Thunderbird Lake Tahoe Tours


Explore historic Thunderbird Lake Tahoe: Learn about Lake Tahoe’s magical Castle-in-the-Sky and the world famous Thunderbird Yacht.

Docent-guided tours take visitors on an hour and 15 minute walk through the stone mansion and grounds to reveal the mystery and legacy of the enigmatic George Whittell, Jr.

Legend springs to life as you discover the Lighthouse Room, Old Lodge, the servant's quarters with original kitchen, as well as the 600' underground

tunnel leading to the cavernous Boathouse. In the Boathouse see the legendary wooden speedboat, Thunderbird, built for Whittell in 1939 and powered by twin Allison V12 1150hp engines from vintage WWII fighter aircraft. Walk along the serpentine Dragon's Tail path to the enchanting Card House with its celebrated poker stories. Your tour offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, the nearby mountain ranges, elegant gardens, lagoons, waterfalls and fountains. Discover the magic of Thunderbird Lake Tahoe ~ the history, the architecture, and the men and women of Lake Tahoe’s gilded age.

Public tours of this National Register Historic Site are available by land, by tour boat, or by kayak, Tuesdays through Saturdays from late May until mid-October.


Reservations are required for all tours. Self-guided tours are not available.

Smoking is not permitted in the buildings, on the grounds, or aboard shuttle busses and watercraft. Children must be at least six years old.

Comfortable walking shoes are required and a warm jacket is recommended.

Tours are offered at special events throughout the season, including our Summer Fundraising Dinner Series.