Looking to escape to Europe without leaving North America?
While there are plenty of great flight deals to take advantage of right now, there are just as many — if not more — horror stories of lost baggage, significant flight delays, and flight cancellations.
But if you want to experience the magic of Bavaria without catching a flight, a short drive across the border transports you into another world.
Located a four-and-a-half hour drive from Vancouver and in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is the spitting image of a picturesque German town. With alpine rooftops, adorable shuttered windows, latticework features, horse-drawn carriages, beer gardens, and more, the destination offers an experience you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in North America.
The Washington town offers specialty shops, "eclectic dining," and a range of accommodations to suit every budget. For example, Airbnb has options starting at $26 a night. It also has an impressive Nutcracker Museum that holds thousands of Christmas favourites. There are ski resorts and wineries nearby, so it is ideal for alpine enthusiasts and for wine aficionados, too.
The destination is also home to several spas, including the Alpine Spa, at Icicle Village Resort and the Aspen Leaf Day Spa on the grounds of the Sleeping Lady Resort. These relaxing options provide a great way to unwind after a fun-filled day on the slopes in the winter or after a long summer stroll.
There are several venues to enjoy live music performances, as well as après ski parties for folks returning from a long day on the ski hills.
Thinking ahead, Leavenworth is the perfect family destination for the holidays. The village is decorated with twinkling lights and comes alive with the festive spirit.
The charming holiday destination is home to a reindeer farm with a plethora of pint-sized cuties to feast your eyes on, as well as a place to snap photos with jolly ol' Saint Nick. Children can even enjoy swinging on reindeer-shaped swings or take a tour with the cuddly creatures (they eat right out of your hand).
Looking for some other road trips from Vancouver? Check out our fall getaways guide.