The Pacific Northwest is a wonderful place, and I’ve learned about all the beautiful things we have here. After returning from my trip, I realize how much I miss being here during the winter.

Leavenworth Washington is at the top of my list.

This little town is perfect for a weekend getaway in the Pacific Northwest during the winter. This is especially true if you can visit during Christmas season. If you want to get into the European Christmas market vibe without leaving the US, Leavenworth is like Bavaria.

I would advise making the weekend out of it to really soak up all the sights.

Ready to light the fireplace and start feeling those cozy cabin vibes? Here is your guide to a weekend in Leavenworth Washington.

Getting There

Before we get started, I’ll say this: It can be a scary driving trip in the winter and it is not for the faint of heart.

As a California girl, I’ve only ever driven in the snow a handful of times. If you’re like me and not used to facing rough winter weather, it is essential to come prepared both mentally and physically.

A trip to a mountain is a doable one, but you must be prepared for the weather.

The trip is only two hours from Seattle but it took us four hours because of the snowstorm. The drive from Seattle was on Highway 2, then we went north into Sultan Index Gold Bar, then west into Stevens Pass.

I learned on the journey that this pass is known for its extreme weather conditions. Before you travel check the weather and road conditions for Stevens Pass.

My suggestion is to arrive in Seattle in the morning so you can drive during the day. It will make the journey much safer and easier. We did not want to drive this area at night.

I would also highly recommend renting an AWD car and learn how to drive in the snow if you are a relative newbie like me. Having that basic knowledge under your belt will make you more confident and safe on the road.

For a Coffee Break

Plan for a pit stop! My knuckles were white as the snow trying to drive in the storm and Espresso Chalet was the perfect coffee stop.

It was a sasquatch coffee hut in the middle of nowhere, but it could give any trendy hotspot a run for its money. From coconut milk to hemp milk to goat’s milk, they had a drizzling array of milk alternatives.

You will be spoiled for choice with more than 100 different flavors.

I loved their holiday coffee flavors and I’d highly recommend trying a sample if you’re here during the winter. We tried their sugar-free cinnamon latte and eggnog on the way up and repeated our order on the way down the mountain.

Where to Stay

We stayed in a pretty cabin on Lake Wenatchee. It was nestled in the forest 30 minutes outside of Leavenworth and it was a wonderful place to get away from it all. We adored our huge, quiet house and we noticed several beautiful holiday rentals in the area.

When you wake up at Lazy Bear Lodge, you will be beside a sparkling lake. It’s remote of course so plan to spend your time making home-cooked meals playing board games and just getting cozy.

This was a dreamy place. It is not off the grid, but there are frequent power outages around here. After eight hours of travel, we arrived at a place where there are no lights. Worse yet, I had no heater in the dead of winter and even the water depended on an unreliable electrical generator. Electric pump.

The power returned and all was fine, but I would recommend coming early. Arrive before dark to do your grocery shopping on the way here.

The Posthotel is a perfect place for couples to stay. You may sleep up to eight people in the room, but the Posthotel is also available as a couple’s retreat. It is located in Leavenworth, so it is closer than other hotels in town.

These are some other places to stay in and around Leavenworth:

  • Romantic Tiny Home with Mountain Views
  • Cozy Little Bear A-Frame Cabin
  • Hansel Creek Loft Cabin
  • German-Inspired Chalet House
  • Cozy Cabin for 4 Surrounded by Greenery
  • Contemporary Adventure Base in Leavenworth
  • Modern + luxurious cabin with gorgeous glass walls.

Note: When you book through these links I earn a small commission as an Airbnb Associate which helps me run my blog + support my team. There is no extra cost to you—thank you for supporting!

Day One

We arrived at the house around 4pm. After dropping off our stuff, we went to Leavenworth for dinner. Then we did our grocery shopping.

Once you get into town, you will find a good selection of restaurants and grocery stores. If we had driven all day, we may have opted to just stay in the cabin and relax, but we needed to eat and grab some basics, so we made the best of it.

During the holidays, the town is stunning. I recommend going into Leavenworth at least once after dark to check out all the holiday lights and festivities!

Day Two

After having breakfast at the cabin, we drove into Leavenworth for the day. We arrived around 1pm and again wandered around until we got to Rhein House for lunch.

This German restaurant has huge Oktoberfest vibes.

We brought Bailey along so we were happy to find that they are dog-friendly with an outdoor patio. They have a delicious range of German treats, with a range of vegan and gluten-free options.

It’s an ultra-popular but socially distant restaurant. If you can go in on a weekday, you will be able to beat the crowds. If you visit on the weekend plan at least 15 minutes to wait in line (but it’s worth it!).

You can cover Leavenworth in an afternoon with a population of around two thousand people and less than two square miles.

After eating giant pretzels, take a few photos of the beautiful architecture.

Where to Eat

We stayed in town until dinner, then we went to Old World Pub for drinks. After that we went to Icicle Brewing Company to sample the local beers while eating grilled cheese soup and pretzels.

If you have time, go to another popular homemade pretzel/schnitzel restaurant, Andreas Keller. If you have more time, you can also check out another popular pick for even more homemade pretzels schnitzel and German beer: the Andreas Keller restaurant.

Day Three

Our last day was all about lingering in those cozy winter vibes. We spent the entire day at the cabin and it was magical. We played games and cooked together and snuggled up to soak in the stunning view of this naturally gorgeous area.

Overall

If you are looking for a quick getaway or a quiet mini-vacation with the family Leavenworth is an excellent option. While it’s always a low key, mellow spot I would recommend going during the middle of the week to avoid crowds.

If you can fit three nights, do it! Having an extra day to relax was even more relaxing.

Helpful Tip:

My experience was unique because of the COVID pandemic. We were allowed to come to school mid-week in December 2020 because there were no other children at school. We could park anywhere and we could not be seen by other people.

If you arrive before dark there are multiple parking lots and plenty of on-street parking. If you arrive on a weekend though you will likely find more out-of-towners sharing the space with you.