Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed destinations in the world. Located in the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, it is famous for the granite island in the center and the quaint tea house that sits atop the island. Although the views are spectacular from the top, few people are aware of the beautiful beach and historic site that are nestled on the shores of the bay below.
A steep mile long hike will bring you to the beautiful beach. It is only accessible by boat or by foot, so you won't be fighting the crowds here. If you need a break from the sun, you can tour the Vikingsholm Castle and learn all about the woman who built it and the stories of the craftsmen she employed. Beachgoers enjoy jumping off the pier which can be a short or long distance depending on the level of the lake. Don't exert too much energy swimming in the refreshing Lake Tahoe water, you'll need all of your strength for the uphill hike back to the parking lot. It's not easy, but very rewarding!