California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 87

44

San Francisco
to Truckee
TRUCKEE

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

Golden hills lead to craggy mountains on this
off-the-beaten path journey to the Eastern
Sierras. Instead of the main freeways, take the
more scenic climb that skips along the tiny towns
of the Sacramento Delta, hit up the food scene
in the capital for a night, then explore Gold
Rush time capsules before a final ascent to the
mountain enclave of Truckee.

NEVADA CITY

IKEDA'S CALIFORNIA
COUNTRY MARKET

For once, you might want to ignore your GPS app's suggested
shortest route. Starting in San Francisco, this trip is about an escape
from modern tech anyway, and since you're going to the mountains,
you might as well start practicing now. Once the car's all loaded
up with layers for every possible weather condition, head straight

CITIZEN HOTEL,
SACRAMENTO

over the Bay Bridge. Hang in there with a thoughtful playlist until
concrete buildings give way to levees and marshland wildlife just

MASULLO PIZZA

north of Antioch. This is Highway 160, a not-oft-taken stretch that
runs along the Sacramento River. Here you gently dance back and
forth over the water, almost as if you're gliding above the surface.
Motorcyclists pass by, breaking up the open landscape of low hills
that look like mounds of hay.
Soak it all in, because just south of Sacramento you'll need to get
back on the main roads again to reach the state capital. The city has
upped its restaurant game in recent years, turning out some of the
best wood-fired pizza this side of the San Francisco Bay at Masullo
Pizza in the Land Park neighborhood. (Tip: Try the Neapolitan-style
Gilda, briny with olives and dripping with mozzarella, fontina, and
persillade.) It'll be good for your soul after that long, winding drive, as
would a few plush amenities in a room dedicated to 1920s refinement
at The Citizen Hotel downtown.
The next day, sleep in to let rush hour peter out, then continue onto

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF VAIL RESORTS

I-80, the pancake-flat artery to gold-mining hamlets and mountains.

SAN FRANCISCO

Climb CA-49 north, higher into the Sierra Foothills, until you
reach Nevada City. Many Gold Country main streets are charming,
of course, but this one has something of an artsy sensibility that's

Agriculture is huge along this stretch, and many of the surrounding

lured creatives. Shop the artisan boutiques and wander the tree-lined

acres supply the farm-to-fork dining rooms in Sactown. Nearing

streets before checking in at the Inn Town Campground. You'll get a

Auburn, though, the landscape suddenly turns more mountainous.

good taste of the great outdoors, whether you're tenting it or renting

Veer off for a few miles past downtown Auburn to get a bird's-eye

one of their glamp sites, which come with a safari-like tent, real beds,

view of your new surroundings at the Foresthill Bridge. The recently

electricity, and access to the wooded property's swimming pool.

renovated structure sits more than 700 feet above the American
River's North Fork and is said to be the tallest bridge in the state.
Now that you're at some elevation, your hunger may be kicking

By morning, you'll have acclimated to the 2,400-foot elevation's
thinner air, and you'll be ready to make the final push through
Donner Pass to Truckee, the gateway to Lake Tahoe and the greater

in. Head back to Auburn for a house-made chicken pot pie inside

Sierra Nevada Mountains. The town is full of cozy pubs and alpine

the rustic Ikeda's California Country Market. There are three different

restaurants with fireplaces-as well as city expats and outdoor sports

varieties of apple pie on tap (in addition to a whole range of

fans who play outside all year long. Whether you aim to navigate the

seasonal fruit), but whatever you go with, make sure you grab an

Truckee River on a float trip or glide down the slopes at the nearby ski

extra serving for the road.

resorts, the route is all your own. No smartphone app required.

87



California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
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