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Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park

Open daily
7360 West Lake Boulevard, Tahoma

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.

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Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe
star-4.5
$110.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Bird in the sky
Beautiful area and getting to have a new experience with family! The lake is beautiful and the small island in the bay is magical.
Amanda_L, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Lake Tahoe

star-4
See the Lake
Patricia_D, Aug 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
The boat was very nice. Clean. Staff was very nice. Drinks were excellent. The tour was nice too. emerald Bay was gorgeous.
star-4
M.S. Dixie fun on the lake
Nancy_M, Aug 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
Always love being on the lake. My only concern, was the amount of passengers on the trip during Covid-19 restrictions. There didn't seem to be one. Cruise sold out to large number of people. We sat up on 3rd deck and felt relatively safe there. But lake always beautiful.
star-5
Highly Recommend
Laura_L, Jul 2021
Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay
Bryan was awesome. Very knowledgeable and accommodating. I highly recommend. His boat was very clean , as well as comfortable.
star-4
Enjoyable
LLC, Aug 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
Very nice ride, not as beautiful as it would have been since the smoke from the wildfires made the scenery hazy. The boat itself needed some good cleaning!
star-5
Fun fun fun
Jonny_D, Sep 2021
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe
It was an excellent experience! Loved every second of it!! It was fun the whole ride. Would totally do it again!
star-4
Nice, But Some Things Could Change
PNW, Jul 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
Overall I think the cruise was really awesome and I loved learning about the area, however, I think it was a little too crowded(especially in this COVID time) and requiring to have a printed a ticket is outdated and inconvenient. There should be a way to scan a phone. Like I said, I liked the tour, but the things I mentioned should be addressed.
star-5
Do this trip
Marlene_O, Aug 2021
Emerald Bay Sunset Boat Charter - Romance on the Lake
This was a family celebration. Worth every penny. Bryan is a great caption and full of interesting Tahoe stories.
star-5
Best
EricYSChoi, Aug 2021
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe
Riding the helcopter itself was a new experience and it was amazing for all my family. But the time is so short.
star-5
Wonderful captain and experience for our whole family!
Jenny_O, Aug 2021
Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay
Captain Bryan was incredible. He was punctual, knowledgeable about the lake and surrounding area, and welcoming to our multi-generational group ranging in ages from 8 to 73 years old. My family completely enjoyed our private tour on his immaculate vessel and I would definitely recommend the experience to friends and family. 🚤
star-5
Highly recommend for couples
boles123, Aug 2021
Sunset Wine & Cheese Emerald Bay Boat Charter
We loved the trip, beautiful lake and Bryan was entertaining as well. We did for our anniversary. He showed us around Emerald Bay and we got off to look at Vikingsholm.
star-4
Boat Ride
Todd_R, Jun 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
The boat ride was great. The crowed conditions, not so much. When I bought my tickets it said social distancing was required. The boat was packed. Way to may people to stay 6 feet apart.
star-5
Highly recommend
Juanita_N, May 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
It was the best experience. The staff was so friendly. Plenty of space felt safe with COVID and people were responsible. Diversity of ages, families and ethnicity. Would highly recommend!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Emerald Bay is a must-visit for outdoorsy travelers.

  • TheM.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.

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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.

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Trip ideas

Top Hiking Trails in Tahoe

Top Hiking Trails in Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Guide

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Guide


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.

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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.

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