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Leavenworth Washington Vacation Guide: Travel Tips and Photos

Updated on July 28, 2011
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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.

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History

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.

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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.

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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.

Summary

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!

Comments

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    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      It's so great to hear of someone else's experience here. I will have to check out the Lodge and waterfall you mentioned!

      Thanks for commenting

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My mother, niece and I visited Leavenworth a number of years ago and I also wrote a hub about it. Another spot not too far away is the Salish Lodge and waterfall...also worth a visit. Beautiful part of the country! Enjoyed your photos and hub. Voted up!

    • profile image

      Niki 

      7 years ago

      Love this place, we got to visit when we lived near Seattle. It was so cool!

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Simone - Oh yes, anytime you are near Washington it's a really cool place to visit. Thanks for the comment!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm a real sucker for Bavarian style towns- I didn't know there were any in Washington!! Yet another reason for me to venture north. And soon! Fabulous Hub.

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you all for the comments.

      AliciaC - The town is a very interesting place to visit. I hope you do get a chance sometime.

      flagostomos - I didn't know about the Icicle Junction, I will have to check that out next time.

    • flagostomos profile image

      flagostomos 

      7 years ago from Washington, United States

      Leavenworth is just about 45 minutes from where I live, and I've only ever been there once. My sister goes all the time and she knows the town inside out. Maybe I should take a trip up there sometime.. I could add to your list icicle junction. They have mini-golf and an arcade and a bunch of cool stuff to do.

    • profile image

      Accidental Bavarian 

      7 years ago

      We go to Leavenworth every chance we get. Even built a website to help other tourists find out what's happening in town.

      When I was in Bavaria a couple years ago I took pictures and wrote a blog article comparing pictures and scenery in Bavaria and Leavenworth side-by-side.

      http://www.AccidentalBavarian.com/wordpress/2010/0...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Leavenworth sounds exactly like the type of town I enjoy visiting! The town itself looks very interesting, and I like the fact that there are hiking trails nearby. Thank you for the information. Voted useful!

    • applecsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie Smith 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you all for the comments. This really is a unique place to visit, glad to share it with you.

    • profile image

      september girl 

      7 years ago

      I've heard its wonderful. My brother and his kids went a few years back and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the share.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Who knew that a little German town could be found there? If I'm ever in the area I'll definitely check it out, thanks for hubbing it. You get a vote-up and interesting from me.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 

      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Voted up and awesome - I love the pictures and map.

      This is a great hub

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