Tallac Historic Site
The Tallac Historic Site is a collection of summer mansions and outbuildings build between the 1890s and 1920s. In the summer, you can wander through beachside gardens surrounded by pine trees and wander through the Baldwin estate which has been converted into a museum and information center. In front of the Baldwin Estate and next to the beach is the old wedding cottage where you can see what lodging was like for affluent newlyweds a hundred years ago. The Pope Estate down the beach is a somewhat more extravagant complex and the interior may only be viewed by guided tour. I suggest that you make your way there fairly early and buy tickets to the next tour that has yet to be sold out. The building closes at 4 pm, and the last tour should start at least an hour before closing. After getting your tickets, you can wander around the grounds and relax in the Gazebo beside the koi pond till it is time for your tour. Don't be late they don't wait very long to pick up stragglers. You might also take in the Heller Estate further down the beach while you wait. The Heller Estate was jokingly referred to as Valhalla and the nickname stuck and has been commonly used for the last hundred years. Between the Pope and Valhalla Estates are several outdoor exhibits of antique heavy equipment used by the lumber industry in the 1870s and 1880s.
Valhalla is operated by a different organization, Valhalla Tahoe (valhallatahoe.com/visiting-tallac-site). Valhalla Tahoe hosts numerous cultural events like concerts, art exhibits and theatrical events. The location is one of Tahoe's most prized locations for couples to get married. It has a sizable great hall and a large lawn. Outdoor wedding celebrations may easily be moved indoors if it starts to rain. The small boathouse next to the beach is generally where theatrical events occur, but many concerts occur on the lawn. The great hall is usually closed and locked unless there is an event scheduled later in the day, but there is a gift shop behind it that is frequently open till 4pm in the summers.
To get to the Historic Site, drive north on Highway 89 from South Lake Tahoe. You will see a couple of driveways on your right just past the Camp Richardson Resort and Hotel. Either driveway will get you to the site, but frequently the parking lots will be full on summer weekends and you will have to park by the road and walk. In the summers, a better option might the trolley bus that leaves South Lake Tahoe's Eastern bus terminal at the "Y" intersection where Highway 50 and Highway 89 split. Be sure to check the schedule for your return trip before you use that option, because the last trolley bus is normally fairly early in the evening.