Lying at 6,225ft (1,897m), Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, spanning between California and Nevada. Offering stunning, breathtaking views, visitors easily can get there by plane with the closest airport being located in Reno (1 hour), Sacramento (2 hours) and San Francisco (4 hours). The journey from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe makes for a stunning roadtrip for any visitor to Northern California. Located approximately 190 miles (305 km) from San Francisco, visitors can either drive directly along Interstate 80 and Highway 50 for approximately four hours, or stop at various destinations along the way.
A suggested scenic itinerary from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe begins with a drive over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge through Marin County towards Sonoma, home to over 370 wineries and 500-plus eateries. On the way there, stop in Sausalito to enjoy the San Francisco bay view. After spending a night in one of Sonoma’s many resorts, head west through the famous Napa Valley towards Sacramento, the California State Capital. Once there, visit Old Sacramento and the Capitol Building, before traveling to Placerville, an old gold mining town in the foothills of the Sierras. On route along Highway 50 through the Sierras, enjoy scenic views of the Eldorado National Forest, consider a hike along the Pyramid Creek Trailhead, and be sure to stop for photos at Echo Summit, before heading back into South Lake Tahoe.
Regardless of the time of the year, there is always something to do year-round, from winter sports to hiking and outdoor concerts. While in Tahoe South, be sure to visit the breathtaking views of Emerald Bay State Park, the jewel of South Tahoe and a National Natural Landmark. You can cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II or drive around the lake on Highway 89. In addition to this, there are also hiking, biking trails of all levels that take visitors to spots where they can enjoy serene views of this natural lake.