Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Just because you’ve thrown out the Christmas tree and packed away all the lights and decorations doesn’t mean you have pack away the holiday spirit just yet. Consider taking a day trip to one of the most “Christmassy places in America”, Leavenworth.
Originally an old sawmill town, Leavenworth was on the brink of economic disaster when the town decided to turn its luck around and become a full on tourist destination by re-inventing the city with a Bavarian theme.
Today, the city draws over a million tourists annually who take part in year round festivals and outdoor fun. From paddle boarding and rafting down the river in summer, to sliding down the slopes in winter, Leavenworth has something for everyone.
This time of year, the city hosts a smorgasbord of winter festivals; check out the upcoming Bavarian Icefest for family fun, or grab the binoculars, strap on your snowshoes and head out birding. And if you cannot get up there right away don’t worry. Leavenworth is a destination the year round with plenty of culture, recreation options, and popular activities for people of all ages. The City ultimately makes you feel like you just traveled to another country, no passport needed.
Distance from Yakima Valley: about 95 miles or a little less than 2 hours drive time (one-way)
What to Bring: Recreational Equipment (or rent), this time of year - warm clothes, comfortable boots/shoes for walking, camera, thermos of hot chocolate
Who Should Go: The whole family
Cost: Fee’s vary
When: Year round
More Info: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce
What are you waiting for? Get out your finest lederhosen, pack up the car with your friends, pop in some oom-pah music, and you’re halfway on your way to a full out Bavarian fun filled weekend.
*Come back next month to see where we travel next (first installment of a new monthly series featuring day trips)