If you and your kid crew are in need of a little family vacay, the slower pace, lessened crowds and off-season hotel rates make the post-summer months the perfect time to schedule a weekend out of town. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous getaway, a scenic destination or a relaxing locale, we’ve put together 13 kid-approved fall getaways, all within a few hours’ drive of Seattle. The best part? They all require very little planning on your part.
Located approximately 3.5 hours from Seattle, Lake Chelan is the perfect driving distance for an extended fall weekend getaway. With a proclivity for 300 days of sun, an array of outdoor activities and over 30 wineries hugging the shores of the beautiful blue-green water, this family destination offers a little something for everyone. Hop aboard the Lady of the Lake for a day trip (or overnight adventure) where you can take in spectacular mountain and lake views and enjoy unplugged serenity. This 55-mile journey brings you to the head of Lake Chelan, known as Stehekin Valley; which is only reachable by boat, seaplane or a 50-mile hike. Of course, a fall trip to Lake Chelan wouldn’t be complete without visiting Blueberry Hills—a small, family owned and operated U-pick berry farm and restaurant. The eclectic restaurant serves good old-fashioned grub and the best Breakfast Blintz you’ve ever tasted. Psst… plan to wait in line if you hit the restaurant during peak breakfast or lunch hours. This is a popular place, especially on the weekends!
Stay at Wapato Point, a 116-acre property that sits on 1.5 miles of waterfront in Manson (just a short drive from downtown Lake Chelan). This family fave boasts large sandy beaches coupled with outdoor activities galore (think: biking, swimming, boating, fishing, putt putt golf, tennis and walking trails), a huge indoor pool, hot tub and sauna and accommodations that range from studios and one bedrooms to two and three bedroom condominiums and large homes, making it the perfect resort for families.
Bonus: Lake Chelan hosts a variety of fall festivals. Consider planning a trip Oct.7-8 or 14-15 for the annual Lake Crush Festival, a two-day festival where you can take in the beautiful autumn sounds and sights of Lake Chelan while stomping grapes and tasting the delicious fruits of your labor along with exploring local wineries with special tours from cellar masters and winemakers. November 17-24 marks Lake Chelan’s Festival of Trees. Take a leisurely stroll through the businesses located in historic downtown Chelan while bidding on the beautifully decorated holiday trees that line the main drag. Psst… each tree is designed by a local artist, merchant or organization and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Chelan Food Bank. Or consider visiting Nov. 24-26 during Lake Chelan’s Fall Barrel Tasting. During this time, visitors can give thanks to the harvest season by enjoying the season’s warming reds straight from the barrel, and linger over samples of the best varieties in the valley. Psst... winemakers will also be on hand sharing their secrets and techniques for creating their award-winning wines and showcasing some of their delicious collections.
photo: Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce
Where will you be heading off to this fall? Tell us in the comments below!
— Kristina Moy, Sara Billups & Allison Ellis