Whether you want a weekend with the boys or a girls’ getaway, Lake Chelan offers summertime treats far beyond just ample sunshine and sparkling blue water—although there is plenty of that, of course. Gather up your closest guy friends or gal pals and head east for abundant outdoor recreation, charming shopping districts, fun tasting rooms and much more. Mix and match the suggestions below, or choose to chart your own course.
ALL: Check in to your accommodations. The Lake Chelan area boasts a variety of house rentals, condos, hotels and cabins—visit lakechelan.com/where-to-stay for ideas on the best sleeping spots for your group.
GUYS: You’ll be hungry (and thirsty) by the time you arrive. Take care of both—and the need to relax after a car ride—at Lake Chelan Winery. Summer brings along with it BBQ in the Vineyard, a relaxing afternoon and evening of homemade barbecue (think baby back ribs, smoked turkey legs and cornbread) with an accompanying glass of wine.
GIRLS: Stop by Firehouse 5 in Manson for a wine slushy—a delicious blend of wine and fresh fruit. After, decompress at The Vogue, a laid-back coffeehouse/wine bar that features live music from local talent on the weekends.
ALL: All aboard Lady of the Lake’s Lady Express for an excursion to Stehekin, a small community with about 80 residents. Before you go, you might wonder why anyone would choose to live somewhere so remote that it can only be accessed by ferry, floatplane, or hiking over mountains (to get groceries, residents send a blank check and a list to a store in Chelan), but one look at the beauty of the area will put that curiosity to rest.
If you’re just staying for the day, you’ll have three hours to explore (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) before you have to catch the Lady of the Lake II back. Get the Day Tripper Special from Discovery Bikes and two-wheel your way around for three hours, being sure not to miss Rainbow Falls, the one-room schoolhouse, and the Stehekin Pastry Company, renowned for its giant cinnamon rolls.
GUYS: Once you’re back, go for a casual dinner at Orchard Wood Ovens for pizzas loaded with fresh, local ingredients—varieties include Classic Pepperoni, Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions, and Mushroom. Top it off with a house-made dessert. You never know what it will be, but it’s guaranteed to be good.
GIRLS: Have a nice meal at Sorrento’s Ristorante, part of Tsillan Cellars, where the views are fantastic, with service to match. Nosh on Italian dishes like Gnocchi Pomodoro, Chicken Marsala and Clams Italiano, which all pair beautifully with one of the wines from the tasting room next door.
GUYS: Wake up by hitting the links at the all-new (opening in early August) Gamble Sands in Brewster. The highly anticipated course was designed by Scottish architect David McLay Kidd, whose résumé also includes Bandon Dunes in Oregon. The back-to-basics layout doesn’t offer any bells and whistles—just wide fairways, a stunning setting and the game of golf at its purest.
On your way home, swing by the Lakeview Drive In, a local institution since 1957. A burger with a view, cherry milkshake and bucket of legendary crinkle-cut fries with special seasoning will give you the sustenance you need to make the drive back. For a souvenir, buy a bottle of Mack’s Seasoning Salt to remember the trip by—you can use it on French fries, chicken, onion rings, salads, popcorn and more.
GIRLS: By Sunday, you’ll be hooked on the fresh produce from this part of the state. So this morning, drop in at Blueberry Hills in Manson, where you can accomplish two goals in one trip: picking your own blueberries, raspberries and strawberries at the u-pick farm, and having a filling breakfast. With options such as Coconut Créme Waffles and The Best Eggs Benedict Known to Mankind, choosing what to order isn’t easy, but pushing through the decision-making process is worth it.
After a bit of shopping in downtown Chelan (there are lots of options along Woodin Avenue), grab a leisurely lunch of gluten-free crepes at Bear Foods Natural Market & Café Creperie. Don’t forget to pick up some artisan, organic chocolate for the car ride home.
ALL: Discuss plans to make this a yearly affair!
If you go
Bear Foods Natural Market & Café Creperie
125 E. Woodin Ave.
Blueberry Hills Farms
1315 Washington St., Manson
135 Wapato Way, Manson
200 Sands Trail Road
Lady of the Lake
1418 W. Woodin Ave.
Lake Chelan Winery
3519 Highway 150
Lakeview Drive In
323 W. Manson Highway
Orchard Wood Ovens
70 Wapato Way, Manson
3875 US Highway 97A
Stehekin Pastry Company
117 E. Woodin Ave.