Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Cascade Loop Wedding & Event Roadtrip!

What an amazing adventure Pink Blossom Events had while traveling through the The Cascade Loop earlier this October! With the fall leaves changing and even a bit of snow on the mountaintops it was the perfect time to hit the open road! Leaving from Snohomish we headed up east on Highway 2 through the Cascade mountains that would eventually take us on overnight stops in Chelan, Winthrop and the North Cascades Institute on Lake Diablo in the North Cascades National Park all looping back through the Skagit Valley back to Snohomish. Along the way in between hiking and sight seeing, we toured some incredible wedding and event venues and thoroughly believe that even if you are not planning an upcoming wedding or event in the Cascades, The Cascade Loop is a must adventure for all!

Located along Highway 2 in the Cascades, Leavenworth is always a must stop when heading over the pass. The Bavarian themed village is home to first class shopping, restaurants, wineries, festivals and outdoor recreation. 
(The Tumwater Canyon pictured above greats you on your way into Leavenworth)
This area also boasts some of Washington's favorite wedding venues including Mountain Springs Lodge and Sleeping Lady to name a few. While we didn't get a chance to visit any of our favorite venues while in town we did enjoy spending the afternoon strolling through town as it was in it's full Autumn glory!

Lake Chelan Valley is situated in the North Cascades National Forest and boasts one of the states favorite vacation getaways, Lake Chelan. With a guarantee of four seasons of memories, 300 days of sunshine and a small town charm, Lake Chelan is the perfect location for a destination wedding. Here is a brief summary of the venues Pink Blossom Events visited while staying in Chelan.

 Tsillian Cellars Winery - Chelan
With their breathtaking views, award winning wines and world-class food, Tsillan Cellars is the perfect space for making your wedding unforgettable. In the spring of 2012 they upgraded their venue to include a fully enclosed reception space that features floor to ceiling windows ensuring a great indoor space in the winter as well as a place to stay cool in the hot summer sun! This is one venue you don't want to skip!

Campbell's Resort - Chelan
Since 1901 Campbell's Resort has been a favorite destination resort. Located on the shores of Lake Chelan, Campbell's Resort offers accommodations, a restaurant, a day spa and conference center making this the perfect landing pad for any wedding group. While touring the various locations offered for ceremonies, receptions and other events, we found the River Room and Park Room's to be one of our favorites! Located adjacent to the Spa you have a view of the park and a bit more privacy for your event! We also had a chance to stay at Campbell's Resort during our visit and found the rooms to be full of all the amenities for a wonderful stay including a mini-kitchenette and stunning view of the lake!
Be sure to check out this post from a past Chelan visit a few years ago which features Campbell's Resort weddings. 

KARMA Vineyards - Chelan
In 2007 Karma opened it's doors and established itself as the first Methode Champenoise house in the Lake Chelan area. Located on the South Shore of Lake Chelan, the 70 acre estate features an underground wine cave and two locations to host your celebration. The Lila Patio (pictured below) sits directly next to the tasting room and is nestled among a group of lilac trees making this a very romantic and intimate space for up to 150. The Panorama Patio (pictured above) was absolutely breathtaking as it sites up on the hillside and allows for a 180 degree view of Lake Chelan and Karma's vineyards. 

***MUST STOP: En-route to Winthrop from Chelan, with tummies growling, we stopped for lunch at Sweet River Bakery in Pateros and boy was that the best decision that day! Their menu boasts fresh made bread, sandwiches, soups and the best brick oven pizza you've ever had!***

Winthrop - Spring Creek Ranch
Located in the heart of the Methow Valley, Winthrop is the perfect destination for your next wedding or event or for a trip during winter as Winthrop is home to one of the finest cross-country ski areas in North America! Known as the Old West of Washington, you will drive past big old weathered barns, horses and the Cascades as a backdrop as you end the Western town of Winthrop.
For our stay in Winthrop, Pink Blossom Events was hosted by Spring Creek Ranch. The sixty acre vacation rental sits along the Methow River which is home to birds, deer and other local creatures. While staying at the Spring Creek Cabin we watched a family of deer feast morning, noon and night and also had a stunning view of the rest of the property including the Ranch House which comfortably sleeps nine guests. Spring Creek Ranch is truly a special place and is the perfect setting for any special occasion! Pink Blossom Events is mulling over the possibility of lots of upcoming events at this spectacular destination as we just can't say enough good things about it!

North Cascades Institute
After years of hearing how spectacular Diablo Lake is, I decided it was time to cross that off the bucket list  as a must see stop along the route. Coincidentally I had also been receiving the newsletters from The North Cascades Institute which operates the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in partnership with the City of Seattle and the National Park Service on the shores of Diablo Lake in the heart of North Cascades National Park for the past few years. When on a random search preparing for the trip around the Cascade Loop, I discovered that in addition to their educational efforts, the North Cascades Institute hosts conferences, weddings, reunions, board retreats and you name it at their Environmental Learning Center so I knew this was a must stop!
(Photos courtesy of Henry Klein Partnership, Doug Ogle, Benj Drummond and Tim Matsui.)
Pink Blossom Events was blessed with the opportunity to stay at the Learning Center and after a brief panic attack getting to the venue (yes you have to drive over the Diablo Dam - yikes!) the venue is simply breathtaking! Surrounded by old-growth forests and a pristine lake, activities are endless! Hiking, canoeing, bird watching, you name it, you can do it at the Learning Center! And with it's location in the heart of the North Cascades National Park their passion is helping people explore, learn about and appreciate this unique region through education and experiences allowing you to learn more about the local surroundings.

We were thoroughly impressed with all of their amenities, hospitality and ability in making your event truly unique! In addition to being able to lodge up to 92 guests onsite, they offer three meals a day as part of your stay in the lakeside Salmonberry Dining Hall. We can't wait to go back!

Skagit Valley - North Cascades Highway
As we headed west from Diablo Lake we stopped in the Seattle City Light company towns of Diablo and Newhalem along with a few other notable stops that we couldn't resist sharing below!

Cascadian Farms - Skagit Valley
Being fall harvest season we couldn't help but stop at a few local produce stands along our travels. Located in the foothills of the Cascades, the Cascadian Farm's Roadside Stand is a must stop when driving through Rockport. Featuring seasonal produce and homemade organic ice cream there is something for everyone! We were inspired by this Make Your Own Scarecrow for kids and kids at heart! 

Challenger Ridge Vineyard & Cellars - Skagit Valley
Located in Concrete off the North Cascades Highway, Challenger Ridge Vineyard & Cellars covers over 65 acres in the Skagit Valley making for a beautiful backdrop for your event or wedding. During our visit the grape vines were full of plump grapes which were waiting to be harvested that following weekend! The venue features an onsite tent and crush pad for your event among the vineyard. In addition in the summertime glamping tents can be found along the river and near the vineyard.

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