Terrific Tahoe by Wheelchair
by Frank Boothe  © 1999   

Lisa and Frank Boothe took an autumn jaunt to California’s Lake Tahoe for a terrific weekend.

Tahoe isn’t just a place for sports enthusiasts, although there are many fishing and skiing activities available for agile folks-it’s also a beautifully scenic place for any wheelchair/scooter user to choose for a brief vacation. We found autumn the perfect time to visit, as all the summer visitors had headed back to work and school, but, thankfully, it still wasn’t cold enough to snow yet.

Lisa and I chose Harrah’s Hotel for our weekend getaway from Los Angeles. We flew with Southwest Airlines, which we found excellent. The friendly crew was gentle with my Amigo scooter and delivered it to me unscathed in Reno. In Reno, we found the Reno/Tahoe International Airport restrooms very accessible. We easily collected our rented a car from Alamo Car Rentals, and Lisa took the wheel to begin the drive to Tahoe about an hour away.

The lovely scenic drive to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe is resplendent with pine forests, and, in no time at all, we were driving along the gorgeous alpine lake.

Harrah’s was easy to find as it faces the lake. I scooted into the accessible lobby and breezed into their ample elevators to reach our spacious room. Located on the 7th floor, our room was perfectly suited for me. It had an outrageous amount of maneuvering room, and the bathroom featured every accessible amenity (grab bars by tub, toilet and a handheld shower spray). I was in heaven. The lake view from our windows was stunning, so we decided to stay in our room to catch the fast-approaching sunset.

Dinner at the Summit on the 16th floor featured gourmet dining at its best, enhanced by music from a virtuoso piano player. Lisa chose the prime rib, and I chose the rack of lamb. We savored every moment of our delicious meals before indulging in sinful dessert specialties.

After dinner that evening, we headed downstairs to enjoy the casino gambling, and for once I left a winner! The blackjack tables enticed me early in the evening, and I went to bed late that night about $1,000 richer!

Lisa  had to force me away from the casino the next morning, so we could take a drive to catch some of the spectacular fall scenery. First, we picked up some picnic items from a market and cruised along Lake Tahoe, admiring its beauty, but happy to avoid first-hand contact with what is often termed one of the coldest lakes in the world, which is reportedly over 1600 feet deep

Next, we headed for Emerald Bay State Park, which is about 10 miles away from Harrah’s on Hwy 89. Along the way, we admired the fall foliage we never see in L.A. Emerald Bay is visually stunning and truly resembles a vivid bright green emerald. You can enter the park for  $6 per vehicle. One of the loveliest places on the lake is where we encountered a rock-strewn inlet containing Fanette Island.

That evening, we dined at Harrah’s Forest Restaurant on the 18th floor, The view from our table was jaw dropping. The lake at sunset below us was framed with thick forests of deep green pine trees. The sun slowly melted into the lake and washed the sky with pink and orange streaks. Unforgettable—just like the rest of our lovely weekend.

Call 1-800-HARRAHS for Information/Reservations or visit the web site at: http://www.harrahstahoe.com/

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