Our hotel has been a part of Lake Chelan since we opened our doors to the very first guest. We absolutely love living in Chelan, and we couldn’t imagine a better place to call home. Each year, we feel privileged to introduce a new bunch of people to this beautiful area, and to welcome back those who return year after year with their children and grandchildren.
Over the years, many travelers have asked us for our advice on what to see and do during their stay, so we decided to share our top 10 Lake Chelan activities. They’re in no particular order because, let’s face it, we could never pick favorites.
No. 10: Snowmobiling
We couldn’t compile a list of top 10 things to do in Lake Chelan and not include snowmobiling. During the winter months, Lake Chelan is a breathtaking winter wonderland. Our scenery, combined with our 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, makes us the number one snowmobiling region in Washington State.
Want more information? Here’s a link to the Lake Chelan Snowmobile Club. On their site they have maps of all the trails, plus useful information on the area. If you don’t own your own snowmobile, don’t worry! You can rent them from Echo Valley Snowmobile Rentals.
No. 9: Lakeside Park
If you’re vacationing in Lake Chelan and the weather is nice,
naturally you’re going to want to spend some time on the lakeshore. Lakeside Park is the perfect place to do just that.There’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out, with picnic space and shade, a playground for the kids, and lots of sandy beach. And here’s the best part, the park is adjacent to our hotel! It’s especially convenient if you have children and don’t have a vehicle. We recommend spending at least part of a day relaxing on the shore and taking a swim in the clear blue waters! See what other people have to say about Lakeside Park.
No. 8: The Chelan Experience
So you’re probably wondering what “The Chelan Experience “ is. Well, we would describe it as submersing yourself into the local experience as much as possible. That means eating at our amazing restaurants, shopping at our unique stores, and checking out the fun nightlife. All of our dining options are delicious and we promise there’s something for everyone. The Tin Lilly is a hip new bar and restaurant, serving fresh cocktails with hand-pressed juices, making it a great spot for nightlife. Andante on the other hand is an intimate, romantic fine dining establishment serving authentic Italian cuisine. So no matter what mood you’re in, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your appetite. You can find out more about Lake Chelan restaurants on our Dining Page.
The boutique shops, cafes, and “mom & pop” stores that line downtown Chelan are just as diverse. You can find unique treasures everywhere you look – you just need to start exploring!
The beauty of Lake Chelan stems from the pristine scenery, and there’s no better way to take it all in than a hike around the area. For some of you, the idea of a hike might be too daunting. But not to worry! There are trails for all ability levels. From easy paved walking paths to rugged treks that ascend mountain peaks, there are hundreds of miles of trails to be explored. If you’re serious about planning your hikes, visit the Washington Trails Association website. There, they have a ton of amazing resources, including “My Backpack,” which allows you to plan trips, save hikes, and more. You can also find a map and list of trails here.
No. 6: Lady of the Lake Tour
You simply cannot visit Lake Chelan and not go out on the lake. We realize not everyone owns a boat, and renting one might be a little intimidating. The Lady of the Lake solves that problem.
Lady of the Lake is your chance to experience the headwaters of Lake Chelan. Each day, the Lady of the Lake departs from Chelan and takes you on a grand adventure. Depending on what boat you take, you can ride all the way to the remote village of Stehekin, which is only accessible by boat, seaplane, or by hiking in. There are half day or full-day options, all of which return to Chelan later the same day. It’s a wonderful activity for all ages!
You can find schedule info, reserve tickets, and more at the Lady of the Lake website.
No. 5: Visit Stehekin
The remote beauty of the North Cascades is a draw for many travelers, and there’s no better place to experience it than at Stehekin. A remote village located on the very northeast edge of Lake Chelan, Stehekin is only accessible by boat, seaplane, or on foot. If you’re looking to “rough it” overnight or for a few days, there are campsites and rustic cabins available. More information on lodging at Stehekin can be found at Stehekin.com. If roughing it isn’t really your thing but you’d still like to visit, your best bet is to take the Lady of the Lake ferry. The ferry makes daily trips to Stehekin, docking for about 3 hours. Be warned though – once you see how beautiful the area is, three hours might not feel like enough time to take it all in. Activities at Stehekin include horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, and river rafting. Info on all of the activities at Stehekin can also be found at Stehekin.com.
No.4: Golf Lake Chelan
Golfing in Lake Chelan is an experience you won’t get anywhere else. Our local courses have spectacular views that will leave you saying, “just one more round.” The shining gem is the upscale Bear Mountain Ranch Golf Course, which PGA professionals have rated as one of the top 6 new golf courses in the US. If lush fairways, bent grass greens, and breathtaking panoramic views sound good to you, than Bear Mountain Ranch is the golf destination of your dreams. This course is open from April to October, and anytime of the season is the perfect time to tee off.
If you’re looking to catch a quick round or two and don’t need all the upscale amenities, than the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course is a great choice. This course also gives way to incredible views and has been a favorite of golfers of all skill levels.
You can read more about our area golf courses on our comprehensive Golf Page. There you will find more information about each course and their distances from our hotel.
No. 3: Bike Tours
Looking for a unique way to experience Lake Chelan? How about a bike ride? But it’s not just any ordinary bike ride when you go on a tour with Chelan Electric Bike and Trikke Tours! They are a favorite among many travelers and are even rated “The Number One Thing To Do” in Lake Chelan on Trip Advisor. They have many different tour options, including full-day guided tours into the Columbia Gorge, winery tours, and even just hourly rentals. And since the bikes are electric, this is an excellent option for everyone in your family or group! You won’t have to worry about breaking a sweat or needing CPR. They even have bike trailers for kids! Next time you’re in Lake Chelan, tour with M.E.R.V.! Get all the details on tours and rates on their website.
No. 2: Wine Valley Tours
Whether you tour by electric bike, by car, or on foot, you must take the chance to visit at least a couple of our amazing wineries and vineyards. The Lake Chelan Wine Valley is home to 20 wineries, each one with something different to offer. The “wine season” typically starts in April, with the first big event being Chelan Nouveau the last two weekends of the month (there are some wine events as early as February). The busy season extends all the way through October when summer turns to fall and the leaves start to turn. The Lake Chelan Crush is a very popular event and people come from all around to experience the wine country harvest season. You can join in all the fun and help stomp the grapes that will become your favorite wines.
No.1: Lake Chelan
We decided to save the best for last. The number 1 thing to do in Lake Chelan is experience the lake itself, whether that means fishing, boating, or sitting on the shore watching the gorgeous sunsets. If you want a list of all the fun water sports in our area, visit our Summer Activities Page! We think Lake Chelan is a pretty special lake and its beauty is unmatched. Not only is it the biggest natural lake in Washington State, but it’s also the 26th deepest lake in the world. Year after year, its glimmering waters draw thousands of people to our unique part of the North Cascades, and year after year they return to enjoy its majesty once more.
We hope that our Top 10 Things to Do in Lake Chelan gave you some fun vacation ideas and inspired you to come visit us soon. We can’t wait to see you on the shores of Lake Chelan, where instantly you’ll know you’re someplace special.
Ready to experience Lake Chelan firsthand? Book now!
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