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Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

Union, New Jersey
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Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

we will be driving to South lake tahoe from napa. Are there any scenic points/towns that I should take to break up the 3 hour drive?

San Francisco
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1. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

The direct route from Napa to SLT is I80 to Highway 50. You could stop in old Sacramento. Or perhaps Placerville. I don't usually think of the valley as "scenic" but Placerville is a quaint Gold Rush town in the Sierra foothills.

Rocklin, California
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2. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

When is the trip? If it's more like October/November, there's always the Apple Hill area east of Placerville. Otherwise, Old Sacramento or Placerville would be my choices, or even driving into downtown Folsom, that wouldn't be too far off the freeway.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

All three options mentioned (Old Sacramento, Folsom, Placerville ---- in that order of traveling, transitioning from I-80 in Old Sac, to Folsom and Placerville on Highway 50) are good options. You probably only want to stop at one though, right?....to break up the drive.

Much as Old Sacramento has much to recommend it, if I was trying to get from Napa to South Tahoe, I'd probably pass through Sacramento without stopping (since you'll want to make some quick mileage?) and stop in either Folsom or Placerville. Stopping in Sacramento might get you entangled in some urban traffic.

It may depend on when you get hungry. Folsom is just slightly east of Sac and Placerville is further, both on Highway 50. Both are worth getting out of your car and walking the main street, for exercise and sightseeing. Nice photo ops, good walking territory and some very tasty restaurants.

If you take a look at a map and decide what appeals to you, we can give you more detail. As lucysmom asks, it would help to know what time of year you're doing this and if you plan to just stop for a quick bite or if you want to walk and explore a bit.

You would be most welcome to post on the Sacramento forum for more information.

Union, New Jersey
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4. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

I am doing this drive on on august 27th. Thanks for all the suggestions guys!!


Napa, CA
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5. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

It's a quick three hours to Tahoe. We don't stop en route unless we leave early in the morning and want to stop for breakfast in Placerville or Auburn (if going to North Shore).

July and August are the two hottest months in Sacramento and the foothills. The heat can be punishing so we don't linger on the way up.

For example, yesterday, we drove down from Tahoe where it was about 80 degrees. When we hit Auburn it was 104. Sacramento was 110. Vacaville 104 and Fairfield was 95. When we entered Napa it was 75. When it's hot like that, we prefer not to stop anywhere until we are back in more temperate climates.

So, you might consider the weather on the day you drive up before deciding if you are going to stop somewhere. Generally, stopping to explore old town Sac, or visiting the museums in Folsom, or seeing the sights in Placerville can eat up several hours and make the drive to Tahoe that much longer. Tahoe has so much to offer, you may just want to get there as soon as possible.

Fremont, California
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6. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

There is Old Sacramento - there is an excellent railroad museum there or you can take an hour cruise (depending on timing) on the Sacramento River.




Then its on to Folsom

Folsom area has a very good premium outlet if interested in shopping.

There is also historic shopping area of Folsom and also the dam



If you want to there is a Marshall Gold Rush area on the American River


Then if you like wine there is a whole bunch of wineries in the El Dorado Hills - many family owned so it is fun if you like smaller wineries - good wine.


If Apple season the apple stores in this area will also be open.


7. Re: Napa valley drive to South lake tahoe

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