50 miles of sun: Lake Chelan

My parents came to visit which was a perfect excuse to take a trip to Lake Chelan!

Fortunately for me, I got to check off two cities on my ‘places to visit’ list, Wenatchee and Lake Chelan!

We took the I-90 route to Chelan, then the windy, twisty 97 to Wenatchee, before hitting Chelan. Phew — I was impressed at the amount of trucks on the scenic 97! That’s a tough route, I would imagine.

As we picked up on US 2, we drove past two of my favoritely-named cities, Peshastin & Cashmere, home to more apples! Sadly, I was too excited to get to Wenatchee to stop and tour, but I’ll be back at least for a hike at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park!

Lucky for me, we arrived in Wenatchee around lunchtime. I don’t know what I was expecting for the ‘Apple capital of the world,’ but it wasn’t what I saw: I was disappointed especially in the historic section of the town, looking just like any ordinary city. Maybe it’s because I didn’t prepare much — just pulled off the highway and followed the signs. After walking up and down the street, we settled on Lemolo Cafe & Deli, a small but eclectically-decorated cafe. They serve watermelonade! In the apple capital! So of course I placed my order, and it was delicious! A perfect blend of a refreshing, without the tartness of full lemonade.

We spent the week in town, staying at the Park Pointe Condos just under a mile away from downtown. It’s a great location within walking distance of the beach! Because tourist season hadn’t really started yet, it was a perfect time to visit without all the crowds at the beach. The only downside, I learned, was that the water is still extremely cold. (Plug for the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce: if you don’t know what to do, or where to go around town, make a stop. The volunteers are really friendly and the displays are extremely well done!)

The next day, we did the roughly one mile river walk, over the two bridges that cross the Chelan River. It’s an easy walk, and it was nice to see people out and about on their daily walks or runs!

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After that, we piled in the car to tour around Manson, waiting patiently at the one-way traffic brought on by construction to repair the roadway. We ended up at a local waterfront park tucked into a residential neighborhood and down a very steep hill! After lunch at the Lake Chelan Brewery (while I tried their brews, I settled on a Rootwood Cider, as they were closed for the day. Following our delicious meals (in case you’re wondering, I had buffalo chicken sliders on the back deck), we drove around the back roads and through the apple orchards, trying to find lake access to Wapato, Rose and Dry lakes, but no such luck.

Determined to get some quality beach time in, I spent some time reading by the lake shore, where kids had no problem braving the cold temperatures to swim to the floating dock to play. In an attempt to make sure I could say I swam in Lake Chelan, I dove right in — and let me tell you, that’s the best way to get into the cold water! I could only say I swam a few seconds before fleeing back to the warmth of the sun! Once warm again, I cooled off with a root beer float (more ice cream than root beer!) at the popular Lakeview Drive in. I’m not sure who thought the food was better: the humans or the ducks, calling out, trying to get customers to relinquish a fry or two!


I dragged my mom to Chelan Falls because who doesn’t like a town named after a waterfall? Well, unfortunately, the falls are not easily accessible unless you work for the power company, and the town has seen much better days. We took a walk at the river park, said ‘hello’ once again to the Columbia River, and headed on back.

On our way though, we spotted the Beebe Natural Area, which I visited a little later in the week. The trails were a bit overgrown, so I didn’t explore too much, but it was cool to feel like I was on top of the mountain, without having to hike very far!


The adventure to Stehekin is up next!




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