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Lake Chelan WA: 10 Amazing Tips for a Summer Getaway

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Lake Chelan, Lake Chelan Travel Guide



Are you planning a summer trip to Lake Chelan? Well so isn't everyone else and their dog, ha!  Chelan is on of Washington State's most popular summer destinations. 

 It may seem impossilbe to book a trip here at peak time, but it can be done.  I'm sharing my TOP TEN TIPS for a TRIP TO LAKE CHELAN  and surviving the summer crowds.

Book Your Hotel 6 Months in Advance

We made a day trip to Lake Chelan in August, for the first time. I fell in love with it and decided we needed to go back for a weekend stay. I got lucky and scored a room for Labor Day Weekend! It was a miracle, because the all the hotels were booked up. I was surprised to find one at all.

This was probably a one time case of luck. You should reserve accomodations at least 6 months out. Chelan is also a go to spot for winter sports, and may require reserving a few months out too.

Lake Chelan WA, Chelan Travel Guide,  Chelan Summer Guide

Stay at Lakeside Inn and Suites

Lakeside Inn and Suites boasts panoramic views of Lake Chelan and is a few steps from the lakefront park. Every room on the premesis has a balcony and window facing the lake.  I lost my breath upon entering our room, the views were incredible.

Many of the units include a kitchenette and are super comfy and spacious. The beds were cushiony and will have you off to dreamland fast! 

An iviting pool and hot tub are the focal point of the property. You will enjoy a stunning lakeview here too. Several picnic tables and grills are available near the pool. You can't reserve them in advance, they are first come-first serve.

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Plan your Beach Time on a Weekday

We arrived in Chelan on a Thursday afternoon. Our stay was booked Thursday through Saturday.  We also chose to visit on a busy holiday weekend, which draws record crowds.  If you want to make the most of the park and beach at Chelan, visit during the week.

We set up our chairs and umbrella on Friday morning at 9 a.m.  There was ample room on the beach until early afternoon. Still, the crowds were nowhere the numbers we saw converging on the beach on Saturday morning.

Lake Chelan Views, Chelan City Park, Chelan Summer Travel Guide, Seattle Travel Blogger

Arrive at the Beach Early 

I was pleasantly suprised to see low crowds on Friday, of Labor Day Weekend.  However the next morning, the massive crowds started arriving at 6:30 am.  I looked out the window and could not believe people were swimming and playing volleyball this early!

On Saturday the beach was covered from one end to the other with tents, umbrellas, grills and the like.  By 9 a.m. the parking lot was completely full and closed off.   

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Budget for Sit Down Dining

Shocker Alert! There are no fast food restaurants in Lake Chelan, not one! I was in shock to find this out.  I don't consume fast food on a regular basis, but on a trip I do like to have the option. The City of Chelan does not allow any fast food chains.

There isn't a very large selection of sit down restaurants either.  There are a few downtown.   We didnt have to make reservations to eat, but it may not be a bad idea.  

Stock Up on Groceries

If you plan to eat in mostly or grill out, do stock up on groceries before leaving home.  I saw two grocery stores in the entire town: Safeway and an IGA. Safeway was extremely crowded with long lines.

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Bring Flotation Devices

The first time we swam in Lake Chelan, we didn't bring flotation devices. It was still fun, but it's epic to ride the waves on a floatie.  The bigger the better. I saw several swimmers anchoring their floats together, super fun!  We searched in store but couldn't find any this late in the season, thank God for Amazon!

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Invest in Water Shoes

You will be screaming "Ouch" if you don't bring water shoes. The bottom of the lake is scattered with lots of rocks, mostly when you enter.  I would suggest investing in a pair of slingback crocks. They stay on great when the crashing waves throw you to and fro!

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Be Prepared to Evacuate in Case of Fires

Lake Chelan and other towns in North Central Washington get very hot and dry in the summer. Even though Lake Chelan is great for a summer getaway, fires can be a problem. Late in the season is when the fire danger is higher in WA. It's very unlikely an evacuation would happen, but good to be aware anyway.

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Reserve Water Sports 

One of the top 10 Ten tips for a summer visit in Lake Chelan is taking advantage of fun water sports.  Parasailing, boating, jetskiing and boat wine tours are all waiting for you!  There are a few rental places along the lake, a few blocks from Lakeside Inn and Suites.  I'm bummed we didn't rent a jet ski, it's on the list for next time!


I would reserve water sports 3-6 months in advance, at the same time accomodations are booked.  In addition, you can go on the most exciting tube ride 40 minutes west in Leavenworth.  Cruise down the Wenatchee River and have the time of your life. More to come on the tube ride in my next post!


Travel safe during these unsual times, and stay healthy! If you are looking for more travel idea in WA, I have you covered!  Seattle and the Puget Sound area offer great experiences for travelers.

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MAPLELEOPARD

Hello beauties, I'm Valerie! I reside near Seattle WA, and am a proud Canadian from Vancouver B.C. On this site are guides for travel in the U.S., Canada and Europe. I hope to inspire Women 40+ live their best life: by seeking adventure in the city, at a beach or at a mountain escape. Subscribe for destination tips and style guides for the trip.

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