Is Leavenworth WA worth visiting? Yes, here’s why

houses surrounded by trees with mountains in the backdrop

Leavenworth, WA, is where Bavaria thrives against the backdrop of the Cascades. And if you’re wondering “Is Leavenworth WA worth visiting?” The short answer is YES.

Leavenworth brings together the allure of cultural festivities with the call of the outdoors—a perfect getaway for families to create memories surrounded by an impressive natural environment.

But that’s not all. Leavenworth, WA offers more than just adventure. In this article, we highlight all valid reasons why this Bavarian-styled village town is a must-visit. You’ll also learn:

  • How to get there and the time of the year to visit
  • RV-friendly activities for families visiting Leavenworth
  • Insider tips on RV accommodations and available parks
  • Where to rent fully furnished modern RVs when visiting Leavenworth
road with trees on the side and snow covering the ground

Getting to Leavenworth

You can get to Leavenworth from Seattle or Spokane. These towns are close to Leavenworth and serve as perfect starting points.

From Seattle to Leavenworth

Starting your journey from Seattle, Leavenworth is a 2-hour drive away.

Get to I-90 E and enjoy the ever-changing landscape as urban views give way to the rugged wilderness of the Cascade Range.

As you approach Cle Elum, transition onto Highway 970 and link up with Highway 2.

This stretch, known as the Cascade Loop, offers stunning views of snow-capped mountains and lush valleys, perfectly setting the scene for your Bavarian adventure in Leavenworth.

From Spokane to Leavenworth

If Spokane is your starting point, you’re looking at a drive of around 4 hours to reach Leavenworth.

Take the I-90 W until you reach Wenatchee, then get onto Highway 2 for the final stretch of the journey.

This route is along the Columbia River, showing off the different landscapes of Eastern Washington before reaching Leavenworth, the alpine heartland.

RV Road-Tripping to Leavenworth

Traveling to Leavenworth by RV offers an added layer of freedom and comfort. But remember, mountain passes can be daunting for larger vehicles.

Stevens Pass on Highway 2 is a popular route with RVers, with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the views and grab photos.

Driving Tips for Mountain Roads

Regardless of the season, mountain driving requires caution and preparation. Here are some tips to ensure a safe trip to Leavenworth:

  • Check your vehicle: Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, with all fluids topped up and tires properly inflated.
  • Reduce speed: Mountain roads often have tight turns and steep grades. Reduce your speed and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Stay Informed: Always check the latest road conditions and potential closures through the Washington State Department of Transportation travel center map before you leave.
  • Be Prepared: Carry an emergency kit with food, water, warm clothing, and safety gear, especially during winter months.
group of people standing under a gazebo during Christmas time

Why Leavenworth Is a Must-Visit

Leavenworth is a must-visit. And we have all the good reasons such as:

It’s a slice of Bavaria in the Pacific Northwest

At first glance, Leavenworth is a quaint American town, but look again and you’ll find yourself transported to a Bavarian village, right in the heart of Washington State.

This transformation isn’t just skin deep. Leavenworth’s alpine-style buildings, complete with murals and ornate balconies, align naturally with an array of cultural festivities that echo the charm and cheer of a German township.

It Has Festivals That Feed the Soul, All-Year Round

Leavenworth’s calendar is dotted with signature festivals that draw visitors from all over. These events show the town’s commitment to celebrating its Bavarian roots as well as other cultures it represents.

Key signature festivals include:

  • Oktoberfest: Spanning three weekends in October, Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest is a vibrant celebration. It has beer gardens featuring music from Bavaria, the USA, and local bands, along with traditional dancing, food, and, of course, a variety of beers.
  • Christmastown: From November 29th to December 24th, the town transforms into a winter wonderland. It features over half a million lights, festive entertainment, roasted chestnuts, holiday characters, and activities for all ages.
  • Winter Karneval: Honoring a German tradition dating back to the 13th century, Leavenworth’s Winter Karneval in January is a spectacle of lights and snow, offering a unique experience of the Bavarian Fasching celebration.
  • Maifest: With events every weekend in May, Maifest celebrates the arrival of spring with wildflowers, apple and pear blossoms, and a host of springtime festivities.

An Outdoor Enthusiast’s Playground

Beyond its cultural mimicry, Leavenworth is a center of outdoor adventures due to its accessible river rafting, fishing spots, and hiking trails.

Also, the surrounding Wenatchee National Forest serves as a playground for nature lovers. It offers opportunities to mountain bike, rock climb, and in winter, ski or snowboard on powdery slopes.

Shopping and Dining With Authentic Flair

Stroll through the downtown area, and you’ll stumble upon several shops selling everything from handcrafted goods to imported cuckoo clocks.

It has seasonal markets. The Leavenworth Farmer’s Market runs from June to October, offering a platform for local artisans and farmers to share their produce and crafts with the community.

It’s not left out when it comes to food. The smell of freshly baked pretzels and savory scents of schnitzel and sauerkraut from local eateries is something you’ll enjoy.

Cafés and beer gardens offer a warm welcome, inviting guests to savor authentic Bavarian cuisine paired with regional brews.

It’s Celebrates Cultures Through Arts and Music

Leavenworth doesn’t just stop at German traditions; it embraces a fusion of cultures through its arts and music.

It hosts events like the Leavenworth International Alphorn Festival and the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, showcasing both local and international talent.

From May to October, locals and visitors can enjoy an outdoor showcase of art, reflecting the town’s creative spirit.

people walking on a street during daytime

Best Time of Year to Visit Leavenworth

Leavenworth, WA, is a year-round destination with each season offering unique experiences. But, the journey and experience in this Bavarian-themed village can vary depending on the time of year.

Autumn’s Festive Tapestry

Autumn in Leavenworth is a colorful sight, with the trees turning beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. Driving from Seattle or Spokane during fall is amazing as you see all the changing leaves. The weather is usually mild, making it a great time to drive without the snow or crowds of summer.

Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest is a lively celebration filled with traditional German music, overflowing beer mugs, and fun outdoor activities. The cool fall weather and colorful leaves make it a perfect time to enjoy the festival and explore the beautiful scenery.

Winter Wonderland

Winter transforms Leavenworth into a magical wonderland, straight out of a holiday greeting card. The town is especially enchanting during the Christmas Lighting Festival, with twinkling lights, joyful music, and the sound of carolers filling the crisp air. It’s a truly magical time for families to create lasting memories.

While the snowy landscapes are beautiful, driving to Leavenworth in winter can be challenging. Snow and ice can make the mountain passes dangerous, so be sure to equip your car with snow tires or chains.

Also, always check the road conditions on the Washington State Department of Transportation website before you go.

Spring Serenity

Spring in Leavenworth is a beautiful time, with wildflowers everywhere and the Wenatchee River full of water. The roads are clear and the landscape is coming back to life. It’s a great time to visit before the summer crowds arrive.

Just be sure to check the weather forecast for rain showers.

Summer Warmth and Adventure

Summer is the warmest time to visit Leavenworth, with temperatures peaking at around 77.5°F (25.3°C).It is perfect for those who want to avoid snowy roads. The long days are great for outdoor adventures like hiking and river rafting.

RV-Friendly Activities for Families in Leavenworth

Rented an RV to explore Leavenworth? Here are some RV-friendly activities you can enjoy with your family:

  • Explore the outdoors: Hike the scenic trails in the Icicle Gorge or up to Colchuck Lake.
  • Enjoy cultural and educational experiences: Visit the whimsical Nutcracker Museum or have a magical encounter with reindeer at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm.
  • Splash and play in the Wenatchee River: Go tubing or paddleboarding on warm summer days.
  • Join the festivities: Experience the fun of the Autumn Leaf Festival or Kinderfest, a special event for kids.

Each of these activities and events offers families the chance to bond, build memories, and enjoy the best of what Leavenworth has to offer, all while the comforts of their RV wait close by.

white van in parking lot near the trees

RV Accommodations and Tips

Leavenworth’s charm extends to its RV accommodations, which cater to families looking for both adventure and relaxation. Here are some top spots:

  • Leavenworth RV Campground: Operated by Thousand Trails, this campground offers full hook-up sites, a pool, and family activities, nestled along the Wenatchee River.
  • Icicle River RV Resort: For those seeking serenity by the water, this resort provides a peaceful setting with the convenience of being just a few minutes from downtown Leavenworth.
  • Wenatchee Confluence State Park: A bit farther from town, this park offers spacious sites and is ideal for families who enjoy river activities and a plethora of state park amenities.

But how do you choose the best RV spot when exploring Leavenworth? Look for what will make your stay special. For example, a spot with a mountain view can provide a breathtaking backdrop for your morning coffee.

Proximity to town might be a priority for families looking to partake in Leavenworth’s many festivities without worrying about parking.

RV Services and Supplies

It’s always best to come prepared. But should you need anything for your RV, Leavenworth has the following spots you can get supplies:

  • Dan’s Food Market: For your grocery needs and a selection of local produce.
  • Leavenworth Outdoor Center: Offers gear rentals for various activities if you can’t bring your own.
  • Local RV repair services: In case you encounter any hiccups, there are several local services available to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Note: For excellent RV repair and maintenance services, check out NW Adventure Rentals.

Visit Leavenworth, WA in a Rented RV

Journeying through Leavenworth reveals why this Pacific Northwest town is so beloved. And you need a rented RV to make your experience even more worthwhile.

NW Adventure Rentals offers luxury RVs that can give you a homely experience, well, on the road. Here’s why:

  • Luxurious and well-equipped RVs that come fully furnished with everything you need for a comfortable trip.
  • Clean and well-maintained RVs to ensure a worry-free experience.
  • No advertising. You won’t be driving a billboard—our RVs are free of any distracting ads.
  • Unlike individual owners, NW Adventure Rentals is a professional company dedicated to making your rental vacation smooth and enjoyable.

Here’s what one of our past customers has to say:

NW Adventure Rentals has been a delight to work with…They have treated me in the utmost professional way, and I would recommend NW Adventure Rentals to anyone. Keep up the great work….”— Doug B, Verified Customer

Explore Leavenworth in an RV. After all, there are a lot of RV-friendly spots in this amazing destination. You’ll enjoy laughter over meals and awe under festive lights with the convenience of an RV.