Do you want to experience Oktoberfest without going to Germany? What about some traditional Central European dishes, staying in Alpine lodges, and riding Santa’s sleigh?
If the answer to all of these questions is affirmative, then this small city in central Washington is the perfect vacation place for you. This guide is here to give you some advice about where to stay in Leavenworth, WA and its surrounding area.
The 4 Best Places to Stay in Leavenworth
We prepared this guide so that all roads lead to Leavenworth in one way or another. Some cities, like Yakima, are quite large and further away from Leavenworth itself, but others are roughly the same size (Cle Elum) or slightly larger (Wenatchee) but significantly closer to Leavenworth.
Either way, all of them can serve as your exploration base, depending on your preferences and needs.
- Leavenworth: A very small town that looks like a Bavarian village, full of traditional Central European and German restaurants and plenty of interesting activities.
- Wenatchee: A perfect choice for lovers of the outdoors, offering plenty of national parks, forests, and numerous hiking and biking options.
- Yakima: The largest city on our list and definitely the most urban option, with some interesting museums and plenty of wineries and breweries.
- Cle Elum: A small city roughly the size of Leavenworth, it offers prominent natural landmarks, national parks, and lakes, as well as many unique breweries.
The Best Areas & Hotels in Leavenworth, WA
To put it simply, the situation with accommodations in Leavenworth and the area around it is simply great. All of the cities in our guide are relevant and attractive tourist locations, and they offer plenty of hotels of all types and sizes.
Leavenworth has some great mid-range and luxurious hotels and a bunch of budget options, too. But since it has a minuscule population of around 2,000 people, the number of accommodations is fairly limited.
That’s why the other cities in our guide are also relevant and perhaps more reliable. You can find cheap hotels and motels everywhere, but your first alternatives should be Wenatchee and Yakima.
Also, it’s worth noting that there aren’t any extra luxurious or five-star hotels in the area. If you’re looking for luxury of that kind, Central Washington is not the place for you.
While Leavenworth, WA has existed since the beginning of the 20th century, as we mentioned, its “Bavarization” started in the 1960s. From then onward, it has had its own Oktoberfest and other manifestations and celebrations that’ll make you feel like you’re on the Old Continent.
The most important tourist attraction, aside from Oktoberfest, is the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. We don’t have to elaborate on the particularities of the German festival since it’s already world-famous.
However, the Nutcracker Museum is something completely different and out of the ordinary: it boasts one of the largest collections of nutcrackers in the world, with the number of artifacts being around 7,000 in 2020.
Other attractions are mainly connected either to the Bavarian theme of the city or the astonishing nature surrounding it. There are a myriad of German-inspired restaurants that serve beer and different meat dishes, like the schnitzel or the uniquely prepared pork.
The wineries are also anything but lacking, and enologists are going to have their hands full. Since nature in the State of Washington is fantastic overall — especially the forests — other activities in the town are related to exploring it.
There’s the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm with its Christmas theme and a chance to learn more about one of the most mythologized animals on the planet.
The Leavenworth Sleigh Rides are equally interesting, taking you around the area and making you feel like a child on New Year again. Being the well-known tourist hub that it is, Leavenworth’s accommodations are more than great and varied.
Spanning from very cheap but quite decent two-star hotels, lodges, and inns to relatively luxurious and reasonably priced three- and four-star hotels, you’ll have plenty of options.
And don’t worry: the restaurants are not only about German and Bavarian food — there’s variety in the foodie realm as well.
Leavenworth Budget Hotels
- Wedge Mountain Inn is a very cheap two-star hotel located outside Leavenworth, in the neighboring Peshastin. It has an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and parking, facilities for disabled guests, and rooms with TVs, private bathrooms, and desks.
- FairBridge Inn & Suites is another affordable two-star hotel located quite close to the Enchantment Park in Leavenworth. Again, it offers an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi and parking, and family rooms with cable TV, mini fridges, private bathrooms, and microwaves.
Leavenworth Mid-Range Hotels
- Hampton Inn & Suites Leavenworth is a very nice three-star hotel that offers much more than its mid-range price. It has an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi and parking, facilities for disabled people, and nice breakfast in the morning, as well as non-smoking rooms and tea and coffee-making facilities.
- Blue Elk Inn is another three-star hotel located very close to the Enchantment Park. It offers completely pet-friendly premises — a rare thing in this part of the USA — an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and parking, facilities for disabled people, and great breakfast every morning.
Leavenworth Luxury Hotels
- Bavarian Lodge is a rather expensive three-star hotel and one of the best and most perfectly located accommodations in the city. Personifying the whole atmosphere of the city by its looks and vibe, it also has an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises, as well as nicely furnished rooms.
- Granite Hills Inn is a four-star bed and breakfast located just to the south of Leavenworth, close to the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. A large and richly furnished accommodation, particularly suitable for couples, it also offers free Wi-Fi, parking, and facilities for disabled people.
Around 20 miles to the southeast of Leavenworth lies a significantly larger city called Wenatchee. Speaking plainly, the city is not very famous and popular as a tourist destination, but it can be a reliable option for tourists who can’t find suitable accommodation in Leavenworth.
The drive is quite short, amounting to less than half an hour by car. The strongest side of Wenatchee is nature.
The same river that flows through Leavenworth — Columbia River — passes through Wenatchee, too, and the city is surrounded by natural parks and beautiful lush forests. The alpine-looking Ohme Gardens County Park is one of our favorite locations.
It offers more than a mile of stone path surrounded by stunning natural beauty that culminates in a perfect viewpoint, offering both the Columbia River and the Wenatchee Valley in the palm of your hand.
The park was opened in 1929, and it celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019. But the story doesn’t end here. For those who want more and like to spend their free time as much in the open as they can, Wenatchee offers some other parks and forests too.
Riverfront Park is located right in the city on the banks of the river and offers plenty of space for picnics. Wenatchee Confluence State Park presents a crossroads where the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers meet and a lot of chances for camping and swimming.
Lastly, Wenatchee National Forest is a scenic forest just made for hiking, horseback riding, and climbing. Wenatchee has a population of more than 30,000 people and plenty of accommodation options and restaurants.
If you’re looking for something cheaper than the hotels in Leavenworth, staying in Wenatchee may be the right and prudent choice. As we mentioned earlier, the drive to Leavenworth is around twenty miles by car, and it’s quite worth it if you’re looking to save some money.
Wenatchee Budget Hotels
- avid hotel Wenatchee, an IHG Hotel is a very affordable and reliable two-star accommodation, and it’s completely pet-friendly. It has free Wi-Fi and parking, a well-equipped fitness center on the premises, rooms with cable TV and private bathrooms, and a great breakfast in the morning.
- Quality Inn Wenatchee is another very cheap two-star accommodation located very close to the Columbia River, on route 285. It has — quite surprisingly — an outdoor swimming pool, free WI-Fi and parking, nicely furnished family rooms, and facilities for disabled people.
Wenatchee Mid-Range Hotels
- La Quinta by Wyndham Wenatchee is a great, pet-friendly three-star hotel located around a mile from Wenatchee city center. It offers an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub, free Wi-Fi and parking, a fitness center, tea and coffee makers in every room, nice breakfast, and facilities for disabled people.
- Downtown Inn is a decent and not very expensive three-star hotel with an outdoor seasonal swimming pool. Every room in the hotel has a private bathroom, a fridge, and satellite TV. There’s also free Wi-Fi and parking and continental breakfast every morning.
Wenatchee Luxury Hotels
- Hilton Garden Inn Wenatchee is a great and slightly more expensive three-star hotel that’s part of the famous Hilton chain of hotels. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and free parking, a restaurant, a fitness center, facilities for disabled guests, and a nice breakfast in the morning.
- Best Western Plus Wenatchee Downtown Hotel is a four-star accommodation, part of the reliable Best Western chain of hotels, and definitely the best option in the wider Wenatchee area. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, free parking, and free Wi-Fi.
If you drive south for less than a hundred miles, you’ll reach the large city of Yakima. In comparison to the previous two cities in our guide, Yakima is huge, boasting a population of nearly 100,000 people.
It’s actually the 11th most populous city in the state of Washington. Due to its size, it’s packed with a lot of different types of hotels, especially mid-range and budget accommodations.
Again, like the two previous cities, it’s surrounded by magnificent natural landmarks, like Mount Rainier National Park. But its true strength lies in its interesting museums and many beautiful wineries — all of them scattered in the extremely fertile Yakima valley.
Make your first stop at the Yakima Valley Visitors Center, which is a great place for resting, getting to know the area, and making plans for your potential activities.
The most interesting and most visited place in the city, however, is the well-known Yakima Valley Museum. It started working in early 1917 when it was located in a simple log.
Today, it’s one of the best museums in the area (fully accredited) and tells the interesting cultural and natural history of the whole area. It usually boasts an interesting exhibition and famous lecturers.
If you’re more into nature and flowers, make sure you check out the Yakima Area Arboretum & Botanical Garden. It covers 46 acres of cultivated lands, unique gardens, natural areas, and tree collections. It is one of the most beautiful places in the central Washington area.
Finally, check out the wineries and the breweries. The Yakima Valley, as we mentioned before, is a place where everything grows and thrives.
Foodies and lovers of fine wine and beer will have a great time in this unexpectedly attractive city. It’s not Wine Country in California, but it surely won’t disappoint the real wine aficionados.
Yakima Budget Hotels
- Red Lion Inn & Suites Yakima is a very cheap two-star hotel that’s completely pet-friendly. It offers free Wi-Fi throughout the premises and free parking, as well as rooms with air conditioning, cable TV, and a small refrigerator. In addition, they have 24-hour reception and a nice breakfast in the morning.
- Motel 6-Yakima, WA – Downtown is another very cheap two-star accommodation option that allows pets on the premises. It offers free Wi-Fi and parking, facilities for disabled people, and traditionally decorated non-smoking rooms with private bathrooms and cable TV.
Yakima Mid-Range Hotels
- The Hotel Y is a slightly more expensive two-star hotel that’s particularly suitable for couples. It has an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, parking, and barbeque facilities. The rooms have cable TV, private bathrooms, and tea and coffee makers. Hotel Y also offers a nice buffet breakfast.
- Hilton Garden Inn Yakima Downtown is a great mid-range three-star hotel, part of the famous Hilton chain of hotels. It offers an indoor swimming pool, a bar and restaurant on the premises, tastefully furnished rooms, professional room service, and facilities for disabled people.
Yakima Luxury Hotels
- Holiday Inn Yakima, an IHG Hotel is a very nice and not very expensive three-star hotel that probably deserves at least one more star to its name. Located on Interstate 82, it offers an indoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar on the premises (and a tasty breakfast in the morning), facilities for disabled guests, and very professional room service.
- Hotel Maison Yakima Tapestry Collection by Hilton is another slightly more expensive three-star hotel, part of the famous Hilton chain of hotels. It offers free Wi-Fi and free parking, a fitness center on the premises, tea and coffee makers in every room, a tasty breakfast in the morning, and facilities for disabled guests.
4. Cle Elum
The last place in our guide is again from the “small team,” boasting a population of approximately 2,000 people and being roughly the size of Leavenworth.
It’s significantly closer to it, too, and the distance between the cities amounts to no more than 50 miles. Cle Elum is mostly popular as a great place for camping and outdoor activities, a couple of wineries and breweries, and some interesting cultural institutions.
Again, it’s a perfect choice if you just can’t find a decent accommodation option in nearby Leavenworth. Most of the time spent in Cle Elum would be outdoors, both inside and outside the city.
Quite close to the city are three beautiful lakes: Keechelus Lake, Kachess Lake, and Cle Elum Lake (which is the closest). Right next to them is Lake Easton State Park, with the adjacent and really small Easton Lake.
All of them offer numerous options for hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, boating, swimming, horse riding, skiing, and wildlife sighting. The area north of Cle Elum also brings breathtaking landscapes.
The Swauk Forest Discovery Trail, for instance, is one of the most interesting trails in the region. But keep in mind that it’s only open and safe during the summer months — from May till late October.
There are plenty of things to do Cle Elum itself, too. There are a bunch of breweries and wineries, as well as some great restaurants.
The Telephone Museum is definitely the most important attraction, which is quite an interesting and unique history museum. The hotel situation in Cle Elum is great and very similar to the previous cities we’ve covered in our guide.
There are a lot of two-star budget options if you’re looking for something cheap, plenty of decent three-star hotels if mid-range prices are your target, and a couple of great four-star hotels if luxury is your thing.
Cle Elum Budget Hotels
- Timber Lodge Inn is a relatively cheap but also decent two-star accommodation located right in the center of the city. It offers rooms with balconies and air-conditioning and private bathrooms, barbeque facilities on the premises, as well as free parking, free Wi-Fi, and facilities for disabled people.
- Cle Elum Travelers Inn is another quite cheap two-star hotel located very close to the shops and restaurants on Highway 970 and around three miles from Cle Elum Municipal Airport. Particularly suitable for couples, it offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, and family rooms with microwaves.
Cle Elum Mid-Range Hotels
- Quality Inn near Suncadia Resort is a very reliable, pet-friendly three-star motel located on Interstate 90. It offers a tasty continental breakfast in the morning, free Wi-Fi and parking, family rooms furnished with simple decor, and a nice fitness center on the premises.
- Stewart Lodge is a significantly more expensive two-star motel (that’s why we didn’t place it in the budget section), featuring a beautiful garden around the premises of the accommodations. It offers free Wi-Fi, parking, and rooms with flat-screen TVs, desks, and hairdryers.
Cle Elum Luxury Hotels
- Best Western Snowcap Lodge is a great four-star hotel and one of the best accommodation options in the city. Part of the well-known Best Western chain of hotels, it has an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, facilities for disabled people, and selected rooms with spa baths. The breakfast is especially delicious.
- Suncadia Resort, a Destination by Hyatt Residence is definitely the best accommodation in the city. As a four-star hotel, it offers no less than two swimming pools, a spa and wellness center, a restaurant and bar on the premises, as well as facilities for disabled people. It, too, offers tasty breakfast every morning.
So, Where Should You Stay in Leavenworth, WA?
It was a fine and interesting ride, but the area around Leavenworth is not especially large, and the cities suitable for tourists are not many, either.
These three cities — aside from Leavenworth itself — are probably the only places of quality you’ll find in this part of the state of Washington.
To wrap things up, let’s do a quick recap and summarize our findings:
|✅ Best Area to See Everything
|🌳 Best for Nature Lovers
|😎 The Trendiest Part of Town
|🏛️ Great for History Buffs
So, with so much to see and do, and no bad areas to stay, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Leavenworth today and see all that this picturesque town has to offer!