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The ultimate getaway for Valentine’s Day and beyond

Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you’re like most couples, you’re planning a romantic dinner kind of like the one you had last year. And the year before. And the year before. Instead of doing the same old thing, why not take a couple of days off and plan something a little more exciting?

The village of Leavenworth, just a two-hour ride from Seattle, promises fresh air, fabulous scenery and a chance to get away from it all with the one you love. Here’s our recipe for a mini-cation you and your special someone will love.

Stay

Awesome secret: you’ll save big on your room if you plan your trip during the week! Nearly all of the rooms in Leavenworth, be they cozy Bed & Breakfast rooms or luxuriant hotel suites, cost less on weekdays. If you have the vacation time, it’s a smart way to save OR get more bang for your buck.

Inns, motels, hotels and The Icicle Village Resort offer lovely rooms with all of the amenities you’ll need, and many properties feature opulent upgrades you’ll love like two-person whirlpool tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, oversized showers and steam baths. You don’t want to spend the whole day inside, of course, but you might not want to leave if you snag one of these gorgeous rooms.

Play

Head to Steven’s Pass Mountain Resort to hit the slopes. This resort has 37 runs for skiing and snowboarding and also offers snowshoeing trails. Beginners and novices will appreciate the lessons and equipment rentals, while more advanced visitors can enjoy nine different double black diamond runs.

Stevens has arrangements with several area hotels, inns, cabins and lodges that give guests special stay-and-play rates for lift tickets, so choose a participating property to take advantage of the savings. On a weekday, you can pay as little as $115 per night for lodging and all-day lift tickets for two.

Shop

Leavenworth is full of shops with unique gifts, baubles and goods of all kinds. Feast your eyes on the array of nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins, music boxes and holiday decorations, sniff out handcrafted candles and soaps, and sample your way through locally crafted wines, chocolates and cheeses.

For those sick of big-box retail and mall outlets, the singular experience of shopping in Leavenworth is full of delightful surprises.

Eat

Beers and bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels – Leavenworth has every Bavarian treat you love and tons of other options to tantalize your taste buds. If you want to venture beyond the bounds of Bavarian cuisine for your meal, you can find:

• Euro-Inspired dining at Sulla Vita
• Meals made from local, organic and foraged ingredients at Mana Restaurant
• BBQ’d goodness at Country Boy’s (a short ride from Leavenworth proper)
• Modern Latin cuisine at SOUTH
• Farm-to-table fare at the Watershed Cafe
• Classic and customizable pizzas at Idlewild Pizza

After your meal, stop at The Gingerbread Factory for a sweet treat or score some gourmet chocolate truffles at Schocolat.

Explore

For a little Bavarian village, Leavenworth has a lot going on! Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride one evening, then go for a stroll to see the 500,000 lights that sparkle all over the village through the end of February. Afterward you can head to one of the restaurants that feature live music and dance the night away.

There are also wine tastings in the village, drinking and painting events, wine blending lessons, film screenings and tons of other goings-on to keep you busy. Check out the calendar of events and consider planning a getaway around one that sparks your interest, or seek out singular attractions like Leavenworth’s remarkable Nutcracker Museum.

Whether you’re looking for romance, adventure or just a little trip to shake up your routine, Leavenworth makes for a great getaway. And it’s definitely more interesting than the same old dinner! Visit leavenworth.org to learn more.

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