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Emerald Bay State Park Tours and Activities

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492 Reviews
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay is the jewel of Lake Tahoe’s natural sights—and not just because of its name. Its waters are a bright turquoise color, owing both to the clarity of the lake and the shallowness of the bay. Emerald Bay is also home to the lake’s only islet, Fannette Island. This scenic patch of land surrounded by water is what gives the bay its jewel-like shape and name. Visitors flock to the area in summer for boating, swimming, and hiking opportunities.

The Basics
You can view Emerald Bay from overlooks and hiking trails on land, by air on a helicopter tour, or by water on a Lake Tahoe cruise. All offer different perspectives to take in breathtaking views of the picturesque spot. Sunset is a particularly beautiful time to visit, so book sunset dinner cruises and sunset helicopter tours in advance. Other not-to-be-missed sights include Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States, and Eagle Falls, a beautiful waterfall accessible by short hike.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Emerald Bay is a must-visit for outdoorsy travelers.
  • The M.S. Dixie II, a historic paddle-wheel boat, departs daily from Zephyr Cove and is wheelchair-accessible.
  • Be sure to dress for the season, especially if heading out onto the water for a boat tour.
  • The park is kid-friendly.

How to Get There
Lake Tahoe lies on the border of California and Nevada. Emerald Bay is on the California side of the lake, on the western edge of the south shore. To get to the park, take Highway 89 to the southwest shore of the lake. It is about a 4-hour drive from San Francisco, and eight hours from Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

When to Get There
Emerald Bay is stunning in all seasons. Summer is the best time to visit, as temperatures are fairly mild. In winter, however, temperatures often remain below freezing and access to hiking trails is limited. You can pick up trail maps from the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center in summer or from the park’s headquarters in South Lake Tahoe year-round.

Popular Lake Tahoe Activities Nearby
Many visitors come to beautiful Lake Tahoe for the scenery alone, but there’s plenty of outdoor adventure to be had as well. In the summer, hiking, biking, and water sports are widely available, while the winter opens world-class ski runs at the many nearby resorts. Photographers will appreciate the landscape photo opportunities, including the surrounding, often-snow-capped Sierra mountain range.
Address: 7360 West Lake Boulevard, Tahoma, California, USA
Hours: Open daily
Admission: Free
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12 Tours and Activities to Experience Emerald Bay State Park

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Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

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373
Take a boat tour on Lake Tahoe to soak up the alpine beauty of Emerald Bay, one of the lake’s most scenic spots. As you glide across the water on the M.S. Dixie II, admire the surrounding Sierra Nevadas, and cruise past Emerald Bay’s Fannete Island, the lake’s only island, as well as Vikingsholm Castle, a unique home on the shore. Plus, watch a video on board about the interesting underwater features of the lake.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.75
From
$69.75
Taking safety measures

M.S Dixie II Sunset Dinner Cruise

M.S Dixie II Sunset Dinner Cruise

star-4
276
Watch the sun slip behind the mountains on a Lake Tahoe dinner cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II, and enjoy champagne, live music and an elegant dinner on the water. Dance to tunes from the local Steve Walker Band, see a spectacular Sierra sunset, then sit down for a freshly prepared meal. Enjoy selections like grass-fed beef or trout, organic greens, and vegetables. Finish the evening with fresh berries and cake as the first stars appear above the peaks, and Lake Tahoe’s scenic shoreline is illuminated.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe

Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe

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51
Showcasing beautiful Fallen Leaf lake, Cascade Lake, Taylor Creek, and Pope Beach, this tour heads to breathtaking Emerald Bay. Surrounded by granite cathedrals and fed by Eagle falls, the lake's only true bay is named for its emerald green waters.
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  • 10 to 12 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$94.00
From
$94.00
Taking safety measures

Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group

Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group

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558
Tahoe photographic tours offer a unique way to enjoy Lake Tahoe’s natural wonders and receive photography tips as you are led by an experienced photo guide who provides tips and shares information about the area. Whether you’re looking to snap a poster-worthy shot of snow-covered mountains, towering trees, wild flowers or the glassy lake itself, you’ll learn how to shoot in the great outdoors and see some of Lake Tahoe’s most beautiful natural sights, including Emerald Bay. Select either a half-day or full-day tour.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.00
From
$179.00
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley

Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley

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50
Travel all the way around scenic Lake Tahoe in a comfortable shuttle on this 7-hour tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll cover close to 70 miles (110km), making stops at the beautiful vistas of Sand Harbor and Emerald Bay. You’ll also visit a charming village at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, and explore Tahoe City on the lake’s north shore, stopping to purchase lunch. As you go, your guide will provide rich historical context for the beautiful landscape surrounding you.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$61.54
From
$61.54
Taking safety measures

Emerald Bay Sunset Boat Charter - Romance on the Lake

Emerald Bay Sunset Boat Charter - Romance on the Lake

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8
Sit back and leave the driving to us while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Grateful Red. She is a 27- foot Mariah Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this stye. Includes Captain, guide, all gas, equipment and fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see Emerald Bay up close and personal.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$550.00
per group
From
$550.00
per group
Taking safety measures

 Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay

Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay

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8
All inclusive price for gas, 6 guests and captain! Sit back and leave the driving to us while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Grateful Red. She is a 27- foot Mariah Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this style. Guests can bring aboard snacks, food, beverages, (except Red wine) and enjoy! Bring up to five passengers. Includes Captain, guide, all gas, equipment and fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see Emerald Bay up close and personal.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$550.00
per group
From
$550.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Boat Charter on Lake Tahoe with Captain Half Day

Private Boat Charter on Lake Tahoe with Captain Half Day

star-5
6
This is an all inclusive price! Bring up to 6 guests on your private charter. Includes all gas, equipment and your own licensed Captain to drive you around the lake! If you love cruising the lake and visiting the famous and beautiful beaches of Tahoe... this is for you! Cruise Lake Tahoe with your own private boat captain and relax and enjoy on the beautiful, elegant boat, the Grateful Red. This is one of only two Mariah z250 Limited Shabah boats ever built in this style. It is definitely a head turner! Sun, Sand, Swim. Option to bring a picnic lunch, or we'll stop at one of the Lakeside lunch venues.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,000.00
per group
From
$1,000.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Luxury Power Boat Charter on Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Luxury Power Boat Charter on Beautiful Lake Tahoe

This is an all inclusive price! Bring up to 6 guests on your private charter. Includes all gas, equipment and your own licensed Captain to drive you around the lake! If you love cruising the lake and visiting the famous and beautiful beaches of Tahoe... this is for you! Cruise Lake Tahoe with your own private boat captain and relax and enjoy on the beautiful, elegant boat, the Grateful Red. This is one of only two Mariah z250 Limited Shabah boats ever built in this style. It is definitely a head turner! Sun, Sand, Swim. Option to bring a picnic lunch, or we'll stop at one of the Lakeside lunch venues.
More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,000.00
per group
From
$1,000.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Sunset Wine & Cheese Emerald Bay Boat Charter

Sunset Wine & Cheese Emerald Bay Boat Charter

star-5
2
Enjoy the best of Lake Tahoe on the elegant boat, "The Grateful Red." Sit back and leave the driving to Captain Bryan while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Mariah, Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this style. Each week, we'll be enjoying one of our favorite white wines and a selection of cheese, fruit and crackers. This private charter is for up to four guests and includes Captain, all gas, equipment, wine, cheese and of course, fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see the lake up close and personal with friends before enjoying your evening in Lake Tahoe.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$650.00
per group
From
$650.00
per group
Taking safety measures

All Inclusive - Lake Tahoe Private Boat Charter with Captain - 6 guest

All Inclusive - Lake Tahoe Private Boat Charter with Captain - 6 guest

This is an all inclusive price for 6 guests, private charter, all gas, equipment and your own licensed Captain to drive you around the lake! If you love cruising the lake and visiting the famous and beautiful beaches of Tahoe... this is for you! Cruise Lake Tahoe with your own private boat captain and relax and enjoy on the beautiful, elegant boat, the Grateful Red. This is one of only two Mariah z250 Limited Shabah boats ever built in this style. It is definitely a head turner! Sun, Sand, Swim. Option to bring a picnic lunch, or we'll stop at one of the Lakeside lunch venues.
More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,000.00
per group
From
$1,000.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Ultimate Lake Tahoe Self-Driving Audio Tour

Ultimate Lake Tahoe Self-Driving Audio Tour

Explore Lake Tahoe’s dazzlingly blue waters and stunning mountainous backdrop with this self-guided audio tour! Drive around the entirety of the lake as you learn about its origins, admire its breathtaking vistas, and dive into its Gilded Age history. Explore hikes, historic homes, and waterfall views along the way. This self-guided driving tour allows you to experience all of Lake Tahoe with maximum flexibility and value. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Within 30 min, we'll send you two things: a unique password and an app. Download the app onto your phone, enter password, and download the tour. When you arrive, go to the South Tahoe Visitor Center, launch the app, and follow the instructions! Stick to our recommended route for the best experience. No expiration — the tour is available from the minute you book until forever! This is not an entrance ticket to attractions along the route. Check pandemic rules & opening hours before your visit.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$7.99
From
$7.99
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Emerald Bay State Park hours of operation?
A:
Emerald Bay State Park hours of operation: Open daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Emerald Bay State Park?