If you are thinking about taking a family trip through the beautiful state of Washington, you need to look into the Cascade Loop – Washington’s Ultimate Road Trip!
The Cascade Loop is a 440-mile road trip starting roughly 30 minutes north of Seattle, and taking you from sea to mountains, through fields and dark forests.
It is full of fun stops for the kids, which makes it to ultimate road trip for families looking to have fun in the state of Washington!
We started our trip in Everett and traveled to Leavenworth during our first day. This is what we did and saw!
Everett – Imagine Children’s Museum
Our first stop on the Cascade Loop was at the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett.
If you remember our 10 Sanity-Saving Tips For Traveling With Kids, you know that we like including fun children activities along the way. On a road trip especially, doing something fun for the kids once a day, is a must!
Beautifully appointed on three levels, super clean and bright, we all enjoyed our time at Imagine Children’s Museum.
Christian and I were very impressed with how organized and imagination / free play-focused all areas were.
From pretending to be a vet, to serving in a pizzeria, playing with marble mazes or water, all the way to the rooftop playground, everything was amazing for kids!
Note: maybe my favorite aspect of the Imagine Children’s Museum is its accessibility and hospitality towards children with autism and on the spectrum. You can rent noise-canceling headphones, sensory balls, and sunglasses for free as needed!
The Imagine Children’s Museum is a great way to start your road trip on the Cascade Loop. Only 30 minutes away from Seattle, your kiddos will be excited for the rest of the trip and ready for the 45-minute drive to Wallace Falls!
Hiking At Wallace Falls State Park
Our second stop of the day was less than an hour away from Everett.
After a quick drive through picturesque Sultan, WA, we quickly found Wallace Falls State Park, on the left hand side of highway 2 in Gold Bar, WA.
The region is beautiful and Wallace Falls State Park offers several hikes from easy to move advanced.
After hiking through the spring meadow, we quickly reached the Woody Trail and hiked along the river.
Our first stop at Small Falls was absolutely gorgeous and a very easy and short hike for families with younger children!
After enjoying Small Falls, we proceeded to hike the 1.4 miles to Lower Falls.
Most of the hike is fairly steep and labeled as Medium difficulty. Our kids had no problem hiking it and Elin ended up on my back about 0.3 mile before reaching the falls.
We loved how diverse the hike was. Going from flat river banks to serene wooden bridges, dense forest and more opened areas with moss all around, the views were beautiful everywhere we looked.
Once we reached the falls, we knew it was all worth it! Wow! The Lower Falls only hide a taller waterfall in the background, reachable if your group has energy left for another 0.3 mile.
Our kids were ready to be done after having spent all day hiking in Mount Rainier National Park the day before. We enjoyed the views of the waterfalls and headed back down!
You could also have a picnic up there in the hut overlooking the waterfalls!
The hike back down was a lot quicker than the way up and everyone was happy and satisfied once we reached the car. Of course, Elin slept on my back the whole way down 🙂 and if you have young children, I highly recommend hiking with a baby carrier!
Driving Through Stevens Pass
With everyone happily tired, you will be hitting the next phase of travel, which includes a 1.5-hour car ride through Stevens Pass.
We first headed back to the Timber Monster Coffee Company for a quick and yummy coffee before the drive.
The next hour and a half took us through forested valleys, picturesque towns making place for a mountain road up Stevens Pass, and back down alongside the raging river where we wished to have had time to raft through!
We reached our final destination for the day – the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA – under bright blue skies!
Leavenworth – Everything Bavarian
We had friends tell us about Leavenworth several times in the last few years and were excited for the Cascade Loop to take us through the Bavarian town.
For having lived in Munich, in the heart of Bavaria, for three years, and with Christian being German, we couldn’t wait to see Leavenworth for ourselves!
We loved everything about it! Its quaint little streets reminded us of the Bavarian Alps’ villages we used to visit for skiing.
Once we arrived in the town center, a German band was playing the accordion and all sorts of German wooden instruments, singing to German tunes.
We had dinner at a local Biergarten and enjoyed German Bockwurst and Curry Wurst, to the tune of a live piano, overlooking the mountains!
The Bavarian Lodge In Leavenworth, WA
We are very thankful for the Cascade Loop hosting us at the Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth, WA.
Perfectly located in the center of the Bavarian village, facing the main park with live music and right in the city center, we explored Leavenworth by foot from the lodge!
We loved being in the middle of the the Bavarian village, in a beautiful Bavarian lodge, with amazing accommodation! The rooms were absolutely beautiful and very tastefully themed, reminding us of true German ski resorts.
The full hot breakfast buffet was amazing and we left town after a wonderful and restful night of sleep, ready for our second day on the Cascade Loop!
We are very thankful to the Cascade Loop for hosting us and providing us with free accommodations and activities.