Photograph by Jamey Stillings
GPS: 47°35'N 120°40'W
A burgeoning winery scene has brought a Pinot-and-brie refinement to the brats-and-brews style of this Bavarian-inspired village, just east of the Cascades.
In summer, hikers explore 5,500 miles (8,851 kilometers) of trails in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest; climbers choose from a thousand-plus climbing routes on the sheer granite towers of Icicle and Tumwater canyons. Come winter, the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort has 16 miles (26 kilometers) of groomed XC trails on a forested valley floor paralleling Icicle Creek. Up the road is one of the state’s most challenging backcountry tours, on 8,501-foot (2,591-meter) Cashmere Mountain ($180 for a guided tour; www.mountainschool.com). And then there’s the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, where two groomed trails are lighted three nights a week and accessed via rope tow ($10; www.skileavenworth.com). And if you’ve got a bit of Eddie the Eagle in you, the hill offers a ski jump, with coaches on hand to talk you through your first flight.
You can’t come to Leavenworth without having German food. The Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill and Beer Garden’s outdoor courtyard, apple-cider kraut, and perfectly-grilled kielbasas and brats put it at the top of our list (www.munchenhaus.com).
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, near Leavenworth, gets everything right in a very Pacific Northwest way, from its rustic-luxe log beds and heated towel racks to its rain forest-friendly fair-trade coffee. But the best reason to shack up at the eastern Cascades resort is its proximity to off-the-radar skiing (doubles from $100; www.sleepinglady.com).