Emerald Bay is the jewel of Lake Tahoe. It is seldom green as an emerald, but rather transforms from shades of blue to purple. For great views drive north on Highway 89 along the western shore to Emerald Bay State Park. From this vantage point one can see much of massive Lake Tahoe plus Emerald Bay in the foreground. At sunset, Emerald Bay begins its transformation - taking on shades of pink and purple. With dramatic clouds, sunset pictures of this bay could be the showcase of any photographer's portfolio.
In the middle of Emerald Bay sits the tiny granite island-named Fannette Island. It is the only island on Lake Tahoe. Look closely and you'll notice a stone structure that is a former tea house.
There are many great hikes along the western side Lake Tahoe. A popular guided trek near Emerald Bay descends one mile down to Vikingsholm Castle, a former estate home of Scandinavian design, built in 1929. Visitors can tour the castle between 10am and 4pm for $5. Arrive early for a parking spot as space is limited. In addition to the castle tour, you will want to see Eagle Falls. The trailhead to both upper and lower Eagle Falls can be accessed from the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm parking area. Take a one mile hike to the bottom for a good view of the lower falls.