5 must-do adventures this holiday season in Lake Chelan

Nov 11, 2015, 8:40 AM | Updated: Apr 26, 2016, 9:55 am


SPONSORED — As summer’s long, sunny days make way for Seattle’s cool autumn temperatures, you might be gearing up for a season spent zipping up rain coats and dodging street puddles.
Before you break out your umbrella and galoshes, check out the plethora of activities Lake Chelan has to offer this fall.

This charming valley, home to the communities of Chelan, Manson and Stehekin, is situated on the other side of the Cascade Mountains and is the perfect locale for an autumn adventure. Find out how Washington’s favorite summer getaway town spends the cooler months.

Fall barrel tasting

If a good glass of vino tops your list of vacation must-haves, Lake Chelan won’t disappoint. Lake Chelan’s Fall Barrel Tasting is an opportunity to give thanks in Wine Country. The annual barrel tasting event is Thanksgiving weekend. Taste warming reds right from the barrel and linger over a sample of what could be the next, double-gold winner at future wine competitions.

In a region home to more than 25 wineries and more than 200 acres of wine grapes, you’re sure to find a vintage that tickles your palate. That said, grapes aren’t the only fruit on the table (or in the glass). Lake Chelan’s rich agricultural soils produce famous Washington apples and other fruits in abundance each fall. According to the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Chelan Valley boasts 9,000 to 10,000 acres dedicated to apple and other fruit trees

Small town Christmas on Main Street

There’s something charming about a small town, and Lake Chelan has worked to maintain that historic, slice of America feel. In fact, downtown Chelan received the National Main Street Accreditation, which recognizes towns that “meet the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center”. Alive with quaint shops, historic buildings and eclectic restaurants, you’ll enjoy downtown Chelan’s cool vibe and scenic lake views.

During the holiday season, all the businesses get in the spirit. Decking out their store fronts and offering seasonal specials, there are all kinds of activities for the kids.

Manson’s Village of Lights

Not to be outdone, the charming village of Manson sits on the north shore of Lake Chelan, just seven miles from the lake’s namesake town.

Manson’s Village of Lights Festival kicks off on Saturday, November 28th with the arrival of Santa in Leffler Field via helicopter. An escort from the Manson Fire Department will allow everyone to join Santa in a walking parade down Wapato Way to Allisons for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and take holiday pictures.

You will find a ginormous 9 foot sleigh and two 15 foot reindeer standing tall in Leffler Field as well as other fun colorfully painted scenes throughout downtown Manson for additional photo opportunities to share with family and friends.

Many of the local businesses will be offering complimentary refreshments and specials each Saturday (11/28-12/19) during the entire season. The young and young at heart won’t want to miss the puppet show, craft making activities, caroling and more. It is sure to be a fun filled holiday for all.

Hit the water

Don’t let the cooler fall temperatures scare you away from enjoying what makes the Lake Chelan Valley tick – the beautiful, 50-mile long body of water that boasts the title of Washington State’s largest natural lake.

“Although the water temperatures are a bit cooler in the fall, you can still head out on a boat, take the Lady of the Lake up to Stehekin, or just enjoy the view from your vacation home or hotel room,” said Lacey Lybecker, marketing manager for the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce.

On the banks of the lake, you’ll find Lake Chelan State Park, which features 127 acres of grounds for camping, picnicking and hiking, including 495 feet of dock, 52 picnic tables and boat ramps.

Make your own trail

If you have a fondness for the road less traveled, there’s no place like Lake Chelan. Hiking – whether along famous mountain trails or by charting a new path through the woods – remains a much-loved pastime of Lake Chelan residents and visitors. The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce recommends hiking during the fall months.

“Fall scores serious bonus points with lovers of the outdoors,” according to the Chamber website. “Hiking, biking and golfing season, powered by sunny, 70-degree days, stretches well into October here. It’s like a pre-winter warm-up for weekend warriors – and we have a hunch you’ll want to call in ‘sick’ on Monday.”

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events
Date Event Make Plans
November 14th, 2015 Sip & Stroll Learn More
November 27th – 29th, 2015 Fall Barrel Tasting Learn More
November 27th – December 21st, 2015 Small Town Christmas Learn More
November 28th – December 19th, 2015 Manson’s Winter Festival and Village of Lights Learn More
January 15th – 24th, 2015 Lake Chelan Winterfest Festival Learn More


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5 must-do adventures this holiday season in Lake Chelan