5000 NV-28, Incline Village, NV 89451, USA
Photo courtesy of North Lake Tahoe
Thunderbird Lodge At Thunderbird Lodge, you can marvel at the eccentricities of the fabulously wealthy real estate magnate George Whittell, Jr., who built this 16,500-square-foot mansion on Tahoe’s east shore to house himself, his pet lion, and a small elephant. Walk through the 20-plus rooms and the 600-foot-long underground tunnel that connects the main house to the cavernous boathouse, which Whittell constructed for his 55-foot-long speedboat, the Thunderbird, a gorgeous 1939 woody that’s still available for charter cruises. Also on the 140-acre lakefront property are a lighthouse and several guest cottages. Guided tours are offered five days a week from mid-May to mid-October; arrive via boat or shuttle bus from Incline Village, or kayak over from Sand Harbor State Park.