Washington has so many beautiful areas to visit. In just a couple hours, you can drive to a completely different climate with varying scenery. This makes Washington one of our favorite areas to vacation in. That means we get to skip the airfare and be at our destination with minimal effort.
One of our favorite spots to go is Chelan. In fact, we love it so much that the whole team headed there last month for a team retreat. We’ve put together a handy guide that includes our favorite places to stay, play, and eat. We even chatted with the locals to find out insider tips that not everyone knows about. Here are a few of our favorites:
PLACES TO STAY
In Town -
We like Campbell’s because it sits in a prime spot of historic downtown allowing you to walk to EVERYTHING! Alise likes to stay here and rent out the flats at the end of the resort. They feature a kitchen and beachfront access where it’s a bit quieter. Campbell’s features award-winning dining, a day spa, and fun family activities that include summertime beach concerts, outdoor yoga, FitLab bootcamp, and kids crafts and activities. Campbell’s has been a popular destination spot since 1901 and has even been voted the #1 Resort in the Northwest by Evening Magazine.
Luxury Stays (without the cost) -
Chelan takes up a relatively small footprint of beachfront at the end of Lake Chelan. Just a few minutes of driving can get you into a lakefront or lakeview Airbnb in Manson. We love staying in an Airbnb because you can get all the luxuries of a nicely outfitted home, lakefront access, gorgeous views, and even a private pool! If you bring friends, you can split the cost which can make staying in an Airbnb less expensive than a small hotel room.
Our team stayed in this home which featured 5 bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom suite. Here is a link: https://bit.ly/2Xksjf1
If you want to keep costs down and enjoy camping, make a family tradition of your own, like Stacie by annually taking her kids camping. You can choose from several parks around the 50.5-mile lake, but some of our favorites include Lake Chelan State Park, Don Morse Park and if you have an RV, Lakeshore RV Park.
Lake Chelan State Park features 6,000 feet of shoreline and has 139-acre camping park. It doesn’t matter if you’re a water-skier or hiker there’s a place for you to adventure in Lake Chelan State Park. However, if you’d like to visit a day use park visit Don Morse Park, which features 2,000 feet of the waterfront and gives you access to every activity from swimming to all of the boating and water sporting companies.
RV users should utilize the Lakeshore RV Park, but need to plan ahead as they take reservations 9 months in advance. Their camping lots are able to accommodate up to a 40’ RV and have 163 hook up sites offering water, electric, sewer and cable! Other amenities include: tent pads, free internet, restrooms, showers, picnic tables and dump station.
Check out all of the details for these camp spots here:
Don’t wait last minute though as campsites fill up early as families, like Stacie’s, eagerly wait all year to fulfill their family tradition spending part of their summer on the 1,486 ft. deep lake.
PLACES TO EAT
Breakfast: Blueberry Hills Farm
“One of the TOP 4 Restaurants in Washington State!” as named by the Seattle Times and awarded King 5’s “Evening Magazine Viewer’s Choice Award,” “2nd Best Destination Restaurant in Washington,” in 2017. Not just the omelets, coffee and hot chocolate were amazing but the friendly atmosphere created was adorable, but do expect a wait as it is extremely popular!
Besides being a restaurant Blueberry Hills Farm is a 20+ acre operating berry farm (16 different blueberry varieties!!), fruit stand and gift shop. U-Pick, U-Sit, U-Eat, U-Visit!
Tentative picking times:
• Blueberries (are the only fruit pre-picked as well) : July — Mid-Late August
• Strawberries: June — Late Fall
• Raspberries: Late June — Late Fall
• Blackberries: August — Late Fall
Check out their site to stay up-to-date: http://wildaboutberries.com
With our breakfast cravings satisfied we wanted to run you through where you can eat no matter what your taste buds are longing for:
Marcela’s for a sit down experience OR Tacos La Roca, a hidden food truck behind Les Schwab that has absolutely fantastic Mexican food.
Wood Fired Pizza
Local Myth, the perfect place to go after spending all day on the water. With hand-crafted pizzas, calzones, salads, antipasto and desserts you can’t go wrong. “In town, you can’t beat Local Myth Pizza,” —Sunset Magazine.
Take the kids
The BBQ at Lake Chelan Winery, perfect for date night with the familyas you'll be surrounded by vineyards and the gorgeous country-side. Munch on satisfying BBQ outside on the picnic benches while the kids are free to roam and even enjoy a glass of one of the wines unique to Chelan Winery.
Date Night (with or without kids)
Wapato Point Cellarsis Alise’s favorite dinner spot. Located in Manson and set back on the road, it’s not easy to find so you’ll have to look it up. The higher end restaurant is perfect for date night without the kids but isn’t too hoity-toity for children. Fantastic dining inside or outside. They have a large grassy area with a play toy that that if you bring the kiddos, they can go run around outside while you linger over conversation. Enjoy their tasting room open 12pm — 5pm, winemaker’s grill open at 5pm andwine bar also open at 5pm.
Romatic Date Night
Andante is a fine dining experience providing (in Alise’s opinion) the best wine list in Chelan. Candle light and the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, or even live piano on occasion, playing in the background create a romantic atmosphere.
Dinner with a view
Tsillian Cellarsis a hot spot if you’re looking for dinner anda view. With unbeatable hospitality and wine that has won over 400 gold and platinum awards you’ll enjoy a delicious meal while looking over the rolling vineyards. Their tasting room is quite grand and spills out onto a large patio complete with winding coy pond and bridges. This is a must-try. Sample some wines in the tasting room before dinner so you know which one you’ll want with dinner.
Girls Day Lunch
The Bistro at Benson’s Winerynot only will the wine capture your taste buds but the bistro’s space has captivated hearts to host private dining experiences and special events.
Rosé All Day:
The Amos Rome Vineyards Tasting Roomis another hidden gem with LovelyRosé as their flagship wine and have whites for tastings as reds are in the bottling process. Open every weekend 12pm-5pm be sure to make a visit!
Cocktails and Small Plates
Layla’s is a new, fun cocktail lounge with outstanding customer service, killer drinks and quick eats. Bethanie says you can’t go to Chelan without visiting here at least once.
On the Water
Alpenhorn Drive-In will be perfect for you. Boat by the 25-mile creek state park, dock and you’re at lunch!
PLACES TO EXPLORE
Chelan is clearly known for its lake, but you don't have to have boat to enjoy it. There's plenty of boat rental/water sport options to choose from, even in the busy seasons.
Modern Boat Rentals was our favorite as they brought the boat right to us and we did not have to wait in any lines. They offer boats andjet skis for a variety of ways to be on the water.
Slidewaters is a popular waterpark to check out complete with fun water slides and kid pools. They are currently constructing the nations largest surfing simulator!
Chelan Lanes has Cosmic Bowlingwhich begins at 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights and is a perfect activity to take your friends and family to as the sun goes down.
Mini-golf is always a fun option, especially in summer nights and is located right by Don Morse Park as mentioned above. Brea feels this is one of the best mini-golf parks she has been to.
Hikers and walkers will enjoy Chelan Butte along with several other trail heads in the area.
Wineries and vineyards grace the lakeside and you’d be remiss to not visit a few. These tasting rooms have a laid back, welcoming feel and many include an outdoor area to relax or try your hand at horsehshoes or bochi ball. Here is a list so you can pick out your favorites to visit: http://lakechelanwinevalley.com/wineries/
Can't fit in enough of the wineries? Try a wine tour on an electric bike to enjoy all of the views from winery to winery.
If shopping is more your thing definitely check out the Historical District. There’s lots of quaint shops to visit but also be sure to visit the historic Ruby Theater built in 1914. You have the option to rent out the theater for private screenings as well. See what they’re showing for your visit here: http://rubytheatre.com.
Another must visit, Alise’s favorite, is to Bear Foods. So much more than a healthy food store, it is filled with displays coinciding with the season. The owner’s Nick and Theresa aspired to give shopper’s a whimsical European experience. We recommend walking slow through the aisles so you can be inspired for your home, garden and gifts too.
Next door, also owned by Nick and Theresa is Café-Crêperie where you can find savory and sweet crepes but also gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free crepes to fit anyone’s diet. All of the ingredients are from Bear Food’s too.
For any winter fans be sure to visit Echo Valley Ski Hill in the colder months where you can ski, snowboard, tube and participate in events happening around the resort. Stay updated here: http://www.echovalley.org.
There are always fun weekend events taking place in Chelan. We timed our trip with the annual Wine and Jazz Festival. Check out their event list to plan your vacation around one of these popular venues and you’re sure to have a full week of fun in the sun! https://www.lakechelan.com/events/list/.