Discovering Washington: Lake Chelan

I have always been in love with my state. Washington has it all. It’s on the coast, there is plenty of access to salt and fresh water, mountains, and trees galore. If you’re tired of the persistent rain mild summer on the Seattle side of the mountains, you can travel to the east side, it’s significantly hotter.

There are some fun towns to visit, from the “Old West” town of Winthrop, to the “Bavarian” town of Leavenworth. We certainly have a variety. But the town my family and I visited most recently was Chelan.

The little town of Chelan is on a lake of the same name. The lake is 52 miles long, and at its deepest, it’s 1486 feet deep. The water is crystal clear glacier water.

Since we can usually count on warmer weather in Chelan, it’s always a nice get-away. Not to mention the fun outdoor activities.Lake ChelanMy family has been going to Lake Chelan every year for about 25 years. Some of the activities have changed over time, but one thing remains the same-a lot of fun in the sun! And now I get to share it with my kiddos!

There are some great boutiques to visit. We like to wander the town and do some shopping at least once while we’re visiting. Since we’ve been taking the kids, we do our shopping when they’re napping (grandma and grandpa babysit). The stores aren’t very conducive for a double stroller or handsy toddlers.

When I was a kid, the only thing I wanted to do was swim. If my parents let me, I would have stayed in the water the entire day (they never did). My kids are no different. They had a fantastic time swimming and playing in the water until they were both wiped out.Swimming There is also a nice sandy beach, perfect for building sand castles.Playing in the sandAs much as my daughter loves playing in the sand, with the heat, the water was much more inviting.

As an adult, I look forward to the wine. There are 28 wineries and tasting rooms in the immediate area. If wine tasting isn’t your thing, it’s still worth it to visit one or two. Most of them have an incredible view.Wine BarrelFor the wine lovers, this is your heaven. There’s something about tasting where the grapes are grown, while chatting with the owner. And as I said, there are 28 places to choose from!Wine chairsSome of them charge a tasting fee ranging from $5-10. About half of them waive the fee if you end up buying a bottle. We usually check the map and try to visit a new place every year.

Not all of the vineyards are family friendly. We went to one on our visit that had a lovely, inviting lawn to run and play. Luckily my husband noticed the tiny yellow signs on the wire fence that said it was electric! Yikes!

On the other hand, we’ve been to plenty in the past that have activities for kids.Hula HoopIf you’re going to go wine tasting with the kiddos, you may want to do a bit of research.Hula HoopThey also have wine tours if you don’t have the kids along and you’re concerned about driving. We always have a designated driver. Not everyone in our party likes wine, but they enjoy the view and hanging out with the wine tasters so they’re willing to drive.

There are plenty of other activities in the town for families. I’m looking forward to when the kids are older and we can visit the water park, Slidewaters. It’s small, but I love it because it’s always a blast and rarely ever crowded (in my experience).

You can also go parasailing (my husband went last year), rent a boat or sea doos, play miniature golf, go fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. And one of my daughter’s favorite things to do is feed the ducks.

You can even make a whole day of it and visit the tiny town of Stehekin. It’s at the opposite end of the lake. The only way in or out is by sea plane or boat. Yes, people live there year round. And no, I’ve never gone. I always think we’re going to, but when it comes down to it, we find something else we want to do. Maybe one day.

So if you’re in Washington and you want to visit our version of wine country, Chelan is the perfect place to go. Or, if you want a beautiful place to relax, soak up the sun with a variety of outdoor activities, Lake Chelan is a fantastic choice!

Does your family go on a yearly vacation? Do you go to the same place, or a different one every year?

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  • Reply Kimberly

    I SO want to visit the PNW! This looks like a great spot to vacation. We usually go to Ogunquit, ME every year for our family vacation. It’s so nice to pass things on to our kids that we enjoyed as a child!

    July 27, 2015 at 7:35 am
    • Reply

      It’s so gorgeous up here! So many fun places to visit with incredible scenery where ever you go. I absolutely agree, its so much fun to pass things on to our kids! We try to visit new places occasionally, but I love going to the same place every year!

      July 27, 2015 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Christine

    So great! We actually did a spring break trip to Lake Chelan with a few friends from BC, Canada many years back! Such a cute little town. We had a blast! Thanks for sharing…brings back memories! xox Christine

    July 27, 2015 at 8:29 am
    • Reply

      How cool you got to visit! Spring break is the perfect time to go!

      July 27, 2015 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Melissa

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit! Love the greenery….we don’t have enough of that in So Cal.

    July 27, 2015 at 10:03 am
    • Reply

      We are really spoiled with the greenery. Sometimes I forget. It really is beautiful!!

      July 27, 2015 at 2:13 pm
  • Reply Christina

    Nice post, looks so relaxing and fun and your little ones are adorbs!

    July 27, 2015 at 10:41 am
    • Reply

      Thank you so much!

      July 27, 2015 at 11:48 am
  • Reply Natasha

    Wow, that looks really lovely! My kids love swimming too and this mommy would love to try those wineries! We don’t go to the same place every year, but we do try to go camping every year.

    July 27, 2015 at 11:20 am
  • Reply Sue Parke

    Wow! This looks lovely! Especially the boutique shopping and wine hehe! I love that view from the Adirondack chairs – I think I’d like to take my wine to that spot! My family has an amazing place on Cape Cod, and we love to go there – but I dropped the ball on telling my aunt in time that I wanted a week this year so we missed out. I’m SO sad, it’s one of my favorite places ever and with summer being so short and having such a big family, we really have to give her a heads up in advance. Hopefully next summer! Ps, LOVE the pics of your kiddo’s! When it’s hot my daughter prefers the water over playing in the sand too!

    July 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm
    • Reply

      All I wanted to do was take a glass of wine and sit in those chairs! They looked perfect! But alas, we were with my parents and the kids… Sorry you missed out on your summer spot this year, that’s so frustrating. I hope you have your spot for next year. Thank you!! I would prefer the water too, lol!

      July 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Alana

    This place sounds so fantastic! I love how it’s in a hotter, dryer part of WA but the lake is glacial. It makes the water so clean. The photos you took are gorgeous!!! We used to take our yearly summer vacation to Birch Bay, WA and then many times go to a friend’s summer home in Watcom for an additional week. Some time in university we started to the Interior of BC where there too are a lot of vineyards, it is dessert-like and has the warmest lake in Canada. Actually the lake is 1/2 in Osoyoos, 1/2 Oroville, WA. Now it’s time to find new vacation spots 🙂

    July 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply Vaishali

    Wow! Looks like you guys had lots of fun!

    July 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm
    • Reply

      We did! It was a blast!

      July 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm
  • Reply CourtneyLynne

    Awwwwww so cute!!! I love pictures of little ones swimming! I don’t know why but those are always the cutest pics lol…

    July 28, 2015 at 6:37 am
    • Reply

      Thank you! They are, aren’t they?

      July 28, 2015 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Shelah

    I may be visiting Washington soon. Lake Chelan looks like a great place to visit.

    July 28, 2015 at 8:33 am
    • Reply

      Really?! Do you know where you’re visiting?

      July 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply

    It looks so peaceful and relaxing!! The scenic background looks amazing! I have never been to WA but this would be the perfect time to go!

    July 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply

      Yes, this is the time of year to go for sure! In a month or two, everything on the East side of the mountains will be covered in snow. It was a great trip, I love it there!

      July 28, 2015 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Mark

    Chelan is a local gem, that’s for sure. We live about an hour away and love to go all the time. Great write-up and beautiful photos! You captured it perfectly!

    August 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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