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How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

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Perth, Australia
posts: 33
reviews: 5
How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

We are coming to South Lake Tahoe over Christmas and leaving on Sunday the 30th of December to drive into San Francisco. We have just booked tickets to the NFL game on the same day (assuming it was a night game) to realise the game is at 1:30pm!! Ooops so it looks like our leisurely drive may need to skip the sightseeing along the way but really just wondering how long we should allow? Google maps suggests just over 3.5 hours, but how will traffic be? And are there any must see places along the way that we should schedule a stop in for??

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,205
reviews: 3
1. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

It takes our son who lives in the SF Bay area 3.5 to 4 hours when he joins us in Tahoe. If there is snow on the road, could take longer if you have to stop to put on chains. Are you renting an SUV with snow tires, or perhaps getting snow chains? Most car rental places don't allow or include them.

I don't really think you have time for much site seeing on the drive to SF, just getting back to your hotel room by noon is what should be your goal. How many days will you have to visit Tahoe?

Perth, Australia
posts: 33
reviews: 5
2. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

We have a week in Tahoe so not worried about missing out on anything. Am considering leaving the afternoon of the 29th possibly, only its my husbands birthday (and he hates long drives! haha). Will see what he thinks.

Not sure about the car - my sister and bf have organised that as they will be in tahoe for a month. They've been to Tahoe in the snow before so I assume they know what they're doing with chains etc. I know they're hiring quite a big pwerful looking vehicle!

Seems a shame to rush that drive as I believe it's quite nice! Perhaps just have to make a very early start...

South Lake Tahoe...
posts: 183
reviews: 156
3. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

4 hours is what it took us last week. But, at that time of year you should be prepared for snow.

You'll want to get to the stadium no later than noon. It'll take time to park, and get to your seats, find a beer, etc.

Perth, Australia
posts: 33
reviews: 5
4. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

Haha i hadn't even though about what to expect at the game!!!!

Day before is looking good!

Thanks for your help guys :)

Near Yosemite...
posts: 2,941
reviews: 6
5. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

If you allow the 4 hours to get to the game.......you will be in your seats for the beginning of the 4th quarter. Traffic getting into the park is always terrible. You don't need the extra stress.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 26,041
reviews: 26
6. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

It could take 4 hours, it could take 8 or more if it's snowing.

Lucky for you there won't be much traffic leaving the Tahoe area as I would imagine people will be staying over NYE and New Year's day and not coming back to the Bay Area that Sunday.

And CASwede is right about the traffic to Candlestick. The Google Maps estimate is probably to the west side of the Bay Bridge but you have to slog through to the south side of town to get to the stadium ... which is always packed on game days.

I would definitely leave the day before.

California
posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
7. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

In December you could have some snow leaving Tahoe so look at the weather report/forecast and time your departure for the best weather of the day. Definitely the day before if you want to guarantee you will see the game.

8. Re: How long to drive from South lake tahoe to SF on a sunday?

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