Thunderbird Lodge

View of the North side of the Historic Thunderbird Lodge by Andrus Hernandez / CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Thunderbird Lodge, circa 1998. View from Lake Tahoe by Tonywiki09 via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Take a docent-led tour of Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site was built in 1936s by eccentric millionaire George Whittell Jr. The estate features a majestic Tudor Revival-style stone mansion, a card house, caretaker's cottage, butler's residence, a boathouse connected to the mansion via an underground tunnel, and a large stone barn to house Whittel's pet elephant, Mingo.

Whittel, also known as "the Captain," came from one of San Francisco's wealthiest families and used his fortune to purchase nearly 20 miles of Lake Tahoe's east shore, some 40,000 acres in total. His original plans to develop a ski resort, casino, and high-end residences never came to be, and after his death in 1969 the bulk of his land holdings were sold to the US Forest Service and Nevada State Parks to become public lands.

NV-28 & Rd D, Incline Village, NV 89451, USA 89451 Incline Village United States