Considered one of the most beautiful places in all of Washington State, Lake Chelan has been attracting visitors from around the world for generations. However, the residents living in the neighborhoods surrounding this unique and stunning lake know that this is unarguably one of the best places to live on the West Coast.
Named after the Salish indigenous word meaning “Deep Water,” Tsi-Laan, Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the United States. Originally the home of the Chelan Tribe for what is believed to have been nearly 10,000 years, the area quickly became inhabited by prospectors and gold miners around 1863. However, the rugged terrain made the location challenging to settle for many, and an official town was not started until the late 1880s. It prospered as a center for mining, logging, and agriculture for decades.
Nowadays, the town is considered a destination resort community, with much of the local economy supported by tourism, especially the area’s beautiful wineries, vineyards, and orchards. The towns themselves are small and tight-knit yet welcoming, making them the perfect destination for families, young professionals, and retirees alike.
The residents living in these one-of-a-kind neighborhoods are a unique blend of various personalities and lifestyles that come together to create one of the best communities around. There is a distinct appreciation for the Northwestern way of life, with the majority of residents appreciating the beautiful landscape around them, enjoying an array of exciting outdoor recreational activities as well as a dedication to preserving nature as it’s meant to be.
While home values in the area vary significantly due to the booming tourism seen throughout the summer months, the local cost of living is considerably low. Many residents find themselves working in local small businesses, especially the local wineries and orchards.
There’s no doubt that Lake Chelan is known far and wide for its incredible wineries. With over 40 in the area alone, residents and visitors alike can get a taste of some of the best wine produced in the region when they stop by vineyards like Siren Song Wines or Karma Vineyards. At Karma Vineyards, enjoy an evening of dining at their beautiful on-site restaurant 18 Brix.
The culinary scene in Lake Chelan is also one of the most vibrant and delectable around. Andante Restaurant delights guests with their authentic and delicious take on Italian classics such as polenta, Tuscan seafood stew, and their famous lasagna. Of course, when residents are looking for something a little more relaxed, Local Myth Pizza is another staple that serves exceptional and unique pizzas, calzones, pasta, and more.
Bear Foods is another local favorite. This one-of-a-kind natural market was originally opened in 1973 by founder Charlie Bear offers customers an array of local preserves, artisan chocolates, exquisite cheeses, and high-end beer and wine. Of course, if you’re feeling a little peckish during your shopping trip, you could always stop by their renowned creperie and cafe.
There is no shortage of things for residents to do in Lake Chelan. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the variety of recreational activities in the area, including numerous hiking and biking trails, the beautiful Lake Chelan State Park, boating and canoeing, rafting, zip-lining, golfing, fishing, skiing, tennis, and more.
There are also numerous family-friendly opportunities in the area. Many residents enjoy spending time together at the local beaches, including Lakeside Park, Chelan Falls Park, and Willow Point Park. In town, there’s also bowling, miniature golfing, go-karting, and multiple arcades.
Of course, if you’re looking for a fantastic day out, there’s no place better than Lake Chelan’s Slidewaters. This highly-rated waterpark is fun for guests of all ages, with an array of attractions, including the lazy river, an abundance of body and tube slides, high-speed slides, and even an aqua zoo for the younger children. Their wave pool, Citywave USA, is the largest stationary wave in the world, and they offer a limited number of guests the opportunity to learn how to surf in a 30-minute complimentary session that’s available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For families living in Lake Chelan, education is a priority. Their dedication to their children’s learning is evident in the numerous highly-rated schools in the area, including:
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