Leavenworth is one of Washington State's most unique cities, featuring architecture and attractions themed after classic Bavarian Alpine villages. Though the city offers plenty of visitor attractions of its own to entertain vacationers, it also serves as a popular jumping-off point for exploring the natural wonders of the surrounding Cascade Mountains region. Visitors can easily day trip to top Washington attractions like the Yakima Valley, known for its numerous award-winning wineries and vineyards. Lakes Chelan and Wenatchee offer fishing, boating, and hiking experiences throughout the year, while top ranches like Eagle Creek Ranch provide chances for horseback riding. Charming small towns throughout the area include Roslyn, the filming destination for the popular television series Northern Exposure.
1.The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail
The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail is a charming urban biking and pedestrian trail that stretches for 10 miles along the banks of the gorgeous Columbia River in Wenatchee. The trail, which was completed in 1995, follows along the river's eastern and western shores, stretching from Wenatchee Riverfront Park at Ninth Street and following a clockwise route to Worthen Street. It crosses over the river at several points to complete its route, offering stunning waterfront vantage points at sites like the historic Columbia River Bridge. Along the way, pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders pass through lovely regions such as the Porter's Pond Natural Area, along with attractions like Rock Island Hydro Park. During the winter months, the route is open to snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
Cashmere is a lovely small town in central Washington State, located just two and a half hours from Seattle within easy driving distance from downtown Leavenworth. The charming Cascade Mountains getaway is one of Washington State's top destinations for white water rafting throughout the year due to its location at the confluence of some of the state's most majestic and challenging rivers, including the stunning Columbia River. Picturesque Mount Cashmere gives the city its name, ascending to heights of more than 8,500 feet above sea level. In town, visitors can explore the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, which preserves nearly two dozen structures from the town's pioneer days as living history exhibits.
3.Eagle Creek Ranch
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Eagle Creek Ranch is an historic all-season horse ranch located just minutes from the city of Leavenworth, nestled into the panorama of the stunning Cascade Mountains. The family-owned ranch is entirely surrounded by the beautiful Wenatchee National Forest, offering a plethora of opportunities to experience the beauty of Central Washington's natural landscapes. Visitors of all ages can embark on horseback riding experiences at the ranch throughout the year, led by experienced horseback riding guides and lasting between 40 minutes and two hours. Horseback riding trails traverse the banks of lovely Eagle Creek, accessible to riders of all ability and experience levels. Guided sleigh rides are also offered during the winter months, pulled by teams of Belgian and Percheron draft horses.
7951 Eagle Creek Rd, Leavenworth, WA 98826, Phone: 509-548-7798
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Icicle Gorge is a unique geological feature within the Cascade Mountains, overlooking the banks of the Icicle River and the majestic Icicle Valley. The gorge is named for the indigenous word for the river, nasikelt, which is believed to have been mistaken for the word icicle by early European pioneers due to its phonetic similarity. Visitors can traverse the gorge's beautiful 3.9-mile hiking trail, which spans both banks of the river and offers unparalleled views of its roaring waters. The trail features only minor gains in elevation, making it a great choice for novice hikers and families. A canopied forest surrounds one side of the river trail, creating stunning natural scenery and a habitat for bird species like osprey, bald eagles, and woodpeckers. Interpretive signs detail the region's plant life, including unique species like the Devil's Club prickly shrub.
Leavenworth, WA 98826, Phone: 509-548-2550
Lake Chelan is a stunning 50-mile lake in Chelan County, known as a popular outdoor recreational spot throughout the year within the lovely Cascade Mountains. The lake, which is located within the North Cascades National Park Complex, is Washington State's largest natural lake, reaching depths of more than 1,500 feet at its deepest points. It is home to lively Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, which offers some of the state's top opportunities for fishing for species like trout, sucker, whitefish, pikeminnow, and redside shiners. During much of the year, the recreation area is only accessible via ferry from the nearby city of Chelan, though nature trails within the nearby national park offer access during the summer months. Several notable historic sites are showcased throughout the lake's surrounding region, including the preserved Stehekin School and the Buckner Homestead Historic District.
Lake Wenatchee is a beautiful glacier-fed lake within the spacious Wenatchee National Forest, extending for 2,480 acres throughout the eastern slopes of the Cascades Mountain Range. The lake, which reaches depths of 244 feet at its deepest point, serves as the source for the Wenatchee River and is known throughout the Pacific Northwest for its stunning crystal-clear blue waters. It serves as a popular boating and windsurfing destination throughout the year, offering opportunities to rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. A secluded lagoon area provides a great spot for families to swim in safe, shallow waters. Guided hiking and horseback riding trails are offered throughout the lake's surrounding regions, which are also home to miles of cycling trails. Year-round campsites include snow campsites offering heated restrooms and warming shelters.
21588 SR 207, Leavenworth, WA 98826, Phone: 509-763-3101
7.Mountain Springs Lodge
© Mountain Springs Lodge
Mountain Springs Lodge was opened in 1990 in Leavenworth, known today as one of the top overnight lodges in the high Cascades region. The resort's beautiful log and timber facilities strive to integrate natural elements as much as possible in their design, featuring native river rock fireplaces and Northwest native wood log frames. Visitors can stay at a number of spacious group-friendly lodges throughout the property, including the two-story Ponderosa Lodge, which offers a wraparound deck, hot tub, pool table, and spacious entertainment room and den. Individual guest suites are also available, including the premiere Aspenglow honeymoon suite, which offers an in-room Jacuzzi and private outdoor hot tub. Delicious Pacific Northwest dining is served up at the lodge's family-style restaurant, featuring selections like smoked salmon and prime rib. Onsite activities include guided horseback riding and snowmobiling excursions, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a common-use granite-lined pool.
19115 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Leavenworth, WA 98826, Phone: 509-763-2713
Roslyn is a charming Upper Kittitas County town located within easy driving distance from Leavenworth, known as a top outdoor recreation destination in the Cascade Mountains. The town, which was originally founded in the mid-19th century as a coal mining settlement, is named in honor of the Delaware town of the same name and was featured as the backdrop for the popular 1990s television series Northern Exposure. Fans of the television show can view iconic locations like the city's Ruth-Anne's store or KHBR radio station, which were featured as locations within the series' fictional town of Cicely, Alaska. Year-round recreational opportunities abound, including chances for fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and golf. The Roslyn Museum showcases exhibits related to the city's history and culture, while the Roslyn Brewery serves up delicious bar fare in the state's oldest-operating tavern facility.
9.The Yakima Valley
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The Yakima Valley is one of the Pacific Northwest's top wine-growing regions, established as an American Viticultural Area in 1983. Today, it has become the state's top producer of acclaimed varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling, home to major vineyards like Red Willow Vineyard and Columbia Winery, which offer tastings and tours throughout the year for visitors. Lovely county seat Yakima is one of Washington's largest cities, home to family-friendly attractions like the Yakima Valley Museum and the Yakima Area Arboretum. During the winter months, White Pass Ski Area offers top skiing and snowboarding experiences and a luxurious mountaintop ski resort complex.
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9 Best Weekend and Day Trips from Leavenworth, WA