Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Leavenworth, WA

  • Published 2022/04/16

Home to the majestic Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth, Washington, is a town that’s a mix of old-world beauty and modern-world amenities.

The things that draw tourists to this city are its snowy mountains and the skiing options they provide.

Exuding Bavarian culture, Leavenworth celebrates a lot of festivals.

Christmastime is one of the best seasons to visit the city, as this is its most enjoyable time of the year.

Here’s a list of the best things to do in Leavenworth, Washington:

Check Out the Gorgeous Icicle Creek

Water flowing through the rocks at the Icicle Creek

Jim Schwabel /

Icicle Creek is one of the top sights to see in Leavenworth.

A trip to the city isn’t complete without visiting this natural wonder.

Located in the bosom of the Cascade Mountains, its beauty is beyond expectations.

A sight like this isn’t something you come across easily, so be sure to cherish the time you have here.

Close up of the water flowing at Icicle Creek

Sky Sajjaphot /

A place with a plethora of options for photographs, hiking trails, and some of the best roads, the creek attracts thousands every year.

Icicle Creek Trail and Icicle Gorge Trail are the region’s two main hikes.

Don’t miss an opportunity to take in this marvelous piece of nature.

Visit the Majestic Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park during autumn in Leavenworth

Roman Khomlyak /

In Leavenworth, the downtown area will play a huge role in your trip.

It is here that all the festivities take place.

Apart from the events, there are a lot of sights here, too.

The Waterfront Park will pop up if you keep walking along Commercial Street.

It’s one of the city’s hidden gems.

Two people walking in the Waterfront Park

Roman Khomlyak /

Situated on the banks of the graceful Wenatchee River, the park is covered with lush green forests.

There are a lot of trails that go through these forests, offering the most pleasant nature and city vies.

Snow covered Waterfront Park during winter

SNC Art and More /

If you are looking for a perfect time to go and see the park, the spring would be best.

All the colors are bright during this time, with birds chirping and salmons swimming along the shores.

Go Rafting along the Wenatchee River

Scenic view of the Wenatchee River

Dan Lewis /

Have you always wanted to try out white water rafting?

In Leavenworth, white water rafting is one of the most popular activities.

The Wenatchee River is just the perfect place to try out this activity.

Kayakers near Wenatchee River

magraphy /

You can come across some Class III rapids if you are there during the high tide season.

A lot of companies organize rafting trips here.

You can book an afternoon filled with adventure!

High tide water flowing in Wenatchee River

Kasey Schmitt /

Try Cross-Country Skiing at Leavenworth Ski Hill

Aerial view of the Leavenworth Ski Hill

George Dodd III /

If you love snow or snow activities, Leavenworth Ski Hill is one of the best places to enjoy these.

Do you want to stay close to the city and participate in the Christmas festivities downtown?

Head over to Leavenworth Ski Hill to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Shops at the foot hill of Leavenworth Ski area

VDB Photos /

You can go cross-country skiing here, as there are a lot of perfect trails for you to explore.

It is also pretty near the downtown area, so you can head to the resort for a morning filled with adventure activities!

Have a Picnic at Front Street Park

Front Street Park is another cute downtown spot you have to check out.

The best thing about Front Street Park is that you can check it out right after eating or shopping downtown.

The park hosts a lot of events and festivals.

If you are here during the summer, don’t forget to take your family out for a picnic here.

There is a gazebo right in the heart of the park, and the views are quite beautiful.

You’ll also see artists drawing here, taking inspiration from the scenes at Front Street Park.

Go Night Skiing at Stevens Pass

People enjoy skiing at Washington- Stevens Pass

Checubus /

One of the best skiing destinations in Washington, Stevens Pass is a must-visit when you are in Leavenworth.

The best part about this place is the snow.

The thick snow is well-known all over America.

For this reason, Leavenworth receives a lot of tourists during the snowy winter season.

Stevens Pass during autumn

Danita Delimont /

Stevens Pass offers night-skiing, snowboarding, and tubing options.

The slopes are perfect, and skiing here will feel like you are gliding across the snow.

The best time to head here is between December and April.

Skiing at Stevens Pass

Checubus /

Watch the Sunrise at Lake Wenatchee

Sunrise during a foggy morning at Lake Wenatchee


Leavenworth is filled with some of the most splendid spots in Washington, but Lake Wenatchee holds a special place in everyone’s hearts.

If you are looking for a spot in the lap of nature where you can go camping and spend a perfect night under the stars, you have to check out Lake Wenatchee State Park.

Picnic table on the shores of Lake Wenatchee

Amehime /

The park has many gorgeous views, including those of the Lake Wenatchee and River Wenatchee, and the beautiful eastern shores of the lake.

There is a camping ground there where you can sit and look at the glistening lake set in front of the tall royal mountains.

Try to get up early to catch the gleaming first rays of the sun.

Small wooden pier at Lake Wenatchee

Checubus /

Enjoy the Enchantment Lakes

Tranquil water at the Enchantments Lakes

Marina Poushkina /

Want to step into a world that feels like something straight out of a Disney story?

Imagine a place in the mountain regions with crystal blue lakes and alpine cliffs, and gorgeous creeks in between.

The Enchantment Lakes will take your breath away.

A man hiking near Enchantment Lakes

Marina Poushkina /

If you are looking for some adventure amid all the gorgeousness, don’t miss out on hiking here.

It’s one of the top activities in the Enchantment Lakes.

The hiking might be challenging, but you will be rewarded handsomely.

A white goat climbing over the rocks near Enchantment Lakes

Tobin Akehurst /

The Upper Enchantments have lakes of their own.

The Stuart Lake Trailheads are some of the most popular routes here.

Camping near Enchantment Lakes

Tobin Akehurst /

Celebrate Christmas in Leavenworth

Colorful light decoration during Christmas at Leavenworth

Mark A Lee /

Leavenworth is best enjoyed during the winter season.

Not only are the scenes extra beautiful, but Christmas here is quite remarkable.

You can go skiing all day, and when you come back to town, you will be greeted with a surprise.

The entire downtown area is illuminated during Christmastime.

Street view of Leavenworth during Christmas

Checubus /

Events and festivals are held during that time, too.

They also set up a stage where Santa Claus comes with his elves and reindeers.

The restaurants are lit up with special dinner menus and offers.

Shops and houses decorated for Christmas in Leavenworth

Mark A Lee /

The Christkindkmarket is celebrated during the holiday season, too.

Filled with homemade goodies and crafts, the lovely market is worth checking out while strolling through the downtown area during winters.

Christmas trees decorated in Leavenworth

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Catch a Summer Show at Leavenworth Summer Theater

Wondering what to do in Leavenworth in the summer?

Apart from hiking in the majestic mountains, you can always catch a summer show.

The Leavenworth Summer Theater is one of the biggest theaters in the Seattle area.

They have special shows that take place exclusively during this season.

The ambiance and the beautifully produced shows make it something that will blow your mind.

One of the favorites happens to be The Sound of Music, which is beautifully directed.

The Cascade Mountains are located behind the theater, adding to its beautiful atmosphere.

Enjoy Adventures along Icicle Gorge Trail

Sign board of Icicle Gorge Trail

JasonRenfrow /

When you are roaming around the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, hiking is one of the activities that you must take part in.

After all, the views are worth it.

Thousands of people flock to the Icicle Gorge Trail to witness its beauty in real life.

Want to envision some of the most incredible views of the Icicle Creek Valley?

This is the path to take.

The Icicle Gorge can be seen from this trail, too.

Go Zip Lining and Take in Scenic Mountain Views

When you are in a place like Leavenworth, getting an aerial view of its dynamic scenes is a must.

In such a case, you can’t miss out on a ziplining adventure.

Ziplining offers perspectives you have not seen before.

Try to take in all the gorgeous views of the Cascade Mountains and the lush green forests that surround them.

There are eight main points from where the zip line options are available, and each is beautiful in its own way.

When you are up in the sky, you will be blown away by the breathtaking views of the mountains, greens of the forests, and blues of the lakes, along with special features like canyons and gorges.

Participate in Leavenworth’s Exciting Festivals

Leavenworth has a Bavarian culture.

For this very reason, a lot of Bavaria’s festivals have been incorporated into the Leavenworth lifestyle.

The Bavarian Icefest, celebrated every January, keeps the city dressed up even after Christmas.

The Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival is celebrated in the colors of the fall.

Taste Leavenworth! is more of a summer festival and is one of the most popular ones since it allows you to try out so much of the local cuisine.

Enjoy Your Honeymoon in Leavenworth

Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Leavenworth is quite a romantic place.

This place makes for a lovely honeymoon destination with so much natural beauty and snow.

Even if you are not going on your honeymoon, you can always bring your spouse here for a weekend of fun, adventure, and relaxation.

One of the best parts about Leavenworth is its hotels.

The hotels are like ancient European mansions and look like exotic royal palaces where it would be a privilege to spend a night.

Treat your partner to one of the best vacations by booking a room in one of these hotels.

The iconic Baravarian Lodge is one such example.

There are also mountain resorts where you can enjoy skiing and scenic views.

Go Shopping at the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market

If you want to look around after you are done with all the sightseeing or want to taste the local food or culture, head to the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market.

The market is not operational in the winter, so you could say it is more of a fall or a summer activity.

You get to see farmers and local vendors selling their products.

You can find local organic produce and delicious homemade goodies.

There are a lot of events in these markets, too.

A barter fair sometimes goes on in the market, which can be pretty engaging.

See the Vast Nutcracker Collection at Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum

Sign board of Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum

melissamn /

George and Arlene Wagner, who kindly donated their vast nutcracker collection and the building it is housed, founded the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in 1995.

It has around 7,000 nutcrackers as of 2020.

In addition to the most exciting things to visit in Leavenworth, this museum houses some of the world’s most interesting artifacts.

This is the only place you’ll find so many nutcrackers.

Visit it if you get the chance; it’s intriguing.

Nutcrackers from more than 50 nations may be shown in this exhibit.

You’ll be awe-inspiring when compared to other people’s heights.

It’s a terrific way to both learn and enjoy yourself.

Ride a Sleigh at Eagle Creek Ranch

Eagle Creek Ranch is a family-owned and maintained year-round horse ranch located in the Cascade Mountains.

The Wenatchee National Forest is only a short drive away from the historic ranch, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.

During the spring and autumn, guests may ride horses through the wooded slopes of the ranch and the national forest.

A horse-drawn sleigh ride through the ranch’s picturesque valley during the winter months is a memorable experience.

Those new to horseback riding may take basic training before getting started, and youngsters can ride horses that are being guided by rope.

Traverse the Penstock Trail

The Penstock was formerly a massive water conduit that carried water to a nearby power plant.

The Cascade Tunnel’s trains were powered by electrical engines that generated the energy.

The Wenatchee River water pipe is now the path of the Penstock Trail.

Check out this path if you’re looking for a fast, simple trek.

You’ll stumble onto some secluded river beaches along the route if you’re lucky.

Get off of Highway 2 and take a path that follows the Wenatchee River.

The Wenatchee River rushes down Tumwater Canyon, a breathtaking sight to see.

In addition, there are several wonderful secluded river beaches where you may cool down and listen to the river while you relax.

Grab a Bottle of Beer at Icicle Brewing Co

Icicle Brewing Co. in downtown Leavenworth is a great place to visit if you’re curious about the brewing process and want to sample some excellent local beers.

The brewery’s magician is head brewer Dean Priebe, who has used the Icicle River’s crystal-clear water and locally sourced, sustainably harvested ingredients to create delectable and distinctive lagers and ales.

It’s a great place to sit back, relax, and watch the magic unfold in the Company Production Facility just across the room.

Watch the tanks of future ale or lager and envision the cold tunnel beneath your feet that keeps the beer that has already been created.

Try a couple of different beers at the bar, sample some of the pub’s locally produced cuisine, or attend one of the pub’s regular events to get a feel for the place.

Final Thoughts

Leavenworth has fantastic festivals, cultural attractions, and friendly hospitality, an adorable German community with a Bavarian flavor amid Washington’s Cascade Mountains.

Even if you don’t have a passport, visiting Leavenworth, Washington, is an excellent opportunity to learn about Germany without traveling abroad.

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