During our last trip to San Francisco, we also visited Lake Tahoe. We rented a car in the city and drove up to the Northstar California Resort in Truckee. It is 200 miles away and it took us about 4h to get there.
– links and a map to all the places we’ve visited
– a video from our trip
– a video from the Northstar Resort
– a blog post about the Northstar Resort
If you take a drive along the lake you will find many point views and beautiful spots. Since our trip was short we managed to see only a few of them. They all were breathtaking!
On the way to the resort, we stopped at Donner Lake. If you driving from San Francisco there is no way you will miss it. It’s right along the main road, just before you get to Truckee.
The views are breathtaking. Honestly, there are no words that can describe the beauty of this place.
Right next to the lake you will find Donner Memorial State Park where you can go for a hike. We didn’t hike because we didn’t wear proper clothes for it but I bet it’s a gorgeous hike. They also have a campsite if you are interested in camping. However, you probably don’t want to camp there in October as it gets quite chilly 😉 It must be great in the summer, with fishing, kayaking, and hiking. I hope we will get to visit Lake Tahoe again during the summer.
From Donner Lake, you are just a few minutes away from Truckee. A small city close to the Nevada border. That’s where you will find restaurants and shops.
Northstar California Resort
After the stop at Donner Lake, we drove to check in to our hotel and see if they had our room ready. We got lucky and the room was waiting for us.
We stayed in Northstar Resort in Truckee for two nights. I wrote a more detailed post about it if you are interested in more information.
Our place had 2 full bedrooms with a living room, full kitchen, balcony, and the most important 4 (!) fireplaces! 😀 After our tiny room in San Francisco, this place felt like a mansion.
Oh and I forgot to mention, we got a freestanding bathtub!
I felt like I’m in heaven.
Give me sparkling wine, jacuzzi, and a book and I don’t need anything else!
The next morning we drove to explore the area a little bit. Our first stop was Kings Beach which is located in the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
It’s a small beach town where you can find shops, restaurants, and many activities.
Because of the low temperatures and not many people sunbathing in October, the beach was quite empty. However, we’ve heard it gets really busy during the summer. Kayaks and standup paddleboards were still available for rent. I am still scared of standup paddleboards so we didn’t do that 😉 We also didn’t get a kayak because we knew we don’t have much time and we decided we want to drive to few other spots. That’s another reason I really want to go back there!
Kings Beach is close to the Nevada border hence our next stop was already in Nevada.
You will most likely realize when you cross the border. In Nevada, you will notice Casinos that are not legal in California.
Our first stop on the Nevada side was Memorial Point Scenic Overlook that is right by the lake. It’s visible from the main street (Tahoe Blvd) if you drive along the lake.
It’s a great spot to go for a hike. I recommend going down the trail, climb on the rocks, take your shoes off and enjoy the cold water on your feet.
Sand Harbor is another stop on the Nevada side. If you continue to drive along the lake right after the Memorial Point you will find Sand Harbor.
The beaches are beautiful with crystal-clear water, and interesting rock formations.