Tucked away in central Washington, Leavenworth is one of the most captivating destinations in the Cascade Mountains. No matter the season, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a shopping fanatic, a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast or a beverage lover. From stunning summer sunshine to vibrant falling leaves and plenty of fresh powder in winter, every season has its own appeal in this mountain town.
But Leavenworth isn’t just your average mountain town. It’s an intriguing hamlet designed and modeled after an old-world Bavarian village. Leavenworth’s quirky charm has helped it grow into one of the most popular tourist gems in the state, and along with that has come continued expansion with the number of craft beverage options to sip and savor while you’re visiting.
Where to Stay
While there are several hotels in downtown Leavenworth, Sleeping Lady Resort offers a tranquil escape. The property is located just three miles from downtown, making it easy to go back and forth between the bustling streets of Leavenworth and lodging for your visit.
Sleeping Lady has a storied past, with the resort opening in 1995. Prior to that, the property was used for a variety of functions including serving as a camp, and you’ll still see remnants of historic charm as you explore the property. It’s nestled right on Icicle Creek and surrounded by towering mountains. Don’t miss out on taking a stroll down to the river, enjoying an art walk and stopping to gaze at the resort’s namesake, the Sleeping Lady on the mountain, which makes a statement as a jaw-dropping backdrop.
The resort boasts a number of accommodation options, including cabins and guest rooms, each in clusters throughout the property that all work with nature, not against it. The beds with hand-hewn log frames and down linens are incredibly comfortable, along with cozy robes in each room. It’s the ideal balance of rustic-meets-luxury, all nestled along the flowing water. Use this as a home base for your tastings in town, or bring your favorite bottle back to enjoy on the deck near your room or down by the creek with a view.
Where to Drink and Eat
If you’re heading into town, or exploring around the Leavenworth area, there are countless craft beverage producers from which to choose. Wineries, cideries and breweries have found success in Leavenworth thanks to its popularity, and craft beverage enthusiasts can now choose from an ever-growing number of tasting rooms to visit.
Becky Driscoll spent 20 years in the wine industry learning all she could before opening a shop in downtown Leavenworth. Now, she offers a wide selection of Washington wines, along with top-notch options from around the world. Guests can enjoy a variety of tastings, including Driscoll’s unique program “WA vs. The World,” which showcases a specific varietal with options made in different regions throughout the world. Broken Barrel is open for tastings, as well as bottle and can sales. There’s a world of wine, cider, mead, port and more to explore.
Eagle Creek Winery offers tastings at their downtown tasting room, in addition to a seasonal opportunity to experience a tasting with a picturesque vineyard view at the winery, just a few miles outside of town. The winery is recognized as the oldest in town, thanks to the work of Ed Rutelidge who planted some of the first vines in the region. Now at the direction of Paul Sharpe, the winery produces bottles that embrace the time-honored traditions of winemaking, offering something to enjoy for any occasion.
Goose Ridge, established in 1998, boasts the largest estate vineyard in Washington, growing grapes for Goose Ridge wines and other wineries. You can taste their wines by visiting tasting rooms in Walla Walla, Woodinville, Richland and Leavenworth. The Leavenworth tasting room offers a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of indoor and patio seating, as well as cozy chairs by the fireplace. Wine and cider flights are available, along with seasonal mulled wine and other take-home options to choose from such as Cascadian Outfitters canned wines and delicious bottled ciders.
Have the dog in tow? This dog-friendly taproom offers indoor and patio seating with a rustic vibe. Owner Kayla Applebay began work on the space in 2017 after learning there weren’t any cider tasting rooms in town at the time. Now, Bushel & Bee, with its salvaged wood, warm brick, unique lighting and a beautiful ceiling mural, serves as a space for the community to celebrate craft beverages. There are 24 taps of rotating ciders and beer, as well as a huge bottle selection of ciders, meads and beer to go.
With Bavarian inspiration everywhere, it’s hard to experience Leavenworth without enjoying German-inspired food. To check that off your list, München Haus has the most approachable menu and atmosphere. The outdoor eatery features bratwurst and sausages, giant warm pretzels, soups, and a selection of 20 specialty mustards. And while all of that sounds incredible — the food is truly delicious — it’s the lively beer garden vibe that makes München Haus that much better. Owners Pamela and Oliver Brulotte also own Icicle Brewing Company, Leavenworth’s first brewery. With that, they’re able to bring a selection of exceptional beers to the beer garden — the perfect pairing for the bratwurst and pretzel with Beecher’s cheese sauce you’re bound to order.