California is well-known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but when we think of California beaches, our minds tend to drift towards Pacific Coast locations like Venice Beach and Malibu. However, it's important to not forget that California has some wonderful inland beaches too, like on the shores of the stunning Lake Tahoe, which also crosses over the state border into Nevada. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Sand Harbor Beach
5 Best Lake Tahoe Beaches
- Sand Harbor Beach, Photo: Alexander Davidovich/stock.adobe.com
- Baldwin Beach, Photo: Jeremy Francis/stock.adobe.com
- Pope Beach, Photo: Mariusz Blach/stock.adobe.com
- Lester Beach, Photo: Jill Clardy/stock.adobe.com
- Commons Beach, Photo: sergeialyoshin/stock.adobe.com
- More Info, Photo: heyengel/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Alexander - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: Thunderbird Lodge, Lake Tahoe
Located in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Thunderbird Lodge preserves the historic home of famed socialite George Whittell, Jr., operating as a living history home museum for tours and special event rentals. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lake Tahoe became a prominent spot for the construction of summer homes and resort residences by California’s elite. George Whittell, Jr.’s parents, George Sr. and Anna, were among the wealthiest residents of San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century.
Born in 1881, George Jr. became known throughout his young life as one of the American West’s most famous socialites and notorious playboys, noted for his multiple marriages, travels with the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and collections of exotic animals, designer automobiles, and luxury boats. By 1936, Whittell owned more than 40,000 acres of land across a 20-mile region of the Nevada shoreline of Lake Tahoe. That year, Whittell began construction on a residence that would become known as Thunderbird Lodge, designed by prominent Nevada architect Frederic J. DeLongchamps. Throughout the 20th century Thunderbird Lodge earned a reputation as one of the final and greatest examples of prominent high-society homes constructed in the Lake Tahoe region.
Before his 1969 death, Whittell sold much of his land and property in the Lake Tahoe region to the Crystal Bay Development corporation. Following Whittell’s death, the residence and 10,000 acres of property surrounding it was acquired by investor Jack Dreyfus, who later turned much of the land over to the acre of the National Forest Service and the Nevada State Parks service. Following renovations and additions Dreyfus made to the lodge in 1985, the property was sold to the Del Webb Corporation at a cost of $56 million. In 1999, a three-way land exchange was established between Del Webb, the University of Nevada at Reno, and the United States Forest Service. The portion of the land designated to the United States Forest Service was later conferred to the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society, which gained ownership of the entire property in 2009 after a major capital fundraising campaign.
Attractions and Tours
Today, Thunderbird Lodge is preserved as a living history home museum and learning center, owned and operated by the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society nonprofit organization. The lodge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 and is part of the Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site. The site features a heavily-forested terrain populated by mixed conifer trees and shoreline and creek areas with sandy beaches, showcasing a number of large granite boulders.
The main lodge, designed by architect Frederic J. DeLongchamps, serves as a prime example of architectural integration with the surrounding environment, utilizing design principles of natural harmony within its building materials, landscape elements, and surrounding pathways and driveways. More than 3,000 square feet of interior space are contained within the lodge, and a lakeside lawn, gazebo, two patios, and private sandy cove are showcased on its grounds. The lodge is most noted for its Lighthouse Room, which offers spectacular views of nearby Lake Tahoe.
In addition to the main lodge, several other buildings within a six-acre area make up the Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site, including the home’s original Card House, which is accessible via a tunnel entrance. Whittell’s Elephant House, which formerly housed his pet elephant, Mingo, is heavily embellished with decorative ironwork, sconces, and artistic detail. A Caretaker’s Cottage, Cook and Butler’s House, Admiral’s House, and Gatehouse are also showcased on the property. The lodge’s one-story Boathouse also serves as the home of Whittell’s Thunderbird Yacht, constructed in 1939 and now recognized as one of the most valuable historic wooden speedboats in the United States. As a historic landmark-at-risk, the yacht is maintained by the Preservation Society through chartered yacht cruises and rentals.
Public guided tours of the home and its grounds are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays between May and October, with private tours available by reservation throughout the year. Tours last approximately 75 minutes and elaborate on Whittell’s life and the construction and history of the lodge. All public tours must be reserved in advance, and all participants must wear comfortable walking shoes for grounds exploration. Children under six are not permitted on tours, and smoking is not permitted within the lodge and its grounds.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Thunderbird Lodge hosts a variety of public special events throughout the year, including Winemakers’ Dinner fundraisers, which require advance reservations for all participants. The Thunderfaire Food and Wine Festival showcases fine California wines and gourmet food from chefs throughout the American West Coast, while special Father’s Day and Fall Harvest dinners serve multi-course meals specifically crafted by resident chef Darren Weston. The lodge and its surrounding properties and grounds may also be rented for private special events, including weddings, reunions, and corporate functions. Phone: 775-832-8750
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More Ideas: Coachman Hotel
Lake Tahoe is one of the best recreation areas in all of the United States, and a beautiful place to visit for those in California and Nevada in particular. Stretching across the border between these two states, Lake Tahoe sits among the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is famous for its beautiful beaches, stunning ski resorts, and exciting adventure opportunities.
It's the biggest alpine lake in all of North America and the biggest lake in the US after the Great Lakes, with around two million years of history behind it. It's the perfect place for skiing, snowboarding, sailing, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, cycling, and even gambling at various casinos and resorts over on the Nevada side.
If you're planning a trip to Lake Tahoe, the city of South Lake Tahoe tends to be the best place to say. Sitting on the southern shores of the huge, beautiful lake, this resort city is on the California side of the border and offers easy access to some of the best beaches and skiing locations in the area, with lots of good hiking and nature trails nearby too. One of the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe is the Coachman Hotel.
Recently renovated, redesigned, and revitalized for a brand new era, the Coachman Hotel is one of the top accommodation locations in all of South Lake Hotel. Aiming to provide an affordable yet luxurious motel experience, the Coachman Hotel's design and style is inspired by the stunning surroundings of Lake Tahoe, fusing chic modernity and timeless elegance and offering a great range of amenities for all guests.
- Location - Located at 4100 Pine Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA, the Coachman Hotel is mere minutes away from the shores of Lake Tahoe and right by the state line too, offering easy access over into Nevada for those who are planning on visiting the casinos and attractions on the other side of the border. You'll find plenty of great bars and restaurants nearby, and the area around the hotel is relatively peaceful when compared to some of the busier spots of South Lake Tahoe. The Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort is very close to the Coachman Hotel too, so whether you're heading to the lake for winter sports, summer fun, or something different, you'll find the Coachman to be a great base.
- The Hotel - As stated above, the Coachman Hotel has undergone some big renovations recently, breathing new life into the old building and providing an even better experience for every guest. As well as its prime location, this South Lake Tahoe hotel offers plenty of excellent amenities including a swimming pool to help you cool off in the summer months and a cozy hot tub for those cool winter nights when you want to warm up and relax with your friends. The hotel also boasts of its own outdoor fire pit, the perfect gathering and hangout spot, along with a lobby and bar space where you can enjoy coffee, beer, and wine throughout the day and into the evening, basking in the glow of natural light streaming in through the large glass paned doors and relaxing with the books and games provided.
- The Rooms - This highly rated South Lake Tahoe hotel has a total of 42 rooms. Most of the rooms are regular King or Queen Queen rooms, designed and decorated to a very high standard and filled with all the amenities and features you need. There are also a couple of deluxe rooms like the Honeymoon room and the Two Bedroom Suite, providing more luxury and space for those who need it. This is a pet-friendly Lake Tahoe hotel, so you can bring a furry friend along and stay in a designated room, and you'll be able to enjoy cozy beds, plenty of storage space, handmade vanities, flat screen TVs, speedy Wi-Fi access, and much more throughout your room.
- Meetings and Events - As well as offering free breakfasts in the mornings, free s'mores in the evenings, free Wi-Fi throughout, and plenty of additional amenities and services for all its guests, the Coachman Hotel is also open for meetings and events too. If you're planning something special at South Lake Tahoe, the Coachman offers several meeting spaces including a 300 square foot 'living room' style meeting area and a 900 square foot event space with a full kitchenette and 1,000 square foot exterior roof deck too. All the audio visual equipment and catering you could need will be provided, and the Coachman's dedicated event planning team will be happy to help bring your event to life exactly as you imagine it.
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