Alright y’all, picture this: you’re winding your way through a valley, climbing higher and higher with each curve in the road until all of a sudden, you stumble into a little town nestled just below the tippy-tops of the snow-capped Cascade mountains. For a second you wonder if you’re stuck in a predictable Christmas Hallmark movie but then you notice all of the buildings have ornate Bavarian architecture, as if they belong in the streets of Santa’s north pole rather than central Washington. Welcome to Leavenworth, WA my friends.
Known for its natural beauty and impressive Christmas Lighting Festival, Leavenworth has much to offer no matter the season. Similar to my visits to the national parks, I was privileged enough to see Leavenworth both in the Summer months, as well as the Winter months. They have activities ranging from zip-lining to snowmobiling. My brother, sister-in-law and I were lucky enough to participate in the latter. Traveling has not only benefitted me but has also provided the perfect excuse for friends and family to visit cost-sensitively. My oldest brother Lakin and his wife Kelsey always make a point to visit at least once with each assignment and I must admit, they’re usually one of my favorite visitors. Washington, of course, was no different. If I could describe a seemingly perfect day, our day in Leavenworth would’ve been it. At the time, I was living in Tacoma, WA so we woke early, grabbed our to-go coffees and headed east to Leavenworth. I had reserved our snowmobile tour ahead of time with Mountain Springs Lodge and Conference Center, just a short 30 minute drive from Leavenworth. I cannot brag enough on this place! They provide everything, from appropriate clothing to shoes and gloves. Our guides were fabulous and so much fun, allotting time to stop and enjoy the view. It was so great, I returned with friends a few months later for a repeat before the snow melted.
Now, as if the snowmobiling wasn’t enough to convince you, just wait until you check out the town. It is overflowing with adorable little shops and eateries! Each time I visited Leavenworth, I ate at a different restaurant but every time I visited, I was sure to pop into Icicle Brewing Company for a cold one straight from the tap. My siblings and I lucked out and caught them on a night with live music. We had the best time sitting family style upstairs, sharing brews with strangers and playing old-fashioned mind stump games. Plus, what’s better than a cold brewsky after playing outside all day?
Overall, Leavenworth is a great day trip to take regardless of which side of the Evergreen state you might be on. It is centrally located, averaging about three hours from Seattle or Spokane so there’s no excuse not to check it out!
NOTE: If you plan to go during the Fall or Winter months, I highly recommend checking out their website prior. They host an Octoberfest each Fall season and, as mentioned, a Christmas Lighting Festival each winter. Information can be found at: Leavenworth Website