Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by admin
When you first encounter the alpine town of Leavenworth, it really feels like you’ve left the United States and arrived in Germany. The entire town is architecturally designed to resemble a Bavarian village, and with the mountains and crisp river running alongside the city, you’ll feel like you’re on a mountain retreat. Leavenworth is a popular destination, and many people visit for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or to check out one of their many cultural festivals. This post is written from the perspective of a local. I grew up in Washington State and I’ve visited Leavenworth dozens of times. I’ve been there for family vacations, for special events with friends, and for a romantic getaway with my husband. Now I’m excited to share with you 38 fun things to do in Leavenworth for your next vacation!
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The land around Leavenworth was inhabited by several local indigenous groups, including the Yakama, Chinook, and Wenatchi tribes. When settlers arrived to the region, they built the town of Leavenworth as a logging town. The settlers constructed a railroad and sawmill, and the early days of Leavenworth were dominated by logging. After the railroad was re-routed, the industry began to dissolve. Leavenworth was facing financial trouble and needed a new livelihood. For many years, the town was barely inhabited. With the mountains and river nearby, tourism was the perfect remedy to restore the town’s prosperity.
In the 1960s, the city transformed itself into the Bavarian-themed village you see today. The Bavarian theme is not merely a suggestion, it’s built into their very legal code. (You can read more about Chapter 14.08: Old World Bavarian Architectural Theme here. There’s a lot more detail to it than I realized! For example, the roofs must be low-pitched with excessive overhangs, rafter beams should be scrolled or have decorated faceplates, and walls should be created from stucco or wood.)
Today Leavenworth is one of Washington’s most popular destinations. After reading this post, you’ll see why!
How Many People Visit Leavenworth Each Year?
A lot! More than one million people make their way through this remote village each year. Leavenworth has year-round festivals, outdoor recreation, and excellent hotels and restaurants.
How to Get to Leavenworth
By Car: Leavenworth is located right off of Highway 2 in Washington State. It’s located about 35 miles east of Steven’s Pass. If you’re coming from Seattle, Washington, it’s about a 2.5 hour drive. If you’re coming from Spokane, Washington, it’s about a 3 hour drive. The closest (larger) city nearby is Wenatchee, Washington. (Just 35 minutes away by car.)
By Train: Amtrak has their Icicle Train Station located in Leavenworth, Washington. The train ride itself is absolutely gorgeous! During the winter, many people take the train so they don’t have to worry about driving over the mountain pass through the snow and ice. (Taking the train through the mountains covered in snow is like riding your very own Polar Express!) We recommend making reservations well ahead of time! You can book reservations here. From Seattle, the train takes approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes. As far as rates go, they can vary by season. When we looked at rates for a trip in December, coach ticket was as little as $20, and a private room $180.
By Plane: The nearest commercial airport is located in Wenatchee, Washington, which is about a 35 minute drive away from Leavenworth.
By Bus: Greyhound has a bus from downtown Seattle to Leavenworth. It’s about a 3 hour journey and will cost you around $40 each way.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Leavenworth?
Anytime! Seriously. Leavenworth is a beautiful destination year-round. Spring is perfect for seeing wildflowers and going hiking. If you visit during the summer, you can enjoy average temperatures of 88 degrees while you float down the Wenatchee River. During the autumn, you will see robust fall colors and can attend the famous Oktoberfest Festival. During the winter, you can see the town covered in snow while you watch the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Because Leavenworth is beautiful year-round, we recommend visiting this city more than once!
What is Leavenworth Known For?
Leavenworth is known for its Bavarian-village theme, outdoor recreational opportunities, numerous festivals such as Oktoberfest, and an active arts community. It’s also known for sunshine! Many a Seattleite will leave home on a rainy day, drive through the mountains, and arrive to see Leavenworth bathing in sunlight. The city only receives 9″ of rainfall per year due to the rain shadow caused by the Cascade Mountains.
Is Leavenworth Worth Visiting?
Absolutely. With festivals, markets, and unlimited outdoor opportunities, there is something for everyone. There are plenty of hikes nearby, as well as lots of shops to explore. We like Leavenworth so much, we recommend visiting this destination more than once!
When Is Leavenworth Less Crowded?
Leavenworth is less crowded during the off-season and when festivals aren’t happening. We recommend the month of March or November if you’d like a more quiet escape. Summer by far is the busiest season.
38 Fun Things to Do In Leavenworth
1. Attend a Festival
Leavenworth is known for its festivals! It’s worth planning your visit to overlap with a festival for a unique cultural experience. A full list of the festivals can be found on the city’s events calendar. The most popular festivals are probably Oktoberfest, Maifest, and the Christmas Lighting Festival. See the city’s events calendar for specific dates for each festival. At the time of this writing, we think these festivals especially stand out:
- Bavarian Icefest (January): Ice sculptures and snow sculptures
- Valentines Weekend (February): Enjoy a romantic weekend filled with wine and chocolates
- Taste Leavenworth (April): Sign up for a tasting walk through town, with emphasis on local pear dishes
- AleFest (April): Over 20 microbrews available and less crowded than Oktoberfest
- Maifest (May): Celebrate the arrival of spring with this traditional Bavarian festival
- Leavenworth Wine Walk (June and September): Sample local wines
- Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival (July): Enjoy live music all month long
- Wenatchee River Salmon Festival (September): A festival to celebrate the salmon
- Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival (September): Food, parade, and entertainment to celebrate the arrival of fall
- Oktoberfest (October): Enjoy German food, beer, and music
- Christkindlmarkt (November): German-style outdoor market
- Village of Lights and the Christmas Lighting Festival (December): Celebrate all things Christmas in this winter wonderland
2. Go Miniature Golfing
Leavenworth has two miniature golf courses to choose from: Enzian Falls Championship Putting Course and Icicle Village Resort’s Miniature Golf Course. Both are 18-hole courses. The Enzian course is more of a professionally-designed miniature golf course. (You might even see the goats watching you play from the other side of the fence.) The Icicle Village course has waterfalls, Bavarian-themed buildings to match the town, and a waterwheel. Both are closed during inclement weather.
Enzian Inn Address: 590 Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Icicle Village Resort: 505 US-2, Leavenworth, WA 98826
3. Go Golfing (For Real)
The Leavenworth Golf Course has an absolutely stunning course. You’ll see the Cascade Mountains, the Wenatchee River, and the Icicle River. Best of all, it’s located only a mile from town. You can book a tee time here. The Highlander Golf Course is about 40 minutes east of Leavenworth. The Kahler Glen Golf and Ski Resort is located about 25 minutes north of Leavenworth. If you like to golf, you could easily stay in Leavenworth and try all three courses!
4. Check Out the Microbreweries
Icicle Brewing Company is one of the best microbreweries in the region. They have a taproom located right in the heart of Leavenworth: Front Street. The Icicle Brewing Company opened in 2010, but the owner’s family has roots in the region going back 140 years. (They’re also a member of 1% for the Planet, which means they donate 1% of earnings to protect the environment!) Many of the beers are named for local geographical features, like the Enchantments Hazy IPA Series.
You can also visit Doghaus Brewery. They love dogs and they love beer. That’s our kind of place! They’re a nano brewery (super small brewery) with a tasting room in downtown Leavenworth. Leashed dogs are allowed to be in the bar. Their beers also have awesome names like the Pawtender Pilsner!
Finally, be sure to check out Blewett Brewing. The company started as a pizzeria and then opened a brewery, so you know they know what they are doing. They specialize in small-batch brews. Visit their taproom for current selections.
All three of these breweries are located in downtown Leavenworth, so you could easily make a beer crawl of it! (Might be a good idea for a bachelor/bachelorette party or birthday party as well!)
Icicle Brewing Company: 935 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Doghaus Brewery: 321 9th St, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Blewett Brewing: 911 Commercial Street, Leavenworth, WA 98226
5. Go Wine Tasting
If beer’s not your thing, you can definitely check out the wine tasting options!
There are over 18 wine tasting rooms in downtown Leavenworth, including:
- WooHoo Winery Tasting Room
- Icicle Ridge Winery Downtown
- Goose Ridge Estate Winery Leavenworth Tasting Room
- Boudreaux Cellars Tasting Room
- d’Vinery Tasting Room for Eagle Creek Winery
- Chateau Faire Le Pont
Winery Leavenworth Tasting Room
- Bergdorf Cellars
- Hard Row to Hoe in Leavenworth,
- Kestrel Vitners
- Ryan Patrick Wines Leavenworth
- WineGirl Wines, Patterson Cellars
- Kasia Winery Leavenworth Tasting Room
- Milbrandt Vineyards Leavenworth
- Water From Wine
- Obelisco Estate Wines
- Silvara Cellars.
Best of all, all of these tasting rooms are within walking distance of each other! (That would make for a fun bachelorette party, right!?)
We especially enjoyed the frosé from Patterson Cellars on our last trip to Leavenworth. We visited in August and it was a super-hot summer day. From bistro chairs set up on the street, we quietly people-watched while we sipping on the frozen rose concoction.
Icicle Ridge Winery Downtown: 821 Front St # B, Leavenworth, WA 98826
WooHoo Winery Tasting Room: 725 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Hard Row to Hoe in Leavenworth: 837 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Patterson Cellars: 933 Front St Suite B, Leavenworth, WA 98826
You can also attend the Leavenworth Wine Walk, which typically occurs each June and September.
Wineries Near Leavenworth:
If you’d like to visit a winery outside of Leavenworth (more than just a tasting room), we recommend that you visit Icicle Ridge Winery in Peshastin, Washington. (About 10 minutes’ drive from Leavenworth.) Another good option is to visit Wedge Mountain Winery, which is only 12 minutes’ drive away from downtown Leavenworth.
Icicle Ridge Winery: 8977 North Rd, Peshastin, WA 98847
Wedge Mountain Winery: 9534 Saunders Rd, Peshastin, WA 98847
6. Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm
The Leavenworth Reindeer Farm is a great place to visit throughout the year, but especially the winter. If you have young children, it’s pretty special to go visit the reindeer before the holidays. Admission tickets are required. Guests of all ages and abilities are welcome, and it’s recommended that you wear close-toed shoes. If you plan on visiting during the holidays, it’s recommended that you book your tickets two months in advance. (They get booked up quick!) Included in the price of admission is hot cocoa, cider, and cookies. Santa Claus will also be at the farm during the winter, and you can take photos with your own camera.
Leavenworth Reindeer Fram: 10395 Chumstick Hwy, Leavenworth, WA 98826
7. Grab a Treat at the Gingerbread Factory
Whether it’s the holidays or not, the Gingerbread Factory will get you in the holiday spirit! Year-round they offer delicious gingerbread cookies! (Slightly soft and beautifully decorated.) When you first enter the store, there is a display wall on the left that showcases some of their beautiful gingerbread designs. When you reach the counter, you’ll see dozens of cookies available. But they don’t stop there, they also have homemade dessert breads, tarts, enormous cinnamon rolls, and soft-iced cookies. Basically you can’t go wrong if you stop here for dessert and an espresso.
Tip #1: If you want to decorate your own gingerbread men, you can buy “skinny dippers” (naked, undecorated gingerbread men). They do all the hard work of baking, and you can do all the fun of decorating!
Tip #2: If you’re vegan, they offer a yummy vegan zucchini banana bread by the slice or by the loaf.
Gingerbread Factory: 829 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826
8. Get a Personalized Christmas Ornament
Looking for the perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip? Look no further than the gift shop Kris Kringl. They have two full floors of Christmas ornaments, decorations, and villages. On the second floor, there is a table where you can have your names personalized on an ornament of your choice. If you collect Christmas village sets, we’re pretty sure they showcase every brand ever made. They have all of their villages set-up in the back of the store, and it’s worth visiting just to look at them all.
9. Have a Game Night
Looking for a cozy night in? Across from Kris Kringl is the Krampus Kave. This store is named after Krampus, which according to European folklore is a monster that punishes misbehaving children at Christmastime. The store is filled with board games, comic books, and memorabilia. There’s a ton of different strategy games and party games. Pick one or two games up and have a relaxing evening at your hotel.
10. Float the Wenatchee River
During the warmer months, you can float down a portion of the Wenatchee River! I’ve done this several times, and it’s always a highlight of the summer. There’s nothing better than gently floating along the river and taking in the sights. There’s a few companies that offer river tube rentals as well as shuttles at drop-off and pick-up points. You can find out more here.
11. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
If you haven’t already read our post about the Posthotel, go read it now. If you stay at this property, you have access to an entire floor of saunas, steam rooms, reflexology pools, hot tubs, plunge pools, experience showers, and an indoor/outdoor saltwater pool. It was the ultimate experience of relaxation. The hotel provides robes and slippers, and they also have wellness circuit guide cards to help you choose which saunas to visit. You can focus on fatigue, sore muscles, or detoxification. (Or you can do whatever feels good to you!) We recently stayed at the Posthotel, and we can’t wait to go back. Make your reservations well in advance, they book up fast. You can make reservations here.
12. Spend the Afternoon at the Park
There are three parks located near downtown Leavenworth: Waterfront Park, Front Street Park, and Enchantment Park. All of them are located within walking distance of the downtown area.
Follow Commercial Street down a steep hill to find Waterfront Park. At the bottom of the hill on the left you will see the park entrance tucked away. Even though the park is located near town, it feels like a world away as you are completely immersed in nature. There is a 3-mile trail loop that follows the river. There are plenty of beachy river inlets, so bring a blanket, a picnic, and a good book
Right in the center of town is a Front Street Park, which is often utilized for festivals. There is a gazebo and a Maibaum (May Pole), and plenty of city events take place here all year long. During the summer, you’ll find plenty of people enjoying ice cream or snacks while sitting in the grass.
Enchantment Park provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy sports and recreation. There is a baseball field, soccer field, skate park, and a playground. It’s a great place to bring children to burn off some energy!
13. Go Horseback Riding
Take a break from town and head out into the hills! There are three primary companies that offer horseback riding excursions: Icicle Outfitters and Guides, Wild at Heart Horse Rides, and Eagle Creek Ranch. All three companies offer options for beginner and experienced riders. Most of them have an age requirement, so be sure to check ahead if you have young children.
And if you’d rather not ride a horse, you can always enjoy a carriage ride in town!
14. Go for a Winter Sleigh Ride
You’ll be living a real-life Christmas song when you get to go on a sleigh ride through a winter wonderland! Both Icicle Outfitters and Eagle Creek Ranch offer sleigh rides. There’s a variety of sleigh options depending on how many people on in your group. Check out their websites for more info!
15. Check Out Village Art in the Park
From May through mid-October, you can find Village Art in the Park right at the Front Street Park. They are typically open Thursday-Sunday, but check their calendar to be sure. The park is full of paintings, framed photography, metalwork, and jewelry. If you purchase a piece of art, you are not only supporting the artist, but the nonprofit organization which provides financial support for the art programs in the Washington State Cascade School District.
16. Attend the Leavenworth Summer Theater
Head to the outdoor Ski Hill Amphitheater and enjoy live entertainment. At the time of this writing, the theater produced the Sound of Music. (Perfect for a Bavarian-themed town!) Showtime is at 8pm for select dates in July and August. Be sure to confirm current showtimes and dates here.
17. Support the Farmers’ Market
At Haymarket Square, you can find dozens of local vendors selling everything from cheeseboards to honey. Their calendar is listed here, with market days typically May through October. (Usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays.) You can see an updated calendar here with dates and hours. You can also check out their harvest schedule to see what produce will be available during your trip.
18. Visit the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Get in the Christmas spirit by admiring nutcrackers of all shapes and sizes. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum has over 7000 of them! (The have the world’s largest nutcracker collection.) They are open daily from 11am to 5pm, and the price of admission is $5 for adults, $3.50 for seniors, $2 for youth, and children under 6 years old are free. (Active military members also can attend for free.) You will discover that there is more than one way to crack a nut: direct pressure, indirect pressure, screw, and percussion. The museum has examples of nutcrackers from dozens of different countries, some of which are rare treasures.
19. Explore Blackbird Island
Within Waterfront Park is a bridge that leads to Blackbird Island. This X island is located in the middle of the Wenatchee River. The island has about two miles of trails that is suitable for walking or bikes. Each time we have been, it tends not to be very busy. It’s definitely a hidden gem within Leavenworth! So if you visit when there are lots of crowds, walking around Blackbird Island can be a refreshing break. The island contains interpretive signs, ponds, and many sandy alcoves along the river.
20. Explore the City By Bike
If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry, you can rent bicycles within Leavenworth. Biking can be a fun way to cruise around town, or you can go to Blackbird Island and bike some trails. You can rent bicycles from Der Sportsmann (mountain bikes for local trails) or Arlberg Sports Haus.
You can even rent an e-bike! Bavarian eBike Tours offers rentals May through October. A guide will show you around town and provide a historical overview of the region. They will take you through downtown Leavenworth, Leavenworth Ski Hill, and Icicle Creek Canyon. The tours start at $99 and last 3.5 hours.
21. Go River Rafting
The cool thing about Leavenworth is that there are river activities for everyone! You can gently float the river, or you can embark on a thrilling river rafting adventure. There are several rafting companies that you can choose from: Orion Expeditions, Wildwater River Guides, and Blue Sky Outfitters, Inc. Orion Expeditions has a courtesy shuttle, Wildwater River Guides has expertly trained guides, and Blue Sky Outfitters, Inc., have tour options that are combined with a full BBQ meal.
22. Go Ziplining
Get a different view of the mountains when you zipline through them! At Leavenworth Ziplines, you can ride up to 9 different ziplines. (One zipline has a double decker platform and another is a 1/4 miles long!) It costs $129 for an adult to ride 9 ziplines, and there’s also the option to choose 5 ziplines for $99.
23. Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort
Many people visit Leavenworth during the winter due to its proximity to Stevens Pass Mountain Resort. If you like to ski or snowboard, you have to visit Stevens Pass. The ski resort is located 35 miles west of Leavenworth. If you don’t want to worry about the drive, you can book tickets with the Stevens Pass Ski Shuttle which will take you to the mountain and back. At the resort, you can rent equipment or take classes. They have a First Timer’s Guide listed here which will introduce you to all of the runs and getting started.
24. Observe Glass Blowing
At Boulder Bend Glassworks, you can watch local artists practice their glassblowing craft. Located in Peshastin (a small town east of Leavenworth), you can view their bowls, sculptures, whirlwinds and more. Glassblowing demonstrations usually occur on Saturdays, but you can call to confirm (509.881.1320).
25. Go Hiking
Leavenworth is the prime location for hiking in the Cascade Mountains! There are hundreds of hikes and trails that are accessible as a quick day trip from Leavenworth. While we could write an entire blog post on our favorite hikes near Leavenworth, we will give you a few ideas to plan your trip.
If you’re a fairly experienced hiker, you have to hike Colchuck Lake, which is arguably the most famous hike in Washington State. Be sure to read current trip reports (located here) and we recommend that you get to the trailhead early to secure a parking spot. The trail is 8 miles long (roundtrip) with 2280 feet of elevation gain. You can read our complete guide to hiking Colchuck Lake here.
A much easier hike is the Icicle Gorge Nature Loop. It is 4.2 miles long roundtrip, but it is relatively flat (150 feet of elevation gain). You will see wooden bridges, the creek, and a swamp
A hike that is more moderate is Eightmile Lake. The hike is 6.6 miles long roundtrip with 1300 feet of elevation gain.
Anytime you plan on going hiking, we recommend that you visit the Washington Trails Association website and search the trail you plan on completing. You can read current trip reports, find out about current trail conditions, and find out what type of parking pass you will need. We also recommend that you always hike with the 10 Essentials for hiking safety. We wrote a full post about the 10 Essentials here.
26. Go for a Hayride
If you have younger children that aren’t old enough to horseback ride, you might enjoy a hayride through the pristine mountain meadows. Currently hayrides are being offered at Red-Tail Canyon Farm (about 3 miles north of Leavenworth) for $150 for your group. The 30-minute hayride will take you through a draft horse ranch and a tree farm. At the end of the ride, you’ll be treated to a home-cooked BBQ.
27. Visit the Greater Leavenworth Museum
The Greater Leavenworth Museum is typically open Fridays through Sundays. The museum is located on the second floor right above the Nutcracker Museum. (So why not visit two museums while you are there?) They also offer two different guided walking tours that occur spring through fall: The Railroad & Mill Tour and the Town Tour. You can find their calendar dates here.
28. Spend the Day at Lake Wenatchee
Take a short drive (30 minutes) to Lake Wenatchee. There’s all sorts of trails near the lake, including horse trails, bike trails, and hiking trails. There’s plenty to do at Lake Wenatchee State Park: boating, fishing, and swimming. There are picnic shelters and a playground. During the winter, there are groomed trails for cross-country skiing and sledding.
29. Go Dogsledding
Experience a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go dogsledding through the snow. A seven-mile tour is about one hour in duration and costs $165 per adult. You can make reservations here.
30. Try Your Hand at Painting
There are Sip and Paint classes at Leavenworth where you can have a glass of wine and be guided through creating your own work of art. The current price is $30 and you can register here.
31. Spend the Day at Lake Chelan
About an hour drive east from Leavenworth is the pristine Lake Chelan. You can spend the day there, or you can add on a couple of nights to your Leavenworth trip. You won’t regret it! I grew up going to Chelan every summer and I have never grown tired of it. I wrote a full blog post on our last weekend in Chelan here. The lake itself is gorgeous, plus there are a number of fun things to do in the area. You can go to a waterslide park, take the Lady of the Lake to the remote town of Stehekin, or visit more than 30 wineries. We also wrote a post on 32 things to do in Chelan here. Whatever you decide, you will have a great trip!
32. Have a Traditional German Meal
Muchen Haus is one of the most popular restaurants in Leavenworth. They have outdoor patio seating, a beer garden with gas fireplace tables, and a gorgeous display of flowers. We recommend ordering a Bavarian Pretzel (with extra cheese sauce), a Dirtyface Beer Wurst, and a local beer.
33. Eat Some Strudel
The Danish Bakery is located right on Front Street and is the place to go for strudel! They typically offer three types: cherry, apple, and raspberry cream cheese. Even if you’re not in the mood for a pastry, pick one up to have with your coffee the next morning. You will not regret it.
34. See the Larches
Although Washington is known as the Evergreen State, each fall larches are the main draw to the Leavenworth hikes. “Larch Season” is typically in October, and that’s when you’ll see the trees turn a vibrant gold. If you want to see a golden pine tree, you have to visit Leavenworth in the fall!
35. Go Sledding or Tubing
During the winter, there are plenty of opportunities to play in the snow. But if you don’t ski or snowboard, you might think that your options are limited. Thankfully, there are plenty of sledding and tubing places! The Leavenworth Ski Hill is located close to town and has a 100 foot tubing hill. Read more about it here.
36. Drink Beer from a Stein
The Stein Beer Hall is located in downtown Leavenworth and has plenty of beers on-tap to fill up your stein. You’ll definitely feel at home in Germany when you are sipping from an authentic stein.
37. Go Snowmobiling
Leavenworth Snowmobiling Tours will have you cruising across the snow powder in no time! They provide all the gear you need: snowmobile suits, boots, gloves, and helmets. They recommend that you bring sunglasses and a neck warmer. You need to be at least 16 years old to drive, 18 years old to drive with a passenger, and children must be 5 years or older to ride.
38. Visit the Scenic Hot Springs
Soak in several hot springs of varying temperatures while you unwind from a busy trip. You do need to make reservations with the owners. You can read updates and how to access the property here.
Where to Stay Near Leavenworth
Here are some of our favorite places to stay:
- Posthotel: This is an adults-only boutique hotel located within walking distance of all downtown activities. It feels secluded, though, because it faces the river. The best part about this hotel is the hydrotherapy. There are over 7 saunas and steam rooms, as well as plunge pools, hot tubs, and an indoor/outdoor saltwater pool. Breakfast, lunch, and dessert are included in the nightly room rate. It’s one of the more expensive options, but this would be our number one recommendation if you can afford to stay there. We wrote an entire blog post about it here, as well a whole post on 11 things included in the price here. You can make reservations here.
- Sleeping Lady Resort: This is another one of our most favorite hotels ever. The Sleeping Lady Resort is located about a 10 minutes’ drive from Leavenworth and is a true mountain getaway. The resort is situated in a thick forest right next to the Wenatchee River. The rooms are luxurious and rustic, and there’s a gourmet restaurant, bar, and cafe all on-site. You could spend an entire weekend without leaving the resort and it would be time well-spent. We wrote a full post about the resort here. You can make reservations here.
- Bavarian Lodge: The Bavarian Lodge is a moderately-priced hotel that is located right in the center of Leavenworth. You’ll be within walking distance of just about everything. Several of the room options have balconies facing the street, which is perfect if you want to watch the Christmas Lighting festival without being outside in the crowds. We wrote about our stay at the Bavarian Lodge here. You can make reservations here.
- Icicle Village Resort: This is a great option for families because you can book an entire condo. There’s also a lot of kid-friendly activities located right on the resort property, including miniature golf and a game room. You can make reservations here.
- Enzian Inn: The Enzian Inn has detailed woodwork and a large indoor pool. (Perfect for the winter!) They also have a miniature golf course. You can make reservations here.
- KOA Campground: If you prefer camping, the KOA has a campground located within walking distance of downtown. We have stayed there before and have enjoyed their property. They have RV sites, tent sites, and lodging options.
We wrote a full post about our favorite hotels in Leavenworth here if you’d like more details.
For a full list of lodging options in Leavenworth, click here.
Where to Eat in Leavenworth
- Munchen Haus: We mentioned this previously as a must-do in Leavenworth. You’ll want to get a bratwurst, Bavarian pretzel, and cold beer. Our favorite sausages are the Big Bob Bratwurst and the Dirtyface Beer Wurst. They also currently have mobile ordering, so you can sit down and skip the line to order.
- Rhein Haus: For a traditional German meal, you have to go to Rhein Haus. You can get a kielbasa, giant pretzel, or schnitzel.
- Gingerbread Factory: You can get beautifully-decorated gingerbread cookies year-round, as well as sugar cookies, breads, and pastries. Be sure to check out their wall of intricately-designed gingerbread cookies when you visit!
- Wildflour: If you’re looking for fine dining, check out Wildflour. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Leavenworth but so worth it! We wrote an entire blog post about our experience there we loved it so much. (Linked here).
- Larch: The same chef that creates Wildflour’s menu also opened a restaurant in downtown Leavenworth. Larch specializes in seasonal northwest pasta.
- Old World Pub: You can order a fancy cocktail while you wait for dinner.
- Mana: Open Thursday through Sunday, you can book a two-hour, five-course dinner experience. Dinner costs $85 per person and begins at 6:30pm.
- Watershed Cafe: All meals are locally sourced. They are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Andreas Keller: This restaurant specializes in German fare. Get goulash, schnitzel, bratwursts, or kasespatzles (dumplings).
- Danish Bakery: This is the place to go for strudel: cherry, apple, or raspberry cream cheese.
Souvenirs to Get In Leavenworth
If you’re looking for a gift or a souvenir, we recommend the following:
- A personalized Christmas ornament from Kris Kringl
- Gingerbread cookies from the Gingerbread Factory
- A nutcracker from Nussknacker Haus
- A box of chocolates from Schocolat
- A framed painting or photograph from an Art in the Park artist
- An etched stein glass from Munchen Haus
What to Bring On Your Trip to Leavenworth
Depending on the time of year you visit, you’ll want to bring everything you will need for outdoor recreation. This might include hiking boots, skis, snowboards, or swimsuits.
If you visit during Oktoberfest, many people dress up in traditional Bavarian outfits. We’ve linked some examples below.
We also recommend traveling with the following:
- Portable cellphone charger
- First aid kit
- Comfortable daypack
- Water shoes
- Selfie stick
- Insulated water bottle
Summary of Things to Do in Leavenworth
We hope that you have enjoyed this guide to Leavenworth! It’s one of our favorite weekend destinations from Seattle.
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You might also be interested in the following posts:
- Full Review of the Posthotel
- Where We Found the Best Hot Tub in Washington
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- Where to Stay in Leavenworth (Best Hotels)
- 11 Complimentary Things at the Posthotel
- Leavenworth in the Winter
- 10 Beautiful Hikes Near Leavenworth
- Full Review of the Bavarian Lodge
- Full Review of the Restaurant Wildflour
- 12 Family-Friendly Activities in Leavenworth
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- Best Wineries in Lake Chelan
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- 10 Reasons to Babymoon in Chelan
- Complete Guide to Hiking Colchuck Lake
- Full Review of the Sleeping Lady Resort
Disclaimer: Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.
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