Give yourself the gift of a trip to a scenic Bavarian village this season. Leavenworth fits the bill and makes the perfect holiday gift-shopping destination. All the shops, galleries and boutiques are clustered within walking distance of each other, many offering one-of-a-kind items that will delight your family and friends. Enjoy an alpine mini-vacation while you take care of those holiday preparations.
“We think people are buying more consumables as gifts—and for themselves—and Leavenworth offers options sure to please anyone,” says Jessica Stoller, a spokesperson for the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.
The best part of buying consumables, like beverage or food items, is the sampling you get to do. Park your car and embark on some delicious retail therapy.
Drink and Food Offerings
Icicle Ridge Winery, a Northwest favorite, gives you the choice of two tasting rooms. Samplings come with a $10 charge, unless you buy a bottle of wine. Sip and choose from dry to sweet wines and check out the wine-related accessories. Eagle Creek Winery’s downtown tasting room goes by the name d’Vinery and stocks a good blend of reds and whites. For a special holiday treat, many wineries appropriately offer Gluhwëin, a German mulled wine.
Besides the many wine tasting rooms, you’ll also find craft spirits like flavored vodkas, tequila, rum and whisky to sample at the Blue Spirits Distillery Tasting Room. Peruse the shop for everything one needs, including bitters and cane sugar, to make designer cocktails.
For tasty snacks to accompany the wine and spirits, Leavenworth has many choices. Opt for a gift basket with different varieties of cheese and have it sent by The Cheesemonger, or buy individual wedges of the mild, creamy, German Butterkase, coconut gouda (my favorite) or halloumi. Pair one or more of these delicious cheeses with salami, sausage or other cured meats from Cured By Visconti. There you’ll have a vast selection of European-style, handmade sausages and condiments that make excellent culinary gifts.
For the kiddos in your life, select from more than fifty different flavors of saltwater taffy. The Taffy Shop carries flavors like mango, cherry cola, cinnamon roll, huckleberry, frosted cupcake, chocolate chip cookie, pear and lots more.
Save the gourmet chocolate at Schocolat for the adults. This little gem is hidden behind another store, but well worth finding. Co-owner Damian Browne eagerly proffers samples of his pear cinnamon caramel sauce (great for dipping apples), salted caramels or cherry chocolates. Browne recommends his assortment of nine chocolates as the perfect size for a gift. All confections are handcrafted.
If you’d like to buy a foodie something they’ll get excited over, pop into The Little Kitchen Shop. Browse their polished stoneware, cast iron pans, tapas plates and a full array of Christmas cookie cutters. Seahawks fans might appreciate an item from their 12th Women collection.
If you have an ornament collector on your gift list, a stop at the 6,000-square-foot, two-story Kris Kringl store makes perfect sense. Ornament collections abound including Disney, Dickens, Alpine Village, Department 56 and Christopher Radko among others. This shop, which opened in Leavenworth 31 years ago, has everything Christmas you could possibly imagine and an ever-changing inventory. On Sunday, December 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., artist Emanuele Fontanini will be on hand to sign the nativity figurines he’s famous for creating.
For home décor and apparel, Posy Handpicked Goods is a must-stop. A wide array of fun and cheerful items are on display. Everything here has been handmade in the U.S. with 80 percent of the goods made in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, owner Laurie Brenan specifically looks to Northwest businesses for the goods she buys.
“I am super inspired by the small local businesses whose products I sell in my shop and hope to somehow contribute to their success,” says Brenan.
Insert Some Self Care
At some point amid all this shopping, you’ll need to replenish your caloric energy. For lunch or dinner, or weekend brunch, Pavz Café and Bistro makes yummy crepes and salads. South will satisfy your hunger with their delicious, fresh Latin fare and a basil margarita just for kicks (chili salt covers the rim of the glass).
Because once you arrive in Leavenworth, you won’t want to leave, check into the Boulder Bend Cabins (boulderbendcabins.com; ask if renovation is complete before booking) located along the Wenatchee River. There you can end your perfect shopping day on the cabin’s deck with a charcuterie plate of items you’ve picked up and a relaxing glass of wine.
For more information about what to do in Leavenworth, visit leavenworth.org.