Located approximately 3.5 hours from Seattle, Lake Chelan is the perfect driving distance for an extended weekend getaway. With a proclivity for 300 days of sun, an array of outdoor activities and over 30 wineries hugging the shores of the beautiful blue-green water, this family destination offers a little something for everyone. If you’re ready to escape the city and head east for the weekend, we’ve got the deets on where to stay, play and eat in Lake Chelan.

photo: Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce

Where to Stay

Lake Chelan, and next door Manson, have a variety of rental properties, campsites, hotels and lodges to set up your relaxation headquarters. Here are a few of our favorite spots:

Wapato Point 
Located in Mason, just a short drive from downtown Lake Chelan, Wapato Point sits on 116 acres and 1.5 miles of waterfront. Large sandy beaches coupled with outdoor activities galore (think: biking, swimming, boating, fishing, putt putt golf, tennis, walking trails) and accommodations that range from studios and one bedrooms to two and three bedroom condominiums, make this resort the perfect place for families.

photo: Kristina Moy

The property boasts eight outdoor pools for seasonal use and one indoor Olympic pool facility, complete with a workout area, a hot tub and a shallow wading pool, so your little water bugs can get their aquatic fix on no matter what the weather. Each week, the Point offers a host of family activities that range from free to a couple of bucks. Purchase a weekly family pass for $95 (good for 6 people) and enjoy daily DIY arts and crafts, games, s’mores by the campfire and more from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. If you don’t feel like schlepping your bikes and sports equipment, the Kiosk (open daily starting at 10 a.m.) offers bike, tennis, pickleball, basketball, volleyball and horeseshoe rentals along with a range of non-motorized water craft rentals including kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and pedal boats; jet skis can be rented from Shoreline Rentals, conveniently located on the property.

Wapato Point
1 Wapato Point Way
Manson, Wa 98831
Reservations: 888-768-9511
Online: wapatopoint.com

Mountain View Lodge
Also centrally located in the heart of Manson, Mountain View Lodge is as the name indicates. The boutique-style lodge comes complete with a glorious view of the mountains and a peek-a-boo view of the lake and is within walking distance to a multitude of wineries, restaurants and shops and offers plenty of kid-friendly amenities.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

On top of having an outdoor pool and year-round hot tub, Mountain View Lodge has an outdoor kitchen and grilling area with fire pit (save room for evening s’mores fests), a grassy area for outdoor games (badminton net included) and movie nights in the lobby. Pets are always welcome and you will likely be greeted by Buddy, the Lodge’s resident four-legged ambassador upon check-in.

Mountain View Lodge
25 Wapato Point Pkwy.
Manson, Wa 98831
Online: mvlresort.com

Darnell’s Lake Resort
This waterfront location features plenty of beach front fun for the whole family. Relax on the shores of Lake Chelan as your tots immerse themselves in aquatic adventure and comb the sand for the perfect castle locale. Once you arrive, you may easily forget that there is more of Chelan to explore! Complete with outdoor barbecues, a kid’s play area, ping-pong, horseshoes, outdoor heated pool and even a 9-hole putting course. this is a great place to kick off your shoes and get busy relaxing.

photo: Libby K. via Yelp

Darnell’s Lake Resort
901 Spader Bay Rd.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: darnellsresort.com

Lake Chelan State Park
If pitching a tent is more your style, check out Lake Chelan State Park. Set up camp here and enjoy the pristine waters and fresh Chelan air. With 6,000 feet of shoreline, your beachcombers will have lots of room to explore and play. And with a boat ramp and dock you can bring your watercraft and have easy access to on-the-water fun. Forget something? This campground also has a concession stand that offers groceries as well as candy, snacks and prepared food. However, keep in mind that with only 109 tent spaces this campground fills up quickly, so make sure to reserve your spot well in advance.

Lake Chelan State Park
7544 Lakeshoe Rd.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: parks.state.wa.us/531/Lake-Chelan

photo: Jeff F. via Yelp

Other properties we highly recommend include Campbell’s Resort in the heart of Lake Chelan and Lake Chelan Shores on the North Shore of the lake. Got a big group? Grab a few other families and rent a lakefront house.

Where to Play

Located on the Chelan butte overlooking the lake, Slidewaters is one of the Northwest’s largest (and most popular) water slide parks. And with attractions for every age and stage, we guarantee everyone in your family will find something to enjoy. Kids and parents will love the 500-foot Lazy River, the Bug-a-Boo (a beginner slide for all ages), the Tube Blaster (for single or double tube riders at least 48 inches tall) and the Purple Haze (a dark covered tube for thrill seekers).

photo: Kenna Konoske

For a little friendly competition, head over to the Downhill Racer where you will find three lanes of racing fun. This trio-of-slides will allow you to throw down the water gauntlet and challenge your friends and family as you race, head first, on this mat slide. Slide your way into victory for bragging rights. For a more tame adventure, take the lil’ ones to the Aqua Zoo, where they will love splashing around in the fountains and climbing on the water toys. Or head over to the 60 person flower shaped hot tub for some R&R. Psst… save money on admission by visiting the park after 4 p.m.

102 Waterslide Dr.
Lake Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: slidewaterswaterpark.com

Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
Cost: $18 to $23 (under 3 Free); PM Plunge $13 to $18 (under 3 Free). Don’t forget the swim diaper!

Lady of the Lake
If you want to explore all of Lake Chelan, hop aboard the Lady of the Lake for a day trip (or overnight adventure) where you can take in spectacular mountain and lake views and enjoy unplugged serenity. This 55-mile journey brings you to the head of Lake Chelan, known as Stehekin Valley; which is only reachable by boat, seaplane or a 50-mile hike. The Lady of the Lake offers two boats: The Lady of the Lake II (a 4 hour, one way trip) or The Lady Express (a 2 hour one way trip); keep this in mind when booking so you can plan accordingly.

With only 95 full-time residents, Stehekin is praised for its blue-green, glacier fed waters and nearly untouched natural surroundings. One of the biggest draws of this locale is the 312-foot waterfall known as Rainbow Falls. Hop aboard the Rainbow Falls Bus Tour where a heritage style red bus will take you to the falls and narrate historical points along the way. The tour includes a stop at the one-room schoolhouse (a historical landmark) and the Stehekin Pastry Co. where you can indulge in one of their famous cinnamon rolls.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Good to Know: There is a snack bar on board the boat, but you can also bring food with you. Before you board, hit up the Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery and snag a couple of lunch sacks to help ease grumbling tummies on the trip. If you have tots in tow, there’s not a lot to do on the boat, so make sure to pack plenty of activities to keep them occupied; puzzles, coloring books and a laptop with movies are always good for the trip.

Lady of the Lake
1418 W. Woodin Ave.
Lake Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: ladyofthelake.com

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (summer); 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (late fall and winter)
Cost: $40.50-$61 per person; ages 2-11 are half fare; under 2 Free

Rainbow Falls Bus Tour
Online: lodgeatstehekin.com/plan_your_trip/stehekin-activities/ride-the-red-bus

Cost: $10/Adults; $5/Kids; Under 5 Free

Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery
246 W. Manson Hwy.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: lakechelanbakery.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Chelan Lanes
With 300 days of sunshine, you are bound to encounter hot days while visiting Lake Chelan. If you need to cool off, head indoors for some air-conditioned fun at Chelan Lanes. Show off your 10-pin skills, or use the kid-friendly bumpers for maximum family fun. If you want to break out your best dance moves as well, visit Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. to enjoy Thunder Alley Cosmic Bowling. Complete with wall to wall surround sound and dancing lights, cosmic bowling increases the enjoyment level and the ambiance will ensure that all levels of bowlers (and dancers) have a great time.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Chelan Lanes
518 W. Manson Rd.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: chelanlanes.com

Hours: Open Bowling Mon.-Wed., 1 p.m.-6 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Thurs., 1 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Cosmic Bowling Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: $3/shoe rental (remember your socks!); regular bowling $4/game per person; Thunder
Alley Cosmic Bowling, $5/game per person or $75 per lane for two hours

Rally Alley Go-Karts
Ready, set, go! If you’ve got a future race car driver, be sure to check out this fun activity in downtown Lake Chelan. The kidney-shaped race track of Rally Alley allows your mini-Andretti to race in single or double seated cars while onlookers cheer him on.

photo: Kristina Moy

Rally Alley Go-Karts
Located next to the Putting Course at Don Morse Park
135 E. Johnson
Lake Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: rallyalleychelan.com

Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: Single Kart $7 (must be 52” tall to drive); Double Kart $8 (must be 16 yr. old to drive)

Blueberry Hills
A trip to Lake Chelan wouldn’t be complete without visiting Blueberry Hills—a small, family owned and operated U-pick berry farm and restaurant. For a U-pick adventure, head out to the blueberry field and pick berries until they turn your fingertips purple. At $2.50 a pound, you should be able to gather enough blueberries to snack on and even more to bring home; post vacation. In addition to blueberries (available July through mid-August), you can pick strawberries and raspberries June through late fall and blackberries August though October. Psst… If you don’t have the time (or the energy) to hit the fields, Blueberry Hills does sell pre-picked berries by the pound at their fruit stand.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Once you’ve had your fill of the fields, head inside to the restaurant for a good old-fashioned home cooked meal. Here you will find eclectic decor to feast your eyes and food to feast your belly. Enjoy a hearty breakfast such as the Pepe’ Scramble, Cowboy Breakfast or a smiley face waffle for your mini foodie. Enjoy homemade soups, sandwiches, burger, pies, muffins and even ice cream. The restaurant is extremely popular (especially on weekends), so if you want to avoid a line out the door, head here early. However, if there is a line, rest easy; the line moves fast and there is plenty of seating; including an outdoor covered deck overlooking the blueberry fields. Psst… while you are waiting, let your kids explore the hidden play space under the stairs; it’s packed with toys, books and plenty of fun.

Good to know: Blueberry Hills is known for their Breakfast Blintz (pictured below); a sweet crepe filled with a blend of ricotta and cream cheese and topped with warm blueberry or peach (or both) pie filling and whipped cream. Although it is large enough to share, you likely will want to keep this tasty treat all to yourself.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Blueberry Hills
1315 Washington St.
Manson, Wa 98831
Online: wildaboutberries.com

Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. during the summer; check online for off season hours
Cost: $2.50-$4/pound for berries, $7.95-$14.95 for restaurant menu items

Where to Eat

Wapato Point Cellars
Lake Chelan prides itself in being home to some of the regions best wineries. In an effort to combine the family atmosphere of the region and to showcase the bountiful local vineyards; many of the wineries have made a conscious effort to be family friendly. One of the best examples of this is Wapato Point Cellars. Settle outside on an Adirondack deck chair that overlooks an acre of luscious green grass complete with a playground for the kiddos. Sip a glass of wine and enjoy appetizers while watching the kids play badminton or take a spin on the merry-go-round. Stick around to have dinner at the Winemaker’s Grill and enjoy the house favorite Chicken Piccata or Steak Skewers with goat cheese and bacon. Plus, everyone in your crew can enjoy evening entertainment, starting nightly at 5 p.m., where local musicians fill the evening air with sounds of music.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Wapato Point Cellars
200 S. Quetilquasoon Rd.
Manson, Wa 98831
Online: wapatopointcellars.com

Hours: Winery open daily at noon; appetizers available in the Tasting Room from noon-5 p.m.; Winemaker’s Grill opens at 5 p.m.

Lakeview Drive In
In the heart of downtown Chelan you will find Lakeview Drive In, a local landmark serving mouthwatering burgers and fries to residents and tourists since 1957. Stop here to curb your appetite while you enjoy a view of Lake Chelan from its outdoor tables. Order your french fries by the bucket (seriously, they come in a bucket!). These fries are the local favorite and come with homemade Mack’s Seasoning Salt; and remember, don’t skip the fry sauce! Finish your meal with a milkshake and a stroll along the beachfront.

Good to knowYou can purchase Lakeview’s famous Original Mack’s Seasoning Salt (used on the fries), so you can attempt to recreate the deliciousness at home. $3.50 for 5.5oz bottle.

photo: Rachel D. via Yelp

Lakeview Drive In
323 W. Manson Hwy.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: lakeviewdrivein.com

Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Marcela’s Cocina Mexicana
If you and your crew are in the mood for authentic Mexican food, make your way to downtown Chelan to dine at Marcela’s Cocina Mexicana. Serving family recipes, homemade tortillas and some seriously delicious margaritas, you will find any decision you make a good one. For a little spice, try the Pineapple-Jalepeno Margarita or an Acapulco burrito with habanero sauce. If you are feeling like the meals and ambiance seem a tad familiar, it could be because Marcela’s mom owns and operates Rosita’s Mexican Grill in Green Lake. One thing is for certain, this family knows how to serve up a delicious meal on both sides of the Cascades.

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Marcela’s Cocina Mexicana
119 E. Woodin Ave.
Chelan, Wa 98816
Online: facebook.com/marcelascocinamexicana

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.


Lake Chelan, and neighboring Manson, host a number of fun, family festivals throughout the year. Here are some of our favorites:

photo: Kristina Moy

Manson Apple Blossom Festival & Parade: Second Saturday in May
Spring Barrel Tasting: Third weekend in May
Lake Chelan Memorial Day Parade: May 25, 2017
Cruizin Chelan Kickoff Party: June 2-3, 2017
Chelan 4th of July Fireworks Show: July 4, 2017
Manson Fireworks: July 4, 2017
Chelan Man Triathlon: July 15-16, 2017
Lake Chelan Rodeo Parade: Aug. 3, 2017
Lake Chelan Rodeo: Aug. 4-5, 2017
Slam N’ Jam Basketball Tournament: Aug. 19-20, 2017
Lake Chelan Creative Arts Festival: Aug. 19-20, 2017
Fall Car Show: Sept. 8-9, 2017
Mahogany & Merlot: Oct. 7-8, 2017
Skyfest: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017
Harvest Festival: Oct. 2017 (dates TBD)
Fall Barrel Tasting: Nov. 24-26, 2017
Manson’s Winter Festival & Village of Lights: Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2017
Lake Chelan Winterfest: Jan. 2018 (dates TBD)
Red Wine & Chocolate: Second & Third weekends of Feb. 2018

For more information about Lake Chelan, visit the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce or call 800-424-3526 or 509-682-3503.

Has your family visited Lake Chelan? Planning to visit this summer? Where are your favorite places to stay, play and eat? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Kristina Moy & Jenifer Castillo

A portion of this trip was paid for by the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writers.

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