By Katy McGovern
Born and raised in Washington, I never went a year without hearing stories of the winter wonderland in our backyard. From the food, drinks, and atmosphere it seemed undeniably inviting. I figured at the age of 24, it was finally time for me to visit Leavenworth and experience it for myself.
Starting off in a Snow Storm
My boyfriend and I decided to make the trip, however, starting this journey was not so easy. Highway 2 had just been closed for days due to road conditions and Snoqualmie Pass still looked like a snowstorm. We were excited and anxious for our journey, constantly checking the summit cameras–the moment the roads looked drivable we packed our bags and headed out.
After two hours of driving through the slush and snow, we finally found ourselves in the quaint little town of Leavenworth. The majestic mountains surrounding the town gave a sense of inclusiveness and adventure. Right away, we could see the personality of the town through its architecture. We were fortunate enough to find ourselves an Airbnb that was less than a five minute walk to downtown; which I highly recommend. Walking in 20 degree weather does not seem that fun to me, but with easy accessibility to the town and not needing to drive, it was well worth it.
Walking through a Wonderland
On our first night, we decided to take a stroll through the town to see what it had to offer. We actually found ourselves watching a wedding that took place in the central gazebo in town. When it came time to grab a bite to eat we could not neglect the suggestions our Airbnb hosts gave us, so we made our way to Andreas Keller; a very traditional German restaurant. Having no idea what the food was or how to pronounce it, we took a leap and faith and tried something new for both of us. Of course the food was delicious, but I may have made a fool out of myself through the process of trying to pronounce my dish.
The following day, we made our way through the town again visiting the shops that were now open and viewing the river at the edge of town. To our amazement, we were the only ones at the river. This slowly changed as the day went on and a crowd gathered of what seemed to be the beginning of bachelorette party activities.
Beers, Brats and Bacon
After the river, we ventured to the town and started our expedition for food and drinks. First on our list was the Icicle brewery, which might I say was one of my favorites. With its welcoming atmosphere, fire pits and great food, there was no denying this place was a great introduction to the town. Next we ventured over to Blewett Brewing Company, known for its pizza. Since we were after all on vacation, we settled on the bacon pizza, which worked out great as it turned into our breakfast the next morning.
As the day went on, we could see the crowds coming into town for the weekend. When it was time to grab dinner, we ventured over to the live music at Sausage Garten. Now the streets were packed with cars and people filled the sidewalks. It was exciting to see all the different people who chose to vacation here and I understood the attractiveness of this small town.
Finding new friends and festivities
We found ourselves chatting with other visitors who shared their own stories of this town. After drinking our last pint for the night and listening to live music we decided to check out a local bookstore and grab ice cream. This was a decision I would later regret as we still had to walk back to our Airbnb in the chilly weather.
The next morning Highway 2 opened up, so we decided it was time to head on home. Sad to Leavenworth and its fairy-tale atmosphere, we were still very happy to have found a place we will be visiting again very soon.