Headed to Lake Tahoe for a weekend escape? Don't let the drive—and inevitable traffic—get you down.
Whether you're headed to the North or South Shore, break up the journey from the Bay Area with stops at a candy factory, winery, 24-hour arboretum, and more.
Boa Vista Orchards, Placerville
Apple Hill Orchards is open year-round, selling apples, Asian pears, berries, peaches, and plums. Stock up on jams, hard cider, apple cider donuts, gourmet olives, pies and more from the farm stand while taking in views of the acres of fruit trees—and visit the u-pick pumpkin patch, open until Halloween. // 2952 Carson Rd. (Placerville), boavista.com
Jelly Belly Candy Company, Fairfield
Get your sugar fix at the Jelly Belly Candy Company headquarters where you can take a free self-guided factory tour, browse a gallery of art made entirely of jelly beans, and stock up on beans of every flavor imaginable. // 1 Jelly Belly Ln. (Fairfield), jellybelly.com
Lake Natoma, Folsom
Located just off Highway 50 in Folsom, Lake Natoma is a great spot to stretch your legs or take a quick dip before continuing the drive. The lake was created when the Nimbus Dam was constructed across the American River. // recreation.gov
Yankee Jim's Bridge, Colfax
Cool off with a dip in the teal waters of the North Fork of the American River under Yankee Jim's Bridge. Exit Interstate 80 toward Colfax and make your way to Yankee Jim's Road, which is best suited for SUVs that can handle the bumpy ride to the bridge. The clear water, large rocks, and sandy beaches underneath make the detour a must-see. // alltrails.com
America's self-proclaimed "Farm-to-Fork Capital," Sacramento is home to an array of restaurants that take pride in utilizing seasonal produce from the region. Cafeteria 15L offers comfort food with a twist. Stop to enjoy buttermilk fried chicken strips with Thai chili sauce and truffle tater tots before getting back on the road. // 1116 15th St. (Sacramento), cafeteria15l.com
U.C. Davis Arboretum, Davis
The arboretum at U.C. Davis is home to 100 acres of beautiful gardens. Walk through groves of redwoods, oaks and acacia, or discover plants from Mexico, Australia, and East Asia. Added bonus: It's free and open 24 hours a day. // U.C. Davis campus, 448 La Rue Road (Davis), arboretum.ucdavis.edu
Boeger Winery, Placerville
Boeger was the first winery to open in El Dorado County after Prohibition, and over the years, the family-run vineyard has continued to produce award-winning wines in the Sierra Foothills. Pop into the tasting room on the historic property to grab bottles of barbera, tempranillo and primitivo to enjoy lakeside. // 1709 Carson Rd. (Placerville), boegerwinery.com
Ikeda's California Country Market, Auburn
Every morning at 4am, Sally Ikeda and her team start baking pies the same way she's been making them for over 30 years. Enjoy a slice of fruit pie—apple, marionberry, peach, blueberry, razzleberry, cherry and banana, to name a few—or buy a whole one to dive into later. Plus, while you're there, be sure to grab a massive burger for lunch or some fresh produce if you're feeling healthy. // 13500 Lincoln Way (Auburn) and 26295 Mace Blvd (Davis), ikedas.com
Donner Pass Road, Truckee
Take the scenic detour to the North Shore by forgoing Interstate 80 for Donner Pass Road. Enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and Donner Lake with plenty of opportunities to stop and snap pictures.
Horsetail Falls, Twin Bridges
Hop off Highway 50 on your way to the South Shore for a short hike to the raging waterfall seen from the road, Horsetail Falls. Go as far as time allows along the 3.3-mile out and back trail along Pyramid Creek, taking in the towering granite peaks and views of the famous climbing wall Lovers Leap. // El Dorado National Forest (Placerville), alltrails.com