The state of Washington is no longer locked down and everyone is travelling again, so we decided to adventure and visit a place we have never visited before:
Lake Chelan Washington!
It is a bit of a long drive from the Seattle area, but it is a relaxing and comfortable drive through the Cascade mountains.
It is not very green, due to a draught and hot weather, but still very scenic. We were so tempted to try hiking on some of the nearby hills (mountains), but with the hot sun and 100 degree weather, it does not seem logistically possible to carry enough water to support a multi-hour hike to those elevations.
Chelan has an old town kind of atmosphere with accordingly styled stores, restaurants and things to do. Numerous parks, not too crowded and lo
We rented an AirBnB condo. You must book months in advance now. It is pretty much 100% booked for the entire summer now. If you do not want to be right on the lake, you can get some decent deals and still only be a 10 minute from the parks and many attractions.
You can even play mini golf downtown or ride go karts.
Be warned, you will not see or find anyone wearing a mask. You will almost feel like there was never a pandemic or a need to wear a mask in this town. Maybe 1% of the people working inside or stores wear masks.
So, what did we do on day 1? Rented a boat, spent the day cruising around the lake, checking out some of the mansions and even perform a little tubing in the calm waters. Enjoyed a nice mini picnic on the water with some treats from the local Safeway. We rented a nice boat from Shoreline which is a very convenient and great choice for visitors.
Let’s see – eating recommendations. Everyone in town seems to like the Drive In burger place. We walked up and that is OK too. Great burgers, onion rings and they even make a better shake that Shake Shack!
I have to admit, I am not sure I have ever bene to a water park since I was in Navy bootcamp in Orlando many years ago and a water park was our liberty day after 4-6 weeks. I have to admit Slidewaters in Chelan is a really fun place for families.
It is not huge, but it is well run and not very expensive. Great place to have a picnic if you get in early and find a shade spot.
but be ready, it will get very packed quickly and not a bare piece of grass will be found by the late afternoon as towels breed and multiply faster than rabbits.
The major downside of the park is the Grill. The natural park “grub” is not healthy, but aligned with the standard fare for recreation facilities. The major disappointment is you will likely need to stand in line in the hot sun for 30+ minutes just to buy a hamburger.
One of the highlights some talk about in the area are the wineries and vineyards. We decided to check one out that was on the south side of the lake known as Lake Chelan winery. They definately have some older vines and have good online reviews.
The real highlight was the evening BBQ they host Sun-Thur. Delicious with a great outdoor menu and lots of side choices. It provides a great excuse to try out some of the wines and enjoy the festive and family atmosphere. Highly recommended.
The vineyard also provides a very family friendly atmosphere which lends to its popularity.
Now, what did I do every morning while in the area?
Last, but not least, yes, I went running around parts of the lake. How could I not? It is a great place to run early in the morning when it is 30 degrees cooler and almost no traffic on the roads.
One element that is unique to Chelan – all runners wave hi when passing each other. Very friendly. None are wearing masks though.
Running around the world is always fun. Some of my other favorite spots: