Do you feel like everyone you know visited Europe this summer? Well, summer isn’t over yet and you can still make it to Europe without leaving Washington. Enter: Leavenworth. This Bavarian-style village is only two and a half hours away from Seattle and brings all the charm without the long plane travel.
And a way to make the trip even more charming? Make it a girls trip with your friends! I recently hosted my bachelorette party in Leavenworth with 12 of the most special women in my life.
To save you the trouble, use our itinerary for guaranteed good times.
Where We Stayed: Fox Lodge Airbnb
We booked Fox Lodge through Airbnb because it was big enough to accommodate our group size and close to downtown Leavenworth. The floor plan was open with a loft area overlooking the main living room so everyone felt included, no matter where they slept or relaxed. Oversized bedrooms, open bar kitchen, BBQ, hot tub, and a panoramic deck perched on the hillside made for a perfect mountain getaway.
Watch the magnificent sunsets with good company in a gorgeous setting.
What We Did: Icicle Ridge Hike
This popular hike’s trailhead is only five minutes away from downtown and easily accessible off the main road. It’s a 5-mile out and back trail. Although it’s considered moderate, it has an elevation gain of nearly 1,800 feet.
Pack plenty of water and high-quality snacks because almost immediately, this hike begins ascending up the mountain with constant switchbacks. With a group of 12 hikers, we took our time and admired the spectacular views of the Wenatchee River and valleys along the way. Toward the top, you’ll be rewarded with views that span the Cascades mountain range. Soak it up!
If you’ve hiked other trails in Washington, you know the descent usually feels more doable, so you’ll be able to exchange a few words with your fellow hikers.
What We Drank: Icicle Brewing
What’s a better reward than mountain views? A cold Icicle beer! Our group gathered around a table at Icicle Brewing, Leavenworth’s independently owned craft brewery. They commit to using local ingredients in their beer production — water from Icicle Creek, malted barley from Vancouver, WA, hops from the Yakima Valley where the owner, Oliver Brulotte, was born and raised, and yeast from a laboratory located in the Columbia River Gorge.
Try the Dragontail IPA, Crosscut Pilsner, Kickstand Pale Ale, or Dirtyface Amber Lager. And since you hiked five miles, don’t forget the authentic Bavarian pretzel with Beecher's cheese sauce to refuel.
What We Continued to Drink: Icicle Ridge and Eagle Creek
For those whose tastes stretch beyond craft beer, two wineries nestled in the mountains await your arrival. Our first stop was Icicle Ridge, one of the oldest sustaining wineries in the state of Washington. Their story is rooted in family and truly unique. We got to experience that for ourselves when Jens, a close member of the family, shared the history of the winery personally with our group. Since we were a big group, Jens recommended we order several bottles of wine to share, instead of the tastings. He had us set up outside at a table on the grass, where we had a wonderful time together in the shade.
Our next stop was Eagle Creek, a winery committed to ensuring quality and enhancing community as their values. Paul, the principal winemaker, treated us like family the moment we arrived. He even initiated the “happy birthday” song for my friend whose birthday we were celebrating. We walked away with multiple bottles of the Montage, Eagle Creek’s longest running blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
What We Continued to Drink: Blue Spirits Distillery Tasting Room
We drank the beer, then we drank the wine, so we had to top off the day with spirits at Blue Spirits Distillery Tasting Room. What they create is inspired by the largest collection of glaciers in the Washington North Cascades. They have a delicious lime tequila that I’m convinced everyone should know about, and their team does a wonderful job at the spirits tasting.
What We Ate: Watershed
To soak up what we drank, we ate at Watershed, a chef owned, farm-to-table Pacific Northwest inspired dining experience located in the downtown village. Their ingredients are locally sourced and the final dishes are crafted with love. Ten of the 12 women ordered the meatloaf!
During every season of the year, Leavenworth’s picturesque Alpine style village is a special place to make memories with people important to you. It offers “Bavarian authenticity and Northwest hospitality,” a unique combination that encourages you to embrace the local community and beautiful surrounding landscapes. Learn more about the Leavenworth Way and enjoy your visit!