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Places of Interest

Emerald Bay State Park
Body of Water, Park, Emerald Bay


Emerald Bay , a 3-mile-long and 1-mile-wide ford-like inlet on Lake Tahoe's shore, was carved by a massive glacier millions of years ago. Famed for its jewel-like shape and hues, it surrounds Tahoe s only island, Fannette . Highway 89 curves high above the lake through Emerald Bay State Park ; from the Emerald Bay lookout, the centerpiece of the park, you can survey the entire scene. A steep mile long trail from the lookout leads down to Vikingsholm , a 38-room estate, since 1929. Lora Knight , the original proprietor, had a precise replica of a 1,200-year-old Viking castle built out of materials native to the region. She furnished it with Scandinavian antiques and hired artisans to build reproductions. Each spring, lovely wildflowers sprout in the sod roofs. There are picnic tables nearby and a gray-sand beach good for strolling. The hike back up is pretty strenuous but there are benches to rest on. At the 150-foot peak of Fannette Island are the remnants of a stone structure called the Tea House, built in 1928 so that guests of Lora Knight could have a place to enjoy afternoon refreshments. To protect the nesting Canada geese, the island is off-limits from February through June. The rest of the year it is open during the day.

Hwy. 89, CA, USA, PHONE: 530/541-3030 summer; 530/525-7277 year-round

COST: $5; OPEN: Late May-mid-June, weekends call for hrs; mid-June-Sept., daily 10-4.


Heavenly Gondola
Viewpoint, South Lake Tahoe


Whether you ski or not, you'll appreciate the breathtaking view of Lake Tahoe from the Heavenly Gondola , located on the California side of the border, at the confluence of Highway 50 and Park Avenue . Stretching 2.4 miles up the mountain, it has 138 eight-passenger cars that lift riders from lake level to an elevation of 9,156 feet in just 13 minutes. There are two stops at the top. First, at 9,123 feet, is a mid-station platform where a little store peddles drinks, snacks and logo-laden apparel items. Just 33 feet higher is the turnaround, where skiers disembark. What you ll find at the summit of this gondola is a spectacular view. This rapture-inducing panorama encompasses Desolation Wilderness and Emerald Bay to the far left and, straight ahead, a magnificent view of Lake Tahoe . When the weather is fine, you can take a hike around the mountaintop and lunch at Adventure Peak Grill . Heavenly Gondola also offers day care for kids.

COST: $22. OPEN: Summer, daily 9-9; winter, daily 9-4.

Address: Downtown, South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Phone: 775/586-7000 or 800/432-8365


Lake Tahoe Visitor Center
Information Center, Lake Tahoe


Lake Tahoe Visitor Center on Taylor Creek is run by the U.S. Forest Service . Here you can visit the site of a Washoe Indian settlement; walk self-guided trails through meadows, marshes, and forest. You can also check out the Stream Profile Chamber , an underground underwater display with windows where you can view right into Taylor Creek . During the fall, spawning kokanee salmon digging their nests can be seen. In summertime, the U.S. Forest Service organizes discovery hikes and night-time campfires, complete with bonfire songs and marshmallow roasts. Best thing is, cost is free!

www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu

OPEN: June-Sept., daily 8-5:30; Oct., weekends 8-5:30.

Address: Hwy. 89, 3 mi north of junction with U.S. 50, CA, USA

Phone: 530/543-2674 June-Oct.; 530/525-7277 year-round


Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
948 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV 89451

Perhaps Shakespeare himself would run out of words if he sees the exceptional performances put on by the group of thespians of this theater. The stage acts are not the only attraction here. The site also benefits from the beauty and views of Sand Harbor , one of the most beautiful beaches at the lake. The festivities take place annually during the last five weeks before Labor Day where food and drinks are available on the site.


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