It is relatively common knowledge in Washington State that Eastern WA provides a wonderful respite from rainy weather. With a large mountain pass dividing the two regions, there is a night-and-day difference between the Eastern and Western Washington climates, so us Seattleites often make a run for hot spots in Eastern WA when we need to see a ray of sunshine.
Lake Chelan is one of my absolute favorites of the bunch, offering hot, dry summers with a crystal blue lake in the middle of desert mountains. It is a gorgeous area, and we frequent it for summer vacations annually. Summers in Chelan can unfortunately get a little over-crowded, with vacation spots and campsites booking up half a year in advance… the FOMO is real and an impromptu summer vacation here hardly works during peak season on weekends.
Though we know Eastern Washington well in the summer, we decided we wanted to make Lake Chelan part of our winter routine too. Since Chelan is a place we love, it was only natural that when making plans for Valentine’s Day, our thoughts went there. February in Chelan is certainly not hot, but it is still beautiful in it’s own right, so on a trip we went to celebrate the day of love!
Of course, with lake levels being incredibly low and water temps almost freezing, water sports are out of the question, but that still leaves a lot of fun to be had!
If you are staying in Chelan in the winter, I first would recommend a place with an indoor pool, and/or hot tub. This still allows you to enjoy the feeling of being out on the water, and there is nothing more relaxing than enjoying some cold winter air and scenery from the warmth of an outdoor hot tub! The benefit of winter being the slower season… rates are basically cut in half! We have stayed at the Lakehouse Chelan and Lakeside Lodge and Suites before in the off season and enjoyed their amenities.
On to other activities!
Of course, some of the fun to have in Chelan revolves around the foodie scene. Our first stop was Lake Chelan Winery and Cheese Shop. I have blogged about this place before, and guys, it is the cutest! They feature a huge cheese counter with tons of special varieties to try and we always end up bringing home a few pounds of our favorites. To go with your cheeses, there are dozens of different types of crackers, sauces, spreads, pastas.. you name it… all made and jarred fresh for you to take home and enjoy. And let’s not forget, the wine counter where you can taste as you browse their shop which features fun and modern home decor, jewelry, and much more!
Next, we were off to taste. One of our favorite wineries, Siren Song, was participating in a “wine and chocolate” theme for Valentine’s Day. They featured a special trio of homemade chocolates paired to perfectly match three select wines. Let me tell you, that cherry cordial was especially delicious! The view from Siren Song is spectacular, and aromas from the kitchen are pleasant. We enjoyed a flatbread pizza in addition to our sweets, and all-around enjoyed our visit, relaxing on their couch in front of the fireplace.
But oh, the food does not end here friends! What would a trip to Chelan be without dinner at Campell’s Resort Pub and Veranda? Campbell’s is a favorite of mine as you can always count on them to be open and provide great service. We have had extremely poor experiences with another big name place in Chelan before (Sorrento’s at Tsillan Cellars – boo), so I don’t even second-guess my decision to dine at Campbell’s anymore. They do a great job on steaks and pastas, and if they have a risotto on the menu, I never turn it down!
Other than that, our plans mostly involved sleeping in, relaxing, and taking in the views. We made a few stops to get out and walk our favorite summer beaches, which were largely abandoned and dried up this time of year. On the way home, we visited Leavenworth for lunch at our favorite brat spot, Munchen Haus.
If you have yet to enjoy Lake Chelan in the winter, I suggest you give it a try! In addition to their wine and chocolate event the week of Valentine’s Day, they host a winterfest celebration, in addition to many wineries doing their own private events for releases. If you are interested in staying on-top of the Chelan events calendar, save this link here!
Enjoy your next visit friends!
X.O. – Abbey Co.