Wenatchee is a mountain gateway between western Washington and the agricultural areas of the Columbia Plateau to the east. The economy is supported mainly by agriculture and forest products.. The physical setting is attractive and the original downtown area is pleasant (winning a recent National Trust for Historic Preservation Great American Main Street Award).
Significant recreational opportunities are available in the Cascades to the west, starting with the funky European-style Leavenworth just 15 miles up the grade. Housing costs can be high for the type of area. Wenatchee is a bit isolated; the northern suburbs of Seattle and Everett are 150 miles west, and it is a long haul across the 4000-foot winter wonderland of Stevens Pass.
Wenatchee is located on a narrow Columbia River plain surrounded on all sides by mostly dry mountains and foothills of the Cascades. Elevations rise rapidly to 9000 feet to the west, giving heavy forestation, but of this is out of Wenatchee’s view. The mountains create a deep rain shadow, giving plenty of sun and minimal precipitation, while the marine influence from the west creates a fairly stable and pleasant year-round climate.