About two hours east of Seattle lays the small (faux) Bavarian village of Leavenworth filled with mountain splendor and Northwest recreation. This small town is jam packed with fun all year round, from festivals to great beer, food and plenty of other attractions but really shines in the fall with foliage.
Take Highway 2 from Seattle to enjoy the abundant fall foliage along Tumwater Canyon all the way to Leavenworth and beyond. The trees in yellow, orange and red show off their fall splendor in Lake Wenatchee just north of the village. From I-90 east, head toward Cle Elum and onto Highway 97 and over Blewett Pass from a spectacular view of the fall leaves.
In the early 1960's, after years of economic downturn and the loss of logging business, town leaders decided to revitalize Leavenworth by renovating the entire downtown area to represent a Bavarian village. Their plan was a success! Visitors have been flocking to Leavenworth since then with the annual Autumn Leaf Festival and Christmas Lighting Festivals really drawing in the crowds.
Leavenworth offers a host of activities from a plethora of festivals to spa treatments, hiking, retreat centers, fabulous food and great shopping. The Icicle Junction Activities Center offers tons of family fun activities from Bavarian mini golf to arcade games and movies.
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum is a unique, family-friendly museum featuring nutcrackers from around the world. Hundreds of colorful wooden nutcrackers from around the world can be enjoyed while learning more about all the devices used to crack nuts. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through December 31st. Hours are adjusted in the colder months. The entrance to the museum is located next door to the Nussknacker Haus, Leavenworth's nutcracker and collectible shop on Front Street.
Leavenworth offers some of the best shopping around from The Cheesemonger's Shop which specializes in cheeses from around the world to Kris Kringl, where it is Christmas all year round, The Hat Shop with fashionable and practical hats along with a great selection of frivoulous favorites and A Paw Above featuring everything you need to spoil your favorite canine.
Leavenworth is a German food lovers haven! Cafe Mozart is a fine Bavarian dining restaurant with incredibly tasty schnitzels. Gustav's Restaurant offers casual, pub-style seating with highly recommended bratwurst options. The Munchen Haus has lines down the street for their outdoor eatery and beer garden where visitors can experience a taste of Germany. Classic German cuisine can be found at the Bavarian Bistro & Bar on Front Street. Stop at The Gingerbread Factory for a coffee and a freshly baked gingerbread cookies.
Leavenworth is known for beer but it is also a great place for wine lovers with many nearby wineries and wine tasting rooms. Ryan Patrick Vineyards, Kestrel Vineyards and Windfall Cellars and the Icicle Ridge Winery Tasting Room can all be found along Front Street in the heart of the town. But don't forget to check out Leavenworth's extensive breweries and distilleries. Our favorite is the Icicle Brewing Companyfor a true Leavenworth experience.
While Leavenworth can be enjoyed in just a day, most visitors will want to extend their stay through a weekend or longer. There is an array of lodging selections with most hotels being Bavarian-themed.
A perennial favorite is the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort nestled on the banks of Icicle Creek. This distinctly Northwest resort offers cozy accommodation, an amazing spa, sustainable gourmet food and has a canine companion program so your dog can have the stay of their lives.
Looking for a memorable romantic getaway? The Run of the River Inn is the ideal choice with luxurious rooms featuring jetted tubs, gas fireplaces and private decks.
It doesn't get kid-friendier than at the The Best Western Icicle Inn Resort which offers family-friendly rooms along with a miniature golf course, an enclosed pool, and an arcade. The breakfast buffet will feed your hungry brood quickly and easily.
The Black Bird Lodge hosts a view of the mountains, European breakfast and a quaint boutique comfort right in the heart of Leavenworth.