It’s no secret I miss Bavaria. Sure – I miss the landscape, and the ease of access to endless adventures, but I also have a soul tie to this state. I worked through a lot of self discovery and growth during my time living in Bavaria, and Germany as a whole is more than just a travel destination for me. I don’t think anyone truly understands how moving to another country changes you unless they’ve experienced it for themselves.
Needless to say, when a weekend trip to Leavenworth was suggested to me (aka the Bavaria of Washington) I said yes quicker than the blink of an eye.
Upon arrival we snagged a coffee at the Bavarian themed Starbucks before having a sit by the river behind our hotel.
I was immediately transported to the Loisach while sitting here, a river I spent so many hours biking next to, and I can’t describe how wholesome this moment felt for me. I often told people in Germany how similar Washington was to the landscape and climate of Bavaria, and Leavenworth really seals the deal with that.
I could have sat by this river for hours, and that’s exactly what we did.
After spending ample time by the river, and exploring a bit around town, it was time to check into the hotel. While perusing options for places to stay in Leavenworth, my initial instinct was an Air B&B. When I discovered most of the Air B&B’s were within the $200-$400 a night price range, I redirected my search. I don’t love staying in hotels, because I like having a kitchen to make my own meals, but after stumbling onto LOGE hotel I quickly made an exception.
When you read a review that says: “if REI created a hotel”, you know you’re in for a treat.
For starters, the staff at LOGE were all incredibly welcoming, friendly, upbeat, and I immediately envisioned myself working with them. The hotel cafe (which doubled as the front desk) was completely my speed, and I would happily pick up my barista apron to peddle lattes in Leavenworth all day. The ambiance of the lobby was adorable, and I immediately knew I was going to enjoy my stay.
This hotel has the communal atmosphere of a hostel, but with the class and privacy of a hotel.
The rooms come equipped with gear for guests to use (at no charge), and this gear can also be purchased if guests decide they like the product. What an excellent marketing technique. Our room had a hammock, headlamp, hats, a cooler, snacks, games, a Rumpl blanket, and more. If you’re a lover of the outdoors and appreciate more of a simplistic sleep environment, this is the hotel for you.
Side note: I didn’t notice the hammock wasn’t locked into place, and I definitely face planted after attempting to climb into it. Thankfully it was over the bed.
This hotel also had the nicest communal showers I have ever seen in all my years of travel. I paid more to have a private shower, but had I been alone I would have gone for the cheaper room and used these communal showers.
Check in complete, it was time for an evening hike. When choosing hikes for this quick weekend getaway, I was mindful of a few things: time, location, popularity, and elevation. I wanted to experience the mountains, but I didn’t want hiking to suck up the entirety of the trip. I chose two relatively popular trails, but we hiked them during “off times” to ensure minimal human contact.
First up: Icicle Ridge Trail – a five and a half mile round trip hike, with an elevation gain of 1870 feet. I haven’t don’t many hikes lately with elevation, and despite the fatigue I had the view at the top was well worth the climb. This trail is popular for its wildflowers, and it’s close proximity to the city center. We saw a total of around nine people the entire two hours it took to hike, and for a popular hike I would call that win.
This hike knocked the life out of me and I was hopeful for a good nights sleep, but I had no such luck. Dehydration, too much sun exposure, and a room that was too hot made for a very poor nights sleep. Nothing a coffee can’t (temporarily) fix. After lying awake for hours, having a casual morning, we payed visit to Starbucks again around 0700 before walking through the city center in the early morning light.
The day we arrived we walked around in the early afternoon, and the town was bustling with people. I adore waking up in a new city earlier than most to experience the town before it comes to life.
What I love most about this city center is how authentic it feels. Traditional German towns are small, with a pedestrian only zone, filled with random shops, bakeries, eateries, and a park if you’re lucky. The small park in Leavenworth was adorable, and had me remising on all the summer nights I’d spent listening to Musik im Park (free park concerts) in Garmisch.
Once the world started coming back to life, we packed up our things, checked out of our hotel, and headed on one more hike before making the trek back home. Hike number two had a similar name, but with a very different trail. Icicle Gorge Trail is a 4.5 mile loop with only 387′ elevation. This trail was about a 30 minute drive from the city, with some of the most beautiful driving views I have seen in a long time.
The trail was very mild, a welcomed reprieve from the previous hike. Had I slept better I think I would have enjoyed myself more, but I was so unbelievably tired on this hike. Thankfully I was still able to appreciate the views, and I can see why this is an equally popular trail. Accessible for anyone, this trail hugs the river weaving in and out of tree covered woods to open fields.
This hike took us equally as long to complete (granted we ran down most of the previous trail), despite being a mile shorter with little to no elevation. I was wrecked by the end of this hike, but I would do it all over again. I have become much more mindful of my physical activity as I have gotten older, something I have to do in order to keep my Sjogrens at bay, but sometimes the discomfort is worth the temporary joy. I no longer spiral when I feel a flare up coming, and I no longer avoid the things that cause them (except food, I try to avoid those triggers 90% of my days.)
I cannot avoid life just to keep my body in its happy place.
And just like that, the quick and somewhat last minute trip to Leavenworth had come to an end. I plan to revisit again this summer, hopefully with more hikes and more nostalgia. I had been to Leavenworth before, and I knew I would want to revisit after living in Bavaria, but I had no idea how connected I would feel to this tiny town this time around.
Oh, but I do have one complaint…how the hell can you justify having ONE restaurant with half of a chicken on the menu, and sell it for $20. Absolutely erroneous.
Gone are my days of eating half chickens, roasted Bavarian style, for €3.50.
Q: Are there any towns you have visited that left you wanting more?
31 thoughts on “Leavenworth, Washington”
I was there years ago, beautiful place! Glad you had a great trip!
Such a great city! ❤️
OMG, it is SO COOL! Never heard of that place, and now I want to visit. Thank you for sharing 🙂
I cannot wait to go back!
I am smacking myself for not going to Leavenworth when I lived in the Portland area years ago! It looks so cool! And, I’ve recently noticed that AirBnbs are now often more pricey than hotel rooms. They look cheap at first, but there are SO many fees, you are better off getting a motel or hotel room. Hammocks are dangerous! My 2018 hammock incident made my already decades long head pain so much worse, and caused more neuro symptoms. Sleep? What is sleep? 😉 Despite some incidents, I’m glad you enjoyed the beautiful place!
The FEES! I hate how the fees make the place so much more expensive. It’s unfortunate. I’ve been spending more time hammocking lately, thankfully with no issues, until this one. My own fault for not looking closely. 😂
Leavenworth looks like the cutest! The other day I saw a post by an expat on IG talking about her fun trip to Bavaria/GaPa, and I had to give you a shout-out!
GaPa, my hearttttt! 😭❤️❤️
Leavenworth has been on my list forever! Hopefully I can visit soon
You won’t regret it!
Oh, I LOVE Leavenworth, it’s our favorite place to go in Washington! We always stay at the Leavenworth Inn, so we are about a block from that wonderful Starbucks and can walk there for breakfast. We’ve taken a few hikes around there, but that Gorge hike sound interesting. We can’t do any with a lot of elevation. Enjoyed your pictures very much. We usually go every year for 3 days or so, but missed last year. Not sure if we’ll make it this year either, but we’ll see. Thank you so much for posting on this beautiful town!
I’ll have to look into the Leavenworth Inn. This hotel was right by the river, and a 2 min walk to Starbucks. I loved it. Hope you can make it back soon!
thanks for the visit… beautiful❣️
What an absolutely charming place to visit. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
It truly is something special!
Such a cute place and the surrounding area is gorgeous. Your post reminds me that I definitely need to return to Leavensworth and also try some of those hikes.
I hope you make it back soon, and blog to tell the tale!
So maybe Your next adventure is promoting small towns in Wa and all they have to offer… pictures are amazing and travelogue 👍 great.
Hotel looked interesting too…..maybe next trip over will give them a try.
Thanks for sharing Your adventures in such an awesome e way😊
How lovely that would be. 🤗
I can totally see you living and working there. Coffee, mountains and Germanic charm, perfect!
Right!? Swooooon! 😍
Okay that hotel sounds AWESOME. Let’s go work there for 15 months. 😉 I love that you got to experience this for the weekend and that view at the top of the first hike was AMAZING. When Ben and I come visit we must go! Also, how perfect is it that this little Bavarian-like town has a gorge too?! Just like the Partnachklamm. I love it. So glad you could experience this, but you’re always welcome to come visit the real thing whenever!
I literally want to work there so bad…😂 pay is like $18 an hour too!! When you visit I want to spend a weekend with you guys here haha. And as this Covid stuff starts to…change…I’m starting to think about international travel. Gotta visit you in Ulm while I can!
I want to shove Frosty in a suitcase…
I think my son has been there. Adding it to my bucket list.
If I hadn’t read your entire post and only skimmed through the photos, I would’ve sworn you were sharing another Germany adventure!! (Well, except for the English on a lot of the signage. 😉 ) It sounded like the perfect mini-vacation for you! Something that refilled your teacup and rejuvenated your soul, with plenty of outdoor time and hikes and going at the right pace for *you.* I really love your line about not avoiding life for the sake of your body too. It’s crazy the things that we’ll do in order to avoid physical discomfort or fear and stay in our “safe” zones. SO proud of and inspired by you for your mental journey with that and what you’re doing in your life as a result, Brittany!! ♡
Thanks for sharing how Leavenworth reminded you of Germany and your stay there. It must have felt good.
I have stayed in my RV at Thousand Trails, just outside of town. The loge looks awesome and glad you had a good time.
I would love to stay there in an RV, what a great experience.
Wow, gorgeous! I want to go to there!
It’s an amazing town!