One Photo: A Quiet Spot Along The Wenatchee River

Blackbird Island Bench at Leavenworth

Blackbird Island is one of the most overlooked parts of the popular destination of Leavenworth, Washington. While there’s plenty of shopping, restaurants, and pubs just a short walk from there, this quiet public park and trail system is the perfect chance to get away from the crowds.

This quiet spot overlooking the Wenatchee River, with its bench and fenceline, not only begged to be lingered at, but also to be photographed.

Five Late Summer Things To Do In Leavenworth, Washington

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

When you visit Leavenworth in the late summer, there is still a lot of things to do and see. No, you probably aren’t going to be able to go skiing up at Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, or at the local ski hill. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding are also out of the question. But, sitting on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains means that Leavenworth is usually going to have some of the nicest weather in the state when August rolls around.

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

Downtown Leavenworth, Of Course!

Downtown Leavenworth is hugely popular no matter what time of year you’re there. In late summer, this can be a truly memorable visit though. There are all kinds of shops there, some focused on specific items like hats, toys, outdoor equipment, and even a famous store devoted only to Christmas decor! Once you’re tuckered out from shopping you’ll find that Downtown Leavenworth is the perfect place to go to find something completely delicious to eat too. There are also plent of options for liquid refreshment, even some for just the adults.

Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

It’s late summer and you’re not thinking about Christmas, right? Don’t let that stop you from heading over to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, whether you’re traveling with kids or not. You’ll get the opportunity to stroll around a beautiful little farm, learn a lot about these fascinating creatures, and even feed them right from your hand. How many times will you get the opportunity to mingle with actual reindeer?

Explore Icicle Gorge

Icicle Gorge is accessible by taking the last road to the south on the west end of Leavenworth. This makes for a great scenic drive as you’ll be up close and personal with some rocky cliffs and the sometimes raging water of Icicle Creek. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the outdoors by stopping at some of the hiking trails, campgrounds, and rock climbing opportunities on this short drive into the deep mountains. Bring your camera!

Discover Some Local History

The local history of the Leavenworth area can be very interesting. From logging and mining to Native American legends and more, there is a lot to learn about this amazing destination. It can be easily discovered too with visits to the Upper Valley Museum, Nutcracker Museum, Tumwater Dam, Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, Blewett Historic Town Site, and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

Visit Plain

A short drive from Leavenworth will lead you to the small town of Plain. This is a great way to experience another of the small towns in the area. Plain features a couple of places to eat and a couple of stores. It’s August and you’re on the east side of the mountains, so make sure to not leave without getting an ice cream cone! There’s also a great little Farmers Market on Saturdays!

Stop At The Leavenworth Reindeer Farm On A Road Trip To Leavenworth

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

You can have a really nice road trip experience by heading west or east over Highway 2 and Stevens Pass. This is a beautiful area with high mountain peaks, incredible lakes and rivers, and several small towns worth visiting. One of those great small towns is the Bavarian themed community of Leavenworth. Spend some time there and you’ll find your appetite completely satisfied with all sort of options, ranging from burgers and brautwurst to fine dining.

Leavenworth also has a long list of fun attractions too. Every road trip enthusiast knows that you need to schedule a few stops here and there for breaks and for adding to the variety of experiences. One of the newest Leavenworth area things to see is the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm and it’s quickly becoming one of the most glowingly reviewed and overall popular. It’s easy to see why too. Reindeer are, to many people, almost mythical creatures. You see them done in claymation in Christmas movies on television or they make appearances on calendars and in greeting cards you display in your home during the cold winter months. If you visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm though, you can see them in person. You can even reach out and touch them.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm and you’ll be treated to a great family friendly experience. The visual as you walk up to the historic barn treats you with things like beautiful scenery, the sounds of a small country farm, historic farm equipment, and more. As you’d expect, there are several types of animals that call the farm home, including chickens, horses, geese, and pigs. But you’re there for one reason, to see the reindeer.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

The tour of Leavenworth Reindeer Farm starts off with some background information on the animals, as well as an in-depth look at how these special animals live around the world. You’ll find out things you never knew before and you’ll probably also find it to be extremely interesting too.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

Getting the chance to feed the reindeer right from your hand is something you’ll always remember about your visit to the Leavenworth area. The animals will meander around you, some passing you by and some walking right up and nibbling at the leaves off the willow branch you’re holding. If you’re holding a bowl full of feed pellets, don’t be surprised if you have a new velvet covered antler adorned friend. At some point, you’ll find yourself staring at the animal in front of you and realize this is something most people don’t ever get to do.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

This is also one of the best photo taking opportunities you’ll have too. I mean, who comes home with photos of reindeer after a road trip through Washington State? If you’re traveling with your family, you’ll even get to get some great photos of your kids posing with reindeer. Tell me those won’t come in handy down the road.

When you visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, you’ll be doing more than finding a way to take a break from time spent out on the highway. You’ll be creating great memories at one of the most unique attractions in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Book your tour at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm today!

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Five Great Attractions Within An Easy Drive Of Cashmere, Washington

Cashmere Washington

Cashmere Washington

The small town of Cashmere sits in the beautiful Wenatchee Valley and offers a fun experience to anyone who goes there. When you visit Cashmere, you’ll have the opportunity to check out the local shopping, sample some of the many great eating establishments there, and relax in a small town that knows how to treat visitors. One of the top reasons to visit Cashmere is that it has a great location and there is a lot to do and see in all directions.

Here are five great attractions within an easy drive of Cashmere, Washington.

Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee sits on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains and has a lot to offer you, especially if you like to partake in outdoor recreation. Lake Wenatchee is home to great boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, waterskiing, and jetskiing opportunities. Lake Wenatchee State Park offers you the chance to put your boat in the water, go camping, or have a picnic outing. There is also a large beach there too and that is a great place to hang out for a few hours right along the water. Lake Wenatchee is a gorgeous area and you won’t regreat venturing out to see it during your stay in or around Cashmere.

Downtown Leavenworth

The town of Leavenworth, just a short drive west from Cashmere, is one of the most unique towns you’ll ever come to. The entire town is designed with a Bavarian theme and walking through it can give you a tiny taste of being in a far different place. The town is known for its many festivals and celebrations, and showing up for one of those is usually a hit with everyone. Leavenworth is a shopping attraction and offers so many chances to purchase items you’ve never even seen before. With restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bakeries that are famous throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, you have nothing to worry about when it comes time to get something to eat or drink. A visit to Leavenworth really can make any visit to Cashmere and the Wenatchee Valley something you won’t soon forget.

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan is one of the top draws to North Central Washington, and has been for more than a century. When you go to Lake Chelan, there is a long list of things that you can do. You can visit two separate state parks on the south shore of the lake. You can get out on the water and enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, waterskiing, and more. You can take a boat ride uplake to the tiny town of Stehekin that is sealed off from the rest of the world as no roads go into or out of there. You can explore Downtown Chelan and enjoy all the shops, restaurants, and pubs that can be found there. You can venture out to Manson and explore another tiny town or even spend time at the small casino there. There are also plenty of beaches and lakeside parks where you and anyone traveling with you can relax near the lake or even take a dip in the cold, refreshing water.

Rocky Reach Dam

Rocky Reach Dam is one of the most important links in the hydroelectric network that produces power in North Central Washington. It was built in the 1950’s and has provided many benefits to the area and even the entire state. When you go there, you can spend time out on the playgrounds and groomed grounds that welcome you. When you venture inside the visitor center though you’ll gain access to the cafe, viewpoints of the dam, fish viewing windows, and even a museum that sits out on the dam itself. Rocky Reach Dam has been popular with locals and visitors alike for many years.

Wenatchee Valley Museum

The Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center sits just minutes away from Cashmere in the city of Wenatchee and does an excellent job of telling the story of the people who built the Wenatchee Valley into what it is today. The early days of the valley, like now, were tied tightly to agriculture. The museum shows some great examples of the milestones of agriculture throughout history that helped shape the valley but also helped communities elsewhere. More than just photographs on the wall, the Wenatchee Valley Museum has a lot to see that will really inform and inspire a visitor to the area.

One Photo:  Vintage Life Ring At Tumwater Dam Viewpoint

Tumwater Dam is located in Tumwater Canyon on Highway 2, just a few miles west of the Bavarian destination of Leavenworth .  This is a historic dam and is often overlooked because of its size.  It’s not only an interesting attractionbthough, it’s also located in a very scenic location.

On my last stop there I became a little focused on the metal life ring holder mounted on the railing at the dam’s viewpoint.  It has a very cool look to it, especially with the rapids of the Wenatchee River trailing off behind it.  It got me thinking about why it’s there.  Yes, to rescue someone.  But to rescue someone at that spot someone else has to think it’s a good idea to disregard the posted DANGER signs and instead jump into a cold, mountain, boulder-filled river either right above or right below a concrete dam.  Not smart.

Cool contrast with the surrounding scenery though.

Visit Lake Wenatchee and the Surrounding Area

Visit Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee is located in the Cascade Mountains, not too far east from the summit of Stevens Pass. You can get there from the east or west side of the mountains via Highway 2 and then Highway 207. You can also get there from the east by taking what locals call the Chumstick Highway north out of Leavenworth going through the town of Plain.

Lake Wenatchee is roughly five miles in length which makes for plenty of room for those wanting to go kayaking, fishing, boating, and swimming. The lake is fed on the west end by the Little Wenatchee River and the White River. The lake is drained on the east end by the Wenatchee River which then runs for a little over 50 miles before emptying into the Columbia River. The lake and the surrounding area are popular with locals and those from far away because of the beautiful scenery and the great outdoor recreation. Taking the time to visit Lake Wenatchee and the surrounding area can be a whole lot of fun.

Visit Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Lake Wenatchee State Park is one of the most popular campgrounds in the region. The park is actually split into north shore and south shore facilities, separated by the Wenatchee River. The camping spots are very good sized and there is a lot of tree cover. The park also features a lot of bank right on the lake as well as the river and includes a boat launch, small dock, playground area, camp store, and more. Whether stopping in to play in the water or spending a weekend or more camping, Lake Wenatchee State Park is a fun destination.

Visit Lake Wenatchee

Other Bodies of Water

Lake Wenatchee is the main body of water in the area and offers plenty of room for anyone venturing there. There are other places to go to enjoy the water too though. Fish Lake is located a couple of miles away and is a popular fishing destination with rental boats available. Hidden Lake is located near the west end of the lake on the south shore and is reachable by a short hike that adults and kids will both find easy and enjoyable. The Wenatchee River empties out of Lake Wenatchee and is also popular with anglers, as well as rafters. Other local rivers that attract recreation seekers include the Little Wenatchee, White, and Chiwawa Rivers, as well as Nason Creek. If water recreation is your thing, the Lake Wenatchee area has you covered.

Lake Wenatchee Area Communities

While Lake Wenatchee is located up in the mountains, there are several very small communities or locations that offer services you might want to take advantage of. The Stevens Pass Ski Area at the summit has a variety of restaurants available as well as skiing in the winter and mountain bike activities in the summer. Coles Corner is located at the junction of Highway 2 and 207, the turnoff to Lake Wenatchee, and is home to a restaurant, gas station, and a couple over overnight accommodation options. Right outside Lake Wenatchee State Park there is a small grocery store near the bridge over the Wenatchee River. Continuing down the Chiwawa Loop Road also leads you to Midway Village Grocery where supplies and coffee are available. The small town of Plain is located just east of Lake Wenatchee and it features several small businesses worth paying a visit too. The famous Bavarian community of Leavenworth is located about 25 minutes from Lake Wenatchee and it offers first class accommodations, a long list of restaurants, and plenty of shopping options. When you’re visiting Lake Wenatchee and you need to get back to civilization briefly, there are plenty of options.

Hiking Near Lake Wenatchee

Hiking is very popular in the Lake Wenatchee area and there are trails available that are suitable for all levels of hikers. There are short trails that lead out along the lake right from the state park. There are also longer trails that lead up the local ridges into the thick forests. You can even reach the Pacific Crest Trail, the PCT, in a couple of different spots in the Lake Wenatchee area. Some of the more popular hikes to look into in this part of Washington include Heather Lake, Dirtyface Peak, Alpine Lookout, Merritt Lake, and Nason Ridge. There are also plenty more too, so if hiking is your thing then Lake Wenatchee is your destination.

Other Lake Wenatchee Area Activities

The Lake Wenatchee area is all about outdoor recreation and activities. In addition to all of the hiking options listed above, other activities you can participate in when visiting there include water skiing, boating, fishing, camping, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, horseback riding, ziplining, mountain biking, swimming, rafting, kayaking, four wheeling, and more. The Lake Wenatchee area will have no problem keeping you busy, that’s for sure.

If you’re looking for a great getaway, you can’t go wrong when you visit Lake Wenatchee. Especially if what you’re looking for is beautiful scenery, lots of outdoor recreation, and a friendly and welcoming selection of local communities.

You’re Sure To Love The River Place In Leavenworth, Washington

A visit to the Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth is always special. You’re sure to find some great tasting food and a number of fun things to do. You need a great place to stay though and one that stands out above many is a little vacation rental known as The River Place.

The River Place Leavenworth

The River Place is a rental home that sleeps four and has an atmosphere of privacy. The deck you sit on there looks out over some of the most beautiful scenery. The yard is large which means it’s a great place for small families to come. There are a good many trees around the property which will shield you from your neighbors. The kitchen at The River Place is one of the best parts of the house, fully equipped for anything you’ll want to create while you stay there. Throughout the house you’ll find comfortable decor and furnishings, including in the bedrooms.

The River Place Leavenworth

As nice as it is though, one of the best part about The River Place is its location. With it being just two blocks away from the popular downtown area of Leavenworth, this is the perfect place to stay to enjoy nearly all that the city has to offer. You’ll be able to get out and explore the local shops, get some of the tastiest treats available, eat some of the best meals you can find, and just soak in an atmosphere you couldn’t find anywhere else.

When you’re all through, you just walk the two blocks back “home” to The River Run.

Want more info?

Website: The River Run

The River’s Edge Lodge in Leavenworth

The Wenatchee River flows from Lake Wenatchee to the Columbia River, and along the way passes some of the most incredible scenery, attractions, and locales in Washington. One of those locales is Leavenworth. This little Bavarian themed city has been one of the more popular tourist attractions in Washington for years… and there are a lot of reasons for that.

Leavenworth is home to a year round festive atmosphere, some incredible food, top notch scenery, and friendly locals who just wait to welcome you in. The shopping opportunities there are legendary too. Whether going for an afternoon, a weekend, or a longer stay, you can easily have a great time in Leavenworth.

My last visit to Leavenworth saw me staying at the River’s Edge Lodge, which is east of town. I bring this up because it ties in both of the above subjects. During my stay, I ate some of the best bratwursts ever, picked up a couple of very cool gifts, and I even danced a polka in public (yeah, you read that right). What I also got to do though was stay right on the banks of the Wenatchee River.


It was very cool, as the sun went down, to sit outside and hear the water rush by and watch it do what it has been doing for centuries. The River’s Edge Lodge was very clean, very comfortable, and worked perfectly for my weekend in Leavenworth.

I’ve got to take some polka lessons though before I head back to Leavenworth.