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What to do in Lake Chelan, WA

I really want to talk about Lake Chelan.

Yes, that is real.
No filters, no editing, no fancy photo programs…. just an old fashioned pano on my crappy iPhone4.

It’s just that beautiful.

I’d never even heard of Chelan, and I’m guessing most of you haven’t either. It’s a crying shame… because everyone in Washington is keeping it to themselves and reaping the benefits!

I also tried to do research ahead of time on what activities were like, what to expect and perhaps… what to pack (more on that later!). I could barely find anything! SO I knew it was my responsibility to do a little write up on this gem.

Chelan is a small town that is situated on… you guessed it… Lake Chelan. The Chelan area is covered with lake homes overlooking the water, with docks out to the lake, and wineries galore! Plus it’s only 3 hours from Seattle!

For my dear Traci’s bachelorette weekend, we loaded up the cars and headed East for 3 wonderful days at the lake. Talk about fun & relaxing! We enjoyed delicious dinners out, lazy mornings sipping coffee on the deck, laying out & drinking wine on the dock, wine tasting, and just enjoying the views. They were abundant.

Some places to check out!

Benson Vineyards
Sweeping views and a beautiful deck to enjoy – – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Wine Pick: Estate Rhythm

Wine tasting at Benson Vineyards – the best view in Chelan!

The people at Karma were SO nice, the wine was my favorite and they have a little zen garden for you to enjoy your tastings in.

With the bride! Right before I spilled red wine on my white shirt! (It came out! YAY!)

Karma Winery – a favorite of mine

Sorrento’s Ristorante/Tsillan Cellars
We had dinner here and it was one of our best decisions. The view was gorgeous & the food was amazing. This is a ‘must do’ for anyone visiting the area.
Food Pick: Eggpant Parmesan 

Sorrento’s view from the parking lot. Gorgeous!

Our view from dinner – amazing, right?

All the girls at Sorrento’s!

Drink Coffee
As adorable as Chelan is, and as close as it is to Seattle…. the coffee game was weak. Opt to stay in and brew your own, because why wouldn’t you when you have a deck like this for the weekend?

Morning coffee on the deck

Sipping coffee with Cait. What a view, huh?

It was incredibly relaxing and I would totally have a lake house there if I lived in Seattle and had an extra $800k to drop. In. A. Heart. Beat.

A few quirks to keep in mind:

  • On your three hour drive, bathrooms are questionable and scarce. Many gas stations only had port-o-potty options…. so we just held it. 
  • The Chelan area is sweeping. We stayed about 30 minutes from town (on the West side of the lake) which wasn’t a huge deal (and was cost effective), but realizing you need olive oil or another bottle of wine can be a challenge. We made at least 1 trip to town a day. Not in any way a down fall, as you’ve got views galore! Just stock up or be prepared for a little road trip 🙂
  • Many of the wineries are in Manson about 30 minutes away from Chelan on the East side of the lake. Because of this 1hr long distance from us, we didn’t make it to Manson. But we heard good things! So keep that in mind when booking a place to stay.
  • Lake houses are easily available to rent through Airbnb, VRBO or  My Chelan Vacation. We used MCV and it was very simple and user friendly. 
  • Make sure your rental is ON the lake! There is very little public access to the lake…. so you’ll want to spend a few extra bucks for a waterfront weekend.
I absolutely LOVED this weekend in Chelan! It would be great for a lover’s get away, girl’s weekend, family trip, group of friends…. anything, really! As long as you like pretty views you’ll fit in just fine.

Have you ever been to Lake Chelan?