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Summer Sightseeing

Attractions

Sight-CaveRock

Cave Rock  |  East Shore
Drive through one of the area’s natural wonders – 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.

 

Sight-EagleRock

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. Easy trail to top on south side.

 

Sight-FannetteIsland

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

Sight-Hellman

Hellman-Ehrman Mansion  |  West Shore
Tours daily until Sept. 30 | $10 parking
(530) 525-7232 Park | (530) 583-9911 Tours
Sugar Pine Point State Park offers tours of the Ehrman Mansion. Visitors may see boathouses with historic boats, and General Phipps Cabin built in the late 1800s. Private & ADA tours available by appointment. TART

 

Sight-HighCamp

High Camp  |  Olympic Valley
Daily until Aug. 30 | Sat.-Sun. Sept. 5-Oct. 4
(800) 403-0206 | squawalpine.com
Aerial tram rides with views of Lake Tahoe, Olympic Heritage Museum, pool & hot tub, ice skating, events and more. Ticket required. TART

 

Kings Beach  |  Northshore
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 lots at North Tahoe Beach and on Brook Street. TART

 

Sight-NLTDemoGarden

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

 

Sight-NTArtsCenter

North Tahoe Arts Center  |  Tahoe City
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Mon. | Free
(530) 581-2787 | northtahoearts.com
Featuring changing exhibits of work by local artists, along with a gift shop featuring items from local artisans. TART

 

Sight-TahoeCity

Tahoe City  |  North Shore
visittahoecity.com
Located at the junction of the West and North shores, Tahoe City is a popular area for shopping and dining with a number of historical sites within easy walking distance. At the wye (junction of Highways 89 & 28), visitors can 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 lots at Commons Beach, Grove Street, Jackpine Street, and the 64 acres at Highways 89 & 28. TART

 

Sight-TCFieldStation

Tahoe City Field Station  |  North Shore
Open through Labor Day | Guided tours Saturdays
(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

 

Sight-Thunderbird

Thunderbird Lodge  |  East Shore
Open May 19-mid October | thunderbirdtahoe.org
Shuttle tours (800) 468-2463 | Kayak tours (530) 913-9212
Boat tours from Incline Village (775) 831-4386
Boat tours from South Lake Tahoe (775) 230-8907
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 shuttle, boat & kayak by reservation only.

 

Sight-Truckee

Truckee    
truckeehistory.org | truckee.com
The historic town of Truckee was settled in 1863, and the town grew quickly as a stagecoach stop and route for the Central Pacific Railroad. The town became a rowdy, mountain town filled with railroad workers and loggers, gambling houses and saloons. During these early days, many of Truckee’s historical homes and buildings were built including The Truckee Hotel (1868) and the Capitol Building (1868).

The area surrounding the Truckee Depot is a bustling shopping district with Commercial Row and Brickelltown. Stop by the Depot for a walking tour. Paid parking downtown with free lot on Donner Pass Road next to Beacon. TART 

 

Sight-Vikingsholm

Vikingsholm Castle  |  Emerald Bay
Tours daily until Sept. 30 | Parking fee
(530) 541-3030 | (530) 525-9529 ADA
parks.ca.gov or vikingsholm.com
Tour Vikingsholm Castle, see Eagle Falls and Fannette Island (the Lake’s only island), home to an old Tea House, and explore hiking trails. TART

 

Sight-WatsonCabin

Watson Cabin  |  Tahoe City
Open June 26 – September 14
(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 Summit Historical Society  |  Soda Springs
donnersummithistoricalsociety.org
The Historical Society has a museum at the corner of Old Highway 40 and Soda Springs Road. There also is a 20-mile long interpretive driving tour along Old 40. Maps online or at museum. TART

 

Sight-EmigrantMuseum

Emigrant Trail Museum  |  Truckee
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily | Parking fee
(530) 582-7892 | parks.ca.gov
The ill-fated Donner Party suffered through the harsh winter of 1846-47 camped around Donner Lake and Truckee. The Donner Memorial State Park features exhibits and artifacts on the Donner Party at the Emigrant Trail Museum, and the towering Pioneer Monument.

 

Sight-Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper’s Museum  |  Tahoe City
Noon-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun.
(530) 583-1762 | northtahoemuseums.org
Featuring historic photos, the Steinbach Indian Basket Museum and local historical memorabilia. TART

 

Sight-KidZone

KidZone Children’s Museum  |  Truckee
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri. | 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Extended holiday hours | Locals’ first Tues. half price
(530) 587-5437 | kidzonemuseum.org
A great place for kids up to age 7 with interactive exhibits, science and art classes, the BabyZone for newborns to 18 months and the Jungle Gym for toddlers and older. TART

 

Incline Village & Crystal Bay Historical Society  |  Incline Village
Daily | Free | tahoehistory.org
Features a local history exhibit focusing on 1870 to 1970, along with a “Bonanza” exhibit, in the Starbucks building, corner Tahoe & Village Blvds. TART

 

Museum of Sierra Ski History & the 1960 Olympic Winter Games  |  Tahoe City
10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily | Free
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 the Boatworks Mall. TART

 

Old Jail Museum  |  Truckee
Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Weekends until mid Sept.
Open 5-9 p.m. until Aug. 20
(530) 582-0893 | truckeehistory.org
One of a few surviving 19th-Century jailhouses of its kind in the West and one of the few remaining original buildings in Truckee. The old Bastille was used from 1875 until May 1964. TART

 

Sight-OlympicHeritage

Olympic Museum  |  Olympic Valley
Daily until Aug. 30 | Sat.-Sun. Sept. 5-Oct. 4
(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

 

Sight-MaritimeMuseum

Tahoe Maritime Museum  |  Homewood
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun.
(530) 525-9253 | tahoemaritimemuseum.org
Featuring guided tours, exhibits and hands-on activities for kids on Tahoe’s Maritime history. TART

 

Sight-ThomasJLong

Tahoe Science Center  |  Incline Village
1-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri. & by appt. | Free
(775) 881-7566 | tahoesciencecenter.org
University of California, Davis, operates a science education center on the Sierra Nevada campus. Exhibits include a virtual research boat, biology lab, 3D movies and docent-led tours. Ages 8+. TART

 

Sight-TruckeeRailroad

Truckee Railroad Museum  |  Truckee
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. & holidays
truckeedonnerrailroadsociety.com
Operated by the Truckee Donner Railroad Society, the Truckee Railroad museum is 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

 

Visitors’ Centers

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

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

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, Tahoe City
3080 N. Lake Blvd., (530) 583-3593 (Fridays)

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