romantic winter getaway in chelan
How To Plan A Romantic Winter Getaway In Chelan

When winter arrives, Chelan, Washington transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Located three hours away from Seattle in the eastern Cascade Mountains, the small town offers gorgeous snowy landscapes, outdoor recreation, a charming downtown area, top-notch food and drink and varied lodging options perfect for a romantic getaway with your special someone!

Best Time To Visit Chelan

When planning your romantic winter getaway, start by choosing the best time to visit Chelan. The average temperature in winter is around 35°F, so make sure to pack warm clothes and layers. The peak winter season spans from mid-December through February. During these months, you can enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and ice skating at the nearby Echo Valley Ski Area. Don't miss Lake Chelan Winterfest each January, a 10-day festival that features ice sculptures, live music, wine and ale tasting and a polar bear splash. 

For the best chances of encountering fresh snow and snowcapped mountains, consider visiting in January or February. However, for smaller crowds and lower prices for winter activities, lodging, food and beverages, you might want to consider visiting in early December or March. Regardless of the month you’re visiting, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful winterscapes that look like a postcard!

chelan lake during winter

Where To Stay In Chelan During Winter

Chelan offers a range of hotels and motels to unique bed and breakfasts and vacation homes. But for a truly cozy winter retreat, make sure to book your stay with one of our Washington Inns. Our lodges offer the warmth and personalized service found in traditional mountain towns, complemented by the stunning surroundings of Washington.

Expect amenities like plush robes, daily housekeeping, jetted tubs, private balconies, fireplaces or wood stoves and access to hot beverage stations with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and apple cider included. Wake up to fresh baked breakfast breads and make yourself at home relaxing by the fire pit or communal lounge areas after a day on the slopes. 

Outdoor Activity Ideas For Your Romantic Winter Getaway

Chelan’s location on the south shore of 55-mile long Lake Chelan provides plenty of winter adventure. Over 30 miles of cross-country ski trails snake through the surrounding hills. Rent equipment at Echo Ridge Cross Country Ski Park or Lost Lake. Bring your own backcountry skis to explore trails in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. 

If you prefer alpine skiing and snowboarding, you can head to Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, which has 2,000 acres of terrain and a 2,200 foot vertical drop. You can also try night skiing and 10 runs over 200 acres at Echo Valley Ski Area. 

At night, experience exceptional stargazing opportunities in Chelan, far from the lights of large cities. Find clear skies and cuddle up to admire the dazzling stars.

skiing in wenatchee

Experience The Heart Of Chelan

Take time to explore the streets of the lively yet laidback downtown area. You can also visit the Chelan Museum or the Ruby Theatre, the oldest movie theater in Washington. Wander together down Woodin Avenue, where you'll find unique family-owned shops, art galleries, cozy eateries and wine-tasting rooms in beautifully preserved historic buildings. Take time to browse the collections at Riverwalk Books & Treasures for antiques and art to wine-country souvenirs. Visit Narnia Studios for Northwest-inspired gifts, including handmade ceramics and photography prints.

Warm Up With Wine Country Fare

Chelan is a wine lover’s paradise. It hosts over 30 wineries and tasting rooms, showcasing the best wines from the Lake Chelan AVA. You can sample a variety of wines, from crisp whites to bold reds and learn about the winemaking process and the terroir of the region. The Lake Chelan AVA is one of the only appellations that does not have basalt bedrock. The region's unique lake effect climate allows grapes to ripen slowly while developing complex flavors.

Wine tours offer a convenient way to visit several wineries in one day and provide opportunities to mingle with other wine enthusiasts. Some of the popular wineries in Chelan are Karma Vineyards which specializes in sparkling wines and has an underground wine cave; Tsillan Cellars, which has a Tuscan-style villa and a fine dining restaurant; and Lake Chelan Winery, which also features a barbecue restaurant and a cheese shop.

winter in chelan

Aside from wines, Chelan is also popularly known for restaurants serving farm-to-table cuisine. You can visit The Vogue, a cozy bistro, offers a romantic setting for enjoying seasonal dishes and cocktails and often hosts live music and wine tastings. Andante, an upscale Italian restaurant, presents a selection of pasta, pizza and wines and has a beautiful view of the lake. For a more casual dining experience, you can check out The Lakeview Drive-In, a classic burger joint that has been operating since 1957 and Local Myth Pizza, a popular spot for wood-fired pizza and salads.

Start planning your magical trip for two today. With snowy mountains, endless activities and luxurious amenities, Chelan creates the perfect setting for a truly memorable romantic winter getaway you’ll treasure forever. Contact the hospitable staff at Washington Inns to find the ideal accommodation for you and your partner. Make your travel dreams come true in splendid style—you’re worth it!

Tag us at @wainnsiders on Instagram! Let Washington INNSiders guide you to the perfect retreat. While we have highlighted a few great inns close to beautiful destinations, the Washington INNSiders boasts an exhaustive list of independent inns all over the state. Filter by desired characteristics to select the ideal B&B, inn, or hotel for your dream outdoor getaway. The experts behind Washington INNSiders inspect and approve all member properties, so you can confidently plan the perfect escape today.

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