Do you want to visit Wenatchee but aren’t sure what to do when you get to this small town in Washington State? With a population of around 34,000 people, you’ll find this town in Eastern Washington has plenty to offer visitors for a weekend getaway or summer vacation including wine tastings, a unique market, foodie stops, a historic downtown, outdoor recreation, and plenty of stunning scenery.
Here are seven reasons to visit Wenatchee right now!
Disclosure: You can help support my small town travels by using the affiliate links in this post. Using the link is at no additional cost to you, and provides a small commission to me to help support my blog.
7 Reasons You Should Visit Wenatchee Right Now
1 Wine, Beer and Foodie Stops
Eastern Washington is known for its wine, beer, and spirits. While the libation scene is on the smaller side in Wenatchee, I foresee it only becoming more of a draw. For wine lovers, the area has ten wineries and over 15 tasting rooms. For beer drinkers, there are three brewing companies. And, if you are more into spirits, there are three distilleries.
I would suggest stopping by the Wenatchee Visitor Information Center tasting room first to get an idea of all that is offered in the area. And, if there is a particular drink you fancy, make plans to visit their location.
For foodies, one of the best places to start is at Pybus Market. There are several restaurants here, including a brewery and wine tasting room, and more restaurants in town. I can recommend Pybus Bistro for breakfast or brunch and McGlinn’s Public House for lunch or dinner.
Art is everywhere in Wenatchee, and it is FREE to see. If you are looking for an outdoor or kid-friendly activity check out Art on the Avenues. This display has 90 sculptures on the Apple Capital Loop Trail and throughout Wenatchee. Most of the pieces are outdoors along the Columbia River and in historic downtown with a few pieces indoors.
3 Apple Capital Loop Trail
Have a couple of hours and want to experience the great outdoors? Bike the 10-mile Apple Capital Loop Trail! The best place to start is at Pybus Market, and you can even rent bikes there at Alberg Sports. The trail is paved and the lop goes on either side of the river with two bridge crossings.
The section near town along the waterfront has parts that are more manicured, including trees for shade. The opposite side of the trail is more of an open prairie with very little shade. Regardless of where you go, you’ll find the sun intense in Washington, so be sure to wear sunscreen, bring a hat, sunglasses and a bottle of water. After your bike ride, cool down with some gelato by Ice at the market.
If walking is more your style, it is also a great place to stroll and admire the Wenatchee Valley scenery.
4 Ohme Gardens
Ohme Gardens is one attraction you don’t want to miss. Set on outside of town, the gardens are a wooden haven with hiking trails, ponds, and views of the valley. The story of the gardens is just as fascinating as the gardens themselves. Purchased in 1929, Herman and Ruth Ohme transformed their 40 acres into a dream garden with alpine meadows, shaded pools with benches, and hiking trails. For years, the gardens were the family’s retreat, and their children spent much of their childhood at the gardens and having summertime campfires.
Today, the gardens are open to the public from April 15th to October 15th, seven days a week. Parking is free. Tickets are $8 adult, $4 for children 6-17 and kids 5 and under are free.
5 A Hotel & Bed and Breakfast With a View
You’ll find plenty of lodging options in Wenatchee. During my visit, I stayed at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel and Warm Springs Inn & Winery. I’d recommend both.
If you want to be close to the action and the heartbeat of downtown Wenatchee, stay at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel. It is steps away from dining, shops, Pybus Market, and the Wenatchee Waterfront Park. Every room in the hotel has a view of the Wenatchee Valley, and if you have kids along with you, they will love the indoor/outdoor pool.
If you prefer staying at a bed and breakfast and are not traveling with kids, Warm Springs Inn & Winery sits along the Wenatchee River. Rooms are elegantly decorated, and the grounds include multiple shared living spaces, a wine tasting room, a large deck, and a lawn that touches the banks of the river. In the morning, you’ll be served an amazing breakfast made by a seasoned chef.
6 Pybus Market
I love when small towns reinvest in historic buildings. That is exactly what happened with Pybus Market. A former dilapidated warehouse, the market is now a community hub with restaurants, vendors selling local wares and products like cheese, produce, meat and seafood, flowers, some international goods, and a farmers market.
The market is in an excellent location along the Columbia River and a block from downtown. If you only have a couple of hours to spend in Wenatchee, Pybus Market will give you a good taste.
7 – The Spirit of Wenatchee
If you’ve read my post about why I am so obsessed with Wenatchee, you’ll already be familiar with the story of Miss Veedol and pilots Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon. It is such an interesting tale and a sure-fire reason for history buffs to visit Wenatchee right now.
In short, the town has the honor of being connected with the first nonstop Pacific flight. When Pangborn and Hernon faced troubles on their flight from Japan to Seattle, which included issues with their landing gear, Pangborn decided to crash land the plane in an airfield East Wenatchee. A place he knew very well, for he is from the area. Both pilots survived and were the first to make the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the plane was sold and lost at sea several years later. That didn’t stop a group of local Miss Veedol enthusiasts who took it upon themselves to build a replica. You can see her by appointment. She is beautiful!
I suggest visiting the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center first as they have an exhibit on the pilots and the original plane propeller.
One of the ways I save money while traveling is my using LivingSocial. Save up to 70% on travel deals at LivingSocial.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.