The lakes of Chelan County are often touted as Washington’s Playground because of the range of sports and beautiful scenery available to visitors.
Visit the charming waterfront towns of Wenatchee and Lake Chelan to enjoy water sports, outdoor activities and lakeside relaxation. The Cascades, a range of mountains that cut through the center of Washington, form the dramatic background to this scenic part of the state.
The history of the area is bound up with the indigenous communities, such as the Wenatchi, that first lived in the area. Follow the historic routes through the mountains, which were first explored by these nomadic cultures. Fur trappers, prospectors and cattlemen later traveled through the area before settling in the mid-19th century.
Explore the historic town of Wenatchee, known by many as the “Apple Capital of the World.” Walk along Main Street, a classically American boulevard, and soak up the old-world atmosphere of the town. Attend the Apple Blossom Festival, an annual spring celebration that dates back to 1919.
For fresh air and adventure, hike or bike through the Wenatchee National Forest. Hit the Apple Capital Loop Trail around the shores of Lake Wenatchee for panoramic mountain views and invigorating road cycling.
Unwind by the shores of Lake Chelan, which stretches for over 50 miles (80 kilometers) through the Cascades. The resort of Chelan, at the southern tip of the lake, offers water sports and boat rides on its shimmering waters.
Sip on local wines in the vineyards around the lake. Several different grape varietals grow in this designated American Viticulture Area (AVA). Sample local wines in one of the many wineries that line the shores of Lake Chelan. For a taste of something different, explore the beer and cider breweries, many of which also offer tours and tasting sessions.
Travel around Wenatchee and Lake Chelan using public transit. City buses run through the mountains, while the towns themselves can be explored on foot. Get to Wenatchee by flying from Seattle to Pangborn Memorial Airport. Visit in winter for skiing and other snow sports or come in summer for sunny days on the lakes.