Great 48: Chelan, Washington
GETTING THERE: EAT or SEA
Depending on the amount of driving you’d like to do, there are a couple of options for getting to the Chelan area. The drive from Seattle is just over three hours and is a pretty easy drive at offpeak hours of the day. If you fly into Wenachee’s smaller airport, you’ll find yourself with a much shorter 30-45 minute drive up to Chelan and the surrounding area.
A QUICK BITE: Stormy Mountain
This is the only brewery in the town of Chelan (there are others in neighboring towns) and both the beers and food are fantastic. During the season, Stormy Mountain offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights. If you stop in for lunch or dinner, the smoked brisket french dip is a sandwich that should NOT be missed.
TWILIGHT ROUND: Desert Canyon
Desert Canyon is a good golf course with a fantastic amount of variety in the design and terrain. Each nine presents some great holes to enjoy with the 15th simply being one of the best in the entire Pacific Northwest. It’s easy to reach from Chelan for an afternoon round.
WHERE TO STAY: Lakeside Lodge and Suites
Choose from variety of accommodations, from Standard Rooms to Deluxe Suites, all well appointed with the amenities you desire. More like a resort than a hotel, Lakesdie Lodge puts the cool blue waters of Lake Chelan just a short walk from your room.
THE LONG DAY: Bear Mountain Ranch
Your first round at Bear Mountain Ranch could be derailed by the amazing views. Nearly every hole has a view down to Lake Chelan or of the vineyards and orchards that line the hills around the lake. There are a few tricky holes, so pay attention to the GPS on your golf cart.
ONE LAST ROUND: Gamble Sands
Anytime the designer of Bandon Dunes lays out a new golf course, it gets headlines. Gamble Sands is a golf course that fails to disappoint with wide fairways, large greens, and holes that work both ways and up and down the rolling hills. You also get several great views of the Columbia River meandering below the course.
DINNER TIME: Sorrento's Ristorante
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian meal in a setting that’ll make you feel like you’re in Tuscany, then Sorrento’s is your best bet. The only thing better than the food and views are the Italian wines produced on the surrounding estate. The Barbera is amazing.
50 MILES OF WATER FUN: Paddling
LakeRider Sports, centrally located in Chelan’s Don Morse Park, offers paddle board and kayak rentals all summer long at the best prices in town. The water in the lake is PERFECT for new and experienced paddlers.
Slide Waters - Lake Chelan Waterpark
The idea of a water park just a few hundred feet from the shores of Lake Chelan may sound like an odd idea, but it’s actually a fantastic place for families to spend the day. Slide Waters has a variety of water slides, pools, and swings, and plenty of lifeguards on duty to make sure even the youngest members of the family stay safe. Slide Waters is a family owned and operated business that understands how important time with family and friends can be.
Slide Waters operates from Memorial Day through Labor Day, offering fun through the peak travel season. Even when the skies are cloudy, water at the park is perfect for a day of fun. In addition to water attractions, Slide Waters offers a full complement of locker room facilities, cabana rentals, picnic tables, and an upper deck that offers a great view of the lake and the park. Food and drinks are available all day long and guests who forget something are more than likely to find it in the park’s shop. You can learn more about Slide Waters and buy tickets at www.slidewaters.com.