PICTURE THIS :: You pull up to a charming Bavarian village, set in the foothills of striking, green mountains… the wind is crisp, and cool, and the scent of bratwursts and freshly baked pretzels looms in the air. In the distance you catch sight of a bustling main street, lined with colorful buildings and hanging planters overflowing with fresh flowers. You hear a live folk band playing in the distance, and you’re torn between settling in at your plush chateau, or immediately immersing yourself in the Bavarian culture.
Are you intrigued yet?!
Best part is, you’re only a 2 ½ hour drive from Seattle! That’s right, this quintessential, picture-perfect Bavarian town exists in Washington, just below the Cascade mountains. You don’t have to spend your life savings on a plane ticket (or dedicate a 24 hour travel day) to visit a place that’s rich in German culture, and boasts world-class dining, luxurious wellness spas, local wineries, charming boutique hotels, and more. We’d like to think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the US, and while we’re tempted to keep this fairytale destination to ourselves, it’s only fair that we share it with you! (Just don’t tell too many people, k?) ;)
We just returned from an incredibly romantic and relaxing weekend in Leavenworth, and thought we’d recap it - because it was the dreamiest 48 hours we’ve had in a LONG time!
WHERE WE STAYED
THE POST HOTEL :: Nestled above the Wenatchee River, the stunning Post Hotel is a true adult-only, extravagant and refreshingly private oasis - and it’s right in the heart of downtown Leavenworth! (It literally couldn’t be in a better location… but back to the hotel.)
They’ve taken authentic wellness concepts from the Alps and have created a luxurious and elegant retreat, complete with saunas and steam rooms, plunge pools, a full-service spa, and so much more. Also included in your stay is an 18-hole championship putting course and continental breakfast, light lunch, and evening coffee and desserts. Oh, and did we mention that guests are encouraged to wear their robes around the property? It’s perfectly acceptable to dine and relax in your robes - and being big fans of “robe life”, we were in HEAVEN.
The Post Hotel is the kind of place where you never have to leave, and we’d be tempted not to, if it wasn’t for how adorable, unique, and downright quirky Leavenworth is!
WHAT WE DID
SWIM :: It goes without saying that we spent a good amount of our time taking in all of the amenities at the Post Hotel. We spent hours swimming in their swim-out saltwater pool and indoor spas, and we even took advantage of their absolutely heavenly nap room! We’d wake up, immediately change into our swimsuits, swim for an hour, and then make our way to the breakfast room. (Dressed in our robes, of course!) We’d usually have an afternoon swim, and a post-dinner swim too… Because, why not?
BIKE :: One morning after breakfast we decided to take advantage of the complimentary bicycles at The Post Hotel, and go for a ride around downtown Leavenworth and the picturesque Blackbird Island. It ended up being a leisurely and picturesque 5-mile ride that we highly recommend!
GOLF :: The Enzian Falls Putting Course is a professionally designed 18-hole championship putting course that is free to guests of the Post Hotel (and guests of Enzian Inn and Linderhof Inn, as well), and it’s a BLAST. We spent an evening before dinner playing a round, and couldn’t believe how surprisingly challenging and creative each hole was. Bobby ended up beating me… but not by much. Nothing like a little friendly competition when you’re on vacation, right?
EXPLORE :: Everytime we come back to Leavenworth, we find ourselves spending hours just walking around the downtown, shopping in the many boutiques, wine tasting in the various tasting rooms, and discovering new museums and stores we’d missed the time before. This time around we decided to tour the famous Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which holds more than 6,000 nutcrackers! It’s fascinating to see the thousands of different nutcrackers from around the world, and with an admission charge of only $5, it’s definitely worth a visit!
WHAT WE ATE
THE POST HOTEL :: We enjoyed many of our meals at the Post Hotel, and from the breakfasts to the evening desserts, everything we had was fresh, healthy, and incredibly delicious. We loved their specialty omelettes in the morning, and their daily soups and extensive salad bar at lunch. Bobby’s favorite? The homemade pretzel bites and melted cheese! We’d go back to the Post Hotel just for the food!
BRATS :: We can’t visit Leavenworth without having brats at least twice. (I’m convinced Bobby would have them for breakfast if he could!) This time around we decided to try the brats at München-Haus and the Leavenworth Sausage Garten - both of which we thoroughly enjoyed. Many Leavenworth locals have strong opinions on which is better than the other, but we truly enjoyed both! They’re also conveniently across the street from each other, so if one happens to have a line, go to the other! Also, Bobby wanted to make sure it be known that he would go to Leavenworth for the mustard. Both of these spots have selections of 15+ mustard varieties that will delight any mustard fan!
PIZZA :: This was our first time ordering pizza in Leavenworth, and we’re happy to report that the pizza at Blewett Brewing Company is really good (we ordered to-go and took it back to the hotel), and their beer is great too (we enjoyed a pint while we waited). This spot is sure to be a new Leavenworth tradition!
TREATS :: Just like any traditional Bavarian town, the baked goods and sweet treats are not to be missed. Our favorite place for cookies, cakes, and scones is The Gingerbread Factory. While we’re not typically creatures of habit when it comes to traveling, we are when we come here. We always get the Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies (the one with the pink frosting). We’re not sure if it’s the soft gingerbread cookie or the melt-in-your-mouth yet not-too-sweet frosting, but it’s delightfully decadent. Next time we plan on trying their famous Raspberry Scones, as people in line were raving about them, too!
HOW WE GOT THERE
One of the many reasons why we love Leavenworth (and why we keep coming back), is how convenient it is to get there. It’s only about a couple hour drive from Seattle or Spokane, so we typically look for the best deals on flights to one of those spots and rent a car. If our flight is early enough, we can be in Leavenworth in time to grab a late lunch!
Can you picture yourself in Leavenworth yet? We sure hope so. It’s a place that we’ll be returning to for relaxation and German culture for years to come. We’re already planning a winter escape, as we’ve heard it’s absolutely magical during the holiday season. We hope to see you there!