1 In All/ North America/ Washington State

Weekend Trip to Leavenworth, Washington

Well, it’s nearly summer and we’ve managed to survive 2020 so far, so Sasha and I celebrated by flying to Germany!

Leavenworth, Washington

Just kidding, I wish! But we did take a weekend trip to the adorable Bavarian town of Leavenworth, just a 2.5-hour drive East of Seattle. What I love about Eastern Washington is that just over the pass (either Snoqualmie or Steven’s), BAM! There’s sunshine…in fact, over 300 days of it each year!

Leavenworth, Washington

You can easily make a trip to Leavenworth just for the day, but if you’re staying overnight, it’s probably because you love the mountains and hiking like we do! Or maybe you just need a little escape from city life in Seattle. Here’s the route we did over two days; as you can see, there are two ways to get from Seattle to Leavenworth, so I recommend making a loop so that you can see both beautiful drives!

Leavenworth-Wenatchee Drive

**PIN THIS POST!!**

Weekend Trip to Leavenworth & Wenatchee, Washington www.culturalfoodies.com

Things To Do in Leavenworth

Depending on the time of year you visit, the main draw in Leavenworth is exploring the small Bavarian town, eating bratwurst and hiking. Christmas is the most popular time to visit, as it becomes a winter wonderland with the beautiful East Cascades as its backdrop, replicating the German Alps. Temperatures tend to be a bit more extreme than in Seattle, so if you’re visiting in winter, pack all the layers. In the summer, temperatures can reach the 90’s and sometimes over 100 F so take it easy in the sun. The best time to visit Leavenworth (besides Christmas) is in June when it’s not yet too crowded and the temperatures are pleasant.

Walk the Waterfront Park Trail or Stand Up Paddle Board on the River (3 miles of easy, flat trail that snakes along the river – great for kids or biking!)

Leavenworth Waterfront Trail

Eat Bratwurst

Leavenworth Waterfront Trail

Try a Cookie at the Gingerbread Factory

Gingerbread Factory - Leavenworth, Washington

Visit the Nutcracker Museum

Nutcracker Museum - Leavenworth, Washington

Check out Die Musik Box for Music Lovers

Go Floating / Tubing on the River (summer)

Take a White Water Rafting Tour (typically starts in June)

Sample all the Cheese Your Heart Desires at the Cheesemonger’s Shop (perfect for foodies, this shop is basically an underground cellar and a bit hidden. They sell local cheeses, chocolate and hot sauces from all over the world! They’ll even cube the cheese for you and put it into a plastic bag for takeaway (the perfect snack atop a mountain peak!))

Go for a Hike (keep reading on to see the top hikes near Leavenworth below)

Get a Coffee at J5 (they have excellent pour overs with a selection of beans from all over the world. The staff is really friendly, too!)

J5 Coffee - Leavenworth, Washington

I’ll be honest, Leavenworth is a bit kitschy and has a bit of an amusement theme park feel to it, but it’s definitely worth a visit at least once. You can simply spend an hour in town walking the streets, popping into some shops to check out locally-made Washington arts & crafts, grab a coffee, eat a bratwurst, and be on your merry way into the mountains for some time in nature.

Wenatchee is just a 30-minute drive from Leavenworth, and between the two towns there are plenty of excellent hiking options in the East Cascades. On the way from Leavenworth to Wenatchee, be sure to stop by Smallwoods, a general store selling locally made Washington goods from Peshastin (the town you’ll pass through), including jerkey, butters, jams, fresh cherries or apples (in season), pasta, etc.

You can also make a pit stop at Anjou, a bakery that, quite honestly, has gone down in service and baked goods quality over the years, but their mocha is spot on. They make their own chocolate ganache and their own home made almond milk. If you’re here during June – August and you fancy a cherry pie, you’re in luck!

Anjou Bakery - Leavenworth, Washington

Hikes Around Leavenworth & Wenatchee

A few things to remember about hiking in Washington:

  1. Follow hiking etiquette (hikers going up have the right of way. If you’re coming down, stop over to the side to allow hikers to pass)
  2. Do not park illegally
  3. Pack all your trash
  4. Please do not play music. It is disruptive and inconsiderate to those of us who come into nature to escape the noise, not listen to your tunes
  5. Dogs are not allowed on some hikes. Please do your research before you go, and if they are allowed, keep them on leash at all times and pack the poop!

Blackbird Island 
2 miles RT (leisurely flat trail run or walk)
100′ elevation gain
Free entry

Tumwater Pipeline Trail
2.4 miles RT
100′ elevation gain
Free entry

Icicle Ridge
6 miles RT
1,800′ elevation gain
Free entry

Sauer’s Mountain
6 miles RT
2,000′ elevation gain
Free entry

Coclchuck Lake
8 miles RT
2,280′ elevation gain
Northwest Forest Pass required 

Lake Stuart
9 miles RT
1,665′ elevation gain
Northwest Forest Pass required

Icicle Ridge

Sauer’s Mountain

Sauer Mountain - Peshastin, Washington

Sauer’s Mountain Trail is located just outside of Leavenworth in a small town called Peshastin on private property owned by a sweet elder gentleman named Mr. Sauer. He worked in the Washington Forest Service creating and maintaining hiking trails for his whole working career. He is not in his 90’s and has a mountain named after him! The start of the trailhead is literally in his backyard lined with beautiful vineyards (Eastern Washington is wine country!) He greets all hikers warmly and welcomes them along with his 13-year-old Australian blue heeler dog named Blue.

Colchuck Lake

This stunning turquoise lake is nestled in the famed Enchantments, which requires a permit to backpack overnight. Colchuck is one of the hikes that you can do as a day trip without a permit, however, note that the parking lot is small and is only one of two entry points for the Enchantments, so parking can be sparse.

Lake Stuart

A big thanks to my friend and hiking buddy, Liz for these photos!

On the way back home, if you have time, drive through the tiny town of Roslynan old mining town. It’s literally just a few blocks and there isn’t much there, but you can walk around, stretch your legs, and do a spirit tasting at Heritage DistilleryTheir brown sugar whisky won the Best Flavored Whiskey in the World Blind Tasting Award in the London two years in a row.

For more ideas on weekend getaways or day trips from Seattle, check out my Washington State Archives!

**PIN THIS POST!**

Weekend Trip to Leavenworth & Wenatchee, Washington www.culturalfoodies.com

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Best Things to Do in Lake Chelan, Washington - Cultural Foodies
    June 22, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    […] Seattle is the land of sunshine, apples and wine! Just one hour past the adorable Bavarian town of Leavenworth, is Lake Chelan, a beautiful town nestled in both valleys and mountains, its 51-mile-long lake […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Top
    %d bloggers like this: