If you're hanging for a trip to Bavaria but can't swing the time off, stop in for sausages and sauerkraut in Leavenworth, 'Washington's Bavarian Village'. Located in the dramatic hills of central Washington, the city is a popular destination not only for its cuisine, its atmospheric architecture, and the flowers that line streets of shops during the spring and summer, but also the range of outdoor activities available year-round. While views from town may be of the Cascade Range instead of the Dolomites, Leavenworth offers the closest thing to an Alpine village this side of the Atlantic.
Peruse a variety of shops catering to tourists, play a round of golf, then escape out of town for a white-knuckle rafting trip down class IV rapids on the Wenatchee River, or kick back on an inner tube for a float down a more sedate stretch of the Icicle River. Land-based visitors can follow paved roads for a day of peaceful peddling, with plenty of rugged off-road stuff accessible when the time comes to test out your shocks -- rent bikes (and repair them) in town if you didn't think to bring your own. There are 700 miles of forest service hiking trails that range in length and difficulty lacing the surrounding hills; for overnight hikes, head west out of town to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, or head up steep Dirtyface Trail for a view out over Lake Wenatchee. As one of the nation's top climbing destinations, expect to find a stone's throw from town plenty of places to enjoy an uphill scramble; if granite cliffs don't rock your world try instead a horseback adventure, a wagon ride or alazy day of fly fishing on the Icicle River.
Come winter snows, the hills are alive with the sound of cross-country skiers swishing along groomed trails. For a quicker trip, Stevens Pass Ski Area has the slopes and the lifts, but also the crowds. Organize a backcountry ski or snowshoe trip in Leavenworth for some powder time away from the populous,or consider a spin on a dog sled or Christmas sleigh ride.
Leavenworth is just 77 miles east of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 74 miles northwest of Moses Lake and 71 miles north of Yakima.