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(Image: Molly Allen)

Escape and connect with nature at Leavenworth's Sleeping Lady Resort

Leavenworth has long been known for its bustling downtown streets, extraordinary food and overall quirky charm. For many, especially in the Pacific Northwest, it's a staple destination, providing the ultimate trip for families, couples or groups of friends celebrating any occasion. It's an accessible drive from Seattle or other parts of the state, and there's a magic to Leavenworth and its Bavarian-inspired details that cannot be matched anywhere else — and for that, it continues to grow as a favorite.

And while the bustle of downtown Leavenworth undoubtedly has its own unique energy beaming from the shops, tasting rooms and restaurants, it's also a magical place for nature lovers and an incredible location for hiking enthusiasts — Sleeping Lady Resort is the perfect home base to soak it all up.

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Sleeping Lady Resort is located just a few minutes outside of downtown Leavenworth. It feels entirely tucked away as it sits in what's known as Narrow Bottom Canyon, hugging Icicle Creek, yet it's easily accessible to town, as well as a number of hiking trails. The resort welcomed its first guests in 1995 and has continued to enhance its wonderful guest experience since then.

Luckily, I was able to spend two nights at the resort with my sister recently, and it was a trip we'll certainly never forget.

As you arrive, it feels like you're headed to camp. And that's with good reason. The property has served several uses over the years, including as a camp for multiple organizations, like the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was dedicated to preserving America's natural resources. The cabins and guest rooms are located in clusters throughout the resort, and you'll still find remnants of a storied past, as many of the original buildings date back to the 1930s and 1940s. But of course, they've been modernized with luxurious updates to bring the property into the 21st century. Though even with those updates, it's very clear that any construction completed was intended to embrace the surrounding landscape, keeping nature just the way it stands.

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There are a variety of room options on-site for couples, families or any style of traveler. We inserted a gold key and opened the door to our loft-style room, and found ourselves grinning ear to ear. The aesthetic is very much warm and welcoming, with just a splash of rustic. The log beds are handmade, massive wood beams are visible on the ceiling and a wooden ladder leads you up to a cozy loft with a second bed. It feels entirely like you're tucked away in a dreamy cabin in the woods, but with all of the amenities of a resort, including down linens, super-soft robes and even towel warmers in the bathroom.

Each morning, we woke up to the sounds of birds singing their best tunes while the vibrant leaves on the trees started to fall. The mornings were brisk and chilly, but worth it to wander the property as the sun began to make its debut for the day. A diverse collection of art dots the paths, and you can take an art walk to soak it all in.

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Walking down to the water provides a great way to reset your mind — sit on a massive boulder, close your eyes and listen to the water running in the creek. Walking the property will also give you a picturesque view of the resort's namesake, the Sleeping Lady. She's tall and mighty, a profile that mother nature carved out of the towering Cascade mountains. Lastly, don't miss a stroll through the organic garden, which fuels many of the dishes on the on-site dining menus. In the evening, gather around a crackling fire with a mug of tea and embrace the quiet and the calm of nature.

Staying at Sleeping Lady is truly an escape from not only buzzing downtown Leavenworth but from our busy day-to-day lives in general. It's a property that honors the power of connecting with nature, and if you embrace it, nature will find a way to calm you and to heal you. I certainly found that at Sleeping Lady Resort, and I look forward to heading back to experience every other season in this magical place.