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.
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