Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight began building her estate in 1928 with as many as 200 workers employed to carve intricate designs ... More
Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight began building her estate in 1928 with as many as 200 workers employed to carve intricate designs by hand; the hinges were hand-forged as well. Two of the most unusual aspects of the castle are the sod roof and the fact that much of the house was built without benefit of nails or other fasteners. The castle contains many fine examples of Scandinavian furnishings and antiques. This site is accessed from Emerald Bay State Park , also known as the D.L. Bliss State Park.
If you are to visit Vikingsholm, you must find a paddle boat or swim out to the island and visit the "tea room". Bring a lawn chair and a bottle of wine, (or a little happy grass) and relax!! I lived there for a couple of years and that was a must do a couple times a month. If the weather is cool, bring a little firewood and have a nice fire in the fireplace of the tea room!!
We took a vacation to south lake Tahoe in Dember 2010. We decided to take the 1/4 walk to the castle as it looked so beautiful from the overlook. With the snow all around and how quiet it was....it was the most amazing place I have ever seen. My boyfriend took me out on the pier and while over looking the bay he asked me to marry him. We are going back June 2012 to the same place to get married. I can wait to take a tour inside the castle. It was truley beautiful!!
Just like the reviewer from 9/2/2007 said, it's a beautiful hike down from the highway and parking lot down to the house, but the one mile back uphill seems more like three miles to some. Going in June means you get to see the waterfall at its peak. Pretty much all waterfalls throughout California are dry or almost dry in September. The beach by the castle is very nice, as is taking any short hike in the area.
The address of 3299 Emerald Bay Rd is way off. There's no real address for Vikingsholm, but it is at the westernmost part of Emerald Bay. Watch for inattentive drivers on the highway around the bay -- many don't pull off at the turnouts to see the stunning views.
The castle itself is usually open for tours from late May through late September every year. I wonder if this will change in 2011 due to the state park budget problem. The article says Emerald Bay State Park is the same as D. L. Bliss State Park, but they're actually separate parks adjacent to each other.
Definitely go as early as you can (they open at 10) because parking becomes a challenge as the day goes on. The house is neat but wasn't quite as amazing as I thought from other reviews and from things I have read. But it is interesting, especially if you enjoy architecture and Norwegian things. Nice beach in front of the house that you can wade around in. Beautiful view of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island. From the house we took the .3 mile hike to lower Eagle Falls. That was kind of a dud, very little water flowing down some rocks. The 1 mile hike back up to the parking lot was tough but mainly because it was so hot at this time. Bring a bottle of water! There are a few places to sit along the way if needed.
The first time we went to Tahoe, we were reluctant to hike down the trail to see the castle because we thought we were not in good enough shape to do so. (Slightly overweight couple in their 40's) I also thought that the grade of the hike would be too steep.
During our second vacation in Tahoe, I really wanted to see the castle and made it a goal to do so. I am glad that I did.
The downhill hike was fairly easy.
The tour of the home was fascinating to both of us... but we are both history buffs.
Going up the hill was a bit challanging... but I am a smoker and my husband isn't and I made it almost 10 minutes earlier than him.
Great view once you get there. Definately go.
The guide book stated this was a must see and how disappointing when we drove there, hiked down to the lake and viewed the house. Obviously built by a hermit with too much money. The view of the bay, though, was beautiful. The house is a definite miss.
It is well worth the one mile walk (each way) down to Emerald Bay to see this magnificant castle and the incredible beach. To stand on the beautiful white sandy beach and look out to the island .. well... it a very mystical feeling to see the Hermits house! What a cool place that would be to check out! It was unfortunate that we missed, by a mere week, a chance to tour the castle (it closed for the winter), but it was still well worth checking it out. We will definatley go back when it's open!
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