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14 Things to Do in Winthrop (From Visiting Museums To Mountain Biking)

14 Things to Do in Winthrop (From Visiting Museums To Mountain Biking)

Post created July 18, 2023

Winthrop, is a charming town located in central Washington. With a distinctive Old West theme, natural beauty, and a wide array of outdoor activities, Winthrop has something for everyone!

From journeying through captivating historical museums and exploring local delights at the farmers market to engaging in exhilarating outdoor adventures, you’ll never run out of things to do in this town.

Whether you’re planning a tranquil weekend getaway, an adventurous, extended holiday, or you’re a local seeking new experience – here are 15 activities that will make your time in Winthrop absolutely unforgettable.

1. Visiting the Shafer Museum

Stepping into the Shafer Museum is like stepping back in time. Located in the heart of Winthrop, this outdoor museum is an absolute treasure trove of local history. 

The Shafer Museum in Winthrop is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring local history. The museum boasts an impressive selection of historical artifacts, buildings, and photographs that will transport you back to days gone by.

Friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer questions and provide fascinating anecdotes about the Methow Valley. The displays have been expertly curated, making it easy to find information and absorb stories of days gone by with ease. 

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about local culture, make sure not to miss out on the Shafer Museum!

2. Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is an unforgettable experience. Known as one of the best places in the U.S. for this sport, it offers an exceptional network of well-maintained trails with great views.

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced skier, there are trails for every skill level. As you glide along, the feel of the snow-covered forests and meadows will feel refreshing.

But it’s more than just physical activity; it’s the chance to connect with the natural world in a unique way. Each vista seems like a snapshot from a winter postcard, painting a picture of serene beauty.

For visitors to Winthrop, cross-country skiing is highly recommended. 

3. Explore Pearrygin Lake State Park

Visiting Pearrygin Lake State Park offers a delightful experience into nature. Located just outside Winthrop, this state park is a treasure trove of outdoor activities that cater to all age groups and interests.

The star attraction, Pearrygin Lake, invites a host of water-based activities. Whether it’s a leisurely swim in the warmer months, a relaxing fishing session, or an exciting boating adventure, the lake never disappoints.

And it’s not all about the water, either. Camping and hiking are equally rewarding, with well-maintained trails that offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. As you wander through the park, you can spot diverse wildlife that call this area home.

Pearrygin Lake State Park is more than just a destination, it’s a gateway to experiencing the rich natural beauty of Winthrop. The park’s inviting atmosphere and set of activities make it a must-visit for those who cherish the great outdoors.

4. Hiking at Pacific Crest Trail

Being on the Winthrop Pacific Crest Trail is an experience that should not to be missed. This long-distance trail is a hiker’s dream, with each turn revealing a new facet of the region’s stunning natural beauty.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or someone just looking for a day hike, the Pacific Crest Trail accommodates all. The paths wind through varied terrain, offering everything from gentle, wooded walks to more challenging climbs. But no matter the difficulty level, what remains constant is the spectacular scenery.

The views on this trail are truly magnificent, providing sweeping views of forests, mountains, and valleys that define the Pacific Northwest. 

It’s highly recommended for those looking to explore the wilderness and challenge themselves in the great outdoors.

5. Winthrop Washington Morning Glory Balloon Tours

Fly up high in the sky with Morning Glory Balloon Tours, an experience that takes Winthrop’s beauty to new heights. As the hot air balloon ascends, the panoramic views of the Methow Valley, with its sprawling landscapes and majestic mountains, are nothing short of breathtaking.

This early morning adventure begins just as dawn breaks, with the world gradually coming to life below. The peacefulness of floating above the waking valley is an experience that’s hard to put into words.

Each flight with Morning Glory Balloon Tours is a unique experience, influenced by the day’s wind direction and weather conditions. As a result, no two flights are the same, but all provide an exclusive view of Winthrop’s surroundings.

While it might be an early start, the spectacle of the sun rising over the Methow Valley from your elevated vantage point is worth it. This adventure offers an unforgettable perspective on the natural beauty around Winthrop and comes highly recommended for any visitor looking for a memorable experience.

6. River Rafting and Kayaking

Embarking on rafting or kayaking on the Methow River is an exhilarating way to experience Winthrop’s outdoor offerings. The river, with its clear waters and diverse landscapes, offers both scenic beauty and a thrilling ride.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for white water rafting or someone seeking a more peaceful kayaking trip, the Methow River has something for everyone. 

Skilled guides ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, explaining river dynamics and safety procedures before you hit the water.

As you navigate the river’s flow, you’ll pass through stunning natural surroundings, offering a unique viewpoint of the valley’s flora and fauna. It’s not uncommon to spot wildlife along the banks, adding an extra element of excitement to the journey.

7. Fishing and Hunting in Winthrop

Fishing and hunting in Winthrop provide an exciting opportunity to engage with the area’s rich natural resources. The region is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and forests, each full with a variety of fish and game.

Anglers can expect a rewarding fishing experience in waters around Winthrop. From tranquil fly-fishing spots in the Methow River to vibrant lake environments, it’s a fisherman’s paradise with trout and other fishes.

Hunters can also find a variety of hunting seasons and species in the surrounding forests. With responsible hunting practices, it’s an activity that connects you to the wilderness, testing your skills in a natural setting.

Whether you’re casting a line in the cool morning mist or tracking game through the silent woods, fishing and hunting in Winthrop are more than just pastimes. They offer a chance to participate in age-old traditions, respect nature, and enjoy the great outdoors.

8. Bird Watching in Winthrop

(Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Indulging in bird watching in Winthrop is a delight for nature lovers. The region’s diverse habitats, from sparkling rivers and beautiful lakes to forests and natural meadows, are home to an array of bird species.

With a good pair of binoculars and some patience, birdwatchers can spot everything from waterfowl and raptors to songbirds and woodpeckers. Each season brings different species into view, making it a rewarding activity all year round.

Winthrop’s peaceful surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for this hobby. As you quietly observe, you’ll likely feel a connection with nature that’s both calming and invigorating.

9. Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival

Attending the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival is an absolute must for music lovers. This annual event, held in the beautiful Methow Valley, has been attracting audiences and top-tier talent for decades, making it the longest-running blues festival in the state of Washington.

From the moment the first guitar strum rings out, you can feel the electric atmosphere. A line-up of talented artists takes the stage, their soulful tunes resonating through the open air. Whether you’re a dedicated blues fan or new to the genre, the powerful performances are sure to move you.

But the festival isn’t just about the music, it’s about the sense of community that’s cultivated here. Dancing with strangers, laughing with friends, sharing in the collective joy of music – it’s a truly immersive experience.

10. Visit the Winthrop Farmers Market

Exploring the Winthrop Farmers Market is an engaging way to become immersed in local customs. 

Every weekend, visitors and neighbors alike come together to take part in this vibrant market experience where they can find delightful treats such as freshly grown fruits or vegetables, handmade baked goods from artisanal crafters, or handcrafted items crafted by locals. 

The market is an uplifting place to be in, as you are surrounded by friendliness and a strong sense of community from the vendors and those around them — all while supporting sustainable practices such as local businesses. 

This transfer into their culture provides insight into Winthrop’s vast agricultural history coupled with it being home to talented artists and craftspeople.

11. Experience The Gazing Stars

Experiencing the night sky in Winthrop is a memorable way to conclude any day spent exploring this charming town. Far removed from the light pollution of larger cities, Winthrop’s night skies offer a spectacular celestial showcase that’s bound to leave you in awe.

As darkness falls, the stars begin to emerge, their twinkling forms casting a magical glow across the sky. Whether you choose to gaze skyward from a quiet spot in town or venture further into the wilderness for an unobstructed view, it’s a breathtaking sight to behold.

12. Visit Winthrop’s Old-Fashioned Main Street

(Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pierrette Guertin)

Walking down Winthrop’s Old-Fashioned Main Street is like taking a step back in time. The town has retained a Western theme in its architecture and design, creating a charming and nostalgic atmosphere that’s unique to this part of Washington State.

As you stroll along the sidewalks, you’ll encounter a variety of local businesses, from quaint shops selling handcrafted goods to eateries serving delicious local cuisine. Each establishment exudes a warm, welcoming vibe, embodying the community spirit of Winthrop.

Historical elements are thoughtfully incorporated into the town’s design, with many buildings and structures reminiscent of the Old West. The street itself is a living testament to Winthrop’s rich history and its commitment to preserving its heritage.

13. Mountain Biking Through Nature

(Image Credit: Shutterstock /inigocia)

Experience the thrills and beauty of Winthrop on a mountain bike! The area’s vast network of trails offers something for every enthusiast. Whether you’re looking to take it easy or challenge your limits, there are options that fit any level of skill. 

Ride along peaceful meadows with sweeping views into the valley, or navigate more challenging off-road terrain through lush forests and along sparkling rivers. For an extra dose of excitement, guide services, and bike shops are available to provide an unforgettable ride full of adventure. 

Experience the breathtaking natural beauty that Winthrop has to offer as you enjoy this great physical activity — mountain biking! 

Feel your heart race with adrenaline as you take in all the surrounding beauty and revel in the sense of accomplishment after enjoying an exhilarating outdoor adventure.

14. Sun Mountain Lodge Horseback Riding

Engaging in Horseback Riding at the Sun Mountain Lodge is a wonderful way to explore Winthrop’s backcountry. As you saddle up and head out on the trail, the lodge’s stunning surroundings truly come alive.

With the help of skilled guides and well-trained horses, riders of all experience levels can enjoy this activity. The trails wind through a range of landscapes, from tranquil meadows and quiet woods to sun-dappled groves and panoramic viewpoints.

The pace is leisurely, which allows for plenty of opportunities to appreciate the scenery, spot wildlife, and even learn about the local ecology. The majestic mountains serve as the perfect backdrop, adding to the overall charm of the ride.

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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