tesla lake tahoe

We went on a Tesla Roadtrip to Lake Tahoe, from Southern California in January. We took our Long Range Model Y. 

When I choose stops for a road trip, the most important things I care about are fast charging, clean bathrooms, food options, & dog friendly places. 

Today, I’ll go over where I stopped to charge and tips for anyone taking their Tesla to Lake Tahoe in the winter. We first stopped at San Jose (to visit friends & family), then went to South Lake Tahoe. 

I also created a Youtube video documenting our journey, so check that out here

Plan Ahead

Check Road Conditions:

If you’re traveling in the winter, I highly recommend checking the road conditions. When it snows, snow chains may be required and roads may be closed. The Tahoe Roads website is updated frequently and is accurate. 

Things to Pack:  

Winter Road Trip Tips: 

  • Precondition your battery. 
    • If you input a Tesla supercharger in your Tesla navigation, the Tesla will precondition your battery, which allows for faster charging
  • Charge extra.
    • If very cold weather, it is not unusual to lose battery faster than normal. Therefore, I charge a bit extra, just in case. I also monitor the “Energy graph.”
  • Adjust your driving settings.
    • When the roads are icy and slippery, you don’t want to be braking a lot because you can easily lose control. When Tesla’s regenerative braking, this can be an issue. Here’s the settings I used to help.  
      • Acceleration: Chill 
      • Steering: Comfort
      • Braking: Creep

Day 1 (Orange County, CA > San Jose, CA)

Duration: ~ 6-6.5 hours   

Distance: 384 miles

Stop 1: Buttonwillow, CA – Charging

  • Charging: 150kw, 10 Tesla superchargers 
  • Bathrooms
    • Starbucks 
    • TravelCenter of America (open 24/7, clean, located across the street)
  • Food
    • Starbucks, Subway, Denny’s, McDonalds (short walk) 
  • Dog friendly: Yes 
    • There’s a lawn located in front of Starbucks and Subway. 
  • Rating: 5/5 
    • This is my go-to supercharging because of the easy access to clean 24/7 bathrooms.
tesla supercharger buttonwillow
Tesla Supercharger - Buttonwillow

Stop 2: Coalinga / Harris Ranch, CA – Charging 

  • Charging
  • Bathrooms
    • Public Restroom (clean)  
  • Food
    • Harris Ranch Express BBQ 
  • Dog friendly: Yes 
    • Several grassy areas 
    • There is a specific dog potty area (with poop bags) in front of Harris Ranch Inn 
  • Rating: 5/5 
    • Great charging stop with plenty of superchargers. It is a short walk if you want to go to the Inn, but there’s shuttle service that you can call to pick you up. 
    • Public restrooms are clean and maintained.
harris ranch coalinga tesla supercharger
Tesla Supercharger - Coalinga
harris ranch bathroom
Harris Ranch Bathrooms

Day 2 (San Jose, CA > Lake Tahoe)

Duration: ~4 hours 

Distance: 213 miles

Stop 1:  Tesla Fremont Delivery – Charging 

  • Charging
    • 12 Tesla Superchargers (8 are 250kW & 4 are 150kW) 
  • Bathrooms
    • Tesla Showroom 
  • Food
    • NA
  • Dog friendly: No 
  • Rating: ?
    • I went at 7AM on a Sunday and the Tesla Store was closed, so there were no options for restrooms for me. However, it was awesome just physically being at the Tesla Headquarters!
tesla fremont supercharger
Tesla Supercharger - Fremont Tesla Headquarters

Stop 2: Tracy, CA – West Grant Line Rd – Charging

  • Charging
    • 12 Tesla Superchargers (250kW)
  • Bathrooms
    • Taco Bell, stores in shopping plaza 
  • Food
    • Five Guys, FireWings, Taco Bell, Burger King,  Wienerschinitzel 
  • Dog friendly: Not really   
    • No grassy areas for dogs 
  • Rating: ⅘ 
    • This charger is in a shopping plaza that has several food options  
    • I gave it a ⅘ due to lack of grassy areas for my dogs
tesla supercharger tracy west grant
Tesla Supercharger - Tracy

Stop 3: Placerville, CA – Broadway – Charging

  • Charging
    • 12 Tesla Superchargers (150kW)
  • Bathrooms
    • McDonald’s
  • Food
    • McDonald’s, Pizza Factory, Starbucks, Amerikan Ichi Sushi
  • Dog friendly: Yes   
    • Grassy area in front of McDonald’s 
  • Rating: 5/5 
    • Clean bathrooms, plenty of food options, and dog friendly
tesla supercharger placerville
Tesla Supercharger - Placerville

Stop 4: Stateline, NV – Charging

  • Charging
    • 14 Tesla Superchargers (150kW)
    • Located on 2nd floor of parking garage for Hard Rock Hotel 
      • There is are parking fees if you stay >1 hour 
  • Bathrooms
    • Hard Rock Hotel 
  • Food
    • Hard Rock 
  • Dog friendly: Yes   
    • Snowy area in front of the parking structure 
  • Rating: 3/5  (due to possible parking rates) 
    • As of this blog post (1/2023) this is the only Tesla Supercharger in the South Lake Tahoe area, so you don’t really have a choice.
south lake tahoe tesla supercharger hard rock
Tesla Supercharger - Hard Rock

Lodging

We stayed at an Airbnb cabin located in Meyers, which is ~15-20 minutes away from South Lake Tahoe. This was a fantastic, dog-friendly and modern cabin that we greatly enjoyed!

They had great amenities including a dry sauna, steam sauna, movie theatre room, poker table, and EV charging (J1772).  

The only con is that during the winter, the driveway had layers of ice and snow. We had to shovel the snow ourselves in order to get out! Also, the driveway is at a slight incline and icy. 

At first, we parked 2 Tesla’s on the driveway, but then one Tesla slipped down the driveway when parked! We only realized this when the car alarm went off. To solve this issue, we placed the Autosocks on the Tesla. 

Link to the AirBNB Listing and VRBO Listing

meyers airbnb
airbnb south lake tahoe dog friendly
Family Room
airbnb south tahoe
Stairs to Loft
airbnb steam sauna
Steam Sauna / Shower
airbnb dry sauna
Dry Sauna
airbnb charging tesla
Charging my Tesla via J1772

Things To Do

I wish I could make an extensive list for you, but we got snowed in after the 1st day, so I can’t! We went to these places:

Van Sickle Bi-State Park

  • This is a great open space where we played in the snow with dogs. We saw many people sledding down a small incline. There is supposed to be a trail to an overlook, but with the snow, we didn’t get to it. 

  • Parking: Free parking in the shopping plaza but limited to 2 hours. There’s all-day parking at the “Heavenly Gondola Parking”  for $10.

Van Sickle Bi-State Park
Van Sickle Bi-State Park

Tahoe Bear Tea House

  • This is a cute shop to get your boba fix in. I got the Ube Latte and it was delicious! Parking was free and easy (located in a plaza).
tahoe bear tea house
Tahoe Bear Tea House
ube latte
Ube Latte with Boba

Honorable Mentions 

Here’s a list of things that we wanted to do, but due to being snow-ed in, we couldn’t.

Food

Dog Friendly Hikes

Conclusion

Overall, we enjoyed our Tesla roadtrip to Lake Tahoe. We wish we could have done more, but we’ll be back next time.  

Don’t forget to check out my “Tesla Roadtrip Packing List!” It is also available on my Etsy shop

Safe Travels! 

tesla model y winter

DISCLAIMER

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information. 

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