Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Washington State, Lake Chelan beckons travelers with its crystal-clear waters, rolling vineyards, and picturesque mountains. It is also known for its thriving wine industry. The area is extremely crowded in the summer, but in the winter months, the crowds disperse and visitors can enjoy a cozy experience exploring the area. Most wineries near Lake Chelan are close to the small towns of Chelan and Manson, but I have included a few off-the-beaten-path places worth a visit.
My lodging at the Lakeside Lodge and Suites was hosted as part of a press trip. All opinions are my own.
Where To Stay Near Lake Chelan
Whether you seek a tranquil lakeside retreat, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a luxurious resort with panoramic views, the lodging options near Lake Chelan cater to a diverse range of preferences. From charming inns tucked away in the heart of the town to secluded cabins amidst vineyard-laden hills, the accommodations around Lake Chelan offer not just a place to rest but an immersive experience in the beauty and tranquility of this enchanting destination.
Lakeside Lodge And Suites
The Lakeside Lodge and Suites is centrally located and very close to several wineries. I stayed here and loved my pet-friendly room. Our dog, Porkchop the Traveling Corgi, loved the views of the lake from our room. The standard two-Queen was very large and included a kitchenette. Hotel amenities include both indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. The lodge overlooks Lakeside Park with a sprawling beach and playground. It is a nice spot to take a short walk and enjoy the views of Lake Chelan.
Chelan Valley Farms And Lagrioth Winery
For a unique stay, book the guest cottage at Chelan Valley Farms. This working farm is a perfect destination to stay if you are traveling with children. This family-owned business loves to share where the food comes from with visiting families. Relax on the covered porch and enjoy sweeping views of Roses Lake, the Cascade Mountains, and vineyards for miles. The view alone is worth the stay. Visit the onsite Lagrioth Winery and enjoy other agritourism opportunities depending on the season. There are events held year round at the farm.
Warm Springs Inn And Winery
The Warm Springs Inn and Winery in Chelan County is about a 45-minute drive from the Lake Chelan area but is well worth the detour. Owners Ludger and Julie Szmania have decades of experience in hospitality and it shows. This darling bed and breakfast feels like a time capsule when you walk through its 1917 mansion doors. It is the epitome of luxury. The landscaped gardens, orchard, and views of the Wenatchee River from the expansive deck add to the ambiance. Enjoy a fabulous breakfast cooked by Chef Ludger, who often uses fresh fruit and produce grown on the property.
Where To Eat Near Lake Chelan
The dining scene is a delectable journey with farm-fresh ingredients, local flavors, and chefs that create a diverse tapestry of food experiences. Visitors can enjoy charming lakeside bistros and restaurants tucked away in the surrounding vineyards. Options abound from casual eateries to gourmet establishments with something for every palate. Make sure to try some of the local favorites that have stood the test of time.
Apple Cup Café
A good hearty breakfast is important when you are planning a day of wine tasting. The Apple Cup Café has been around since 1957 and it is easy to see why it is such a local favorite. It was so good I dined here twice. The café is known for its family-style meals with generous portions. Many meals are big enough to share.
Step into Tuscany when you dine at Sorrento’s located at Tsillan Cellars. The view of the vineyards, Lake Chelan, and the mountains is just stunning. The menu is Mediterranean with a Pacific Northwest twist. Unfortunately, I was unable to dine there as I didn’t make reservations in time. Based on the glimpses I had when I visited Tsillan Cellars, you should put it on your list of places to visit. The food looked delectable and the view was beyond comparison.
The Bistro At Vin Du Lac
I had such an incredible meal at the Bistro at Vin Du Lac. It was everything you’d expect in a French-style bistro. From crispy baguettes to fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, it was a delight. It featured excellent service with spot-on wine-pairing recommendations. The menu is seasonal to highlight fresh seafood, locally foraged and harvested foods, and other ingredients. The outdoor seating is heated and pet friendly.
Where To Taste Wine Near Lake Chelan
Framed by the majestic Cascade Range and the serene waters of Lake Chelan, this viticultural haven boasts a unique terroir that yields exceptional wines. From family-owned boutique wineries to expansive vineyards with panoramic views, the Lake Chelan wine region offers a diverse and thriving wine scene. There are more than 40 wineries in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley and visitors will find everything from lavish estates to small family-owned vineyards where the server at the tasting room is also the winemaker and owner. Make sure to try both. Here are a few worth trying:
Amos Rome Estate Vineyard And Winery
During my visit to the Amos Rome tasting room, the place was hopping. The tasting room sits amidst the estate vineyards and includes an expansive yard with additional outdoor seating. The modern building has floor-to-ceiling windows and a deck for stunning views of the vineyards, Lake Chelan, and the mountains in the distance. Reservations are a must if you plan to taste wine during the busy weekends. Make sure to try winemaker Travis Clark’s 2022 Concrete Grüner Veltliner, which as the name suggests was aged in concrete. This balanced medium-bodied wine has aromas of flower, apple, peach, and sweet spice. Not many Washington wineries use this varietal, so it was a treat to try something new to me.
I like to call Bivouac Cellars a speakeasy winery due to the effort needed to find it. Located in downtown Chelan, visitors enter the tasting room from the alley off South Emerson and descend a steep stairway. As a veteran myself, I had to visit a veteran-owned business. Owners Kevin and Kris Smith’s southern Rhone wine-making style was influenced by their time stationed in Germany and living in Europe for over 15 years. The tasting room is a cozy place to hang out while travel posters and art reflect the Smiths’s time in Europe. Make sure to try their grenache, a fruit-forward dry red wine with 100 percent grenache sourced from the Wahluke Slope AVA.
This family-owned boutique winery is in the tiny hamlet of Plain, a short, scenic drive from Leavenworth. Plain Cellars owner Bob Sage describes the tasting room as “the living room of Plain” due to the community support. It has become a place to hang out with food trucks and live music and has an extensive waiting list for the wine club. Sage sources grapes from premium vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley AVA. He likes to say, “There’s nothing Plain about my wine.” Starting with 200 cases a season, he has expanded to more than 2,000 due to its popularity. Make sure to try the 2019 Yakima Valley Petite Sirah, which is barrel-aged in Bulgarian and French oak — very unique.
Pro Tip: Book a wine-tasting tour with North Central Washington Wine Tours. I was very impressed with this operation from the luxury coach to the sommelier guide. Learn more about wine in a fun environment without being stuffy. Visit three wineries with food and refreshments included.