by Henry Allen
If ever there was a quintessential Christmas town, it’s Leavenworth, Washington. Only a few hours from Seattle, it’s an easy getaway for a day or a weekend to immerse yourself in holiday spirit.
The setting? A Bavarian-themed village nestled in the Cascade Mountains. The holiday festivities kick off by December 1 when the whole town lights up with a half a million lights and transforms into a Christmas wonderland. Chances are there will be snow on the ground, just adding to the magic. The lights stay on through February, but December is when the town celebrates the holidays in style with live entertainment, carolers, holiday characters, kids’ activities, Santa and more.
Folks gather on Front Street for the festivities. Unique shops, charming restaurants and wineries welcome visitors to share in the holiday cheer. If you have some unique gifts to pick up, this is the place to do it. Browse dozens of shops, like the Nussknacker Haus with its offering of nutcrackers and ornaments, Schocolat with their fine handcrafted chocolates or The Wood Shop for handcrafted toys and puzzles.
For dining, you will find German food as well as some outstanding restaurants offering local farm-to-table fare. If a beer hall is your style, head to Stein for scratch pub fare with a Bavarian twist and dozens of beers on tap. For an elegant, single-seating chef-inspired dining experience, Mana delivers with foraged, organic and locally grown ingredients. Of course, there is everything in between, like the Latin American-inspired fare at South or the Pacific Northwest-inspired fare at Watershed. For a classic German meal, you will find it at Andreas Keller Restaurant.
Leavenworth is all about hospitality, evidenced by the many choices of lodging for every desired experience and budget. For an authentic mountain lodge experience, look no further than Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. For a luxurious wellness experience complete with an in-house spa, book a suite at Posthotel. If you have kids and pets in tow, book a family suite at Blue Elk Inn, breakfast included.
What is there to do in Leavenworth in winter besides marvel at the decorations, clap along to the entertainment, shop, eat and drink? Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy countryside, of course.
Find everything you need to plan a holiday getaway to Leavenworth at leavenworth.org.