Top-Rated Things to Do in Winthrop, WA


By Erica Silverstein

Winthrop, a charming town nestled in the beautiful Methow Valley of Washington State, offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Known for its Old West feel and stunning natural scenery, Winthrop is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

One of the top things to do in Winthrop is to explore the North Cascades National Park. With its rugged mountains, glacier-carved valleys, and pristine lakes, this national park is a paradise for hikers, climbers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Take a scenic drive through the park or embark on a thrilling adventure to discover the hidden gems of the North Cascades.

If you’re looking for a taste of the Old West, a visit to the Shafer Museum is a must. This unique museum showcases the history and heritage of the region, with exhibits ranging from Native American artifacts to pioneer tools. Get a glimpse of the past as you wander through the museum’s displays and learn about the fascinating stories that have shaped Winthrop.

For those seeking outdoor adventure, the Methow Valley offers a plethora of activities. From world-class mountain biking and horseback riding to fly fishing and cross-country skiing, there’s something for everyone. Explore the vast network of trails, paddle along the sparkling rivers, or simply soak in the breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains.

No visit to Winthrop would be complete without experiencing the famous Old Schoolhouse Brewery. This local favorite is renowned for its handcrafted beers and delicious pub fare. Sit back, relax, and sample some of the region’s finest brews while enjoying the rustic charm of the brewery’s historic building.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, historical exploration, or simply a peaceful retreat in nature, Winthrop has it all. Discover the top-rated things to do in this picturesque town and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Outdoor Activities in Winthrop

If you’re visiting Winthrop, WA, you’re in for a treat when it comes to outdoor activities. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers plenty of options for adventure enthusiasts.

1. Hiking: Winthrop is surrounded by the picturesque North Cascades Mountain Range, making it a paradise for hikers. There are numerous trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, that offer breathtaking views of the mountains, forests, and lakes. Some popular trails include the Maple Pass Loop, Cutthroat Pass, and Blue Lake.

2. Mountain Biking: With its rugged terrain and scenic landscapes, Winthrop is a great destination for mountain biking. There are trails for all skill levels, from beginner-friendly paths to more challenging downhill rides. The Methow Valley has become a favorite spot for mountain bikers, with its well-maintained trails and beautiful surroundings.

3. Fishing: If you enjoy fishing, Winthrop has plenty of options. The Methow River is renowned for its fishing opportunities, with abundant populations of trout and steelhead. You can also try your luck at nearby lakes and streams, such as Pearrygin Lake and Patterson Lake.

4. Horseback Riding: Explore Winthrop’s stunning landscapes on horseback. There are several outfitters that offer guided horseback rides, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the region while learning about its history and wildlife. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, horseback riding in Winthrop is a memorable experience.

5. Whitewater Rafting: For adrenaline junkies, whitewater rafting is a must-try activity in Winthrop. The nearby Methow River provides thrilling rapids and breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, there are options for everyone, with rafting trips available for all skill levels.

6. Wildlife Viewing: Winthrop is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, bald eagles, and more. Take a leisurely stroll along one of the many nature trails in the area or join a wildlife tour to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

7. Camping: For those who want to spend a night under the stars, Winthrop offers numerous camping options. From rustic campsites to RV parks with full hookups, there’s something for everyone. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping and enjoy the tranquility of the great outdoors.

These are just a few of the outdoor activities you can enjoy in Winthrop, WA. Whether you’re seeking adventures or simply want to relax and soak in the natural beauty, Winthrop has something for everyone.

Winthrop Museums and Historical Sites

If you’re a history buff or just interested in learning more about the area, Winthrop has a number of museums and historical sites that are worth a visit. These attractions offer unique insights into the history and culture of the Methow Valley.

One popular museum in Winthrop is the Shafer Museum, located in the old Methow Valley Lumber Company building. This museum features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the region’s pioneer history, including early settlers, Native American culture, mining, and logging. The museum also has a replica of a pioneer town, complete with a blacksmith shop, general store, and schoolhouse.

Another interesting museum in Winthrop is the North Cascade Smokejumper Base Museum. This museum pays homage to the brave smokejumpers who have fought wildfires in the area for decades. Visitors can learn about the history of smokejumping, see equipment used by smokejumpers, and hear stories from those who have dedicated their lives to this dangerous profession.

For those interested in local Native American history, the Methow Valley Interpretive Center is a must-visit. This center highlights the rich cultural heritage of the Methow Valley tribes, including the Methow, Okanogan, and Colville tribes. The center features exhibits on traditional crafts, history, and the ongoing efforts to preserve Native American culture.

Winthrop is also home to the Shafer Historical Museum, which is housed in a historic 1890s home. This museum focuses on the history of the Methow Valley and offers exhibits on topics such as early transportation, mining, and homesteading. Visitors can explore the grounds and see historic artifacts, including antique vehicles and farming equipment.

Lastly, the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery is an interesting spot to visit. This hatchery is part of the greater effort to conserve fish populations in the region. Visitors can learn about the fish breeding process, see different species of fish up close, and learn about the hatchery’s role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Attraction Location Hours Admission
Shafer Museum 285 Castle Ave 9am-5pm, daily $5 adults, $3 children
North Cascade Smokejumper Base Museum 31 Twisp Airport Rd 10am-4pm, Mon-Fri Free
Methow Valley Interpretive Center 455 Twin Lakes Rd 10am-4pm, Thu-Sat $2 suggested donation
Shafer Historical Museum 285 Castle Ave 10am-5pm, Tue-Sat $5 adults, $3 children
Winthrop National Fish Hatchery 4736 State Hwy 20 8am-4pm, Mon-Fri Free

Shopping in Winthrop

When visiting Winthrop, be sure to set aside some time for shopping! This charming town offers a variety of unique stores and boutiques where you can find everything from local arts and crafts to outdoor gear.

If you’re looking for handmade gifts or souvenirs, be sure to check out the local artisans and craft shops. These stores offer a wide selection of handcrafted items such as pottery, jewelry, paintings, and textiles. You’re sure to find a one-of-a-kind treasure to take home or gift to a loved one.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are several stores in Winthrop that specialize in outdoor gear and clothing. Whether you’re in need of hiking boots, camping equipment, or a warm jacket for those chilly mountain nights, you’ll find it here. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can help you find the perfect gear for your next outdoor adventure.

In addition to arts, crafts, and outdoor gear, Winthrop also has a variety of specialty shops. From bookstores to antique stores, you can spend hours browsing through these unique establishments. Keep an eye out for local items and products that highlight the unique character of this western-themed town.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the local farmer’s market if you’re in town during the right season. Here, you’ll find fresh produce, local honey, and other delicious goodies. It’s a great way to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the flavors of the region.

Shopping in Winthrop offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, outdoor gear, or simply want to explore the shops and boutiques, you’ll find it all in this charming town.

Winthrop Wineries and Craft Breweries

When visiting Winthrop, Washington, don’t miss the opportunity to explore its local wineries and craft breweries. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a beer lover, Winthrop has something to offer for everyone’s taste buds.

One popular winery in Winthrop is the Lost River Winery. They specialize in producing handcrafted wines from grapes grown in their own vineyard. Their tasting room provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere where you can sample their award-winning wines and learn about the winemaking process.

Another must-visit winery is the Methow Valley Ciderhouse. This family-owned and operated establishment is known for its delicious ciders made from locally sourced apples. Take a tour of their orchard and production facility to gain insight into the cider-making process while enjoying scenic views of the surrounding valley.

For beer enthusiasts, the Old Schoolhouse Brewery is a must-visit destination. This craft brewery offers a wide variety of beers, from classic ales to unique experimental brews. Their welcoming taproom is a great place to relax, grab a pint, and enjoy some live music or a game of pool.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, head over to Lost River Winery and Ciderhouse. As the name suggests, this establishment combines the best of both worlds by offering a range of wines and ciders. With indoor and outdoor seating options, it’s the perfect place to unwind and savor the flavors of the Methow Valley.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a casual beer drinker, the wineries and craft breweries in Winthrop are sure to delight your taste buds and provide a memorable experience. So make sure to add these attractions to your itinerary when exploring this charming mountain town.

Winthrop Art Galleries and Studios

If you are an art enthusiast, you’ll love exploring Winthrop’s vibrant art scene. The town is home to several art galleries and studios where you can discover and appreciate the works of local and regional artists. From impressive paintings to unique sculptures, there is something for every art lover in Winthrop.

One notable art gallery in Winthrop is the Winthrop Gallery, which features a diverse collection of artworks created by local artists. The gallery showcases a wide range of mediums including painting, photography, ceramics, and more. There are often rotating exhibits, so you can always expect to see something new and exciting.

Another must-visit gallery is the Confluence Gallery and Art Center. This spacious gallery hosts regularly changing exhibits that highlight the best in contemporary art. From thought-provoking installations to stunning mixed media pieces, the Confluence Gallery always offers a fresh perspective on the art world.

If you’re interested in the process of creating art, you can also visit the studios of individual artists in Winthrop. Many artists in the area have open studios where you can see them in action and learn about their artistic process. This provides a unique opportunity to engage with the artists and gain insight into their creative journey.

If you’re looking to take home a unique piece of art as a souvenir, Winthrop’s art galleries and studios are the perfect place to shop. You can find one-of-a-kind artworks that capture the beauty and essence of the Methow Valley. Whether you prefer landscapes, wildlife, or abstract art, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you.

Gallery Address Phone Website
Winthrop Gallery 237 Riverside Ave, Winthrop, WA (509) 996-3925
Confluence Gallery and Art Center 104 Glover St, Twisp, WA (509) 997-ARTS

Winthrop Scenic Drives and Hiking Trails

Winthrop, Washington, offers a variety of scenic drives and hiking trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Cascade Mountains. Whether you prefer a leisurely drive or an adventurous hike, Winthrop has something for everyone.

One of the most popular scenic drives in the area is the North Cascades Highway, which begins in Winthrop and extends through the stunning North Cascades National Park. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests. Be sure to stop at the Washington Pass Overlook for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks.

If you’re looking for a shorter drive that still showcases the area’s beauty, consider exploring the Methow Valley. This picturesque valley is known for its charming small towns, rolling hills, and vibrant wildflowers. Drive along the Methow River and take in the sight of the meandering water and the surrounding countryside.

For those who prefer to explore on foot, Winthrop offers numerous hiking trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. The Cutthroat Lake Trail is a popular choice, offering a moderate hike through dense forests and meadows. At the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with pristine alpine lake views.

If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking the Maple Pass Loop. This strenuous hike takes you up to a ridge with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The trail is well-maintained but steep, so make sure to bring plenty of water and be prepared for a long, rewarding day on the trail.

Whether you choose to explore Winthrop’s scenic drives or hiking trails, be sure to pack your camera and take advantage of the endless photo opportunities. From stunning mountain vistas to tranquil alpine lakes, Winthrop’s natural beauty is sure to leave you awe-inspired.

Winthrop Winter Sports and Activities

Winthrop, Washington, offers a variety of exciting winter sports and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a more relaxed outdoor experience, Winthrop has something for everyone.

One of the most popular winter activities in Winthrop is cross-country skiing. With over 150 miles of groomed trails winding through pristine snow-covered landscapes, it’s no wonder that Winthrop is known as a cross-country skiing paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find trails suited to your skill level, making it a great activity for the whole family.

If downhill skiing is more your style, the nearby Loup Loup Ski Bowl is just a short drive away. With its 10 ski runs and 1,240 feet of vertical drop, it offers plenty of thrills for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The breathtaking views of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from the top of the mountain are an added bonus.

Snowshoeing is another fantastic way to explore the winter wonderland of Winthrop. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems and breathtaking vistas. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Winthrop’s snowshoeing trails offer options for all skill levels.

If you’re looking for a little more speed and excitement, try your hand at snowmobiling. Winthrop has a variety of snowmobile trails that wind through the surrounding mountains, offering thrilling rides and breathtaking views. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, there’s plenty of adventure to be had on Winthrop’s snowmobile trails.

For those seeking a more relaxed winter activity, ice fishing is a popular option in Winthrop. With its numerous lakes and rivers, Winthrop offers plenty of opportunities to drop a line and catch some fish. Bundle up, find a cozy spot on the ice, and enjoy the tranquility of a winter day spent ice fishing.

Whether you’re a snow lover or prefer a more laid-back winter experience, Winthrop, WA, has something for everyone. From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, snowmobiling to ice fishing, you’re sure to find a winter activity that suits your interests and skill level. So bundle up and get ready to enjoy all that Winthrop has to offer during the winter season!

Winthrop Events and Festivals

Winthrop, Washington hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, attracting visitors from near and far. From cultural celebrations to outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming mountain town.

One of the most anticipated events in Winthrop is the annual Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival. Held every July, this three-day festival brings together world-class musicians and blues enthusiasts for a weekend of live music and dancing. With a beautiful outdoor venue and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder this festival has become a highlight of the summer for both locals and tourists.

For those who appreciate the arts, the Winthrop Gallery hosts regular art shows and exhibitions throughout the year. From paintings and sculptures to photography and jewelry, the gallery showcases the work of local and regional artists. Visitors can browse the gallery, meet the artists, and even purchase unique pieces to take home as a memento of their time in Winthrop.

If you’re a fan of all things western, you won’t want to miss the Winthrop Western Festival. This annual event celebrates the town’s cowboy heritage with rodeo events, live music, and a parade. Dress up in your finest western attire, watch the cowboys and cowgirls in action, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this true western experience.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Winthrop as well. The area is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and there are several events throughout the year that cater to these activities. The Winthrop Mountain Bike Festival offers both competitive races and leisurely rides for all skill levels, while the Methow Valley Horse Show showcases the equestrian talent of the region.

No matter what time of year you visit, Winthrop is sure to have an event or festival that will capture your interest. From arts and culture to outdoor adventures and western heritage, there is always something happening in this vibrant mountain town.

Winthrop Restaurants and Dining Experiences

When visiting Winthrop, Washington, you won’t be disappointed with the dining options available. From hearty western classics to fine dining experiences, there is something to satisfy every palate in this charming mountain town.

1. Sun Mountain Lodge Dining Room

Located at the scenic Sun Mountain Lodge, this restaurant offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a menu filled with diverse flavors. Whether you’re in the mood for a succulent steak, fresh seafood, or a vegetarian dish, Sun Mountain Lodge Dining Room has you covered.

2. Old Schoolhouse Brewery

For beer enthusiasts, Old Schoolhouse Brewery is a must-visit in Winthrop. Their restaurant offers a selection of handcrafted beers paired with delicious, locally-inspired dishes. From their popular nachos to mouthwatering burgers, this brewery is a local favorite.

3. Arrowleaf Bistro

With its cozy and welcoming atmosphere, Arrowleaf Bistro is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends. Their menu showcases a fusion of international cuisines, featuring dishes like curries, pastas, and grilled meats. Don’t forget to try their delectable desserts!

4. Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon

Step into the wild west at Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon. This authentic western-style saloon is known for its delicious bar food, live music, and lively atmosphere. Grab a beer, order some wings or nachos, and enjoy a night of good food and entertainment.

5. Copper Glance

Copper Glance is a fine dining restaurant offering a refined and elegant experience. Their menu features seasonal ingredients, expertly prepared by talented chefs. From their beautifully presented appetizers to their decadent desserts, each dish at Copper Glance is a work of art.

6. East 20 Pizza

For a casual dining experience, East 20 Pizza is the go-to spot in Winthrop. Their wood-fired pizzas are made with fresh ingredients and served in a cozy, rustic setting. Enjoy a slice or a whole pizza with your choice of toppings, and don’t forget to try their homemade desserts.

7. Rocking Horse Bakery

Indulge your sweet tooth at Rocking Horse Bakery. This charming bakery offers a variety of freshly baked goods, including cakes, pastries, and breads. Stop by for a morning coffee and a delicious treat or grab a loaf of bread to enjoy later.

These are just a few of the many dining options available in Winthrop, Washington. Whether you’re craving comfort food, international flavors, or gourmet cuisine, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste buds in this charming mountain town.

Winthrop Accommodations and Lodging

When visiting Winthrop, WA, you’ll find a variety of accommodations and lodging options to suit any budget and preference. From cozy cabins to charming bed and breakfasts, there is something for everyone.

If you are a nature enthusiast, consider staying at one of the many campgrounds in the area. You can pitch your tent or park your RV and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Many campgrounds offer amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to hiking trails.

For a more luxurious stay, there are several hotels and resorts in Winthrop. These establishments offer comfortable rooms with modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and spa services. Some hotels also have on-site restaurants and bars, so you can enjoy a delicious meal without leaving the property.

If you prefer a more intimate setting, consider booking a room at a bed and breakfast. These cozy establishments offer comfortable rooms and a homemade breakfast in the morning. Many bed and breakfasts are located in historic buildings, adding to the charm of your stay.

Another popular option in Winthrop is to rent a cabin or vacation home. This allows you to have a home away from home and gives you more space and privacy during your stay. Many cabins and vacation homes come with fully equipped kitchens, so you can cook your own meals if you prefer.

Whatever your accommodation preference may be, Winthrop has something to offer. Make sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your desired lodging option.

Winthrop Visitor Information and Resources

Planning a trip to Winthrop, WA? Here is some visitor information and resources to help you make the most of your visit:

Visitor Center: Start your trip at the Winthrop Visitor Center, located at [address]. The friendly staff can provide you with maps, brochures, and information about local attractions, events, and activities.

Accommodations: Winthrop offers a range of accommodations for every traveler, from charming bed and breakfasts to cozy cabins and luxury resorts. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of downtown or enjoy the peaceful solitude of the surrounding nature, you will find the perfect place to rest and relax.

Dining: Winthrop is known for its diverse dining options, with something to please every palate. Enjoy farm-to-table cuisine, mouthwatering steaks, fresh seafood, international flavors, and of course, classic American fare. Don’t forget to try a local craft beer or a glass of wine from one of the nearby wineries.

Outdoor Activities: Winthrop is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From hiking and mountain biking to river rafting and horseback riding, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the area. In the winter, you can hit the slopes at the nearby ski resorts or go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the many trails.

Shopping: Take a stroll through Winthrop’s charming downtown and explore the unique shops and boutiques. From Western wear and outdoor gear to handmade crafts and local artwork, you’ll find plenty of treasures to take home as souvenirs.

Events and Festivals: Winthrop hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from arts and culture to sports and recreation. Check the local calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Local Services: If you need any services during your stay, Winthrop has everything you need. From grocery stores and pharmacies to banks and gas stations, you’ll be well taken care of.

Remember to check the official Winthrop Visitor Information website for the latest updates and additional resources to help you plan your trip.

Enjoy your visit to Winthrop, where adventure awaits!


What are the top-rated things to do in Winthrop, WA?

Some of the top-rated things to do in Winthrop, WA include exploring the North Cascades National Park, visiting the Shafer Museum, hiking or biking on the Methow Valley Trails, shopping and dining in the historic downtown area, and attending the annual Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival.

Is Winthrop, WA a good place for outdoor activities?

Yes, Winthrop, WA is a great place for outdoor activities. The town is located near the North Cascades National Park, which offers numerous hiking and camping opportunities. The Methow Valley Trails are also popular for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Additionally, there are several rivers and lakes in the area for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

What can I expect when visiting the Shafer Museum in Winthrop?

When visiting the Shafer Museum in Winthrop, you can expect to learn about the town’s history and the early settlers of the Methow Valley. The museum houses a collection of pioneer artifacts, including antique vehicles, mining equipment, and Native American artifacts. There are also exhibits on local wildlife, geology, and the history of the surrounding area.

What is the best time of year to visit Winthrop, WA?

The best time of year to visit Winthrop, WA depends on your preferences and the activities you are interested in. The summer months (June to August) are popular for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and fishing. The fall months (September to November) offer beautiful fall foliage and the opportunity to witness the salmon run. The winter months (December to February) are perfect for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. The spring months (March to May) offer mild temperatures and blooming wildflowers.

Are there any special events or festivals in Winthrop, WA?

Yes, Winthrop, WA hosts several special events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival, which takes place in July and features live music from renowned blues artists. In September, the town holds the Winthrop Vintage Wheels Show, where vintage cars and motorcycles are on display. There are also holiday events like the Christmas at the End of the Road celebration in December.

What are some top-rated things to do in Winthrop, WA?

There are several top-rated things to do in Winthrop, WA. One of the most popular activities is hiking in the North Cascades National Park. The park offers various trails for all skill levels, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful natural scenery. Another popular activity is visiting the Shafer Historical Museum, where visitors can learn about the town’s history and see local artifacts. Winthrop is also known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, such as fishing, river rafting, and horseback riding. Additionally, exploring the town’s Western-themed downtown area with its unique shops and restaurants is a must-do experience.

Is there any outdoor recreational activity available in Winthrop, WA?

Absolutely! Winthrop, WA is known for its abundance of outdoor recreational activities. From hiking and biking to fishing and river rafting, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The town is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of North Cascades National Park, offering a wide range of hiking trails for all skill levels. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the Methow River or nearby lakes, while adventurers can take part in thrilling river rafting trips. Additionally, Winthrop is a popular destination for horseback riding, with numerous trails available for exploration. Whether you are a nature lover or an outdoor enthusiast, Winthrop has plenty to offer.


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Erica Silverstein

Erica, a seasoned travel writer with 20+ years of experience, started her career as a Let's Go guidebook editor in college. As the head of Cruise Critic's features team for a decade, she gained extensive knowledge. Her adventurous nature has taken her to Edinburgh, Australia, the Serengeti, and on luxury cruises in Europe and the Caribbean. During her journeys, she enjoys savoring local chocolates and conquering various summits.

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