It’s a small town with big Bavarian charm. With the number of things to do in Leavenworth, it is one of those Northwest destinations you can enjoy any time of year.
Festivals. Outdoor recreation. Food and wine. Leavenworth offers a little something for everyone.
We’ve got suggestions for making the most of your time for trips in spring, summer, fall, or winter. Here are 8 things to do in Leavenworth that makes it worth visiting year round.
It would be a mistake not to mention Oktoberfest when you’re talking about the best things to do in Leavenworth. The town’s version of the annual German festival happens each October.
Leavenworth’s downtown area has many paths for walking. The flat Waterfront Park trail offers benches and interpretive signs where you can rest. You can also enjoy bird watching in the spring, swimming in the summer, and salmon spawning in the fall.
If you’re looking for things to do in Leavenworth during winter, you’ll have no shortage of snow sports options. Icicle Creek is a center of activity for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing each winter. The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club maintains dedicated trails for both sports. Its Snowshoe Adventure Trail is on our list of the Northwest’s 10 great snowshoe trails.
Spring Bird Fest
Each May bird lovers land in Leavenworth for the annual Spring Bird Fest. Sign up early to enjoy dozens of field trips. Or stick close to Bird Fest Central at the Wenatchee River Institute. There you’ll find family-friendly activities, music, art, films, and speakers.
You can plan a trip to Leavenworth around wine tasting rooms and wine shops, or take a drive to nearby wineries. Pair a glass with a hike or pack a bottle with a fresh family picnic and you can still call it healthy, right?
The rugged hike to the Enchantments is a favorite for serious hikers and backpackers. The Enchantments is described as one of the most beautiful alpine settings on earth. Permits are required for day use and overnight hikes. Plan-ahead if you hope to stay overnight. Overnight passes are distributed through a lottery managed by the US Forest Service. If you’re not one of the lucky winners of an overnight permit, you can still get enjoy the icy blue waters of the Enchantments with an 8-mile day-hike to Colchuck Lake.
To stay overnight, you’ll need a Forest Service permit, so plan ahead. Watch out for mountain goats.
The 8-mile hike to Twin Lakes, about 14 miles west of Leavenworth, is a beautiful trip for day hikers. It’s a great place to catch views of wildflowers, fall colors, and surrounding landscapes.
Christmas Lighting Festival
No list of the best things to do in Leavenworth is complete without mentioning the wonderment that occurs each winter in the Bavarian village. Visit Leavenworth between Thanksgiving and Christmas to experience the Christmas Lighting Festival. Lighting ceremonies take place each Saturday and Sunday. The festival also features visits from St. Nick, seasonal music performances, and more. Pack your winter gear for some sledding or tubing in the snow for a picture-perfect winter escape.
Have more suggestions for can’t-miss locations or things to do in Leavenworth? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Image of Oktoberfest mugs courtesy of Parker Knight via Flickr.