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San Francisco To Lake Tahoe Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Note: This guide was last updated 1 year and 2 months and 23 days ago. If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears! Feel free to leave a comment below.

San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 200 miles of San Francisco to Lake Tahoe drive takes around 3 hours and 19 mins without stops.

This article includes 15 tips that turn your San Francisco to Lake Tahoe drive into an unforgettable journey. So if you’re looking for the best hotels, restaurants, and places to visit on the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, take your coffee and keep reading!

5 Best Hotels On The Road Trip From San Francisco To Lake Tahoe

On the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip, you may want to stay at some points. Here are the top five hotels on the San Francisco – Lake Tahoe route!

  1. Hampton Inn & Suites Vacaville-Napa Valley: Hampton Inn & Suites Vacaville-Napa Valley is one of the best hotels; you can stay on the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip. Driving from San Francisco to Hampton Inn & Suites Vacaville-Napa Valley might take around 59 mins. We chose a hotel boasting elegant decor in its rooms for our stay. Additionally, we were delighted with the complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel. Check the Hampton Inn & Suites Vacaville-Napa Valley, one of the best hotels in Vacaville, California, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.
  2. Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento at CSUS is another top hotel where you can choose to stay on the road trip to Lake Tahoe from San Francisco is Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento at CSUS. Located in Sacramento, California, the hotel is 91.4 miles away from San Francisco, and it would take 1 hour and 33 mins to drive. The hotel is located off US-50 and 65th Street near downtown Sacramento, California State University Sacramento, and the Sacramento Regional Transit. Guests received exemplary service from the devoted staff, resulting in total satisfaction. In addition to the relaxed atmosphere, guests were welcomed into clean and comfortable rooms, had access to a beautiful pool, and could partake in a hearty breakfast during their stay. If you want to learn more about the Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento at CSUS, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
  3. Hyatt Place Sacramento Roseville: Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to Hyatt Place Sacramento Roseville. Hyatt Place Sacramento Roseville is located in Roseville, California, and it’s 107 miles away from San Francisco. You can arrive there in 1 hour and 48 mins of non-stop driving. Guests of this hotel can look forward to a memorable stay, made even more special by its friendly staff. The rooms have all the necessary amenities, including air conditioning and flat-screen TVs. Furthermore, pet owners will be delighted to know that their furry companions are welcome here. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Hyatt Place Sacramento Roseville for more information.
  4. Best Western Plus Truckee-Tahoe Hotel: If you are taking the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, Truckee, California, it must have a place you should visit. Best Western Plus Truckee-Tahoe Hotel is one of the best hotels in town. The hotel is 190 miles from San Francisco, and it would take 3 hours and 5 mins to drive. Visitors to Truckee can enjoy the comfort and convenience of the Best Western Plus hotel. In addition, this hotel offers affordable rates and a hearty breakfast, ensuring an unforgettable stay. If you need more info about the price and availability of Best Western Plus Truckee-Tahoe Hotel, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.
  5. Stardust Lodge: Our next hotel is Stardust Lodge, Lake Tahoe, California. It will take 3 hours, and 20 mins of car ride o reach this hotel from San Francisco. Hotel guests were provided an enjoyable experience courtesy of the accommodating staff who worked to make them feel at home. Visitors were delighted to find a functional outdoor table tennis area and tastefully decorated, spotless, comfortably furnished rooms. Check the Stardust Lodge on TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Stardust Lodge for reviews, prices, and availability.

In this part, we explained five hotels you can stay at on the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. You can pick one of them that suits your taste. Don’t forget to share your experience by commenting on this post. It will help people who will take San Francisco to the Lake Tahoe route.

Now, it’s time to discover the best restaurants from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. We have five restaurant recommendations worth your attention.

5 Best Restaurants On The San Francisco To Lake Tahoe Road Trip

If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip. This section lists five restaurants to dine at on the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. Stay hungry and enjoy!

  1. Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina: We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip with Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina. Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina is located in Vacaville, California, 54.7 miles from San Francisco. Therefore, it would take 59 mins to drive. Visitors looking for an extraordinary culinary experience will find it at this restaurant, which features a vast selection of dishes paired with an inviting atmosphere and al fresco seating options. Upon our visit, we sampled the margarita and shrimp dishes, both of which were delightful. For more information about Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina, visit TripAdvisor or Google Maps of Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina.
  2. Mikuni, Sacramento: Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to Lake Tahoe from San Francisco is Mikuni, Sacramento. Located in Sacramento, California, Mikuni, Sacramento is 88.2 miles from San Francisco and would take 1 hour and 31 mins of driving. A visit to the restaurant proved to be a worthwhile experience; the food was outstanding, and the atmosphere was hospitable. The selection of succulent sashimi and flavorful appetizers tantalized our tastebuds. In addition, we had the pleasure of being served at the bar with attentive and prompt service. Highlights of the meal included the Japanese Mafia and Carmen rolls – both highly recommended by this reviewer. If you want to learn more about Mikuni, Sacramento, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  3. Four Sisters Cafe: Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is Four Sisters Cafe. It will take 1 hour and 48 mins of car drive to take 108 miles from San Francisco to Four Sisters Cafe, Roseville, California. Diners at the restaurant were delighted with the fresh fare and cozy atmosphere that created a truly memorable experience. The quality of service was up to standard, and the cheesecake was a highlight among the dishes. You can check Four Sisters Cafe on TripAdvisor or Google Maps for more information.
  4. Squeeze In, Truckee: Truckee deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Truckee, California. The charming and renowned establishment exceeded expectations in every area, from its delightful decor to attentive service. Patrons praised the experience as truly remarkable, with a particular delight in the breakfast. Squeeze In, Truckee is 187 miles from San Francisco, and it would take 3 hours of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about Squeeze In Truckee, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  5. Flatstick Pub, Lake Tahoe: If you enjoy dining, Flatstick Pub, Lake Tahoe, would be an excellent choice in Lake Tahoe, California. It’s 190 miles from San Francisco and would take 3 hours and 19 mins of car driving. This pub boasts an expansive menu of food and beverages, including several local beer options. The establishment’s decor is also pleasant, providing an ideal setting for patrons to enjoy a game of mini-golf with their friends in the designated area. If you want to learn more about the Flatstick Pub, Lake Tahoe, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

This section lists our five restaurant recommendations for your road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. We hope these suggestions will help you turn your 200 miles journey into a feast of taste. Of course, you can choose a suitable restaurant according to your preference. Remember, like you, people planning a Lake Tahoe road trip need your opinion. Therefore, we kindly ask you to share your experience with us in the comment field at the end of the blog post.

In the next section, we list the destinations worth seeing along the route from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. Keep reading.

5 Places To Visit On The San Francisco To Lake Tahoe Drive

A unique experience awaits you in Lake Tahoe. However, on your road trip, there are also some unique destinations, like Vacaville, California. Therefore, we want to explain the top five destinations we recommend on the Lake Tahoe route.

  • Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park: Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park will be the first destination we recommend you stop by on your San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip. Located in Vacaville, California, Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park is 52.4 miles away from San Francisco, and it would take 55 mins to drive. Lagoon Valley, a hidden gem in the area, offers visitors a unique and stunning backdrop of landscapes and hiking trails. Aspiring photographers seeking to capture memorable moments of their travels may wish to explore Lagoon Valley for its abundant photographic opportunities thoroughly. If you want to learn more about the Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.
  • California State Railroad Museum: California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, California, is one of the destinations we recommend you stop by on the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe route. It’s 86.5 miles from San Francisco, and it’ll take about 1 hour and 29 mins of driving. The California State Railroad Museum offers a unique opportunity to discover the history of the Golden State’s railways. Visitors can experience the marvel of a 40-ton monument that has stood for 150 years, reflecting engineering, innovation, and tradition. Through interactive displays and knowledgeable docents, guests can gain insight into the integral role railways have played in California’s development. The Railroad History Museum offers a comprehensive and enlightening experience, with clear signage and knowledgeable staff readily available to assist visitors. Many consider this to be one of the best museum experiences offered in California. If you want to learn more about California State Railroad Museum, you can check it out on TripAdvisor or their website.
  • Roseville Telephone Museum: One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe in Roseville, California. And if you visit Roseville, California, we suggest you visit Roseville Telephone Museum. You can arrive at Roseville Telephone Museum after 1 hour and 44 mins of driving. Visitors to this museum are granted the opportunity to witness the historical progression of phones, from their precursors to their present form, which has become ubiquitous in modern culture. On display is an array of phones used for communication over the decades, each piece conserved in its original state. A visit to this museum is highly recommended for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of Roseville Telephone Museum for more information.
  • Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum: Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum, Truckee, California, on the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip. Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum are 185 miles from San Francisco, and you can arrive there after a 3-hour drive. Visitors to the museum can gain a deeper understanding of the west coast journey of the Donner Party and experience firsthand the challenges they faced along the way. In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum before going there.
  • The Gondola at Heavenly: Located in Lake Tahoe, California, The Gondola at Heavenly ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. You must take 3 hours and 18 mins of driving to arrive at The Gondola at Heavenly. Visitors to Lake Tahoe are treated to unique and breathtaking landscapes. For those seeking a truly memorable experience, The Gondola at Heavenly is the perfect option. This 2.4-mile journey offers unbeatable views of the lake, with its stunning panoramic views providing guests with a truly unforgettable experience. If you want to learn more about The Gondola at Heavenly, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From San Francisco to Lake Tahoe

Here we are answering the frequently asked questions about the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe drive.

How Long Is The Road Trip From San Francisco To Lake Tahoe?

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip takes approximately 3 hours and 19 mins to drive. The driving distance between San Francisco to Lake Tahoe is 200 miles.
  • If you want to make the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip by bike, your time on the road will be 18 hours and 52 mins.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to walk the San Francisco-Lake Tahoe route, you will have to walk for two days and 12 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From San Francisco To Lake Tahoe?

There are many beautiful pit stops along the way to Lake Tahoe. On the road, you can visit Vacaville, California; Sacramento, California; Roseville, California; Truckee, California; and Lake Tahoe, California. Here we list five places to visit for you. For more information about the best places on the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe journey, you can check the 5 Best Places To Visit On The San Francisco To Lake Tahoe Road Trip.

  1. Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Regional Park: 52.4 miles / 55 mins to drive from San Francisco | 148 miles / 2 hours and 26 mins to Lake Tahoe.
  2. California State Railroad Museum: 86.5 miles / 1 hour and 29 mins to drive from San Francisco | 116 miles / 1 hour and 58 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  3. Roseville Telephone Museum: 105 miles / 1 hour and 44 mins to drive from San Francisco | 96.0 miles / 1 hour and 40 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  4. Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum: 185 miles / 3 hours to drive from San Francisco | 15.6 miles / 21 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  5. The Gondola at Heavenly: 189 miles / 3 hours and 18 mins to drive from San Francisco | 14.2 miles / 28 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.

Where Should You Stay On The Road Trip From San Francisco To Lake Tahoe?

There are many excellent hotels during your road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. We have selected five hotels for you. These hotels are listed below. Remember, you can find detailed information about these hotels in the 5 Best Hotels On The Road Trip To Lake Tahoe From San Francisco section.

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Vacaville-Napa Valley: 54.9 miles / 59 mins to drive from San Francisco | 146 miles / 2 hours and 25 mins to Lake Tahoe.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento at CSUS: 91.4 miles / 1 hour and 33 mins to drive from San Francisco | 104 miles / 2 hours to Lake Tahoe.
  • Hyatt Place Sacramento Roseville: 107 miles / 1 hour and 48 mins to drive from San Francisco | 97.1 miles / 1 hour and 42 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  • Best Western Plus Truckee-Tahoe Hotel: 190 miles / 3 hours and 5 mins to drive from San Francisco | 10.6 miles / 15 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  • Stardust Lodge: 190 miles / 3 hours and 20 mins to drive from San Francisco | 13.3 miles / 26 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.

Where To Eat Between San Francisco to Lake Tahoe?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your San Francisco to Lake Tahoe drive, you can consider the five restaurants we have chosen. In addition, you can read detailed information about the restaurants in the section titled 5 Best Restaurants On The San Francisco To Lake Tahoe Road Trip.

  1. Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina: 54.7 miles / 59 mins to drive from San Francisco | 146 miles / 2 hours and 26 mins to Lake Tahoe.
  2. Mikuni, Sacramento: 88.2 miles / 1 hour and 31 mins to drive from San Francisco | 113 miles / 1 hour and 56 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  3. Four Sisters Cafe: 108 miles / 1 hour and 48 mins to drive from San Francisco | 95.1 miles / 1 hour and 40 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  4. Squeeze In, Truckee: 187 miles / 3 hours to drive from San Francisco | 12.1 miles / 18 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.
  5. Flatstick Pub, Lake Tahoe: 190 miles / 3 hours and 19 mins to drive from San Francisco | 13.4 miles / 26 mins of driving to Lake Tahoe.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. We have listed five hotels, five restaurants, and five places to visit on the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe drive. We have also given you detailed information about each place so that you can make an informed choice about where to stay, eat, and what to see. We hope this guide has helped make your road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever taken the San Francisco to Lake Tahoe road trip? So, it would be perfect if you shared your experience with other travelers who want the same experience. You can share your thoughts about the road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and your recommendations about this route by using the comment field below.

Video: Lake Tahoe Road Trip – Travel Guide

If you want to make your visit to Lake Tahoe a unique experience, you can check out this comprehensive travel guide.




Ece

Hi, I'm Ece. Join me in navigating memorable road trips around the USA, Europe, and Australia. I provide valuable tips and destination guides, sometimes enhanced by AI. Let's hit the road and make memories!

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