Summer Fun in Chelan

Learn to fly, pick berries, and indulge in pie
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Photos by Ethan Chung

Lake Chelan has long been a favorite destination for Western Washington residents. The picturesque views, warm clear water and miles of lakeside coastline make it an ideal vacation spot. Options abound at Lake Chelan — if you love to eat and drink, there are dozens of restaurants and wineries in the area. If you seek adventure, Chelan offers many activities in and out of the water. You can take a scenic road or mountain bike ride, take a seaplane tour (Chelan Seaplanes) or learn to fly without wings on a flyboard.

What is a flyboard?

A flyboard is basically a jetpack that you strap to your feet. As dangerous as that sounds initially, understand that this activity is done on the water, so you won’t be careening into the ground or a building. But, for safety’s sake, a helmet and life vest are required. A Flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a personal watercraft (a high-powered personal water craft), which propels the boarder into the air.

AV Watersports, based in Kenmore, offers flyboarding at Lake Chelan during the summer. Co-owner Mike Jeffries says it’s the closest he’s ever felt to being an actual superhero. “It is like a combination of the hoverboard, Iron Man, and the thing that the Green Goblin rides in “Spider-Man” … One of the best things that distinguishes it from other sports is that you can be a little more aggressive and try more tricks because the water is much more forgiving than concrete,” he says.

Jeffries explains that even though it looks impossibly difficult, flyboarding is “very versatile and allows for all ages and skill levels. We have had people from 11 years old to 66 fly, as well as amazing athletes that have done back flips and gone 30 feet in the air their first time to people that just float a few feet above the water.”

Flyboarding has become a sensational international sport where competitors are judged on trick creativity and difficulty. One of AV Watersports’ instructors, Scotty Knemeyer, who is currently in Honolulu instructing for the company, is one of the only people in the world to have completed a double back flip. He recently qualified for the North American Flyboarding Championships in Toronto this summer.

Do you want to learn how to flyboard? Find out more about this fun activity at AV Watersports.

363Head for the (Blueberry) Hills

Are you looking for delicious breakfasts? Towering burgers? Incredible pies? What about fresh-squeezed blueberry juice? Or a place to pick your own berries? Blueberry Hills Farm offers all this and more. Owner Kari Sorensen runs Blueberry Hills Farm with her parents, Roger and Linda. Blueberry Hills Farm is a small, family-owned and operated, working 13-acre U-pick berry farm and restaurant. The restaurant features stick-to-your-ribs country cuisine (chicken fried steak as big as your head, out-of-this-world homemade pies and more) that has visitors lined up out the door on weekends.

355The restaurant also features a store where you can purchase various blueberry and fruit products. One of the Sorensens’ biggest sellers is fresh blueberry juice, which is full of antioxidants. It’s widely believed that blueberries possess a wealth of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control and more. You can buy a 32-ounce mason jar of the delicious and healthy juice for $14.

After you indulge in a hearty breakfast, head out back to roam through Blueberry Hills’ acres of U-pick berry offerings. You can collect blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for $2 a pound. Blueberry season runs through late August, and the other berries are usually available through late fall.

Check out all Blueberry Hill Farm has to offer.

Where to Stay

Chelan is full of inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts. If you’re staying for a long weekend, it’s ideal to find a place that includes a kitchen. Chelan Resort Suites offers all the comforts of home in fully furnished units, with amenities like washer/dryers, flat-screen TVs and high-speed Internet. Many of the units have water views, and lake access is less than a 5-minute walk away.

is a contributor to 425 magazine.
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