Wait just a minute before crossing Lake Chelan off your list of “long weekend destinations” for the year.

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Summer is over, but wait just a minute before crossing Lake Chelan off your list of “long weekend destinations” for the year. This idyllic valley is best known for its wide offering of summertime activities like boating, golfing, fishing and river-rafting. But it’s equally special in the fall — and if you’re passionate about wine (and who among us isn’t?), there are a number of places to go and events to attend. So if you’ve been in search of a weekend excursion for the grownups, look no further than Lake Chelan.

So what exactly happens in the valley when summer is over? Read on, and then start packing your bags.

Dia de los Muertos

If you love the movie “Coco” (and who doesn’t?) you might want to consider the Dia de los Muertos celebration in historic downtown Chelan. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors deceased loved ones. Beautiful altars are made – decorated with candles, flowers and food – and it is believed the adult spirits come down to enjoy the festivities that have been prepared for them.

On Nov. 3, Riverwalk Park will be filled with story-telling, kids activities, piñatas and live music. You’ll have a chance to place your own decorations to honor deceased love ones at the central altar. The famous dancing horses will be performing and the festivities culminate with a beautifully lantern lit parade down the center of town.

Plus, there’s the chance to vote on the best taco in town during the Taco Crawl (12-5 p.m.) or the best margarita Chelan has to offer (12-2 p.m.).

Lake Chelan Girlies Getaway Weekend

While not related to the harvest, strictly speaking, Lake Chelan’s Girlies Getaway Weekend does kick off with a champagne reception at Grandview on the Lake, Friday, Oct. 28, and champagne is made with harvested grapes … you see where we’re going here. The weekend is a fun opportunity to escape with friends for fun, food, shopping, spa treatments, and yes, wine tasting. There’s even a Seahawks brunch at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan.

Fall Barrel Tastings

The weekend after Thanksgiving offers wine lovers plenty of reasons to keep the gratitude flowing. Visit Lake Chelan’s Wine Valley for the fall barrel tasting at local wineries. Soak up the autumn sun, spectacular views, and taste the region’s delicious red wines straight from the barrels. Nov. 23-25.

Hiking

We love Seattle in fall as much as the next person, but even our beautiful city can’t rival the incredible foliage in Lake Chelan. Hit the trails to take in the orange and red hues of fall and burn off all that wine and apple juice in the most enjoyable way possible. The weather remains in the 60s throughout October, so don’t worry about getting cold.

In Lake Chelan you’ll find four seasons of wine, sun, stunning natural beauty and adventures you can tune to your own tastes.