Emerald Bay State Park

Top choice in South Lake Tahoe & Stateline

Sheer granite cliffs and a jagged shoreline hem in glacier-carved Emerald Bay, a teardrop cove that will have you digging for your camera. Its most captivating aspect is the water, which changes from cloverleaf green to light jade depending on the angle of the sun. Fannette Island, Tahoe's only island, is set perfectly in the park's center. You’ll spy panoramic pullouts all along Hwy 89, including at Inspiration Point.

Just south, the road shoulder evaporates on both sides, revealing a postcard-perfect view of Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake to the south.

In 2018 a maritime heritage underwater trail opened beneath the surface of Emerald Bay. The trail features sunken barges and small boats that can be explored by divers and snorkelers at four sites.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Lake Tahoe & Stateline attractions

1. Fannette Island

0.18 MILES

This uninhabited granite speck in Emerald Bay State Park is Lake Tahoe’s only island. It holds the vandalized remains of a tiny 1920s teahouse belonging…

2. Vikingsholm Castle

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Heiress Lora Knight's quirky mansion on the bay, Vikingsholm Castle is the focal point of Emerald Bay State Park, and a rare example of ancient…

3. Inspiration Point

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Swoon-worthy views of Emerald Bay, as the camera-wielding crowds testify.

4. DL Bliss State Park

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DL Bliss State Park has the western shore's nicest beaches at Lester Beach and Calawee Cove. A short nature trail leads to the Balancing Rock, a giant…

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6. Meeks Bay

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With a wide sweep of shoreline, sleek and shallow Meeks Bay has warm water by Tahoe standards and is fringed by a beautiful, but busy, sandy beach. West…

7. Hellman-Ehrman Mansion

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8. Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum

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