Looking for a quick weekend getaway to cure the cabin fever that’s beginning to set in (how many days ’til spring)? Load the tykes in the car and head east over the Cascades to the Wenatchee Valley. Known as the Apple Capital of the World, this family destination offers up more than just apples. From historic hot spots to delish eats to outdoor activities galore, we’ve got the scoop on this happening little town on the western side of the Columbia River.

photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Where to Explore

The first stop on your must-see list: Pybus Public Market. This year-round, indoor farmers market is located in a reclaimed and restored warehouse on the waterfront. From soups to nuts, Pybus is filled with a variety of specialty gift shops and eateries that will keep everyone in your crew busy and entertained. While the Littles sample pepper sticks from Mike’s Meat and Seafood Shop, mom and dad can sample wine from Jones of Washington or cheese from The Cheesemonger’s Shop. If you’ve got a budding farmer on your hands, be sure to stop by the Washington Tractor Country Store to pick up a pint-sized tractor and check out the largest full-service John Deere dealer in Washington state.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Since its renovation in 2013 (the building originally housed E.T. Pybus’ steel business in the 1920s), the market has retained its sense of community by keeping it local with Wenatchee-area merchants, farmers and talent. Look for live music on Friday nights on a rail car that is rolled up to the building and May through October, enjoy local produce from Wenatchee’s farmers. Psst… if Pybus seems familiar to you that’s because the Pybus Public Market drew ts inspiration from Seattle’s own Pike Place Market. The big red Public Market sign being the first giveaway.

Pybus Public Market
3 N. Worthen
Wenatchee, Wa 98801
509-888-3900
Online: pybuspublicmarket.org

Mission Ridge
If you’re looking for a day of family fun on the slopes, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort is located just 12 miles from downtown Wenatchee and boasts some of the lightest, driest powder in the state along with short lift lines, a family-friendly atmosphere and spectacular views. There are 36 runs within Mission Ridge’s 2,000 acres of skiable terrain which equals plenty of room for your little shredders to tear it up. Four lifts get you up the side of the mountain and getting to the top elevation of 6,820 feet is well worth it. From there, on a clear day, it’s a breathtaking view down to Wenatchee. Psst! See if you can spot Mount Rainier and Mount Baker.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

What to See

Hit the Trail
The Apple Capital Loop Trail is the perfect place to let your little travelers get their wiggles out by foot, bike or skate. This 11-mile paved trail will take you in a big circle past the Columbia River and over bridges that connect the trail to the East Wenatchee side. Catch the Apple Capital Loop Trail at the Wenatchee Riverfront Park right outside Pybus Public Market and traipse along as far you can before someone in your crew asks to be carried back! View the trail guide here.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Art on the Avenues
While on the Loop Trail, look for some of the 90 sculptures that have been placed around Wenatchee as part of its Arts on the Avenue exhibit. Check out the giant toes on the sculpture PED or rock ‘n’ roll on a skateboard, both are on the Apple Loop Capital Trail. Psst! Head to the Arts on the Avenues website for a map of where each sculpture is placed and easily turn it into a sculptural seek-and-find. How many pieces can you and your mini artists find as you wander through downtown?

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Wander Through History
If you want to check out some of the shops in the historic downtown area, there are plenty to keep you busy for an afternoon. While dad takes the kiddies to Owl Soda Fountain and Gifts to sit at the counter for an old-fashioned soda or sundae, mom can take in some of the treasures and gift shops. From jewelry and  antiques to clothing and home décor, downtown Wenatchee has a little something for everyone. Psst! Be sure to check out the historic buildings as you stroll along, many of which date back to the early 1900s, and look down and you might spot some of the manhole coverings with the name E.T. Pybus.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Where to Eat

If you’ve got hangry kiddos, there are a plethora of places to eat in Wenatchee. Several can be found at Pybus Public Market including Fire, where tykes can watch as the chef carefully places their pizza in the wood fired pizza oven. A visit next door to Ice for gelato is a guaranteed home run; South puts a modern twist on Latin food; and Pybus Bistro has a Parisian flair your family is going to love.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

McGlinn’s Public House is a historic spot with delicious food and baseball paraphernalia on the wall that budding baseball fans will not want to miss. Back in the 1930’s, the building housed a semi-pro baseball team, the Wenatchee Chiefs, which was a farm team for the New York Yankees. After you devour the chocolate chip pizza (which should not be missed!), wet your whistle at several family-friendly breweries and wineries including the Wenatchee Valley Brewing Co., Saddle Rock Pub & Brewery and Stemilt Creek Winery.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Where to Stay 

There are plenty of places to stay during your Wenatchee getaway including SpringHill Suites and Coast Wenatchee Hotel, both conveniently located near the historic downtown area. If you want a special getaway sans your little darlings, check out or should we say check into Warm Springs Inn & Winery. Julie and Ludger Szmania used to own Szmania’s in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. Now, they are the proprietors of Warm Springs Inn, a stately home on the Wenatchee River where eagles and herds of deer often wander by. It’s a beautiful and relaxing location, plus Chef Ludger is there to cook for you. Do we need to say more?

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Homeward Bound

As you head home to Seattle your adventure doesn’t have to end. Depending on how tuckered out the Littles are after their Wenatchee vacay, you can find several excuses to make a pit stop in nearby Cashmere.

Life Like a Pioneer
Check out the Historic Museum and Pioneer Village. It’s open seasonally, April 1–Oct. 30 and it’s where kids will get a first-hand feel for life as a pioneer.

600 Cotlets Way
Cashmere, Wa 98815
509-782-3230
Online: cashmeremuseum.org/visitor.html

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Sweet Tour
You want to tour a candy factory, you say? Find out where and how they make those famous Aplets and Cotlets by stopping at Liberty Orchards.

117 Mission Avenue
Cashmere, WA 98815
1-800-888-5696
Online: libertyorchards.com

Hours:
January through March: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Closed
April through December: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun.,10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Caffeine Fix
If you need a little jolt for the drive over the mountains, grab a yummy pastry and a latte from Anjou Bakery.

3898 Old Monitor Highway
Cashmere, Wa 98815
509-782-4360
Online: anjoubakery.com

Have you and your family traveled to Wenatchee recently? Do you have a favorite spot to visit? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Natalia Dotto