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“Beautiful House and Interesting History”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 24, 2011

I read about this house online before we traveled to Tahoe in mid-September. Tours are only available by reservation so you must call ahead. Calling the 800 number I was told there was room left for the "12:30" tour and that the lodge was located about 20 minutes from our hotel. Tickets were $39 per person. It was explained that the driveway to the house was easy to miss, that it was on the right side of the road if you were traveling north from Stateline on Route 28, 5.2 miles from the juncture with Route 50. The drive would be marked by a white flag with a thunderbird logo on it. We were told to pull up the driveway and park by the gatehouse and that someone would show up no later than 12:45 to open the gate for us and let us in. I was cautioned by the woman on the phone NOT to be late or the tour would start without us. We found the drive without any trouble, but take note you can't see the thunderbird flag from the road at all, there are NO signs. You don't really know if you're in the right place until after you've already turned into the drive. Our docents arrived on time, opened the gate, and we followed them by car down to the house which sits directly on the Tahoe shore. I mention all of this because there was a big mixup with our tour and most of our group either got lost or showed up quite late. The house is definitely worth a visit and the docents (a very pleasant retired couple who had lived in Tahoe for 30 years) were full of interesting information about it, George Whittell and the surrounding area. I thought the exterior of the house, along with the grounds were much nicer than the interior, but the 600 foot underground tunnel which runs from the main house to the boat house is REALLY cool along with the opium den, card house, and boat house. A very ugly addition, which was built in the '80s houses the gift shop and a lecture hall. All in all, though, we loved it. Take note, there are a lot of stairs and narrow walk ways on this tour.

5  Thank Rich C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 - 92 of 93 reviews

Reviewed July 12, 2011

We took the Thunderbird Lodge Tour this morning. It was a very interesting and fun tour. We were lucky enough to only have 3 people on our tour so our guides, Jo & Linda, got to spend a lot of one on one time with each of us. Absolutely a must see when you visit Tahoe!

Thank ARSteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2010

Wonderful tour. Worth the price. The home is interesting, the boat amazing. It is also a wonderful vantage point from that side of the lake, which you do not often find. Very informative docents. Tour is about 2 hours. Go see this as fast as you can!

1  Thank snoopysoupy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2010

I highly recommend this trip. We took a charted boat to the Lodge with Action Watersports from the Hyatt. We ended up being the only people on our excursion and had a private tour. The Lodge itself is a really amazing place and the stories surrounding it are even better. And the location is absolutely beautiful - right on Lake Tahoe! The Thunderbird yacht is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. And you have to check out the Opium Den! After the Lodge, our tour guide cruised along the coast pointing out other homes of interest. You really can't beat being on the water at Lake Tahoe!

2  Thank bathos13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2009

We took the tour in early July, and found it very interesting. The Lodge sits on the east side of Lake Tahoe, just south of Sand Harbor, but you cannot access the lodge on your own -- there is a locked gate. The only way to tour the lodge is by taking a shuttle bus from the Incline Village / Crystal Bay Visitor's Center. (Call [--] for reservations, which are required.)

The handsome stone estate, built between 1935 and 1940, is known for its craftsmanship, beauty and the idiosyncrasies of its original owner, George Whittell, who cut secret tunnels through the site's solid granite. A very unique property to tour.

5  Thank Weston66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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