A Fall Weekend in Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan is a popular summer destination for fun in the sun and water activities on the gorgeous 50-mile-long lake. But for anyone seeking a change of pace with less people, more affordable accommodations and beautiful foliage, fall is the perfect time for a weekend getaway! 

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Where to Stay

For this trip, we stayed at Campbell’s Resort. The room was clean and comfortable with a great view of the lake. In the past, we’ve stayed many times at Grandview on the Lake and always had a great experience. Both of these places are conveniently located within walking distance of downtown and centrally located to explore wineries on both sides of the lake.

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Outdoor Activities

Before diving into a weekend full of food and wine, we wanted to get some exercise and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Since we were coming from the Seattle area, Cashmere Canyons Preserve made for a great option to break up our drive. It’s located just over two hours from Seattle and about 50 minutes from Lake Chelan. 

There are plenty of other options for hiking even closer to Lake Chelan, including Little Bear Trail at Lake Chelan State Park, Chelan Butte and the trails at Echo Ridge. There’s also a one-mile scenic loop trail at Riverwalk Park, located right downtown.

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Where to Eat and Drink - Day One

Lake Chelan is home to more than 30 wineries, so there’s no shortage of new places to try whether you’re visiting for the first time or return time and time again (like us!). Most places currently require reservations, so you’ll definitely want to plan ahead for that. 

For our first day, we hopped around the south side of the lake. Our first stop was Tunnel Hill Winery, which feels cozy and welcoming with their stone buildings and patio. They currently have a tent, heaters and fire pits set up, which kept us toasty warm as we enjoyed our tasting. They welcome children and dogs, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful with tons of local recommendations!

Our next stop was Mellisoni, located just one minute down the road. They also had outdoor heaters and fire pits, and one of the best views of the lake. They have very limited hours, currently only open from 2-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday. 

Our last stop of the day was Siren Song Vineyard Estate and Winery. Our main mission was food, but they also serve incredible wine, of course! What they lack in intimacy, they certainly make up for with an absolutely stunning property and views. We find ourselves coming back here over and over because you truly feel transported straight to an Italian villa! We tried their new Harvest Pizza and loved every last bite.

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA
A fall weekend in Chelan, WA
A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Where to Eat and Drink - Day Two

We started day two with breakfast at Kave Rosters & Bakery. Located just a few minutes from downtown, they offer fresh, small-batch roasted coffee and delicious baked goods in a cozy setting. We just so happened to catch the first day that “Sunday Waffles” returned and enjoyed a tasty pumpkin waffle with whipped cream and candied pecans. Pair it with a maple cream cold brew, and it doesn’t get much more “fall” than that!

After breakfast, we headed to Manson (on the north side of the lake) to visit a few new places. Our first stop was Chelan Valley Farms, which offers a little something for everyone plus a gorgeous view out over Roses Lake. We immediately felt welcomed by the owners, Jeana and Chad, who are clearly passionate about agritourism and the experience they cultivate for their guests. Depending on the season, you can enjoy their u-pick flower garden, apple picking or pumpkin patch, plus wine tasting and a beautiful guest house available for overnight stays.

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA
A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Our next stop was Rootwood Cider Company, which brought a welcomed change after so much wine. We were able to reserve a covered table with a built-in fire pit. I enjoyed the hot spiced cider while my husband sampled three of their offerings in a flight. They previously had a downtown tasting room but relocated out to their orchard site to have more room for outdoor seating during the pandemic. Although we never visited their old location, I have to believe it was a good move! The setting was beautiful and relaxing with plenty of space.

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA
A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

For lunch, we picked up an incredible Cuban sandwich from Smoke on the Water BBQ located in downtown Manson. They are currently doing takeout only, but it worked out perfect because our next stop, Succession Wines, allows you to bring in outside food! We love this friendly winery for its large outdoor patio with views out over the vineyard and lake. We also enjoyed some live music during our visit. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon and cap to our weekend getaway!

A fall weekend in Chelan, WA
A fall weekend in Chelan, WA

Looking for even more suggestions? The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce has you covered. With endless wine, water and surrounding mountains, you’re sure to have an incredible time no matter when you visit!

 

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