Located in the North Cascade Mountain Range, there are three main towns in the North Cascades; Leavenworth, a Bavarian themed town that has a bunch of wineries and other tourist activities; Wenatchee, which only has a few wineries but is great if wine tasting is only part of what you want to do; and Lake Chelan, which is a great summer family destination and an exciting new wine region. There are over 40 wineries concentrated here along with vast beauty and tons of outdoor activities. Most wineries in this area are open regular business hours, but some of them only seasonally. Plan about 3 – 3.5 hours from Seattle and more in the winter due to poor driving conditions.
This area in north central Washington is, in a word, stunning. Even if there wasn’t wine at the end of the rainbow, the view through the North Cascades alone is worth the drive. Three main cities make up the hub of the North Cascades; Leavenworth, Lake Chelan and Wenatchee. They are within 30 to 50 minutes away from each other with Lake Chelan being the furthest point out. Leavenworth is close enough for a day trip from the Seattle area, but Lake Chelan and Wenatchee are better suited for a weekend getaway.
There are plenty of hotels and restaurants and a variety of wineries here. If you’re in the mood for a scenic, curvy mountain drive then take Highway 2 east hitting Leavenworth first. You can also take I-90 east, then head north through Wenatchee and on to either Leavenworth or Lake Chelan. This area is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast as there are a variety of non-wine related outdoor activities such as river rafting, hiking and skiing.
Leavenworth is a German themed town with a ton of tourist activities. The town center has plenty of restaurants and hotels with winery tasting rooms sprinkled throughout. You can also travel outside of town to explore wineries in their unique mountain settings.
Travel through Wenatchee as you travel east away from Leavenworth. The Columbia River runs through Wenatchee providing stunning vistas from wineries such as Martin Scott. Wenatchee is famous for apples, and you’ll see plenty of apple orchards as you travel through this area.