It’s no secret – Lake Chelan is a popular Washington state destination in the summertime. Temperatures are hot and the lake is a cool, crystal clear reprieve from the heat. In addition to our beautiful lake, there are tons of attractions in and around the valley for you to enjoy. Hiking and mountain biking? We’ve got it. A sophisticated afternoon of wine tasting? Got that too. Fun for the whole family at the waterslides? Yup, you got it. It’s no wonder that the summer season is such a busy one here. We love the hustle and bustle of a lively valley but if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a little extra space to spread out, here are 5 “secret” spots where you can ditch the crowds.
We know what you’re thinking… A well-known and well-loved winery isn’t exactly a secret. But not everybody knows all that Rio Vista’s location on the Columbia River has to offer. For starters, you can drive, boat, or even fly in to Rio Vista. If you’re driving in, don’t blink or you might miss the dirt road that will lead you to this beautiful riverside winery. Pack a lunch and find a shady tree to relax under with a glass of delicious wine. Play in the water at the sandy beach or partake in some friendly competition with lawn games! You’ll feel far away from the bustling crowds in downtown Chelan and Manson and everyone is sure to love this mini-getaway from your big getaway.
For those of you who really want to get away, check out the Deer Point campground, located just beyond 25-Mile Creek State Park. It’s only accessible by boat, so you know you’re really off the beaten path. There are only a handful of campsites at Deer Point and they’re first-come, first-serve. Get an early start and claim your spot so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the uplake stillness.
This under-utilized portion of Riverwalk Park is centrally located and perfect for spreading out for a leisurely day of sunbathing. Find this spacious area on Webster Avenue, right next to the new bridge and just above the Riverwalk Park loop. You’ll be just a quick walk away from downtown Chelan, mere steps to the public boat ramp, and right off the Chelan Reach 1 trail that leads you to the Chelan Gorge or the Butte!
Pingrey Centennial Park sits just above the U.S. Forest Service ranger station on 3rd St. This lesser-known park offers stunning views of Lake Chelan and provides a sense of stillness and serenity. Grab takeout from your favorite restaurant in downtown Chelan and walk to Pingrey Park for a delightful picnic on the luscious grass. After the sun works its magic, stroll down the hill and jump in the water at the Forest Service station.
Chelan Falls Park is located in Chelan Falls, where the glacial waters of Lake Chelan meet the Columbia River. This spacious park offers plenty of space for you to spread out, far from the crowds of busier parks like Don Morse or Lakeside. You’ll find a designated swimming area, boat launch, tennis courts, playgrounds, and lots of wide-open spaces. Play a pick-up game of soccer on the grass or take a slow stroll around the grounds to delight in the scenery.
Ready to ditch the crowds? The lively streets of downtown Chelan or Manson will be waiting for you when you return. Happy exploring!