Wenatchee sits at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers and is within the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, which means that unlike cities in western Washington, Wenatchee gets nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. Its climate is very similar to that of other eastern Washington cities, yet it retains the picturesque views of the Cascade mountains.
It is believe by archeologists that an ancient people had migrated to the Wenatchee area during the last ice, some 12,000 years ago. This belief is based on many Clovis artifacts that have been found in or around the greater Wenatchee. These ancient people are thought to be the descendants of who would later become known as the Yakima Indians. White settlers began to move into the area during the late 1800s and early 1900s and colonization began.
The Wenatchee Valley provides an ideal climate for agriculture, and therefore, the area has become widely known for its produce. There are a plethora of orchards in the valley, especially apple orchards, from which Wenatchee has earned the slogan “Apple Capital of the World.”
The city has grown substantially in the 21st century. The greater Wenatchee area incorporates East Wenatchee, which lies on the opposite side of the Columbia River, as well as Rock Island and Malaga. The greater area has a population estimated at over 100,000 residents. It is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts looking to find a refreshing getaway from their every day surroundings.
- 1 Pangborn Memorial Airport (EAT IATA). The closest airport to Wenatchee (15 minutes away). The airport has three Horizon Airlines flights a day to Seattle/Tacoma.
The next nearest airports for commercial flights with additional airlines to/from additional destinations are in Everett PAE IATA and Seattle-Tacoma SEA IATA which is connected to Wenatchee by the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle for those traveling without a car (see below under 'By bus').
Driving is the most common way to get into and around town from the surrounding regions. It is 148 mi (238 km) NE of Seattle via I-90, SR-970 (Exit #85 from I-90) and US Hwy 97. From Spokane it is 169 mi (272 km) west via I-90, SR-281 (Exit 151 from I-90) and SR-28 through Quincy.
- US Hwy 2 & 97 passes through town from Peshastin 19 mi (31 km) west of town and north and south along the east side of the Columbia River from Orondo, 17.5 mi (28.2 km) north of town.
- US Hwy 2 continues (51 mi (82 km)) east towards Coulee City from Hwy 97 in Orondo and 4 mi (6.4 km) west to Leavenworth from its junction with Hwy 97 west of town in Peshastin.
- US Hwy 97 continues 26 mi (42 km) north to Chelan from its junction with US Hwy 2 in Orondo and 51 mi (82 km) south towards Ellensburg from US Hwy 2, west of town. Alternatively US Hwy 97 ALT parallels US Hwy 97 along the west side of the Columbia River to Chelan.
- SR-285 Connects downtown to US Hwy 2 & 97 in the north as N Wenatchee Blvd & Mill St. It goes through downtown as Chelan Ave (SB) and Mission Ave (NB) and crosses the river to connect with SR-28, south of downtown, in East Wenatchee as Stevens St.
- SR-28 Connects Wenatchee to Quincy and Ephrata from the sound end of town.
Wenatchee is served once daily by Amtrak on its Empire Builder train, running between Chicago, Spokane and Seattle. Westbound trains are split in Spokane with half going towards Portland and the other going towards Seattle. Both halves, going towards Chicago, are joined in Spokane. Wenatchee is on the Seattle to Spokane branch of the Empire Builder.
- 2 Columbia (Amtrak) Station, 1 Kittitas St & S Columbia St (Down along Kittitas to the end of the road, located downtown.). The station is an unstaffed platform with only a shelter. There are no facilities or amenities at this station
The 3 Columbia (Bus) Station is next to the Columbia Station Building at 300 S Columbia St at Kittitas & Columbia, across the street (Columbia) from the Amtrak station parking lot. The ticket desk for Northwestern Trailways and the customer service desk for Link Transit are inside the building. It is served by:
- 4 Link Transit, (office) 300 Columbia Ave (office in the building at 300 Columbia Ave, in the corner of Kittitas & Columbia while the bus transit center & hub is in the upper lot along S Wenatchee between Kittitas & Thurston), ☏ . Offers local bus service, service to East Wenatchee and intercity services to Ardenvoir (Rt #26); Chelan, Chelan Falls (#20); Leavenworth (#22); Manson (#20,21); Rock Island (#23); Cashmere (#22 & 28), etc. $1 one zone (local); $2.50 two zones ('intercity').
- Travel Washington Apple Line (Operated by Northwest trailways), (bus stop) Columbia Station at 300 S Columbia, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This line goes north from Ellensburg to Omak via Quincy, Pateros, Wenatchee, Okanogan, etc. along US Hwy 97 twice daily. See schedules. Connections to Greyhound and other bus lines are in Ellensburg.
- Grant County Transit Authority Rt #50 (GTA), (bus stop) Columbia Station Link Transit Center, ☏ , toll-free: . Thrice daily trip between Moses Lake and Wenatchee through Ephrata and Quincy along SR-28 and 17. $3 per boarding.
- Northwestern Trailways (Northwestern Stage Lines), (bus station) Columbia Station at 300 S Columbia (Tiket desk inside the Columbia Station building while the bus loads/unloads in the lower lot next to the building.), ☏ . Northwestern Trailways has one trip a day from Seattle (via Everett, Monroe, Stevens Pass, Skykomish, Leavenworth etc) and from Spokane (via Quincy, Moses Lake, Ritzville) to Wenatchee. Connections to Greyhound and other bus lines are in Everett, Seattle, Moses Lake and Spokane. Tickets can also be booked on Greyhound.com.
- Wenatchee Valley Shuttle, bus stops at Pangborn Airport, Penny Rd P&R and Columbia Station, ☏ . A shared shuttle service that operates several daily departures to Wenatchee and Peshastin in Eastern Washington from Sea-Tac and Bellevue. Check with them regarding local door to door pick-up or drop-off. $45 one-way, $85 roundtrip.
- Children's Discovery Museum, Riverside Playhouse, and Music Theatre
- Ohme Gardens
- Stemilt Growers
- Wenatchee Valley Museum
- Antique Shop District
- 1 Chateau le Pont Winery, 1 Vineyard Way (north of Wenatchee Confluence State Park), ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-9PM (winery & restaurant); Su-M 11AM-6PM (winery only).
- 2 Pybus Public Market, 3 N Worthen St (Worthen & Orondo, opposite of railroad tracks from downtown, by waterfront), ☏ . Daily 8AM-9PM. Open, airy marketplace featuring local farm goods, artisanal foods, restaurants & specialty shops. It is also the same location for the Wenatchee Farmers Market from May through December.
- 3 Wenatchee Valley Mall, 511 Valley Mall Parkway (Valley Mall Parkway & 5th Ave NE, east end of bridge from downtown along Stevens St.), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su 11AM-6PM. Wenatchee Valley Mall hosts Bed Bath & Beyond, Grocery Outlet, Macy's, Marshalls, PetSmart, Ross, Sportsman Warehouse and numerous other shops & restaurants in the mall and in the immediate surrounding areas not part of the mall (Fred Meyer, Hobby Lobby, Petco, Olive Garden, amongst others). There are other smaller strip malls, free-standing establishments & hotels radiating north and south along Valley Mall Pkwy
- 1 Best Western Chieftain Inn, 1017 N Wenatchee Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon.
- 2 Holiday Inn Express, 1921 N. Wenatchee Ave, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 3 Super 8, 1401 North Miller St, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Heated outdoor pool, hot tub, business center, meeting space, laundry facilities. Microwaves, refrigerators and wi-fi in rooms, breakfast included, pets welcome, handicap-accessible rooms available. No extra charge for kids 17 and under staying with an adult.
- Chelan - Chelan County county seat
- Chelan County Historical Museum
- Earthquake Point
- Echo Valley - ski resort
- Golden West Visitors Center
- Lake Chelan - ride the boat to Stehekin
- Lake Chelan State Park
- Lake Wenatchee State Park
- Leavenworth - ski resort
- Lincoln Rock State Park
- Mission Ridge - ski resort
- Peshastin Pinnacles State Park
- Squilchuck State Park
- Twenty Five Mile Creek State Park
|Routes through Wenatchee|
|Seattle ← Everett ← Leavenworth ←||W E||→ Ephrata → Spokane|
|Everett ← Leavenworth ← Cashmere ←||W E||→ Waterville → Coulee City → Davenport|
|Oroville ← Omak ← Chelan ←||N S||→ Cashmere → Ellensburg & Jct|
|END ← Rock Island ←||W E||→ Quincy → Ephrata|