Emerald Bay is the beautiful setting for one of the jewels of Lake Tahoe, Vikingsholm, a grand manor which is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the U.S. Built for a wealthy owner in 1929, the elaborate home is now owned by the Park, and is open for tours.
Notable exterior features of Vikingsholm include granite boulders used as foundation stones, similar to Swedish churches built 1000 years ago; massive hand-hewn timbers and door carvings like the ones from old Norse architecture; carvings of dragons along rooflines; and a sod roof with wildflowers. Interiors follow Scandinavian design as well, with fine painting of ceilings and walls, Scandinavian fireplaces, and carved beams. Many of the furnishings are original to the home and were reproduced Scandinavian museum pieces.
Sierra State Parks offers tours of the unique “castle” all through the summer. Open seven days a week from Memorial Day through September, from 10:30am to 3:30pm. These guided tours are $10.00/adults and $8.00/kids (under 7/free). Large parties require reservations. Limited parking is available for $10.00. There is a steep trail to the home, call for handicapped access at 530-583-9911 to make arrangements.
Public buses do go out to Vikingsholm, and there is a dock provided for private boats wishing to load or unload only. You are able to beach your boat from dawn until dusk. Tour boats do not dock at the home, but offer a beautiful view from the water. The Visitor Center, an information, and Gift Shop are open from 10am-4pm all summer, and the Park offers a public beach that is open all day during the summer months.
Note: Hours of operation were correct at time of publishing, but can be subject to change due to extreme weather, trail conditions, and park funding. Please check with the venue or the Sierra State Parks before making your plans. Thank you!