Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society, Lake Tahoe (Nevada)

4.7
The Thunderbird Lodge, also known as the Whittell Estate, is a historic 6.51acre waterfront estate located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, in western Washoe County, Nevada. It is now within Lake Tahoe – Nevada State Park.HistoryGeorge Whittell Jr. was born in San Francisco in 1881, an heir to one of San Francisco's wealthiest families. His father was the founder of PG&E, the Northern California utility corporation, along with many other businesses. Upon his father’s death in 1922, he received an inheritance of $29 million, which he invested in the stock market. It had grown to $50 million ($60 Billion in 2015 dollars) when he liquidated all his stock holdings just weeks prior to the 1929 Stock Market Crash, becoming one of California’s richest people then at age 49. Captain Whittell, as he liked to be called, is quoted as saying: "When men stop boozing, womanizing and gambling, the bloom is off the rose." By establishing a residence in Nevada, Whittell avoided the higher income taxes in California, where he spent the bulk of each year at his 50-acre Woodside, California estate, the present day site of Kings Mountain Vineyard.In 1935, Captain George Whittell Jr. purchased the 27 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline and nearly 40,000 acres from Norman Biltz. It encompassed essentially 95% of the Nevada shoreline of Lake Tahoe — all of the land from Crystal Bay, Incline Village, Sand Harbor, Glenbrook, Cave Rock, and Zephyr Cove to Round Hill. Whittell paid approximately $2.7 million or $81.00 per acre. Between 1935 and 1969, Captain George Whittell continued to amass a vast majority of the acreage in Washoe, Carson, and Douglas Counties on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
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Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
96 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I knew nothing about this lodge and who lived there. I was surprised as to how much I enjoyed the tour. We had a great shuttle bus driver (I think she is from Australia) great sense of humor. The lodg...  more »
  • This was a very interesting tour. The lodge is located on a beautiful section of the east side of Lake Tahoe. Our tour guide, Earl, was great and very knowledgeable about the history of George Whittel...  more »
  • The lodge is pretty amazing! All the money and ingenuity that went into this place is astonishing. There is an amazing 600ft underground tunnel that brings you to the huge boat house to see a ridiculo...  more »
Google
  • You can't beat the view from these rooms - you can see the canyon every morning when you wake up. You're seconds from the village's few restaurants, a deli/snack area at the Bright Angel Lodge, and pretty much all the main south rim trails. The rooms themselves are pretty good, though my family mentioned the AC unit made them stuffy. Not sure what's going on there. The bathrooms are nice and seem to have been recently renovated, though the toilet moved when you sat on it (and if the person in the room next door did, too, it moved again -- so weird). Technically, there's free wifi, but I never was able to connect to it successfully. Not sure how great it is. It's pricey, but you're paying for the view. If you want to wake up to views of the canyon, this is the place to stay.
  • Living in Tahoe my entire life I have had the privilege to visit this amazing historic site many times. It is so beautiful and the east shore has such amazing views. I don't give 5 stars often but Thunderbird deserves it.
  • An excellant tour. The guides are all volunteers. Our guide said that she does the tours as it is the only way the Foundation can stay open and keep the estate open to the public.
  • Absolutely amazing place. The volunteer staff did an excellent job leading our group through the lodge and it's facilities. If one wants to visit and plan ahead. One needs reservations to visit.
  • Impressive piece of history well told by a passionate docent. Lengthy tour around the property and can be accessed via bus, boat or kayak. Brings the mid 19th century Tahoe to life!
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3 days in Kings Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Nevada BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Reno SEE PLAN January, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Tahoe City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Kings Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Reno BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Las Vegas & Incline Village BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Nevada BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Lake Tahoe (Nevada) BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in Las Vegas, Incline Village & Carson City BY A USER FROM INDIA October, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced
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