Photo © Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce/ Scott Harder
For a popular getaway in Central Washington, just over 3 hours from Seattle, sun seekers flock to Lake Chelan in the summer. The sparkling lake beckons as do the city of Chelan’s many amenities and attractions. But if you find you need a getaway from your getaway, with fewer crowds, less traffic and an even slower pace, there’s always the lakefront village of Manson, a short 15-minute drive along the north shore of Lake Chelan. Over the years, Manson has managed to maintain its rural, small-town feel, making it an attractive side destination.
Lake Chelan is 55 miles long and 1,500 feet deep in places. It’s a recreational wonderland, with summer activities in and around Manson that include biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and camping. Many of the recreational opportunities are centered around the lake, but the hills above Manson also offer plenty of outdoor fun. The “Manson Loop” is a popular cycling route that heads off the main highway and offers excellent views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Downtown Manson has a pedestrian-friendly business district along Wapato Ave. where you can park the car, get out and browse. For a cold one, head to Lake Chelan Brewery(lakechelanmicrobrewery.com) at 50 Wapato Way in downtown Manson. Stop at Manson Bay Park at 201 Manson Ave., a perfect lakeside spot for a picnic and to cool off with a swim. Or for a big farm-style meal, drive the short distance to Blueberry Hills Farms (open 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) at 1315 Washington Street for breakfast or lunch (wildaboutblueberries.com).