If you’re looking for a small-town atmosphere with big city amenities, then Leavenworth, Washington might be just the place. This charming city features a Bavarian-themed village with over half a million twinkling lights. The annual Christmas Lighting Festival is a must-see during the holidays. You’ll find a variety of activities to do in this scenic Washington town. Once you’re done, you’ll be ready for a long drive!
As part of the Great Washington State Birding Trail, Leavenworth is a great spot for birdwatching. Summer activities include hiking, camping, and fishing. The local NFS ranger station can help you plan your trip, and they can recommend activities to enjoy in the surrounding areas. In winter, the town’s abundant snow makes for a fun winter getaway. The town also hosts two major ski resorts within easy driving distance.
If you’re driving to Leavenworth, start out in Seattle. Take I-90 east out of the city. Then, take US-97 over Blewett Pass. You’ll eventually come to Highway 2, where you’ll meet the Leavenworth city limits. The entire trip will take you about two and a half hours, depending on traffic and other conditions. If you’re flying into Seattle, make sure to check the weather before you set off on your drive.
While in Leavenworth, take a stop in one of the local wineries. Icicle Ridge Winery is a quick ten-minute drive from downtown. You’ll find their tasting room inside a giant log cabin. They also use grapes from across the Columbia Valley. The tasting room is open from May to October. You’ll find many delicious, locally grown wines at Icicle Ridge. If you’re looking for a winery that’s off the beaten path, Eagle Creek Winery is a great place to visit.
If you’re looking for a great place to eat, you’ll have plenty of choices in this town. A variety of delicious foods are available in the downtown area, including German sausages. A trip to this town is not complete without a visit to the Nutcracker Museum. Visitors can even grab a delicious lunch at the Whistlepunk Café. Whether you’re looking for a tasty bite or a delicious drink, you’ll find it at Icicle Brewing.
Another great time to visit Leavenworth is the fall. Fall weather stays good through mid-September, which means you can plan a family trip around Oktoberfest, the beer festival. By October, fall color can start to appear along the river, around Colchuck Lake, and in the Enchantments. Although exact timing is unpredictable, the city is still a great place to visit during the fall. The city has several excellent breweries, so you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
The town was a logging town for many years, but changed its course in the early 1900s as the railroad rerouted its routes. However, the leaders of the town realized that the unique mountain setting was similar to that of Bavarian Germany, and changed the city’s architecture to reflect this. As a result, street names and building signs all reflect the German influence. Nowadays, Leavenworth is an active and vibrant community of outdoor enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.