Vikingsholm Castle is one of the first homes to be built on the shore of Lake Tahoe. The house, which looks more like a small castle, was built in 1929. It’s now part of Emerald Bay State Park and its unique Scandinavian architecture makes it worth touring.
Swedish architect Lennart Palme designed Vikingsholm for Lora J. Knight, a wealthy widow. Emerald Bay reminded Knight of the fjords in Scandinavia, which is why she wanted a home that matched her surroundings.
Construction began in 1928 and was completed in 1929. The elaborate home features intricate details throughout like wood carvings and massive exterior stone walls. The interior still contains original furniture and decor that belonged to Mrs. Knight.
Vikingsholm is said to be one of the most impressive structures of Scandinavian architecture outside of Northern Europe. It also has a great view of Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe. Eagle Falls, the only waterfall that flows into the lake, is also nearby.
Vikingsholm is a perfect summer destination. The Sierra State Parks Foundation leads 30-minute guided tours of the property daily during the summer season. 2022 tours will begin on May 28 and continue through September 30.
Tours take off every 30 minutes starting at 10:30am and the last one begins at 4pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center just outside of the castle. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for kids, college students, military, and seniors. Kids under 7 can visit for free!
To reach Vikingsholm visitors will have to walk a one-mile trail from the parking lot off of Highway 89.