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Historic Hideaways

Last updated: December 2023

Name: Lake Tahoe Historic Hideaways

Location: Sand Harbor, Homewood, Tahoma, Olympic Valley

Best Time of Year: Spring through Fall

Take a step back in time with us around North Lake Tahoe, with historical landmarks that allow you to experience the region’s storied history. From lifestyles of the rich and famous to stars of the silver screen, check out these three historic places in North Lake Tahoe.

What Is It and Where Can I Find It?

The Lake Tahoe Historic Hideaways are three historic spots around the North Shore that represent different time periods of Lake Tahoe history. These are:

  • Thunderbird Lodge – Known as George Whittell’s “Castle in the Sky,” this luxurious 1930’s estate brings to mind the glitz and glamour of The Great Gatsby. The lodge is located just south of Sand Harbor State Park, and property tours are offered spring through fall.
  • Fleur du Lac Estate – A lakeside getaway that rose to fame for its appearance in The Godfather Part II. It is located on the West Shore in Homewood, but you can get the best view of the property from the water.
  • Hellman-Ehrman Mansion – A prototypical “smart house of the future” from the turn of the century that epitomized the summer homes from yesteryear. The Mansion is located at Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park in Tahoma, and during summer and early fall, you can explore the inside and outside of the property.
  • Tahoe SNOW Sports Museum – This museum takes you back in time to share stories of the legends of winter, and to inspire generations to experience the wonder and passion of our unique mountain spirit.

Insider Tips and Fun Facts

  • Guided tours of Thunderbird Lodge are available by land, by tour boat, or by kayak. The lodge also plays host to a series of stunning wine dinners during the summertime.
  • Famous guests of Thunderbird Lodge included legendary baseball player Ty Cobb and iconic businessman Howard Hughes.
  • Hop aboard the Tahoe Gal, itself a piece of Lake Tahoe history, to cruise by the Fleur du Lac Estate and get the best view of the property.
  • The Hellman-Ehrman Mansion was constructed before a road around Lake Tahoe was built, so supplies had to be brought in by boat and all staff lived on the premises.

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