Nothing beats the unrivaled beauty of Leavenworth in the spring. As the snow retreats and blossoms begin to color the hillsides, the small Bavarian-themed village tucked away in Washington’s North Central Cascades truly shines. From birdwatching and dancing around the flowered maipole, to wildflower hiking and sipping suds from a stein, you’ll need more than a quick getaway to fully embrace the season’s magic. Read along for 10 reasons your planned getaway to Leavenworth might just warrant some additional PTO.
1. THE LEAVENWORTH EXPERIENCE, MINUS THE BUSTLE
Leavenworth’s springtime vibe offers a unique experience to visitors. A perfectly balanced mix of alpine inspired activities and the warm charm the small Barvarian village is famous for, make midweek and extended weekend stays in Leavenworth an unmatched experience. Intentionally embrace the area’s natural surroundings and culture, minus the bustle of the summer and holiday seasons.
2. BIRDERS DELIGHT
Deemed one of Washington’s best birding hotspots by the Audubon Society, Leavenworth attracts bird enthusiasts year round. In the spring, Leavenworth is home to the annual return of migratory birds as they make their way north to summer feeding and breeding grounds. The springtime backdrop makes quite a spectacle for birders when the blooming wildflowers and spring flora and fauna adorn the alpine valleys and snow capped Cascades.
Be sure and check out the annual BirdFest the third weekend in May!
3. CALLING ALL FOODIES!
April is Restaurant Appreciation Month in Leavenworth, when local eateries unite to offer an experience to visitors and residents alike. The Bavarian town’s old-world charm is complimented by a Pacific Northwest influence and it shows in the local cuisine. Share a giant pretzel and then feast on brats and beers or world-class farm-to-table dining. From Italian treats and South American tapas, to hearty pub food and elegant fine dining—nothing beats dining in Leavenworth.
4. PUT A SPRING IN YOUR STEP
If we didn’t mention it before, the springtime wildflowers make Leavenworth’s abundant hiking trails truly sensational. From accessible and low impact, to guided walks, to backcountry wilderness excursions, there’s an option for everyone. Accessible options are the low impact Waterfront Park Trail which winds along the Wenatchee River and slightly more moderate Icicle Gorge Trail which follows the Icicle River. Another great option is a guided walk with one of the local experts. The Greater Leavenworth Museum offers two different tours with local volunteers beginning in April, and the Wenatchee River Institute offers a variety of informative, nature-based programming for all ages, including their Spring Saunter through Riverfront Park.
5. TWO-WHEELED FUN
If you love to ride, then Leavenworth has you covered! Choose from scenic byways and riverside roads, or get dirty on epic singletrack trails like Freund Canyon. For a one-of-a-kind thrill, visit Enchantment Park’s Bike Pump Park — the only paved track on the West Coast. For breathtaking views of springtime blossoms, bike the area in April or May!
6. GRAB A STEIN AND SIP SOME BIER
Beer — or rather bier — is king in Leavenworth, and locals welcome spring in with an emphatic “prost!” Breweries abound in this Bavarian-themed town. Visit Icicle Brewing Company — an institution in Leavenworth — to sample fresh ales and lagers paired with locally-sourced eats. Doghaus Brewery is a pint-sized craft brewery with a big story — you can savor their craft brews at the tasting room located in the former morgue of the Cascade Sanitarium.
7. EXPERIENCE MAIFEST
The highlight of spring in downtown Leavenworth is the annual Maifest, a signature event since 1971. The festivities now run through the month and celebrate the beauty of spring in true Bavarian fashion and fun, with four weekends of music, dancing, and Maifest activities like the traditional Festzug parade.
Pro-tip for dog lovers!
Traditionally the second weekend includes a gathering of Bernese Mountain Dog owners and enthusiasts, and the town is bursting with pups of this adorable and distinctive breed.
8. REINDEER, HORSES, AND GOATS, OH MY!
Hang out with Leavenworth’s beloved furry friends! Plan a horse-drawn carriage ride and see Leavenworth from a whole new perspective. Or take a visit to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, nestled in the foothills of the Cascades less than a mile from town and accessible by a paved walking path (though parking is available). Or you can visit the Enzian goats, quite possibly Leavenworth’s most popular residents! These friendly billies and nannies inhabit the hillside of the Enzian Falls Championship Putting Course, where you can say hello from the sidewalk or rent some clubs and hang for a while.
9. SAVOR THE AREA’S WINERIES
Washington’s newest and most exciting wine region is right under your nose! In an industry where making your mark can take generations, Leavenworth’s wineries are ahead of the curve. The region’s distinctive soil and meticulous winemakers craft vintages that merit medals. Walk into a tasting room, and find an experience as impressive as it is unpretentious.
10. GET ROOTED IN APRIL BLOSSOMS
Bavaria may be the lifeblood of Leavenworth, but the fruit orchards are its roots, literally. The incredible region is perfect for growing pears and wine grapes, not to mention apples, cherries, and more. In fact, it’s the nation’s top grower of organic pears. The crisp spring season makes way for some of the nation’s most incredible blossom peeping. Check out some of your options for visiting fruit stands and viewing the blossoms.
Whatever brings you to Leavenworth this spring, we’re sure that the variety and volume of things to see and do will help you quickly realize that the rewards of an extra day (or more) to explore are well worth it.