Are you ready for an authentic Bavarian Village up in the Cascade Mountains! It’s Leavenworth, a town that has reinvented itself for 21st Century visitors.
Leavenworth started as a railroad boomtown in the 1890's. When the trains moved on and the sawmill closed, the town declined. A group of citizens decided to take action and in the late 60’s started to remodel Front Street with a Bavarian theme.
Today, German food and music surrounds you, as you walk down Front Street to browse the unique shops for treasures.
In Leavenworth there’s always something happening: Art in the Park, Band music at the Front Street Gazebo, Outdoor performances at the Ski Hill Amphitheater and Beer Gardens and Wine Tastings. And where else would you find something as enjoyable as the International Accordion Celebration!
You really can’t miss a season here. There are baskets of flowers in the summer, fall colors on Lake Wenatchee, winter skiing and white water rafting in spring. If you want to try cross country skiing, groomed trails on the golf course make a great run.
There are festival celebrations happening whenever you’re in town.
Maifest marks spring with traditional maipole dances. Oktoberfest is complete with lively beer gardens and German sausages. However, my favorite is Christmas Lighting. Leavenworth sparkles with snow covered alpine chalets and glittering lights. It is magical!
And don’t forget a visit to the Nutcracker Museum! Displaying well over 6,000 nutcrackers originating from over 40 countries, the museum is world famous.
You can drive Highway 2 the 118 miles over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth on the eastern side of the Cascades. Or consider taking the Amtrak Empire Builder leaving Seattle at 4:40pm for the three and half hour trip to Leavenworth. What ever my mode of travel, I usually plan an overnight stay in one of the authentic Bavarian Bed & Breakfasts.
Leavenworth is fun, friendly and casual.
And remember, this is one place where Lederhosen and Dirndl skirts are always in style!