Sightseeing & Museums

MUSEUMS  |  VISITORS’ CENTER

BUS & SHUTTLE SCHEDULES:
North Lake Tahoe & Truckee: laketahoetransit.com  |  South Lake Tahoe: bluego.org


 

ATTRACTIONS


Cave Rock
  East Shore
Drive through one of the area’s natural wonders at Cave Rock, the neck of an old volcano. The area is named for the small caves above Highway 50 that were cut by waves when Lake Tahoe was 200 feet higher during the ice ages.

Donner Summit Truckee
Donner Summit, just west of Truckee, holds the record for the United States’ snowiest April. On April 1, 1880, a storm dumped 4’ of snow on the Sierra Nevada west slope within 24 hours. A massive snow slide near Emigrant Gap buried Central Pacific Railroad’s tracks under 75’ of snow, ice and rock. For the rest of the month, storm cycles continued to flow in, dropping a total of 298”.


Eagle Rock West Shore
Eagle Rock, one of the lake’s famous natural sites, is a volcanic plug beside Highway 89 on the West Shore. TART

Explore Tahoe South Lake Tahoe
(530) 542-2908 | cityofslt.us
Urban Trailhead at base of Heavenly Gondola with local exhibits and programs. BlueGo

Fannette Island Emerald Bay
(530) 541-3030 | parks.ca.gov
Lake Tahoe’s only island is located in Emerald Bay & is home to an old tea house. Boat access only. (Closed Feb. 1-June 15 for nesting birds.)

Heavenly South Lake Tahoe
(775) 586-7000 | skiheavenly.com
Enjoy a 2.4-mile ride on the gondola to the top with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley. BlueGo


Hellman-Ehrman Mansion West Shore
$10 parking | parks.ca.gov
(530) 525-7232 Park | (530) 583-9911 Tours
Sugar Pine Point State Park is home to the historic Ehrman Mansion (open for tours in the summer), see boathouses with historic boats, and General Phipps Cabin built in the late 1800s. TART


High Camp Olympic Valley
(800) 403-0206 | squawalpine.com
Aerial tram rides with views of Lake Tahoe, Olympic Heritage Museum, ice skating, events and more. Ticket required. TART

Kings Beach North Shore
northtahoebusiness.org
Kings Beach is a popular spot for dining and shopping with the North Shore’s largest sandy beach located in the heart of town.
Free parking at North Tahoe Beach, Brook Street, Minnow and the Christmas Tree lot on Hwy. 28. TART


North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden Incline Village
Summer | Free
(775) 586-1610, ext. 25 | demogarden.org
Demonstrations of lake-friendly landscaping using native and adaptive plants, water conservation, soil stabilization techniques, defensible space from wildfires & BMPs. Self-guided tours & clinics. TART

North Tahoe Arts Center Tahoe City
Wed.-Mon. | Free
(530) 581-2787 | northtahoearts.com
Featuring exhibits of work by local artists and works for sale by local artists. TART

Tahoe Art League Gallery South Lake Tahoe
(530) 544-2313 | talart.org
Featuring local artists and workshops. Second location at Ski Run Center. BlueGo


Tahoe City North Shore
visittahoecity.com
Tahoe City is popular for shopping and dining with historical sites. At the junction of highways 89 & 28, visitors may see the Tahoe City Dam, Lake Tahoe’s only outlet, and Fanny Bridge. Peer into Watson Cabin (1909) in the center of town for a glimpse at pioneer life. Free parking at Commons Beach, Grove Street, Jackpine Street, and 64 acres at Highways 89 & 28. TART


Tahoe City Field Station North Shore
Summer | (530) 583-3279 | terc.ucdavis.edu
This 1920s-era building features a history of the field station, current UC Davis research projects, interactive exhibits and demonstration garden. Ages 8+. TART

Tallac Historic Site South Lake Tahoe
(530) 541-5227 | tahoeheritage.org
Once known as the “Grandest Resort in the World” as the summer retreat for three San Francisco elite families with the Baldwin Estate, Pope Estate & Valhalla. Grounds open year-round. BlueGo

Taylor Creek Visitor Center South Lake Tahoe
(530) 543-2674 | fs.usda.gov
Features Stream Profile Chamber to view slice of Taylor Creek, nature trails & more. BlueGo


Thunderbird Lodge East Shore
May-October | thunderbirdtahoe.org
Thunderbird Lodge is the former Whittell estate. This magnificent lakefront home features the Lighthouse Room, Old Lodge, 600’ underground tunnel (with a former lion cage) and Boat House, home to the “Thunderbird,” a 1939 wooden boat. Ages 6+ only. No on-site parking. Tours by reservation only.


Truckee
truckeehistory.org | truckee.com
The historic town of Truckee was settled in 1863, and grew quickly as a stagecoach stop and route for the Central Pacific Railroad. During these early days, many of Truckee’s historical homes and buildings were built including The Truckee Hotel (1868) and the Capitol Building (1868). Stop by the Depot for a walking tour of historic downtown. Paid parking downtown with free lot on Donner Pass Road next to Beacon. TART 


Vikingsholm Castle Emerald Bay
Parking fee | Tours summer only
(530) 541-3030 | (530) 525-9529 ADA
parks.ca.gov or vikingsholm.com
Tour the grounds of Vikingsholm Castle, see Eagle Falls and Fannette Island (the Lake’s only island), home to an old Tea House, and explore snowshoeing trails. TART


Watson Cabin Tahoe City
Open summer only
(530) 583-1762 | northtahoemuseums.org
Watson Cabin, built by Robert Watson and his son in 1909, is the oldest building in Tahoe City and on the National Register of Historic Places. TART


MUSEUMS

Donner Memorial Visitor Center Truckee
(530) 582-7892 | parks.ca.gov
The Donner Memorial State Park features exhibits and artifacts on the Donner Party (1846-47) at the visitor center, and see the towering Pioneer Monument. TART

Donner Summit Historical Society Soda Springs
donnersummithistoricalsociety.org
Museum at the corner of Old Highway 40 & Soda Springs Road. Take the 20-mile interpretive driving tour along Old 40. Maps online or at museum. TART


Gatekeeper’s Museum Tahoe City
Daily
(530) 583-1762 | northtahoemuseums.org
Featuring historic photos, the Steinbach Indian Basket Museum and local historical memorabilia. TART


KidZone Children’s Museum Truckee
Tues.-Sun. | Locals’ first Tues. half price
(530) 587-5437 | kidzonemuseum.org
For kids up to age 7 with interactive exhibits, science & art classes, the BabyZone for newborns to 18 months & the Jungle Gym for toddlers and older. TART

Incline Village & Crystal Bay Historical Society Incline Village
Daily | Free | tahoehistory.org
Features local history exhibit focusing on 1870-1970, along with “Bonanza” exhibit. Inside Starbucks building in Incline Village. TART

Lake Tahoe Museum South Lake Tahoe
(530) 541-5458 | laketahoemuseum.org
Features Washoe artifacts and exhibits on early industry, settlers, and archival films of Tahoe. BlueGo

Museum of Sierra Ski History & the 1960 Olympic Winter Games Tahoe City 
Daily | Free | tahoemuseum.org
Features official 1960 Winter Olympic items such as skis, promotional literature, collection of official Olympic photographer Bill Briner. Learn the history of skiing in the Sierra. Inside Boatworks Mall. TART

Old Jail Museum Truckee
(530) 582-0893 | truckeehistory.org
One of a few surviving 19th Century jailhouses of its kind in the West used from 1875 until May 1964 (open for tours in the summer). TART


Olympic Museum Olympic Valley
(800) 403-0206 | squawalpine.com
Squaw Valley, host of the VIII Winter Olympic Games in 1960, celebrates its Olympic History with the symbolic Tower of Nations and Olympic Flame at the entrance to the valley. The Olympic Museum at High Camp features historic memorabilia and photographs. Tram ticket required. TART


Tahoe Maritime Museum Tahoe City
530) 583-9283 | tahoemaritimemuseum.org
Featuring guided tours, exhibits and hands-on activities for kids on Tahoe’s maritime history. TART


Tahoe Science Center Incline Village
Tues.-Fri. & by appt. | Free
(775) 881-7566 | tahoesciencecenter.org
University of California, Davis, science education center at Sierra Nevada College. Exhibits include a virtual research boat, bio-logy lab, 3D movies and docent-led tours. Ages 8+. TART


Truckee Railroad Museum
Truckee
Sat.-Sun. & holidays
truckeedonnerrailroadsociety.com
Located in a caboose next to the Truckee Depot. Exhibits include the train’s role in logging, fighting snow on the railway, the role of Chinese emigrants and a children’s area. TART

Western SkiSport Museum Donner Summit
Fri.-Sun. Winter only | Free
(530) 426-3313, ext. 113 | auburnskiclub.org 
Showcasing the history of skiing, exhibits include snowshoes from the 1850s, ski equipment from the 20th Century and a pair of 8-foot-long skis used by John “Snowshoe” Thompson, a legendary mail carrier. Located at Boreal off I-80. TART


VISITORS’ CENTERS

Kings Beach
Kings Beach State Rec. Area, (Thurs.-Mon., summer)

Incline Village
969 Tahoe Blvd., (800) 468-2463

South Lake Tahoe
3066 Lake Tahoe Blvd., (530) 541-5255

Stateline
169 Hwy. 50, (775) 588-4591

Tahoe City
100 North Lake Blvd., (530) 581-6900

Truckee
10065 Donner Pass Road (Depot), (530) 587-8808

U.S. Forest Service | Incline Village
855 Alder Ave., (775) 831-0914 (Wed.-Fri.)

U.S. Forest Service | South Lake Tahoe
35 College Dr., (530) 543-2600

U.S. Forest Service | Tahoe City
3080 N. Lake Blvd., (530) 583-3593 (Fridays)

U.S. Forest Service | Truckee
10811 Stockrest Springs Road, (530) 587-3558