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Leavenworth Washington Vacation Guide: Travel Tips and Photos
Leavenworth, Washington is a Bavarian style town near Wenatchee, which is a popular place for skiers, snowboarders, cyclists, and hikers to take in the mountain activities. If you enjoy spending time outdoors during the summer or winter, then you will love this small town with a German flare.
There are endless activities and outdoor experiences to take advantage of, no matter what time of year. The town is surrounded by scenic mountains, clear rivers, and beautiful plants and trees. Golf courses attract everyone from the experienced to the novice, as does the fishing, river rafting and kayaking.
It has a total population of about 2,400 people, but with tourists visiting daily, you can experience the small town feel but with all the shops and activities of a grand vacation.
Leavenworth was originally settled by 3 different tribes of Indians and was named Icicle Flats. The area was known for it's gold, furs and lush farmland. Later, pioneers began to settle in, staking their claim on the land, and soon the area was bustling with business.
The Great Northern Railroad Company set up shop here also, and the town began to thrive with logging and sawmill industries. But once the railroads were re-routed, the small town suffered and nearly became non-operational. For almost thirty years it was a desolate wasteland and on the brink of extinction.
However, In the 1960's a last ditch effort was made to revamp the town, and was created into the German, Bavarian style village it is today. The town has since gained new life, and more than a million tourists come to Leavenworth each year, with each visitor finding their own love for the community. The story is a landmark case for the power of unity, not only did the people of Leavenworth survive their most critical hour, but they endured.
Festivals and Events
Live music can always be heard in any of the restaurants or downtown locations, from singing to yodeling. The Ski Hill Amphitheater has hosted The Sound of Music and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers classic concerts and performances.
During the summer months, they host Art Camps for children, and offer young pianists the chance to perform live at the festivals. If you enjoy live music and entertainment, this town is a great getaway for the whole family.
The wedding venues are gorgeous almost any time of year, and the locals provide great services, and decorations. You can choose to have your ceremony outdoors or indoors, casual or more formal. Either way, celebrating in Leavenworth will be a memorable experience.
Food and Drink
There are many, many great restaurants and pubs in this town, too many to name them all. My favorite place we stopped at was the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where I ate the most delicious caramel apples ever!
Here are few of my other favorites:
- Das Sweet Shoppe
A must see place to stop if you love treats like I do. They offer Ice cream, chocolates, taffy, caramel corn and cotton candy. It's Leavenworth's oldest ice cream shop; there's always a line for a reason.
- The Gingerbread Factory
This place has been a Leavenworth landmark for over 20 years. They offer homemade cookies, cakes, baked goods, lunches, including homemade soups and wonderful gingerbread houses. The decor is very unique and interesting.
- Baren Haus
I ate here during lunchtime, drawn in by the authentic looking German decor and wait staff that dress the part. It's in the "Old brick building on the corner" and has something for everyone. Generous portions of homemade German entrées, beer and wine.
I passed this small town on my way to a nearby ski location, but am very happy I noticed it on the way back. It's a wonderful piece of Washington history, and a great source of education and entertainment. The main downtown area is all within walking distance, so you can just park your car, get your camera and lose yourself in the surroundings.
This place has a very authentic feel and the locals are really friendly and welcoming. They act the part, dress the part and dance the part! I am looking forward to the next time I can visit again, and to eat more German inspired sweets!