A Birthday Getaway Tradition In South Lake Tahoe

When I was a kid my family asked me where I’d most like to go for my thirteenth birthday. I could have picked Disneyland or even Hawaii but my first choice was Lake Tahoe so it never surprises me when it’s still my favorite place to celebrate a birthday after all these years.

Lake Tahoe has a special place in my heart. As a travel columnist for nearly twenty years I can say I have been blessed to circle the globe a few times and still I stand in awe at the beauty and grandeur and no matter how many times we visit Lake Tahoe. No matter what season finds us there, we always manage to make new memories and find new hidden gems.

We always pack the bikes on the back of the car no matter what, because Lake Tahoe has such gorgeous cycling options wherever our adventures take us. Yes, we have even been known to to do this even in winter and cycle around Lake Tahoe after a long day on the slopes.

While every year we discover new reasons to love Lake Tahoe we always have a few favorite reasons that never waiver. This year we decided to try something new and take the 2.4 mile ride on the Heavenly Gondola to the top of the mountain and check out the views and activities from the top. It was sheer delight. The ride up to an elevation of 9500 feet was spectacular with astounding views of the lake and captivating vistas for miles into Nevada. At the top of the mountain, couples can hike, rock climb on the 25 foot climbing wall, enjoy the non-snow and non-water tubing hill, dine at the Lodge or take in a summer event.

We enjoyed the wild life, the views and the amazing scenery and panoramic vistas that were unforgettable. It was a great excursion in every regard and we saw plenty of wildlife during our stop at the gorgeous observation deck, half way up the mountain.

One favorite activity is a day cruise on Lake Tahoe and this time we chose exploring Emerald Bay aboard the Tahoe Queen. For anyone not familiar with Tahoe’s rich history and wildlife or even those like us, who enjoy it yearly, one of these sightseeing cruises is a great way to get a feel for North America’s largest alpine lake from an “on the water” perspective.

Narrated tours about the Tahoe Queen give visitors a glimpse into the wonders and majesty of 39 trillion gallons of water and its environs. Osprey nests, castles, islands, and cobalt waters are just a few of the highlights.

Over the years we have stayed at virtually every major property in South Lake Tahoe and our favorite without compare, is by far, the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel and Ski Resort.

In our opinion, there’s no better place to lay your head near Lake Tahoe in the heart of South Shore.

With 400 beautifully appointed two room suites that are perfect for families, every stay includes a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast with all the healthy and hearty offerings. Omelets, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, fresh fruit, yogurts, muffins and more; this is the place to fuel up for a busy day.

A lovely indoor heated pool and spa and an excellent fitness center with modern and well maintained equipment round out the amenities nicely.

Every evening a pleasant manager’s reception is offered with complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Specialty drinks are offered as well at no charge. For years, my favorite has been the Cactus Bite. I look forward to my annual Cactus Bite made by Ann, our favorite bartender who gives couples great service, hospitality and even suggestions on things to do and see in the area.

One reason the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel & Ski Resort is such a perfect choice, is partly due to location and we all know location is everything. The Stateline casinos are literally a few steps away which keeps my hubby happy when he wants to take a break for a little gaming just a step away. Excellent dining, wonderful shopping and the gondola to Heavenly Ski Resort is less than a minute away.

Literally moments from world class golfing, boating, cycling and adventure, you can’t go wrong. Valet parking is also offered. The service is so impeccable that our bellman remembers us each year and always makes us feel special..

Guests at Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Hotel & Ski Resort also can request a pass to a private beach only a few blocks away for summer beach and water fun. Convenience is key for easy access to the hotel and cleaning up, apres sun, for dinner or other outings.

Fantastic shops, boutiques and dining options are also just footsteps away from the Embassy Suites as well as grocery stores which can come in handy for traveling couples. Yet another bonus with the Embassy Suites are the mini kitchenette with sink, microwave and fridge that come with all suites. Anyone who travels can appreciate that convenience.

As if the great locale and endless amenities are not enough, this property itself has so many nice features. It’s a great alternative from staying at a casino. With the unique grand garden atrium design the acoustics are excellent and a genuinely fabulous night’s sleep is almost guaranteed. That means happy traveling. No smoke, noise or other nuisances so commonly associated with casinos and other types of lodging are ever an issue, yet casinos, bars and nightlife are only yards away should you want the best of both worlds.

While Lake Tahoe has changed a bit from the days when I spent my 13th birthday there, the unspoiled beauty and endless array of fun and romantic activities still enchant us a generation later. Over thirty years have passed and I still can’t think of a better place to spend a birthday.