Leavenworth a former logging town has been transformed into a Bavarian village. Set in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth offers a wide variety of winter sports including skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. In summer, hike the surrounding evergreen forests or head to Icicle River for kayaking. Stroll the charming downtown anytime of year. Great food, including German cuisine and unique shopping opportunities abound. Don’t forget Oktoberfest in the fall!
This year-round destination is set amidst the Wenatchee National Forrest. The list of things to do in Leavenworth WA is long, from quaint shops, German food, lively festivals and an abundance of outdoor activities.
Fall in Leavenworth
This charming town hosts a number of popular festivals throughout the year. In October, the town celebrates all things German with the Leavenworth Oktoberfest. This lively event includes four venues with live music, great food and arts & crafts displays. Kinderplatz (kids place) is designed for children and makes this a great family event.
The Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival is the oldest festival in Washington. Experience the dense and colorful forests surrounding Leavenworth. Enjoy the parade, live entertainment and family friendly activities.
Winter in Leavenworth
Winter offers plenty of things to do in town and the surrounding area. Begin your holiday shopping on November 25 at the Leavenworth Christkindlmarkt. This annual Bavarian Christmas Market is found downtown on Front Street. Enjoy family friendly entertainment, fine food, local arts and crafts. The festival is held Friday 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM till 7:30 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM till 3:00 PM.
The first three weekends of December are packed with holiday happenings. The town is illuminated by half a million Christmas lights for their Christmas Lighting Festival. Each weekend includes parades, carolers, food and local arts and crafts. The gazebo located in the center of town serves as the main stage for entertainment all day.
Take the family skiing, sledding and tubing at Ski Hill operated by the Leavenworth Ski Club. Head to Stevens Pass only 30 miles away for more serious skiing and snowboarding. Leavenworth Shuttle and Taxi offers flexible service from downtown Leavenworth to the slopes, making your trip stress free! (Stevens Pass had their first snowfall of the season on October 10, 2016!). Other winter activities include sleigh rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
We suggest two great options when staying in and around Leavenworth. Cascade Valley Inn is a luxurious bed and breakfast.Set on twenty acres it includes secluded walking trails and valley views. Abendblume, a Bavarian-styled bed and breakfast is located in Leavenworth. The owners have lovingly recreated an old world alpine retreat, close to local sights and events.
Every January, on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Leavenworth celebrates IceFest. Enjoy ice sculptures, games and snow centered activities as well as a winter fireworks show. New this year is a Stevens Pass Grom Playground. Here kids 3-7 can learn to ski and board with certified snow sports instructors to guide them around.
Spring and Summer in Leavenworth
The town is surrounded by over 700 miles of forest service trails, perfect for hiking. If you are into climbing there are over 50 crags within 10 miles offering spectacular views of the Cascades and the valley. There are also several golf courses in this beautiful area.
Try kayaking, tubing or rafting on the Wenatchee River. Head to Lake Wenatchee, Fish Lake or the Wenatchee River for great fishing.
Bikers will find miles of scenic byways in the area and mountain bikers can head to the Stevens Pass Bike Park, a scenic 30 mile drive from town.
Weather in Leavenworth Washington and Getting There
Leavenworth has distinct seasons. Summer daytime highs can reach 85 degrees and nighttime lows are in the mid-50s. In winter the daily highs are around 35 degrees dropping to around 25 degrees at night. Summers are relatively dry, but expect snow in winter. Leavenworth experiences approximately 79 inches of snow per year.
Getting to Leavenworth from Seattle is an easy scenic 2 ½ hour drive over the Cascade Mountains. From Seattle you can travel east on I-90, over Snoqualamie Pass and then north on US-97 over Blewitt Pass then onto US-2 into Leavenworth. My favorite is traveling north of Seattle and catching US-2. This route takes you over Stevens Pass with heart stopping views of the Cascades and plenty of forest. This is mountain travel. Although the roads are well maintained throughout the year, always check the Washington DOT Mountain Pass webpage for current road conditions.