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Best Places to Visit on a Lake Tahoe Road Trip
Sacramento lies just west of the mighty Sierra Nevada, the mountainous “backbone” of America. The Sierra Nevada are home to Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, and one of California’s most popular travel destinations. Flying in and renting a car at our Sacramento Airport car rental location is one of the best ways to see the splendor of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe. As you make your way to Lake Tahoe, visit these scenic destinations as well.
The trails and recreation areas of Tahoe National Forest provide some of the best views of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The forest’s alpine lakes make for wonderful day hike destinations. Mountain bikers also take advantage of some of the steeper alpine trails. In the summer, meadows bloom with vibrant wildflowers. If you only want to pass through, pack a to-go lunch and stop at one of the picnic areas. You can’t beat a meal with a view like the Sierra Nevada.
Donner Memorial State Park
12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161
Donner Memorial State Park is another great place to visit and take in the scenery of the Sierra Nevada. Named for the ill-fated Donner Party, the park features a monument to the pioneers who passed through the area. The park visitors center has fascinating exhibits on the history of the area’s people, including Native Americans, the Donner Party, and the builders of the Transcontinental Railroad. Popular activities in the park are hiking the trails and fishing on Donner Lake.
Emerald Bay State Park
138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Drive south along the western shore of Lake Tahoe and you will reach the scenic Emerald Bay. Here you can enjoy panoramic vistas of the lake’s glacier-carved granite walls and crystal clear waters. Be sure to take a tour of Vikingsholm, a historic Scandinavian-inspired home built in the 1920s. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a stroll along the shores of Lake Tahoe, or enjoy the lake on a rented boat. Fannette Island, the only island in the lake, lies within Emerald Bay. Some visitors take a boat to the island to explore the ruins of the “Tea House,” a small stone building.
Once you’ve made it to Emerald Bay, consider circumnavigating Lake Tahoe to land in Sand Harbor. Popular for its beaches, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and even scuba diving, Sand Harbor is as pleasant as it gets. If you’re lucky enough to visit during July or August, you might get to catch a play at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, where thespians act out the Bard’s works with a Tahoe backdrop.
Sacramento Car Rental
Avis’s number one priority is to help you have the best road trip possible. Save money on the roads with our e-toll program, and your trip will be even better. We have dozens of California locations to suit your car rental needs. Whether you’re day-tripping or staying for a week, stop in at an Avis Rent a Car location in Sacramento to start your Lake Tahoe adventure.