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.