The Pacific Northwest offers an endless supply of gorgeous scenery and it's all accessible by four (or two) wheels! Fill up the gas tank and get ready for an unforgettable scenic drive near Seattle. This drive will take you through the beautiful landscape of the north Cascades. Enjoy! 

  • Start: Everett
  • End: Leavenworth
  • Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours
  • Length: 100 miles; 1 day
  • Best Time to Go: June to September (All roads should be snow free and passable)

Inaccessible for half the year due to winter snowstorms, this drive is highly recommended for the summer months.

 

The Drive Day 1

With easy connection to I-5 and Highway 2 leading to the Cascade Mountains, Everett is the gateway for outdoor lovers. Start in Everett, 30 miles north of Seattle, then head east on US 2 towards Leavenworth. A stunningly Bavarian-themed village where you can get German sausages, beer and cheese.

 

Explore Everett

Visit Everett and take some time to explore their beautiful and walkable downtown. Roam in the many locally owned boutiques, shops and restaurants.

Play: Enjoy free admission to the Schack Art Center, where you’ll find interesting exhibits.

Eat: Enjoy a delicious breakfast at The Strawberry Patch Cafe.

Explore Stevens Pass

A place that will feed your thirst for adventure! Located on two national forests, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National Forest.

Play: Enjoy the peace and serenity that is the Cascade Mountains in the summertime. Ride the chairlift up and gaze at the spectacular views of the North Cascades. You can either take the lift back down or walk down the scenic hike-only trail back to the base area.

If you feel like hitting the greens, Stevens Pass offers 18 holes of disc golf play split between two 9 hole courses.

Eat: Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many tasty restaurants they have to offer.

Stevens Pass Hiking Stevens Pass Chairlift Stevens Pass Disc Golf

Photos by Stevens Pass

Explore Leavenworth

The architecture is right out of Bavaria! Whether you’re inside or out, you'll feel like you just drove into the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Play: If you have time before dinner and hotel take a stroll and discover the Bavarian treasures like nutcrackers, beer steins, and holiday decorations.

Eat: Enjoy an authentic Bavarian dinner with a cocktail and stay for the live music at Bavarian Bistro & Bar.

If you’ll be staying the night be sure to visit Pavz Cafe Bistro the next morning for one of their signature crepes (savory or sweet). You won’t be disappointed!

Stay: Whether you’re staying in a luxury hotel, rustic lodge, B&B or camping in the outdoors there are plenty of options.

Lodging Options

Optional Detours

More great places to see along the way to Leavenworth.

Explore Snohomish

Situated between the waters of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, Snohomish is the perfect place for Antique adventures.

Explore Monroe

Monroe is home to a vibrant downtown filled with upscale dining, vintage shops, a historic museum and arts theatre. Monroe is located just 30 miles northeast of Seattle. Connected to three major Highways (US-Highway 2, 522 or 203), they are a major stopping point for visitors heading from or to Stevens Pass and the Cascades.

Explore Skykomish

Founded as a railroad town, you’ll be transported to a time before this byway existed. Grab lunch alongside the rushing river and listen as trains rumble through town. Enjoy a historical walking tour through town or visit the Skykomish Historical Society Museum for more history.

 

 

Day 2

 

Fill up the gas tank (or charge your battery) and get ready for a jam-packed day 2 through the Cascades. Visit the “Apple Capital of the World” in Wenatchee, enjoy some recreation at Lake Chelan and kick off your boots in Winthrop at the end of the day. One of the best scenic drives in Washington state!

  • Start: Leavenworth
  • End: Winthrop
  • Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours
  • Length: 115 miles
  • Best Time to Go: June to September (All roads should be snow free and passable)

Continuing southeast for about 22 miles, you’ll head through Wenatchee. Then head north toward Chelan and next up is Winthrop, a wild west themed that might bring out the cowboy in you.

 

Explore Wenatchee

Home to numerous small businesses you will find a truly unique shopping and dining experience. The area’s natural beauty and variety of recreational activities are two of the many reasons people come to the Wenatchee Valley. Loaded with treasures to uncover, the friendly environment and its people will make you feel right at home.

Play: You’ll find a beautiful historic downtown offering a diverse blend of hand-crafted jewelry, home decor, fashion and food. Wander through the Art on the Avenues and enjoy the various sculptures around Wenatchee or on Apple Capital Loop Trail. If you are more interested in history, visit The Washington Apple Commission Visitors Center to learn about the Washington apple industry and taste the fruits of their labor. Don’t forget to grab a souvenir on the way out!

Eat: If you are thinking about food, stroll to the Pybus Public Market for a delightful lunch. A truly local hangout with food markets, flower shops and a range of tasty restaurants.

Explore Chelan

Lake Chelan brings you wine, sun, stunning natural beauty and unique adventures. A crystal-clear lake surrounded by vineyards and mountains. An array of activities coupled with ample amenities, make it an excellent place to play.

Play: From land to air, and water, Lake Chelan offers plenty activities. Take a tour of the city on an Electric Bike and explore Lake Chelan on your own or guided tours be arranged. Enjoy skydiving with stunning views of Lake Chelan, the Columbia River and surrounding mountains. Take a dip and get wet with a variety of opportunities to enjoy many of the water activities available.

Play in Lake Chelan

Eat: In case you didn’t eat in Wenatchee, don’t worry Lake Chelan offers a diverse selection of dining choices. Authentic Mexican dishes, handcrafted artisan pizzas or American and of course wine! If you don’t want to get out of your swim suit, try The Alpenhorn Cafe. Offering creek-side dining in a cool, woodsy atmosphere near Lake Chelan State Park on the south shore. Another favorite, the Lakeview Drive-in is a short drive away, located in downtown Chelan.

Dine in Lake Chelan

Explore Winthrop

A fascinating authentic western-themed town preserved to resemble the 1850’s wild west. Escape the routine, breathe fresh air, unplug and bask in sunshine. Located in the northern portion of Methow Valley at milepost 193 along North Cascades Highway 20. With the Okanogan National Forest next door, Winthrop offers every outdoor recreational activity you could ask for like hiking, biking, snowshoeing, trail running, water sports, and much more.

Play: With an abundance of activities to choose from you may never want to leave. Winthrop has a rich and long history of horseback riding and a trip there wouldn’t be complete without spending some time in the saddle. Sun Mountain Lodge offers a variety of horseback riding options. Take in a 1.5 hour trail ride or half day rides as well. If time permits on the day of your arrival, you may want to indulge in an old fashioned Cowboy Dinner. Enjoy a home cooked western style BBQ with live music and a chance to practice your cowboy skills.

Play in Winthrop

Eat: Dining in Winthrop has amazing cuisine to suit everyone’s tastes. From Pub food to four-star dining, you can revel in whatever your heart desires.

Eat in Winthrop

Stay: With a variety of hotels, cabins, inns, and grounds you’ll be sure to get some much needed rest. Perched on a mountaintop overlooking Winthrop, Sun Mountain Lodge has a variety of accommodations and trails right from your door!

Lodging Options

Optional Detours

More great places to see along the way to Winthrop.

Explore Waterville

A quaint American town, with a rich and deep history situated in a sunny oasis. Many buildings Waterville are listed on the State and National Historic Registers of Historic Places. Enjoy a historic walking tour, visit the Douglas County Historical Museum, or explore the great outdoors. Located in North Central Washington on US Highway 2.

Explore Pateros

A vibrant community situated just minutes from either mountains, streams, and miles of scenic quiet, or wheat fields. Located in the sunny foothills of the eastern Cascades and on the shores of the Columbia and Methow Rivers.

Explore Twisp

A vibrant arts community with access to unlimited outdoor recreation, Twisp is worth a stop. Located at the convergence of the North Cascades Highway and the Loup Loup Pass crossing to the Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway,