Thunderbird Lodge

5000 NV-28, Incline Village, NV 89451, USA

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.

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