Know Before You Go
- This is a lake town through and through. It is busy in the summer and gets quiet in the winter. It is also part of Washington Wine Country. Everywhere you look you will see grapevines and wineries. Apples and blueberries are also big items around these parts. Come hungry and pack wisely. The sun can beat down, and the rain can pop up in early summer when you least expect (or want it).
- Winter brings the snow bunnies out to play at the Echo Valley Ski Area, a budget ski destination for pros and amateurs alike. Take advantage of the cheap lift tickets and lessons for the whole family. Be aware that driving can be tricky in these parts. Bring your snow tires, chains and 4WD whenever possible.
- Swim gear
- Flip flops
- Light layers
- Good walking shoes or hiking boots
- Rain coat for earlier in the season
- Towels (check with your hotel or rental to see if they have beach towels for the lake)
- Beach toys
- Life vest
- Ski gear
- Warm layers
- Warm hiking boots
- Umbrella and rain gear
- Snow chains for your car if you drive
Driving to Lake Chelan
- Chelan is about 3-4 hours from Seattle
- Watch for police cars as you go through Wenatchee. Speed limits change quickly, and they aren’t shy about pulling you over.
- Pit Stops: Monroe, Leavenworth and Wenatchee are you largest pit stops on the way to Chelan if you take the northern route along Route 2.
Mountain View Lodge, 25 Wapato Point Parkway, Manson. Love the community that comes with camping, but don’t really want to sleep on the hard ground? Then stop by and say hi to Kim and her family as you set up camp in Manson, WA, just down the street from Chelan and just blocks from the lake. The pool is where you will find the kids, while the adults cook at the adjacent BBQs or chat around the fire pit. Rooms are warm, and a few are perfectly set up for families with an extra bedroom tacked on.
- Blueberry Hills Farm, 1315 Washington Street, Manson. A must whenever you are in the area. This spot is extremely family friendly. In fact, you could spend a whole morning here. A kids play area makes it relaxing for mom and dad, while pie toppings over dry yeast waffles will fill your bellies and get you ready for some blueberry picking in the back fields.
- The Vogue, 117 E Woodin Avenue, Chelan. Tully’s Coffee, giant chocolate chip cookies and an assortment of muffins and pastries make this a nice little spot to get your caffeine fix before hitting the shops of Chelan.
- Bear Foods Natural Foods Market and Café Creperie, 125 E Woodin Avuenue, Chelan. Savory and sweet crepes fill this little café on the side of the Bear Foods market. If you don’t see something the kids would like on the menu, hop over to the market side to grab yogurt, bread, crackers, and snacks to fill them up while you indulge in your crepe fantasies.
- Lake Chelan Winery BBQ, 3519 SR 150, Chelan. Order the pork ribs. Period. The coleslaw could have a bit more vinegar, but that is a personal taste. Top off the night with strawberry shortcake and you are good to be rolled home. One of the best parts is that the covered restaurant with picnic tables opens onto the lawn and grapevines. Your kids are free to run, play and dance through the hula hoops. Enjoy!
- Fromaggio Bistro, 14 E Wapato Way, Manson. Handcrafted cheeses, lots of locally sources ingredients in their dinner menu, and creamy ice cream and gelato to end your day.
- Local Myth, 122 S Emerson St, Chelan. One of the best spots to eat in town. Fabulous pizza combos and some excellent salads are on the menu.
- Sunset Bar and Grill, 76 Wapato Way, Manson. Average bar food. Stick with the burgers as those are the better part of the menu. Family friendly if you are looking for a pint.
- Riverwalk Inn, 204 E Wapato Avenue, Chelan. Great for a spot of breakfast with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice or for an afternoon ice cream.
- Taco trucks or wagons. If you see one, stop and grab a bite. It is always worth it.
- Grocery stores. Red Apple Market, Bear Foods and Safeway are in Chelan (Red Apple Market is also in Manson), as well as some smaller stop and shop type places. Load up after you check into your hotel so you have snacks and milk ready for hungry kids.
- Rio Vista Wines. A small, intimate winery down on the Columbia river outside of Chelan towards Pateros. Home to award-winning wines on a gorgeous estate you won’t want to miss.
- Vin du Lac. The owner likes to let you linger over your tasting and really find something you love. An attached bistro adds a little more flavor to your experience.
- Lake Chelan Winery. Delicious BBQ starts after 4pm. The kids are free to run around while you enjoy a glass of wine and your meal. Start off with a tasting in their tasting room before moving to dinner or just dive into your meal.
- More Wineries worth a look:
- Tsillan Cellars
- Nefarious Cellars
- Benson Vineyards
- Hard Row to Hoe
- Cairdeas Winery
- Closets airport: Wenatchee
- Train: Amtrak will get you from Seattle or Spokane to Wenatchee
- Car: This is your best option for getting around the area with the kids and certainly out to Lake Chelan from elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
- Bus: LINK Transit can bring you up to Chelan from Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth and a few other towns.
- Bike: Once you arrive you can rent bikes to wander your way through town, into the vineyards and along the lake.
- Chelan Electric Bikes, located in front of the Riverwalk Inn, 204 E Wapato Avenue, Chelan.
- Chelan Evening Farmers Market, 204 E Wapato Avenue, Chelan.
- Echo Valley Ski Area
- Wine tasting (see suggested wineries above)
- Playgrounds at Don Morse Park, Willow Point Park (Manson) and Lakeside Park
- Skateboard Park at Don Morse Park
- Water Slides, jet skiing,
- Ice skating at Town Toyota Center
- Putt Putt Golf at Don Morse Park
- Bowling at Thunder Alley and Chelan Lanes
- Lady of the Lake boat cruise (this can be a long trip for babies and toddlers)