Lake Tahoe
Museums & Historical Sites

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Lake Tahoe
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Museums & Historical Sites in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is steeped in history.  From the basin's first inhabitants - the Washoe Indians - to the West's first industrialists, you can explore the rich tapestry that makes up the greater Tahoe Basin.

Please scroll down the page or click on museums, historical sites, or Native American Exhibits.

Featured Lake Tahoe
Featured Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Museums


Bijou Community Park

1201 Al Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe

Bijou Community Park is South Lake Tahoe’s only true community park. Constructed in 1992, the park offers diverse recreation opportunities to both residents and visitors alike. Along with their recreational offering, they also have an historic railroad exhibit.

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, CA     (530) 582-7892

Located 2.3 miles west of Truckee, it has hiking trails and museum at the site of the Donner Party tragedy. (916) 587-3841

Gatekeeper’s Log Cabin

Tahoe City  (916) 583-1762

The museum hosts a collection of early Tahoe memorabilia including beautiful hand-woven Indian baskets.

Placer County Museum

The Placer County Department of Museums system is composed of six museums that focus on various aspects of the rich heritage of Placer County.

Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum

Tahoe City  (916) 583-1762

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society was founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1971 by a group of concerned citizens who were passionate about this history, and its preservation.

Tahoe Maritime Museum

5205 West Lake Blvd., Homewood, California 96141  (530) 525-9253

Located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Maritime Museum's mission is to stimulate an interest in and an understanding of Lake Tahoe's rich maritime history through the highest standards of historic preservation, innovative interpretation and public education.

Truckee-Donner Historical Society

The Truckee-Donner Historical Society serves the historical interests of the Town of Truckee, the Donner Summit area, and surrounding communities in Nevada/Placer County in the I-80, SR 89 and 267 corridors.

Lake Tahoe Museum - Next to Senior Center. Historic photos and artifacts including Washoe Indian basketry. $2.00 adults, $1.00 kids. • Bijou Park - A1 Tahoe Blvd. past the college, 27 hole disc golf course, playground, picnic tables, trails. Free • Tallac Historic Site - Hwy. 89 North of the “Y” - Tour 100 year old mansions including Valhalla.


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Lake Tahoe Historical Sites


Donner Memorial California State Park — Camping & RV parking

Hwy 80, Truckee, CA  (530) 582-7894  (Located 13 Miles North of Lake Tahoe)

Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking.  In winter, visitors can cross-country ski and snowshoe on trails and enjoy the season's beauty.  Visitors are welcome year-round at the Emigrant Trail Museum and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's.  Included in the museum are displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life.

Town of Genoa, NV

Oldest settlement in Nevada. Includes brick courthouse built in 1865. Nevada's first fort and state's oldest bar, 15 minutes drive south of Carson City.

Tallac Historic Site

Located on South Lake Tahoe off Hwy 89, South Lake Tahoe

A century ago, what is now the Tallac Historic Site held the "Grandest Resort in the World" and the summer retreats for three of San Francisco Bay Area's socially elite families. Today the remains of the resort and the restored estates attract many thousands of visitors annually to recapture this bygone and significant era in Tahoe's history. The Tallac Historic Site offers something for everyone. Many paths and most buildings are accessible.

Between June and September you may join a Tallac interpreter for heritage programs, guided walks, building tours, demonstrations, behind the scenes peeks, and more. A changing schedule of activities with times, places, and a detailed description is available in the Visitors Center and the Baldwin Museum. Though the buildings are closed during the winter, the site is popular for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Thunderbird Lodge Historic Site.

5000 Highway 28 Incline Village, NV 89451   1-800-468-2463

The Lodge is open for guided tours Tuesday through Thursday from June through mid-September.

Vikingsholm Castle –  Vikingsholm is located at the head of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. This magnificent "castle" is a unique blend of Nature's spectacular beauty and man's architectural ingenuity.  For information call (530) 525-7277 More >>

Virginia City, NevadaVirginia City is a famous Ghost Town known for gold and silver mining from 1857-1877. Colorful shops, museums and saloons, including the world famous Delta, Silver Queen, and Bucket of Blood Saloons, the Chollar Mine, Mark Twain Museum, Piper Opera House and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.  (775) 847-0311 More >>

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Native American Exhibits

Washoe Indian Cultural Foundation Exhibit

Located at the Mount Tallac Historic Site, the display includes Native American housing, artifacts and pictures. A short slide presentation is also offered.

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