When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was encouraged to travel to Leavenworth, Washington, which is in the Cascade Mountains of Northeast Washington.  It’s a drive,  two and a half from Seattle, and approximately a five and a half hour drive from Portland Oregon, which is about four hours more than I would like to be in a car.  It is not a large enough town to have commuter flights. Despite this, I think it is worth visiting during the Christmas season. 

The town is Bavarian inspired and it is exceptionally cute.  It was not snowing when I was there but felt cold enough to snow.  The shopping leans touristy, with the obvious year round ornament store, Kris Kringle.   I bought some great ornaments there.  I also loved the book store, A Book for all Seasons


The best meal I had there was unexpectedly at the Icicle Brew Pub .  I had ghoulash which I have never had before and found very delicious especially with beer. There are many German restaurants in town. We chose Andreas Keller, it’s more casual and really enjoyed the atmosphere (read: man in lederhosen playing Christmas carols with an accordion). It was delicious and very fun. 

We stayed at the Bavarian Lodge  which is large and welcoming from the main road. From the exceptional exterior lights to the ten foot stuffed bear in the lobby, this felt my speed for the weekend.  Also there is a breakfast buffet and a bar, neither are very fancy but are satisfying.  The rooms are cozy and charming, make sure to get one with a town view.

My favorite part of the trip is the Nutcracker museum.  We sat on the card table chairs and watched on the ancient tv an informational video (that I am fairly sure was being played on VHS) about the Nutcracker collection.  I might have watched it twice because I was so entertained.  I immediately decided that I need to collect vintage Nutcrackers dressed as Santa. Following watching the video, there is lots to see and fortunately lots to buy.  Every time I visit Leavenworth I will make sure to get a vintage Nutcracker, so special.

Even though this is a longer roadtrip than my patience allows, I am looking forward to another visit to Leavenworth.  I have heard there is much to do there when it is not Christmas.  There is an adults only hotel with a highly recommended spa which screams girl trip. Post Hotel.  I have also heard that there are bus trips from Seattle which makes a return visit even easier.