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Germany feels thousands of miles away from the state of Washington – unless you’re in Leavenworth, in which case it’s just around the block. This charming and unique village is a picture of Bavarian culture tucked beneath the eastern ridge of the Cascade Mountains.
Hidden in its deceptively small size is a big experience full of everything you’d expect from a Northwest getaway: picturesque streets, a lively local culture, and plenty of fun outdoor adventure. Nowhere else can you enjoy an authentic German bratwurst in the morning, followed by a thrilling hike full of American scenery in the afternoon!
Unless you’re staying for a while, you’ll need to be on your toes to experience all Leavenworth has to offer. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy travel guide to help you plan and live your best Leavenworth life! Read on for everything you need to know to plan, stay, play, and eat on your ultimate Leavenworth vacation.
Climate & Weather
Located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth has a true four-season climate. Visitors can expect cold and snowy winters, bright and mild springs, warm summers, and cool autumns.
One of the best things about Leavenworth is its ample sunshine. Despite its Washington locale, Leavenworth is drier than its nearby neighbors with relatively little rainfall during the warmer months. You should still bring a coat and rain boots, though, because – Washington.
Restaurants in Leavenworth
When it’s time for a bite in Leavenworth, head to one of these top restaurants for delicious bites and brews:
617 Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA
Enjoy casual pub-style seating and fare at this downtown staple. Thirty-five beers on tap and the best bratwurst in the city make this a can’t-miss snack spot.
1033 Commercial Street, Leavenworth, WA
Mana offers a culinary experience like no other. Over three flavorful hours, enjoy eight distinct courses made from locally-sourced organic ingredients and paired with sumptuous local wines.
829 Front Street, Leavenworth, WA
Stop in at this Leavenworth landmark for a cup of joe and a gingersnap cookie! Their menu features homemade baked goods, light lunch fare, and yummy gingerbread houses.
Kingfisher Restaurant & Wine Bar
7375 Icicle Road, Leavenworth, WA
The Sleeping Lady Resort’s restaurant focuses on gourmet meals made from the finest local ingredients, many of which come from their on-site organic garden. Enjoy delicious northwest cuisine from a scenic spot on the banks of the icicle river. Reservations are recommended.
Fun & Attractions in Leavenworth
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum – This fun family-friendly museum has more than 6,000 unique nutcrackers dating from ancient Rome to the present day. Explore the history of this cultural icon and enjoy a fun nutcracker scavenger hunt in the afternoon!
Leavenworth Reindeer Farm – Ever wonder what Santa’s finest are doing during the off-season? Find out for yourself as you meet, feed, and selfie with the farm’s resident reindeer. Visits by appointment only.
Leavenworth Summer Theater – The soaring Cascade Mountains are the perfect backdrop for a mesmerizing show of music and performing arts. Live symphony orchestras and professional performers put on a true spectacle underneath the glittering summer stars.
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery – The fisheries complex is a great place to picnic, observe wildlife, and enjoy a nature stroll as you learn all about the local salmon population and other fish that call the hatcheries home.
The Top Things to Do in Leavenworth
Despite its small size, Leavenworth offers an endless amount of fun for visitors and locals alike. From exploring the unique boutique shops downtown to splashing in the waves of the nearby Wenatchee River, no two days will be alike (or boring). Here are a few of our favorite ways to play in Leavenworth:
Take a Wine Tasting Tour
Bavarians are known for their love of beer, but Leavenworth Valley Wine Country is also a hot bucket-list item for wine lovers. Whether you’re a full-fledged wine-lover or a casual connoisseur, you’ll get your fill touring nearby wineries, sampling the fruits of their labor in a wine or cider sample room, or taking a guided wine tour.
Enjoy Outdoor Adventure
With ample sunshine, rugged wilderness, rushing rivers, and icy mountain peaks, Leavenworth is the perfect backdrop for thrilling outdoor fun. No matter when you visit, you’ll find plenty of ways to chase thrills and soak in the scenery in and around Leavenworth!
During the summer, whitewater rafting is the area’s crowning glory. With multiple rivers that offer Class II, III, and IV courses, newbies and experts alike will find plenty of rapids to ride. There are a variety of shops and outfitters offering tours and gear, including:
Named one of the 10 best U.S. cities for mountain climbing, Leavenworth boasts 50 thrilling crags of varying difficulty where climbers can test their limits. Some of the most popular climbs in the state are nearby, including Snow Creek Wall, Icicle Canyon, Castle Rock, and Tumwater Canyon.
For gear, tours, and information, contact the Leavenworth Mountain Association.
Hit the Trails
Leavenworth’s mountainous geography offers more than 2,500 miles of stunning nature trails just minutes from your rental. Hike, bike, backpack, or ride your way across as many miles as you like – you could explore for days and never see the same thing twice. Check out Lake Wenatchee State Park for more info.
You’ll need a pass for most national forest service trailheads. Passes can be purchased in Leavenworth at Der Sportsman, Dan’s Food Market, and the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.
Fishing, camping, golfing, and birdwatching are other fun activities you can enjoy during the summer in Leavenworth.
As one of the snowiest cities in Washington, Leavenworth turns into a true winter wonderland during the colder months. The area offers all the classic winter sports and games to enjoy, plus a few unique options you can’t find anywhere else!
Skiing & Snowboarding
Shred the snowy slopes at top speed at one of the first-class ski facilities near Leavenworth. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing are just a few of the fun ways you can play in the snow during the frosty winter months.
There are three great choices within minutes of the city:
Leavenworth Winter Sports Club
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort
Jingle all the way across Leavenworth on an enchanted winter sleigh ride! Glide across the snow behind a team of expert horses as you explore the snowy wilderness in warm comfort. Contact one of these providers for more info:
Ice skating, ice climbing, and dog sledding are other popular winter activities in and around Leavenworth.
Lodgings & Accommodations
From inclusive resorts to charming B&B’s and everything in between, Leavenworth has a place for every type of traveler.
Northwest Stays offers dozens of the best private cabins and vacation rentals in the Leavenworth area, from the heart of downtown to the banks of the Wenatchee River. Here are a few of our favorites:
This luxurious condo just a block from downtown combines European elegance and comfort with sweeping mountain views only found in Washington state. With two bedrooms, two baths, and a host of upscale amenities, it’s the perfect escape for any discerning family or traveler.
This spacious retreat on the Wenatchee River includes a spacious cabin and studio apartment for large groups that want space and privacy. Its prime location offers private beach trail access, spectacular views, and curious wildlife neighbors – all just a mile from the convenience of Leavenworth.
This large four-bedroom home is nestled between the banks of the Wenatchee River and a stunning fruit orchard perfect for evening strolls. A covered outdoor living space with kitchen, six-person hot tub, and lush lawn make this home perfect for travelers who want to soak in the Washington scenery.
Ready for your ultimate Leavenworth escape? Book your trip with NorthwestStays.com today!