Tahoe’s Thunderbird Lodge to open for the summer season tours
The historic estate of the late San Francisco real estate magnate George Whittell Jr., the Thunderbird Lodge, is set to open its summer tour season later this month.
The East Shore lodge will begin its 15th year of public, private and group tours on May 24, with tours running through Oct. 22.
“Perched on a bluff along Lake Tahoe’s East Shore, the Thunderbird Lodge, built in 1936, commands an air of mystery with its secret tunnels, hidden grottoes, elephant barn, commanding views, lush gardens, and a steel boathouse blasted into a mountain of solid granite — home to the venerable Thunderbird yacht,” according to a press release.
“Visitors to Thunderbird Lodge learn about an unconventional millionaire famous for his legendary parties, high-stakes poker games, Duesenberg automobiles, and big game animals he kept as pets on the property. Tours reveal the mystery and opulence of Lake Tahoe’s Gilded Age.”
Walking tours cover one-third of a mile and last 90 minutes.
Shuttles depart Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Center at 969 Tahoe Blvd., in Incline Village. Tours are $39 per person and $19 for children ages 6-12.
The lodge also offers a couple of options from the water.
Boat tours aboard the historic vessel Tahoe will depart from Zephyr Cove Tuesday through Saturday. Tours are $139 per person, $59 per child ages 6-12 and include a continental breakfast, an estate tour and lunch on the grounds. For boat tour reservations visit http://www.cruisetahoe.com.
Visitors may also paddle the pristine water to Thunderbird Lodge. Paddle tours will be offered every Tuesday from June to September, as well as other dates by special request. Paddle tours start at Nevada’s Lake Tahoe State Park at Sand Harbor and include a kayak rental, paddle lessons, gear, lunch on the beach and an estate tour. The tours are $125 per person with a two-person minimum. For paddle tour reservations, visit http://www.tahoeadventurecompany.com.
Reservations are required for all tours. More information is available at http://www.thunderbirdtahoe.org.
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