A weekend getaway to Leavenworth from Seattle
January 1, 1970
by Ajita Mahajan
The Big Plan
It’s holiday time!!
On a random day before Christmas, I was talking to a friend about places near Seattle(one of the biggest company towns of United States of America) to visit during this time of the year. We ended up discussing this place Leavenworth, a small village, around 2-hour drive from Seattle on a clear day.
I came back home and did some research on this place and other places to see near it before finalizing the trip. It was going to be a small weekend getaway. Leavenworth is one of the top recommended places to visit near Seattle to enjoy Christmas decorations and festivities.
A series of contrasting weather in just 134 miles range ?
Everything was planned and we set on our road trip on 17th December around 11 am in morning from Seattle. We were glad that the skies were clear that day. Normally people warn you about driving safe to Leavenworth because of the heavy snow that makes roads slippery.
There was a vast variation in weather as we crossed different towns and cities. It was sunny in Seattle and one could see green trees and clear hills all along When we reached North Bend, it was all snowy till we reached Cle Elum, which was again sunny and green. On our way, we crossed a beautiful Wenatchee river, originating from Wenatchee lake and passing Leavenworth. At our final destination, Leavenworth there were green trees with bits of snow. The temperature was also not too low ~ 2 degrees Celsius. (Luckily, we chose a good day to travel. Pheww!!! ?)
Day 1 – Leavenworth
Crowded Streets & Christmas Festivities
As soon as we entered Leavenworth, we could see all the lights and decorations which was much talked about this place. The streets were full of people just wandering around and looking for the best shops and eateries to try. There were so many cars looking for a spot to park since most of the parking areas were full at this time. We actually had to go till the end of Icicle road to find a place to park.
Small tip: Try to reach a little early to find a good parking spot and spend the entire evening going around the tiny shops and cafes in the village.
We were so excited to see all the decorations and performances on that tiny strip, so we decided to go around the area first and then get some dinner after that. There was a musical group of Mill Creek performing traditional Christmas carols. Oh!! how pleasing it was to my ears and eyes. Having spent 12 years in a convent school made me very fond of the Christmas carols. I was so happy listening to them that I didn’t want the performers to stop.
Go for wine tasting at Hard Row to Hoe
When the carol performance got over, we moved further ahead and found a small place for wine tasting. I had a friend who is extremely fond of wine. Leavenworth is full of vineyards and it was all the more reason to try its local wine. We went inside this tiny shop, “Hard Row to Hoe”, and tried their classic red and white wines. Wine tasting here costs you 12$ per person, but if you buy a bottle of wine, the tasting charges are waived off. And I was lucky to have this friend of mine because he bought a bottle, we were not charged for wine tasting. Yayyy!!!!
Eat at Sulla Vita
Now, it’s been more than 5 hours since we had lunch, we were hungry and cold by this time, but all the restaurants either had a waiting list or a big queue outside. We got our name noted down in 4 restaurants and just waited for them to call back. And I swear we were so happy when we got a call from a pizza place, “Sulla Vita” in just half an hour. We rushed to the restaurant, took our seats and cozied up in its warmth. We ordered two pizzas, Margherita and Funghi and a Pesto Pasta. I also ordered a cup of hot chocolate, and one of my friends ordered a beer. Do remember to keep your id cards handy, because soft copies won’t work :). We were so full after the wholesome dinner at Sulla Vita and decided to head back to our hotel in Wenatchee.
Stay at Cedars Inn, Wenatchee
We had planned for a 2 day, 1-night trip. We booked a hotel in Wenatchee, since all the hotels in Leavenworth were already full by the time we did our booking.
Drive to the hotel was approximately 45 minutes from Leavenworth. We had booked Cedars Inn and it was a good budget hotel with indoor pool and sauna. It’s a good deal if you don’t find a place in Leavenworth. There was a 7*11 store and a casino right outside the hotel, whichever interests you ?
Day 2 – Chelan
Visit Lake Chelan State Park
Next morning, we woke up around 8, had breakfast (included in the booking) and continued our journey to Lake Chelan, the largest natural lake in Washington. On our way, we crossed many scenic views, the snow-filled mountains, and the clear skies – so much perfection.
We reached Lake Chelan State Park and stayed there by the lake for an hour. We spent time enjoying the tranquility that surrounded us and also took some pictures of the beautiful view in front of us.
Eat at Tin Lilly, Chelan
After spending time at Lake Chelan, we continued on our way back to Seattle. We stopped in Chelan city for lunch. After going around the streets for 15-20 minutes, we finally found an American cafe, Tin Lilly. It was the only place we found open on a Sunday, so just be careful and pack some snacks to munch on if you don’t find any restaurant on your way back. Food at Tin Lilly was moderately good and their serving size was huge.
Rain and Foggy weather is back 🙁
After having a satisfying lunch, we set back on our way and by this time it had started raining. It was a little to difficult to drive back. We reached Seattle around 7 pm.
Our trip came to an end and we were happy to have spent such a good time in a beautiful place that 2 days seemed like a week.
We are glad we made it ?