Thunderbird Lodge: Mimosa & Garden Tour | NBC Bay Area
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Thunderbird Lodge: Mimosa & Garden Tour

Bask in the summery Lake Tahoe vibes while strolling about the vintage estate.

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    Thunderbird Lodge: Mimosa & Garden Tour
    Thunderbird Lodge
    Bask in the summery Lake Tahoe vibes while strolling about the vintage estate on July 22, Aug. 5, or Aug. 19, 2017.

    IF "HISTORIC LAKEFRONT ESTATE"... sets your heart to throbbing, and your knees to wobbling, and your dreams to growing, you likely spend a bit of time seeking out those properties that, on occasion or more frequently, open to the public. These sometimes lavish, usually charming abodes welcome history buffs boning up on design of bygone times, local champions who want to know more about the area in which they reside, and unabashed lookie-loos who simply want to nose around a bit. And, honestly, who wouldn't? Consider Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site, "Lake Tahoe's Castle-in-the-Sky." The dramatic, stone-beautiful cottage, which was built by San Franciscan George Whittell starting in 1936, is open for guided tours every Tuesday through Saturday in the warmer months (so, yes, starting in May and wrapping in October). But if you've longed to spend more time lookie-loo-ing around the outside of the house, there's a special walk-around made for you, though note it isn't a weekly kind of thing. It's the...

    MIMOSA & GARDEN TOUR, and you can book your spot on the morning of July 22, Aug. 5, or Aug. 19. The estate's Master Gardener will be present to discuss "the native species of plants, shrubs, and trees grown on the estate," so come ready to be inspired about your own plot back home (or at least enjoy seeing a superb garden framed against a famous Tahoe landmark). Want more? You'll get a Castle tour, too, with a docent at the lead. Note this is for the 21-and-over set, and that comfortable clothes and shoes are a must, given some of the path-pretty terrain. Perhaps you'll be inspired not only about your own garden after the visit. Maybe you'll seek out more opportunities to live the lakefront life. It's something only a few do, and have done, but places like Thunderbird Lodge give visitors a chance to bask in that specific water-close, elegantly imagined domesticity for an hour or two. Note that some of the price of your ticket is a charitable contribution.