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Welcome to Lake Chelan

Majestic lakeside beauty and small-town charm in a posh resort area

The crystalline waters of Lake Chelan spread out like a mirror beneath the majestic Cascade Mountain range, reflecting the snow-capped peaks and velvety evergreen trees. This place is the stuff of dreams—the kind of untouched paradise usually reserved for great poetry. Nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountain range, Lake Chelan embodies the wild beauty for which the Northwest is known, and residents cherish the spot as a hideaway, a heaven on earth, and a place to find the kind of peace that’s as still and calm as the lake’s pristine waters. 

Lake Chelan is named for its deep, glacier-fed waters. The lake’s name comes from the Salish indigenous culture. The Chelan tribe lived here for 10,000 years, and their name for the lake, tsi-laan, translates to deep waters. The title is appropriate, as Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the nation. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that settlers attempted to tame the immaculate terrain, and prospectors arrived in search of gold and a new town. However, the wild land was not yet ready to be tamed, and it took decades before a settlement prospered. 

In the late 1880s, Lake Chelan began its life as a mining and agriculture town, but there was another destiny awaiting the region. The staggering beauty, gorgeous freshwater lake, and private locale made the area perfect for resort-style living and holiday getaways, and the orchards and valleys created an idyllic setting for vineyards. With that, Lake Chelan’s laid-back vacation personality was born.

Only about 200 miles outside of Seattle, Lake Chelan is an easy weekend trip for those living in the city, which makes it a coveted second home destination for Washington residents. Second homeowners and vacationers arrive for a weekend respite from hectic city life and indulge in the peaceful ambiance of fresh air, clear skies, and pristine mountains. Wellness and healthy living pamper residents with cutting-edge facilities and indulgent treatments while Lake Chelan’s thrill seekers head to wild rides like ziplining and skydiving. Tennis is a popular way to soak up the summer sunshine, and the top-notch tennis and pickleball courts are nestled in the mountain slopes, lakeside hills, and even apple orchards for an extra enchanting experience.  

This four-season resort town is designed for deep relaxation and a carefree lifestyle. The growing wine industry delights guests with rich tastes and showstopping vistas, while the outdoor recreation is truly impressive. From waterparks and thrill rides to remote spas and world-class golf courses, Lake Chelan is all about a life well-lived. The lake itself is, of course, the main attraction, and at 50 miles, it is nothing short of magnificent. Aquatic activities abound here, and residents can enjoy everything from parasailing and snorkeling to boating and fishing. The shades of blue out here at the lake are like something out of a Robert Frost poem. The deep indigo of the lake waters, the soft cerulean of the sky, and the heather blue of the far-off mountain peaks set the stage for an elevated life. That said, Lake Chelan isn’t all symbolism and wistful words; this place is just plain fun. The Chelan Valley is one of the best spots for mountain biking and road biking. Whether you are here for a leisurely cruise or crave the kind of muddy exhilaration of blazing unknown trails, the mountains here offer the perfect setting for every level of cyclist.   

The sun shines on Lake Chelan for over 300 days of the year, making the area not only an outstanding spot for growing grapes, as evidenced by the more than 40 wineries, but it also creates idyllic conditions for golf and other outdoor adventures. Rain is a rare occurrence here, and with the sunny days and cool evening breeze coming in off the water, Lake Chelan enjoys an arid climate and unique biome ideal for growing fruit and enjoying balmy days outside. The Columbia River provides bountiful waters with which the neighboring wineries and farms can irrigate their land, and the fertile soil produces a bevy of fruit. 

The area boasts eight championship golf courses, all of which are celebrated for their challenging play and scenic views. In fact, Lake Chelan is full of outdoor activities ranging from paragliding and rafting to snowmobiling and yoga. The winery scene is top-notch, but grapes are not the only impressive export here. Lake Chelan also excels at apple growing, and the orchards here are second to none. Ale and cider rank high among the exceptional offerings, and breweries fuse local flavors with award-winning local apples to create silky ciders and heirloom ales. Family orchards are a charming example of Lake Chelan’s commitment to a small-town atmosphere, and these businesses thrive in a supportive environment.     

Lake Chelan estates are as epic as the dramatic panoramic beauty deserves, and the homes here are built to bask in the glory of every season’s natural charm. Vaulted ceilings and wood beams evoke the feel of a traditional ski chalet, while wide windows let in the lemony sunshine. Fireplaces are a hallmark in Lake Chelan homes and keep residents cozy all winter long. Luxe amenities, like designer kitchens, pools, and waterfront access, round out the upscale approach to the property building. New construction builds feature sleek architecture and posh spa perks, including saltwater pools and oasis-inspired landscaping. Sprawling lots of breathtaking countryside offer buyers an incredible opportunity to create the home of their dreams, and lakefront acreage provides a dreamy backdrop for lavish parties and sweet family memories. 


What to Love

  • Stunning lakefront views
  • Welcoming community
  • Acclaimed wineries
  • Gorgeous wild beauty
  • Endless outdoor recreation  
  • Scenic hiking and boating
  • Outstanding culinary scene
  • Festivals and holiday celebrations
  • Laid-back resort vibes

Local Lifestyle


There is a unique cadence to the Northwestern lifestyle, a rhythm of relaxation unlike anywhere else. Lake Chelan pampers its people with stunning wild beauty and the luxe trappings of a posh resort town, all with a breezy, unassuming approach. The unpretentious atmosphere invites residents to breathe a little deeper and find stillness as deep as the lake itself.  

Lake Chelan is an ideal second home spot. Situated halfway between Seattle and Spokane, this tranquil town provides an easy countryside getaway for those looking for a respite from city life. And with such a wide range of activities and outdoor recreation, there is something for everyone. You may find residents kayaking or boating the day away on the lake’s glassy surface. Some enjoy getting out on the water before dawn to watch the light slowly creep up over the horizon and illuminate the valley with its warm glow, while others stay focused on hooking the trout zipping around in the water’s depths. And because this area is so highly sought after as a vacation destination, homeowners are sitting pretty should they decide to rent out their second home. As for full-time residents, you will find those here as well, living their best lives every day and reveling in the illustriousness of the untouched surroundings.  

The winter season brings another level of serenity to Lake Chelan, as the lively attractions and outdoor adventures of summer hibernate until spring. While several businesses close down for the season, others come alive and show a whole new side of the lake. Once the snow begins to fall, Lake Chelan takes on the glittering, magical feel of Narnia. Snow falls steadily throughout the winter season, and locals relish the prime conditions for skiing and sledding. There are countless ways to enjoy the fresh powdery landscape, and you will often find residents tubing at places like Echo Valley Ski Area.      

Family-owned businesses thrive in Lake Chelan. The town has an easy, friendly atmosphere, and locals love the sense of nostalgia that comes with the anticipation of their favorite burger joint reopening for the season or eagerly awaiting the holiday festivals they have frequented for years. This is perhaps the most powerful element in the Lake Chelan lifestyle. The beauty, of course, is unparalleled, but the community and connection make this beautiful place feel like home. 

The Historic Downtown area fosters this strong sense of harmony, with family-centric events and holiday festivals galore, and you will often find residents taking in the fireworks lighting up the sky over the bay or welcoming in the holiday season with ice sculpture contests and street fairs. This is where locals visit the weekly farmers’ market for fresh farm goods and the classic Ruby Theater for an afternoon matinee.  

Wineries are a standout attraction in Lake Chelan, and residents find ample opportunities to settle in at the lush vineyards to sip the day away. Lake Chelan’s wineries embody the wild perfection of the area, boasting stunning hillside views, rambling vineyards awash with budding grape vines, and a swath of verdant fields. Here, residents happily raise a glass to toast the slice of heaven that is Lake Chelan. The dining scene offers the unpretentious sophistication for which the Northwest is known and pampers locals and visitors alike with an incredible array of seasonal fare, fresh seafood, and of course, flawless wine pairings.  


Dining, Entertainment & Shopping


As a resort town, Lake Chelan is made for adventure, exploration, relaxation, and fine dining. This is the place to leave the world behind and indulge in beautiful sights and delicious eats, and Lake Chelan offers both in abundance. 

Set against the spectacular backdrop of verdant trees and cloudless skies, Slidewaters stands as a beacon of classic resort-style fun. Here, you can race down the waterslides, which range from short and sweet to twisty, plunging adrenaline rides. If lounging is more your style, the lazy river provides a laid-back jaunt down the gently moving waterway, while the hot tub encourages guests to kick back and relax. The High Trek Chelan Ropes Course serves as a family playground where kids and adults can conquer obstacles, whiz down the zip lines, challenge each other to axe-throwing, and enjoy an adventure like no other. This family-friendly aquatic park also brings the ocean to the mountains with Lakeside Surf, the largest surf wave pool in the nation. It provides a safe and controlled environment for beginning surfers to hone their skills.  

In this land of wineries, you will have your pick of the finest wines and tasting rooms in the state. Perched on the hill overlooking Lake Chelan sits Benson Winery, a Mediterranean-inspired vineyard featuring red and white varietals. Residents adore Benson Winery for its dramatic sunset views and exceptional estate wine. The estate’s artisan bistro, Cafe Myth, pairs gourmet pizzas and charcuterie with Benson wine for an effortlessly elegant lunch or dinner. 

The family-owned Lake Chelan Winery provides a relaxed atmosphere for family dinners and wine tastings. The estate restaurant, BBQ in the Vineyard, combines down-home flavors with inspiration from the vineyard to create compelling dishes like the raspberry chipotle barbeque rib sandwich. The winery market invites guests to stock up on handcrafted cheeses and wine accouterments, and of course, the tasting rooms are open all day for guests to sample the estate’s exquisite reds and whites. 

Apples are as treasured here in Lake Chelan as grapes, and alehouses and craft breweries dot the picturesque landscape. Stormy Mountain Brewing and Local Public House is low-key and perfect for lounging, with a menu of classic barbeque flavors, tacos, and microbrews. Inventive flavors rule the drink menu. Here, you will find limited editions like their fruity, malty Belgian Trappist Quadruppel, sour beers, and raspberry lambic ale, while the carefully cultivated wine list supports local wineries like Vin Du Lac and Milbrandt. The family-owned Chelan Craft Cider shows a mastery of the hard cider game and features a rich lineup of flavors, including ginger pear, blueberry and apple, black currant, apple-lemon, cherry vanilla, and more. Environmental awareness and a Pacific Northwest identity inform the creations at Steelhead Cider. The family behind this local favorite takes pride in supporting Lake Chelan’s local farms and businesses and is committed to sustainable practices and handcrafted drinks. Their apples come from the family’s own apple orchard, which is one of the area’s first, and the ciders sport rich, fruity flavors like boysenberry, cherry, and melon.   

Step back into the Lake Chelan of yesteryear at Campbell’s Resort, a family-run lakefront resort with spectacular views and a luxuriously low-key vibe. The resort’s award-winning Pub and Veranda showcase exceptional Northwest cuisines like steak au vin for dinner and farm-fresh omelets for breakfast. Campbell’s even provides a kids’ club, which organizes everything from beach days to movie nights. The Apple Cup Cafe perfectly captures Lake Chelan’s sense of rustic charm and small-town friendliness. This iconic Lake Chelan landmark has been around since 1957 and hasn’t changed much since then, to the delight of residents. This classic diner serves comfort food like biscuits and gravy, country breakfasts, and steak and eggs—the perfect way to satisfy the kind of hunger that only a day of swimming in the sunshine can create. 

Local ingredients and scratch-made practices inform every single pastry, confection, and espresso drink at Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery. This lovely cafe features the award-winning Blue Star beans, baked goods, and a light, healthy menu of sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and grain bowls. 

Set against the beautifully appointed greens of the Chelan Golf Course, the Albatross is the latest offering from Karma Vineyards. The menu features rich flavors and sumptuous Northwest cuisines, like blackened salmon and a red wine glazed filet, as well as pairings with Karma’s signature wines. The Winemaker’s Grill at Wapato Point Cellars is a bastion of fresh flavors, with standout dishes like herb-crusted halibut, bay shrimp, and Dungeness crab dip. Of course, you don’t want to miss the artisan cheese plate complemented by the vineyard’s award-winning wine.     

Scratch-made cuisine is the specialty at County Line, a delightfully laid-back bistro that also highlights craft brews and local wine. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for family dinners and even invites pups to join out on the patio. The elegant French menu at The Bistro includes classics like steak frites and croque madame and serves as a lovely spot for an intimate dinner. As unpretentious as it is delicious, the cafe at Riverwalk Inn showcases the talents of its chefs with homemade pastries and classic comfort-style cuisine. Here, you will find oversized sticky buns dripping with pecans, old-fashioned cupcakes, and waffles, along with breakfast burritos, scrambles, and vegan options. There is a touch of magic at the legendary Lakeview Drive-In, where the aroma of seasoned French fries can take you back to lazy summer days and childhood adventures. This landmark spot has been operated by the same family since 1957 and also serves burgers and milkshakes.    


Things to Do


Lake Chelan is a wonderland of outdoor recreation and exciting events. The picturesque scenery serves as an inspiring backdrop for hiking, boating, alfresco concerts, and more. The Chelan Butte Trail rewards hikers with 360-degree views of the Columbia River, Columbia Plateau, and the lake itself. This out-and-back trail covers just over seven miles and is well worth a visit. Widely considered the best day hike in Lake Chelan, the Fourth of July Mountain trail is indeed a sight to behold. The almost three miles take you past dark green trees silhouetted against the bright blue sky as the lake winds through the awe-inspiring mountains. The Chelan Reach One Trail spans three miles along the Chelan River and takes hikers along riverbanks for more dazzling views. 

Winter brings plenty of snow, and locals head out to Echo Ridge for cross-country skiing, a favorite winter pastime. The Echo Valley Ski Area provides 70 acres of fresh, manicured powder for skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and tubing. Hiking in Lake Chelan’s winter wonderland is a dreamy experience, and locals strap on show shoes to trek up Echo Ridge. There, the magic of Lake Chelan’s scenery takes on a glittering beauty as fluffy clouds drift past the icy hillsides and sugar-white snow blankets the wilderness in a soft silence.   

The Lake Chelan Yacht Club has served boaters since 1930. Today, the membership club provides both a social gathering place and a marina experience for members, and it also serves as a lovely setting for private events. Located on Hollywood Beach, this beguiling spot invites members to house their boats at the marina for either the season or year-round and also provides boat rentals so guests can explore the lake and take in the area’s waterfalls and prime fishing. 

Lake Chelan Massage and Spa takes the relaxing vibe of the area a step further with sumptuous wellness services, spa day packages, facials, and upscale beauty treatments. Offering everything from sugar scrubs and Swedish massages to organic skincare and even lash lifts, this rejuvenating spa pampers its guests with deft skill and gracious hospitality.  

Stehekin offers quintessential mountain beauty. The pristine splendor of this small town destination is unparalleled and introduces visitors to the kind of wild tranquility normally reserved for the birds and wildlife inhabiting the area. Tucked deep in the heart of the North Cascade Mountains, Stehekin is wonderfully remote and can only be accessed by plane, boat, or on foot. However you choose to get here, make sure you don’t miss out, as a description simply does not do justice to the incredible vistas. Out here, the lake looks like glass, and the water and snow-capped mountains become one as they meet at the horizon. Trees tower over the trails, dappling the ground with bright rays of the sun, and the hillside is ablaze with wildflowers. This small town is the epitome of peace and provides enchanting bistros and accommodations. Charter a boat from Shoreline Boat Rental to explore the lake and spend the day in one of the most tranquil spots on the planet. 

Lake Chelan’s lush geography creates an ideal setting for a championship golf course, and that dream is realized at the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course. With unmatched views and a layout favored by both experienced and novice golfers, this course is dotted with evergreens and is the very definition of pristine. The Gamble Sands golf resort has hit the ground running with major awards and a sprawling plateau course lauded for its interesting designs, challenging gameplay, and excellent conditions. Bear Mountain Ranch features impeccably maintained courses and is adored for its dramatic views, delightfully difficult courses, and first-class dining.   

Cool evening temperatures, sunshine, and a long season for growing make Lake Chelan an ideal setting for grapes to thrive, and the area boasts over 40 esteemed wineries. In addition to wine tastings and award-winning restaurants, these scenic spots also invite guests to indulge in the dulcet tones of live music. As a sister vineyard to Lake Chelan Winery, Wapato Point Cellars has its own unique style and lauded varietals. Afternoons find the lushly landscaped setting abuzz with wine tastings, lively lawn games, and trays of charcuterie and crisp wine. 

Every spring, LARC Hill Vineyard proudly sponsors the Wine and Jazz Festival, a celebration of the area’s local wine, the grand Lake Chelan scenery, and a host of acclaimed jazz musicians from around the globe. Wineries all across Lake Chelan participate in this beloved four-day event.  

The Lake Chelan Bach Fest has been entertaining guests for 42 years. What began as a humble afternoon and a few musicians has grown into one of the area’s most beloved events and now features over 100 musicians playing at Lake Chelan wineries and at Riverwalk Park. Karma Vineyards always hosts a night of Bach and elevates the experience with bottles of their signature champagne. Sip wine and imbibe in the heady sounds of a string quartet playing everything from baroque to contemporary interpretations of the legendary composer. 

Lake Chelan’s charming Riverwalk Park continues the tradition of bringing music to the town with the thrilling Music in the Park concert series. Every first and third Sunday, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the 12-acre park hosts musical performers and invites guests to relax beneath the starry sky with blankets, picnics, and perhaps a bottle of local wine. Both the park and Historic Downtown Chelan serve as social gathering places and a warm, friendly backdrop for family fun. Thursdays bring the Chelan Evening Farmers’ Market to the corner of Wapato and S. Emerson Streets. The market showcases artisan treats and handmade specialties from Lake Chelan’s local farms and artists. The park also provides story hour for families along with a walk down the Riverwalk Trail Loop.  

Festivals are a mainstay of Lake Chelan, and the town knows how to throw a seriously good party. Lake Chelan goes all out for Fourth of July celebrations, and the festivities begin the day before with a fireworks display and an All-American Independence Day party at Vin Du Lac Winery. The holiday itself brings what locals refer to as the “Big Show,” a music-filled celebration at Manson Bay Park. Guests splash and play in the bay as musical guests entertain the crowd. As night falls, a colorful fireworks display fills the sky over the water. 

The holiday season begins just after Thanksgiving and features almost daily activities through December. Kids can drop off letters to Santa in the Santa Mailbox or snap a photo with the jolly man himself. Fireworks, music, light displays, and hot chocolate round out the mix of holiday fun. For a week in January, the Lake Chelan Winterfest celebrates the magic of winter with a whimsical lineup of events. Build an intricate ice sculpture, visit the ice bar, or indulge in bubbles from the local vineyards. The cold air crackles with two gorgeous fireworks displays, while live music wafts down the snow-covered streets.    

Work With Jessie

My goal is to make your real estate experience as smooth and relaxing as possible. I've spent 25 years in the valley. Take advantage of my local knowledge. I am looking forward to sharing this beautiful valley with you.