When you drive through the Cascade Mountains into the town of Leavenworth, you can hardly believe you’re still in Washington. It’s a far cry from the bustling establishments of Seattle. This Bavarian-themed village looks as if it belongs in Germany, or at least in the German section of Epcot. With trails, good food, abundant beer, and the Wenatchee River all within reach, Leavenworth is the ideal weekend getaway for a Washingtonian. If you’re looking to spend a weekend in Leavenworth, Washington, use this sample itinerary to plan your trip.
From Olympia, the scenic drive to Leavenworth took three hours. This meant, after filling up my gas at the cutest Safeway I’d ever seen, I was able to get in early enough for lunch!
Lunch at Sausage Garten
After a long drive I was in the mood for something hearty, and the house made sausages at Sausage Garten hit the spot. I tried the kielbasa and bratwurst, both of which were packed full of flavor. Don’t forget to stop by the mustard bar and sample a few – my favorite is the old fashioned style with mustard seeds.
Shopping at Front Street
I walked off my big lunch at Front Street, which is packed with exciting themed shops. One of my favorites was Kris Kringl, a Christmas shop that blows all other Christmas stores out of the water. Here you’ll find every kind of ornament imaginable, nativity scenes that range from minimalist to luxurious, Dickens villages, and everything to turn your home into a winter wonderland. Pick up an ornament for a souvenir!
Coffee at J5 Coffee
Enjoying a latte from this hip little shop, I saw that you can count on always finding good coffee in the PNW – even in a little town in the middle of the mountains.
Dinner at Watershed Cafe
The weather was nice enough for us to choose an outdoor table at this farm-to-table style restaurant. I went light on my dinner, having a mixed greens salad topped with fruit and a fresh oyster, along with a glass of rose wine. I made sure to save room for dessert, a velvety flourless chocolate cake.
Drinks at Deer and Duck
This bar is right underneath the Watershed Cafe, making a perfect segue for us to end the night. Grab a pitcher of beer and enjoy the casual atmosphere, complete with pool tables.
Breakfast at Argonaut Espresso
This little stand is packed with quality coffee and fresh treats perfect for a light breakfast. I enjoyed the daily drink special, a lavender white chocolate latte, with a breakfast sandwich served on a fresh-baked biscuit and a salted chocolate chip cookie.
Shopping at Front Street and Commercial Street
With another day in town, there’s more time to explore the shops on Front Street and Commercial Street, the two main streets that run through downtown Leavenworth. Some of my favorites were Jubilee World Gifts – artisanal goods from around the world, Tumbleweed – local-made jewelry, A Book for all Seasons, and A Paw Above – if you want to grab a souvenir for your fur baby.
Snack at Viadolce Gelato
In the middle of shopping, we refueled at Viadolce Gelato, where I enjoyed a scoop each of strawberry and chocolate.
Lunch at Wok About
A lot of locals recommended this decidedly un-German Mongolian grill, so we had to check it out. You build your own bowl, choosing all of your own ingredients and making your own sauce. This place is pay-by-weight, so don’t feel the need to load up your bowl to the top.
Hike at Waterfront Park
If you go down to the Wenatchee River Waterfront Park, there are a series of hiking trails with gorgeous views of the riverbank and the forest. The trail to get to the waterfront is so short that everyone should see it. From there, you’ll see a map depicting trails that run through a series of small islands, allowing flexibility in how long of a hike you’ll take on. The entire hike is three miles and all flat terrain, making it highly accessible. We hiked about two-thirds of the trial, taking about 45 minutes.
Dinner at Fresh Burger
After our hike, we grabbed an outdoor table overlooking Mount Tumwater at Fresh Burger Cafe. I had the Mon Ami with Sweet Potato Fries. The Mon Ami is topped with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and a garlic aioli. This choice was a no-brainer for me, as I have a particular weakness for any burger that includes mushrooms.
Drinks at Munchen Haus
Munchen Haus is a must if you’re looking for a German beer garden experience. We enjoyed our mugs of beer from Icicle Brewery with a soft pretzel and beer cheese, as well as a live music performance. It was the perfect way to end our last night in this Bavarian wonderland.
Breakfast at Gingerbread House
Before we left, I knew I wanted to try eating at this cafe, taken straight from a fairy tale. Everything in Gingerbread House’s display cases looks tempting, but we managed to narrow it down to breakfast quiche, a raspberry scone with raspberry butter, and a gingerbread cookie with soft icing.
Their cute garden caught my eye as soon as I walked in, so we found a table and enjoyed the fresh air. I’m not normally crazy about gingerbread, but the cookies here are the best gingerbread I’ve ever had. And the raspberry butter that came with our scone? Heavenly.
What’s your favorite Pacific Northwest weekend getaway?
I’m always on the lookout for new places to explore – share yours and I will try to visit!