You’re almost at your destination! Continue towards Lake Tahoe and follow Lake Boulevard for beautiful views.
Check-In to Your Tahoe Moon Properties Vacation Rental
You did it! You’ve arrived at your vacation rental in North Lake Tahoe. Now it’s time to unwind and relax.
When you stay with us at Tahoe Moon Properties, you’ll always be near all the best things to see and do in Lake Tahoe, so, the fun never stops! We offer an exclusive selection of rental homes in the most highly sought-after North Lake Tahoe communities. From lakefront properties in Kings Beach to mountainside estates in Tahoe City, it’s easy to find a rental near your favorite outdoor activities in Lake Tahoe!