4 women, not serious hikers, bikers, or shoppers, but love scenic walks, gentle rides, quaint shops/sites, & picnics. Seeking recommendations. With so many things to choose from, it is an extreme challenge to narrow it down! Train ride? Gondola? Bike rental? Schilthorn? Trummelbach?
How about a suggestion for a little of most of what you describe above. From the Lauterbrunnen train station, walk about 300 feet to the Lauterbrunnen BLM across the street. It's a cable car. Take the 6 minute ride up to Grutshalp. A small train will be waiting for you. At this point, you can either walk to Muerren or take the train. It's a short ride. Walk through Muerren. It's a short and scenic walk. If your time permits take the cable car up to the top of the Schilthorn and have lunch in the revolving restaurant. If not, find the backroad down to Gimmelwald. It runs from two places along the main street down. You might have to ask. It's a 30-minute or so walk all slightly downhill to Gimmelwald. Visit Gimmelwald. You'll be surprised by how small it really is. At Gimmelwald, ride the cable car down to Stechelberg. At the Stechelberg cable car station, take the bus back to the Lauterbrunnen train station. Or, you can walk. It's all level. Just for fun, here's a link to see the "main" street in Muerren. http://gyazo.com/d5012d0465da4410529a21af055f95e9 I think that you will find most of the quaint shops in Interlaken, Grindlewald or maybe Wengen.
Another great walk is from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, but only if the weather is reasonably clear and not raining or snowing. You have the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau the entire time in your view. You take the train up to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen and then cable car from Wengen to Mannlichen. Walk to Kleine Scheidegg and have a wurst and roesti at Kleine Scheidegg train station before heading back down to Wengen by train. Total walking time is about 1.5 hours and very gentle walk.
Lets see if we can meet that challenge. OK - let's hope its a clear day both half way up and at the summit. Now short but scenic cable car from across the road from Lauterbrunnen station up to Grutschalp. Scenic, gentle. At the top onto the tiny train which meets it. At the other end gentle stroll through Muerren. If you didn't get your picnic supplies at the Coop supermarket next to Lauterbrunnen station (best suggestion) you can wander by the smaller Coop on the low road in Muerren and get them then. Then you have a choice. Take the high road and go up to the Allmendhubel funicular and later walk down to Gimmelwald or skip it and walk right away down to Gimmelwald. I'd go up to Allmendhubel and have a lunch of Raclette on their terrace while your 8 eyes pop out at the mountains. You can just reach out and touch them!! If you want you can stroll the alpine flower walk or just go back down to resume the stroll downhill to Gimmelwald. The stroll through flower meadows to Gimmelwald is lovely, rural yet fully paved on a road only used very occasionally by small farm vehicles and lots by walkers. Gently down to the very scenic village. If you didn't picnic at Allmendhubel and you are hungry stop at one of the benches and chow down. Or if you didn't get picnic supplies and didn't eat at Allmendhubel, when you get to the village you can follow the signs towards the cable car station and eat at the mountain Hostel terrace. My wife and I had pizza and Raclette there the last time. A few houses have tiny shops inside for local cheese or sausage or souvenirs - one little shop is on the honour plan - and make your way to the cable car. Up back to Muerren or possibly all the way up; or over the edge and down to the valley - your choice. A perfect half or 3/4 day in Lauterbrunnen Valley. Happy planning.
If you can, budget two whole days. I can think of few bigger let-downs than losing your one day in the Alps to bad weather.
Thank you all! Your advice has been SUPER helpful, I really appreciate it. I'm so excited! :)
I strongly second Larry's advice! The only modification I would make is to pass on Schilthorn if visibility is poor. Unfortunately this is an expensive excursion, with not much to offer other than FABULOUS views if it is clear or partially clear. Trummelbach is nice if weather is really poor (as you are inside the mountain essentially so can do in any weather), but not nearly as scenic as Muerren or rest of Lauterbrunnen Valley IMO. Wengen is also very beautiful and there is a path to walk from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen (all downhill, I think about 45 minutes?) where you can see the waterfalls above Lauterbrunnen from across the valley. So you could train to Wengen, walk to Lauterbrunnen, and take gondola up to Muerren. So many possibilities - have a blast!
One more thought - if I only had one day in the area, I would skip Interlaken and Grindelwald (not to be confused with Gimmelwald). Too touristy for my taste.
If you only spend one day in the LV you WILL kick yourself afterwards. I've personally brought 50+ people to this valley and the surrounding Alpine Villages and everybody always says it was the best part of the entire trip. Don't limit yourself to 1 day here...you'll be sorry. PS - I totally agree to skip Interlaken. The best villages are Mürren and Gimmelwald. I just got back from my most recent visit 3 days ago. It's stunning every time I see it.