On our last full day in Tahoe we lazed around in the morning, then went down to the lake to take a two hour cruise on the Tahoe Queen to Emerald Bay and back. We were hoping the cruise would take us along the shore line, so we could see more, but we made a beeline directly across the water to Emerald Bay, circled in the bay slowly, and headed on back. So that was a bit of a disappointment. However, the boat captain/narrator was interesting, and the weather was beautiful, so it was a very pleasant way to spend our last afternoon in the area.
Named for it's beautiful emerald green water, Emerald Bay is not easy to get to. You can climb down a rather long and steep trail from the highway to the lake, or you can arrive by boat. Our boat captain said it was "about a half mile down, and what feels like five miles to come back up." On the shore, with a gorgeous view of the bay, is a home, known as Vikingsholm, which was built in 1929 by over 200 workers hired by Mrs. Lora Knight. This was to be her summer home, containing 38 rooms. In the middle of the bay is Fanette Island, where Mrs. Knight decided to have a 16 x 16 foot stone tea house built. Mrs. Knight and her guests would take a boat to the island, and sit at an oak table to enjoy the view and a cup of tea. There was even a fireplace in case the weather was too chilly. Sadly, in recent years the tea house has been vandalized, but the stone outer structure remains.
The bay is lovely, and the stories about Mrs. Knight, her home and tea house were interesting to hear.