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Leavenworth in the summer

Hike, kayak, shop and more in Washington's Bavarian getaway

Downtown Leavenworth is filled with shops, restaurants and live music. Photo courtesy of Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

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Leavenworth is most known for its annual Oktoberfest, but don't dismiss this Bavarian mountain town in the spring and summer. Situated in the middle of the Cascades almost right between Seattle and Spokane, Leavenworth has it all - proximity to trails and rivers, an adorable town filled with Bavarian appeal around every corner, and much better weather than western Washington to boot. Leavenworth gets a whopping 300 days of sunshine each year, and temperatures usually hover in the 80s or 90s during the day.

But above all, Leavenworth has a whole lot to do in the warmer months.

"Leavenworth is the perfect summer adventure, and we have something for everyone!" said Jessica Stoller, director of Marketing & Media at the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce. "Come in the summer for some of the best river rafting, kayaking and rock climbing in the Pacific Northwest. We have miles and miles of recreation trails available for hiking and mountain biking with epic views and endless sunshine. Our Bavarian charm shines with fun festivals, music, outdoor summer theater, beer-n-brat gartens and daily alpenhorn concerts. Our alpine village welcomes you with old-world hospitality and Northwest adventure!"

Festivals and Events

One thing Leavenworth knows how to do is throw a party, and the town does just that throughout the warmer months.

From May 13 to 15, Maifest takes to the street. Maifest is an Old-World German festival that rings in spring in style, with a giant pole at the center of town that "villagers" dance around to bring good fortune to all. This year's pole will be 95 feet tall!

June 4 is Leavenworth Wine Walk, which is $45 per person or $80 per couple and features lots of wine and food to sample.

June 16 to 18 is the Accordion Festival, where visitors can hear some of the finest accordion performances around.

July 4 is celebrated with the free family festival Kinderfest.

Throughout the summer months, watch for Summer Theater under the Stars and live music performances at Village Park.


For anyone who seeks a beer stein, a cuckoo clock, a pair of lederhosen or a dirndl - you've come to the right place! Leavenworth's downtown is filled with shops and restaurants, where you'll find both traditional German items as well as a bit of everything else. What you won't find are franchises. All the shops are small businesses. If shopping is not your thing, wander the town and admire the Bavarian architecture or find some live music to listen to - there are usually accordion and alpenhorn performances daily.

Outdoor Adventures

Leavenworth is not just all Bavarian, all the time. At its heart, it's also a mountain town that shines during summer months when the weather is perfect for venturing out. Within close proximity of town are hundreds of miles of trails including those in the Wenatchee National Forest, which are perfect for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

The Wenatchee River is also close by and opens up a number of river recreation opportunities. Ride Class III rapids with one of the local river rafting companies (Orion Expeditions and Osprey Rafting Company are both options), or take things a little slower by meandering down the river in a tube, kayak or paddle board - all available from the Leavenworth Outdoor Center. Alternately, you can also swim or relax on a beach along the Wenatchee River.

Nearby, there are also plenty of opportunities to go rock climbing or bouldering and play golf or a match of tennis.

Leavenworth is located about two-and-a-half hours from Tacoma off of Highway 2 (via I-5 north, I-90 east and US-97). The drive is incredibly beautiful along the way. For more information about things to do, where to stay, festivals and events, visit

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