Are you ready for one of the best fall road trips in Washington State? If your bags are packed and you’re ready to commit to the trip from Everett to Leavenworth through the beautiful Wenatchee National Forest, then let’s go! From cozy coffee shops to fresh fruit barns, enjoy every stop along this perfect fall road trip in Washington State.
Before you set out on this great adventure, better make sure to grab a fresh cup of coffee or latte at the Loft Coffee Bar in Everett. Since fall is in the air, you might want to take a few treats for the trip, like the seasonal pumpkin bread and scones. If it’s a hot day and you need something cold, try the amazing pumpkin milkshake.
Not far into the trip, you’ll come to a great place to stop and stretch your legs. Wallace Falls State Park, known for being a hiker’s paradise, is a great place to spend a few hours on the 12-mile trail that takes you up to Wallace Falls. The park itself is a 1,380-acre camping area, and the thundering 265-foot waterfall is a very popular subject for photos. If you have the time and crave more hiking and possibly an overnight stay, you can continue following the old logging road into the backcountry. Swimming and rock climbing are also fun outdoor activities, and there are picnic areas and quiet fishing spots throughout the park.
After hiking through the woods, you’ll want a substantial lunch, and La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant is a fun family-oriented stopping place. Open every day except Sunday, you’ll love the huge portions and they’ll fill that empty spot and provide energy for the next phase of your trip. Any of the starters are good, but the Ceviche Fish Appetizers is amazing! You can get fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and tacos, and all choices come with rice, beans, and corn or flour tortillas. You may come in hungry, but you won’t leave hungry.
If you’re traveling with children aged one to 100, you need to stop and take a side rail trail trip at Great Northern and Cascade Railway in Skykomish. They have real steam-powered trains scaled to one-eighth of the actual size of a locomotive so you and your whole family can experience the life on the tracks. And the best part is that it’s completely free! The gift store and visitors center has information, t-shirts, souvenirs, hats, puzzles, and gifts.
The historic three-story Skykomish Hotel, built in 1904, has been the topic of much discussion in recent years since it fell into disrepair and no new plans are in place to renovate it. Rumor has it that a lady of the night was murdered there by a jealous lover and her spirit still walks around. Do you dare to drive by and see if you can see her? (You can only drive by the property. Do not attempt to go inside as it is not open to the public).
Traveling further on your fall road trip, a stopover in the German-themed town of Leavenworth is definitely a must. For a fun place to stop for a snack and a cold brew, the Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth is a good choice. Using the water from the Icicle River is one of the things that makes the ales and lagers made here unique. If you time it right, you can take a free tour and learn about the history of beer. In the meantime, to satisfy the munchies, try one of their signature Bavarian pretzels, warm and served with a delicious melted cheese sauce that you have to love.
If you’re traveling with your sweetheart, Storybrook Riverside Inn is a unique experience. There are two suites available—the Castle Suite and the Palace Suite. The Castle suite features a rock waterfall that fills the large two-person soaking tub and a rain shower and the entire suite is reminiscent of a medieval castle. The Palace Suite is decorated in luxurious gold and white marble, has heated floors, and a private balcony overlooking the beautiful Wenatchee River below.
In keeping with the German flavor of the area, a good choice for dinner is the München Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden. Owned by the same family that operates the Icicle Brewing Company, the mission of this eatery is based on an old Bavarian saying that says, “eating and drinking keeps body and soul together.” You’ll taste the difference that fresh and all natural ingredients make in the Old World sausages, beef franks, and vegetarian wurst. It will be hard to say auf wiedersehen when you leave.
There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning, unless it’s the taste of eating it! On your way out of town for the return part of your perfect fall road trip, you’ll have to take home a few of the made-from-scratch baked goods. It could be an apple strudel or a peach-apricot pie made fruit provided by a local orchard. Or it might be a sampling of the specialty breads like the sourdough French bread, walnut cranberry bread, dill Swiss bread, or the rosemary garlic bread. You can’t go wrong with anything made at this bakery.
With a dream of having a farm in the U.S., Rudolf and Antje Prey started their orchard with a modest 130 acres in 1975 that produced apples and pears. Today, they grow more than 40 varieties of apples and pears, and are open every day not far from Leavenworth. You can also purchase a few select vegetables to take home with your apples and pears.