Lake Chelan Crush

Experience Harvest Season with the Lake Chelan Crush Festival

The end of the water sports season is always a little bit bittersweet for us; time to take a well-deserved rest, but also time to say goodbye to all the fun we have (and share with our customers and friends!) out on the lake. At least until it all starts up again next summer!

Fortunately, Fall holds a few treats in store for Chelan. It’s still typically sunny here, but the foliage begins to shift from green to the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows we associate with Autumn. It’s warm and hospitable, but quite different from Summer.

And as you probably already know, Lake Chelan is a world-class wine region. Fall brings perhaps the most exciting time of the entire year for wine lovers: The crush, when ripe grapes are harvested and crushed, the first step in making delicious wine.

Chelan celebrates the crush with a yearly festival called, naturally, Lake Chelan Crush Festival. This year, it falls on two consecutive weekends: October 7 – 8 and 14 – 15. Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find there.

Pressing the Grapes

The Crush Festival is an excuse to throw a big party, but it’s also an actual process. Grapes are picked and stemmed, then sent into giant stainless-steel juicers (no, we don’t use our feet for that anymore). At this stage, the wine is just grape juice (many winemakers will set aside some for you to try!); it’s the addition of yeasts that sparks the fermentation into wine.

Winemaker Dinners

We love wine on its own, but it’s almost impossible to separate it from delicious foods! Many of our favorite local wineries are hosting special winemaker dinners, harvest meals, and other culinary celebrations of the end of the season. Check this Wine Events page for updates about specific meals and activities, or browse the list of Chelan wineries to contact the wineries you’re most interested in visiting.

Winery Parties and General Merriment

Of course, actual wine tasting is limited to adults of legal drinking age, but many wineries are planning family-friendly, all-day events featuring live music, dancing, tastings and more. Just as for the special harvest dinners, check back with the Wine Events page as we get closer to the Festival for updates and announcements of new harvest parties.

We hope to see you for this end-of-summer finale; it’s such a sweet way to end the season and welcome in the change to Fall. To help you plan your Crush experience, here’s a list of Chelan Valley wineries; many will be hosting dinners, parties, live music and more!

Lake Chelan activities

Lake Chelan Activities Beyond Watersports

If you’re one of our many friends and repeat visitors in Chelan, you know how big we are on anything and everything having to do with water: parasailing, jet skiing and boating but also water sports, longer boating tours around the lake and boat design.

But from time to time, even we have to admit that dry land looks pretty good, too. Fortunately, Chelan and the surrounding area hosts a ton of relaxing, beautiful and just plain fun outdoor activities for guests of every age.

Here are a few of our favorite places and things to do around town. If you’re with youngsters, don’t forget to check out our family fun roundup from a few weeks back!

Lake Chelan Activities Beyond Watersports

Electric Bike Tours

The zippy little two-wheelers at Chelan Electric Bikes are a blast! You can cruise at up to 20 miles per hour using either pedal power, the small electric motor, or a combination of both. The company also offers highly rated tours of local wineries, several of which we pointed out in our “local wineries” blog from a few weeks ago.

Farmer’s Market

One of the most beloved (and most delicious) weekly events of the summer is the Chelan Farmer’s Market, open every Thursday evening from 4 – 7 pm. You’ll see gorgeous produce and locally produced cheese from over 20 vendors, hear live music and catch food and cooking demos to boot. Unlike some other farmers markets, Chelan’s has a strict policy that all vendors and produce must be local. Come by and get a taste of what makes life in Chelan so magnificent!

Don Morse Memorial Park

A 40-acre extravaganza right on the lakeshore, Don Morse Park is named for one of the country’s most beloved fixtures, an orchardist and civic leader with a fascinating life story. The park he inspired offers prime swimming, boating, and sunbathing access, plus a host of amenities. You’ll find a newly resurfaced beach volleyball court, tennis, and basketball courts, a skatepark, and even an 18-hole green-grass putting course.

Beebe Bridge

A “hidden gem” of a park located some four miles east of Chelan, Beebe Bridge Park offers swimming, picnicking, tennis and more on a beautiful perch overlooking the Columbia River. Of course, the centerpiece is a stunning view of the bridge itself, an impressive, nearly 100-year-old two-lane steel span. If you’re motoring through town, Beebe Bridge Park offers RV hookups on a first-come-first-served basis.

Chelan Riverwalk Park

No description of Chelan would be complete without a mention of this gorgeous walking park winding around the eastern end of Lake Chelan. Featuring a picnic area, boat launch, and a walking trail, you can enjoy stunning views of the lake through all the seasons, but especially during the golden light of the last half of summer.

We hope you find these resources both tempting and useful, and most of all – we hope to see you here in Chelan sometime soon!