Located just east of the Cascade Mountains is Bavarian-themed Leavenworth. This magical town nestled right in the foothills is the perfect spot to visit for a weekend away. There’s loads to do all year round, so keep on reading for the fun things to do in Leavenworth!
No list of things to do in Leavenworth is complete without a mention of the famous Enchantments. This stunning area is a popular (but crowded) area for hiking, and for good reason! It has amazing mountains, blue alpine lakes, mountain goats, and so much more. You want to get there early to make sure you get a parking spot, or attempt to get a permit in the yearly lottery if you want to overnight backpack it. Backpacking in the Enchantments is a bucket-list item for many, but day-hikes are allowed! (Parking is limited and they’ll tow cars so be sure to park legally).
Besides the Enchantments, there are tons of other great Leavenworth hikes. Head a bit more towards Stevens Pass to do Lake Valhalla or Mt. McCausland, or stay closer to town and hike Sauer's Mountain, known for its wildflowers, or Icicle Ridge Trail, which has stunning views of the area. No matter where you hike in the area, you’ll be rewarded with great sights!
Head into the woods for some great Leavenworth camping. Camp in one the local state parks or one of the campgrounds, or if you’re lucky, get a permit (awarded by lottery in the beginning of the year or by walk-up day of if you’re super lucky) to backpack in the Enchantments. Camping in the area is a great way to get to explore it better and get you outside!
Leavenworth embraces its Bavarian theme every Oktober for Oktoberfest. Book your hotel in advance because it’s a popular festival! There’s lots of beer, German food, and entertainment awaiting you if you visit then. The festival was a bit different in 2020 due to COVID-19 (it still happened with more of a street-fair vibe), but check out their website for upcoming updates about the 2021 festival!
Leading up to Christmas the town is decorated with more than half a million lights. Visit then and you’ll find live musical performance of holiday songs, St. Nicholas stopping by to say ‘hello’ to the children, and other fun holiday activities. Each Saturday and Sunday has a Lighting Ceremony, starting at 4:45 p.m., to light up the town with the holiday lights. A wonderful time to visit with family!
Leavenworth’s Bavarian Ice Fest is a magical festival that happens after the turn of the year. Every Martin Luther King Jr. weekend they decorate the town in more than half a million twinkling lights and have fun activities, ice sculptures, fireworks, and tons more. It’s a wonderful time to visit and enjoy the winter festivities.
Just 40 minutes from Leavenworth is Stevens Pass. A great spot for skiing and snowboarding in the winter! If the slopes are you thing, bring your gear (or rent it) to spend a day in the snow. It has a variety of alpine ski runs ranging from beginner to advanced making it perfect for anyone wanting to get out.
If you want a more relaxing day, you can float on the Icicle River into town, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can ride Class III rapids or Class II rapids. You can even go out on Class IV rapids if you’re feeling up for it! Check out one of the rafting companies in town, and you and your family or friends are sure to have a great time!
Chill out and have a wine tasting or a flight of beer at one of the local wineries or breweries in town. There’s something for everyone, and some of them are even pet-friendly so you can bring your best friend to hang out with you while you have a drink! It’s a great way to spend the afternoon.
Just 25 minutes outside of Leavenworth you’ll find Lake Wenatchee. The clear blue lake is surrounded by mountains and is a fun spot to go swimming, boating, or just relax on the shores. You can even hike, bike, or ride a horse in the area! In winter it’s a great spot to snowshoe or cross-country ski and explore the area that way.
We hope this list of the fun things to do in Leavenworth is helpful! It’s a magical area and a must-see while in Washington. Be sure to tag AdventureTripr in your social media if you go and check it out! We love living vicariously through your explorations! And if you want your Leavenworth trip planned for you, check out our trip.
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