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The Best Time to Visit Leavenworth, WA in 2024

The Best Time to Visit Leavenworth, WA in 2024

What's the best time to visit Leavenworth, WA?

Leavenworth in winter, especially from November to February, is a European-style holiday retreat with fewer tourists and lower prices. The town lights up in December with a dazzling 21-mile Christmas light display and festive ceremonies every weekend. Nearby Lake Wenatchee is a winter wonderland for cross-country skiing, enhancing the seasonal charm.

Leavenworth is a small town nestled in the Washington mountains. Here, you can put your passport away and embrace the gorgeous German scenery in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the backdrop scenery of the Cascade Mountains, glacial lakes and rivers, and multiple wineries in the area.

Due to the country’s northwest region, Leavenworth has four distinct seasons, allowing various activities to occur all year round. It’s also is one of the best places to visit if you love outdoor activities.

During summer, you can explore the Cascade Mountains by hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Also, you can enjoy the water by boating, swimming, kayaking, fishing, and white-water rafting.

If you’re willing to take a 15-minute drive outside Leavenworth, you can visit Peshastin Pinnacles State Park for one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

You can walk through Peshastin Pinnacles State Park to the hills of Wenatchee Valley. The valley looks golden at sunset, and you can see a view of the Cascade Mountains and the beautiful wine country.  

No matter what time of year you visit, be sure to stop by The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum to see over 6,000 antique nutcrackers and learn their history.

Another reason you should visit Leavenworth is that there’s no shortage of festivals throughout the year. Nearly every month has one or more festivals to enjoy.

Here’s a breakdown of the top festivals that are held in Leavenworth:

  • January: Bavarian Icefest
  • February: Valentine’s Weekend
  • March: Vox Docs Film Festival
  • April: Taste Leavenworth and Alefest
  • May: Maifest
  • June: Leavenworth Wine Walk and Leavenworth Rockfest
  • July: Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival
  • August: Kinderfest
  • September: Wenatchee River Salmon Festival and Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival
  • October: Oktoberfest  
  • November: Christkindlmarkt
  • December: Village of Lights and the Christmas Lighting Festival

With this information, you can plan your visit outside the busiest festivals to enjoy a less crowded and more affordable trip to Leavenworth.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Leavenworth

Christmas lights on the buildings and trees in Leavenworth, Washington in the winter during the best time to go to the town


The best time to visit Leavenworth is during the off-season of November through February. It may be the off-season, but you can experience the holiday season as if you were in Europe.

Also, if you’re willing to come in the winter, you’ll score cheaper deals and not have to be surrounded by other tourists.

Leavenworth is the most magical and charming Christmas village where you can celebrate the holidays in a new way during the winter. For example, every day in December is like Christmas because you can walk past the Christmas tree in the town square.

Also, in December, Leavenworth sets up 21 miles of Christmas lights throughout the town. The selling point of this experience is that there is a lighting ceremony every weekend in December.

One of the best places to go skiing is Lake Wenatchee because, in the winter, it’s the spot for cross-country skiing around the perimeter of the lake.

Cheapest Time to Visit Leavenworth

People walking around the town of Leavenworth during November, the worst month to visit, on a gloomy and overcast day

Leavenworth, Washington USA – November 1 2021: Tourists wander the main street of the Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth with shops illuminated and holiday lights on the trees/Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

Winter is the cheapest time to visit Leavenworth; however, the cheapest month to travel is November.

November is the start of the weather getting colder, so fewer tourists come during this time. Plus, November has the least amount of events compared to the rest of the year.

As a result, travel costs are the lowest because you’ll find fewer things to do. Since you’re saving money by visiting Leavenworth, Washington, in November, you can enjoy putting your money towards the unique stores in town.

You can go window shopping in downtown Leavenworth to find unique items like vintage cuckoo clocks, music boxes, and handmade creations such as soaps and candles.

Along with vintage items, you can also shop for specially-made German chocolate. Kris Kringl is Leavenworth’s ultimate Christmas store that’s open all year.

Least Busy Time to Visit Leavenworth

Man with a red backpack pictured hiking through Leavenworth, Washington during the least busy time to visit

Marina Poushkina/Shutterstock

If springtime precipitation makes you shy away from destinations, you should visit Leavenworth, Washington, during the shoulder season between March and May.

However, missing out on the crowds also works in September and October. Winter and summer could be the two extremes throughout the year that might shield you away from visiting in the off-season.

However, spring and fall have much to offer while you can enjoy moderate temperatures. Many people don’t think the shoulder seasons are worth the visit, but many outdoor activities and events are available all year round.

Once the snow melts, Leavenworth becomes known for its wildflowers, and you can go hiking and mountain biking. Colchuck Lake Trail is a popular springtime destination; however, depending on the winter’s snow, some lakes may still be frozen.

Opposite to spring, fall is the time of year when the air starts getting crisp, and you can enjoy the beautiful and colorful scenery of the mountains.

You can enjoy the most authentic German food on the west coast all year round. Many restaurants on Front Street serve pretzels and Bavarian sausages to help immerse yourselves in the German culture that inspired this town.

October in Leavenworth means you can experience what Oktoberfest would be like in Germany. You may not be able to travel to Munich, but you can visit breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Leavenworth.  

Worst Time to Visit Leavenworth

Photo of people walking around the downtown area in August, the overall worst time to visit Leavenworth, WA

LEAVENWORTH, WA – AUG 1, 2015: Main tourist street with art show and Bavarian style buildings in Cascade Mountain village of Leavenworth, Washington, Aug 1, 2015/Denise Lett/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Leavenworth, Washington, is during the peak season between June and August. Summer is the peak season because it’s the time of the year when you get the largest number of tourists and the most expensive time to visit.

When you think of the worst time to visit Leavenworth, we’re saying summer because it’s the most crowded time of the year due to the unbelievable hikes and beautiful weather.

With the larger crowds, you’ll experience higher prices for places to stay and outdoor activities. If you can appreciate the weather, Icicle Ridge Trail must be on your summer bucket list in Leavenworth.

It takes about 90 minutes to reach the lookout point, where you can see the entire town and the surrounding mountains. However, remember that you’ll be on a crowded trail during the weekends.

Summertime offers you endless hours of sunshine, so you can visit Icicle Creek’s warm water to go water tubing and paddle boarding. Plus, there’s white-water rafting for anyone adventurous enough to try.

Things to Consider

Dutch-looking woman sitting in a horse-drawn carriage driving through the streets of the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth during the spring

Randy Andy/Shutterstock

Here are a few more things to consider to help you plan your next trip to Leavenworth, Washington:

  • Transportation: Are you thinking about renting a car? Does Leavenworth have public transportation? Can you walk through the town easily? Is there easily accessible transportation from the airport?
  • Travel Period: Do you want to travel during the on or off-season? Are you looking for a weekend or weekday trip? Is your travel period popular with tourists? Will events and shops be open during your travel period?
  • Cost: How much will your travel expenses cost (airfare, hotel, car, etc.)? Do museums and attractions have entrance fees? Which shops are more expensive? What other costs should you anticipate during your trip?
  • Places to Stay: What are budget-friendly hotels during your travel period? Where do you want to stay (in town or outside town)? What kind of places to stay are you looking for (hotel, motel, inns, bed and breakfasts, or lodging)?
  • Attire: What should you wear during specific times of the year? What should you bring aside from clothes? Do you need nice clothes?

If you take the time to consider these helpful tips while planning, you’ll ensure that your upcoming trip to Leavenworth, Washington, is memorable and better than any other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Autumn forest with gorgeous fall colors pictured against a gloomy sky during the best time to visit Leavenworth

Roman Khomlyak/Shutterstock

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best times to visit this charming little town:

How do you get around Leavenworth, Washington?

Leavenworth is the perfect place for walking and biking when it’s warm out. However, during the winter, it’s common to drive around downtown to the shops. Also, it’s common to see people sledding through town after a snowstorm.

Fortunately, you can ride a horse-drawn carriage with Hans Christian Andersen Carriage Company. Unfortunately, these rides are only available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you can take a slow-moving tour of the town.

Is Leavenworth, Washington, safe to visit?

According to NeighborhoodScout, Leavenworth is one of the safest towns in America. Statistically, you have a one in 217 chance of being a victim of a crime. In addition, Leavenworth has a lower crime rate than other towns and is lower than the national average.

Where can you go skiing and snowboarding near Leavenworth?

Depending on your skill level, Leavenworth has small-town areas suitable for beginners and kids. However, experienced riders can travel to Mission Ridge and Stevens Pass, which are a half hour away.

So, When Should You Visit Leavenworth, WA?

So, the best time to visit Leavenworth, Washington, could change depending on what activities you’re interested in and what time of year you want to visit. But, the best time to is in the winter between November and February.

However, it’s a four-season destination, so you can find fun things to do any time of year you visit. No matter what season you choose to visit, you’ll love this lovely spot. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Leavenworth today!