Leavenworth, Washington is a picturesque town located along the Cascade Mountain Loop in Northwestern United States. You can easily reach it from Seattle in under 3 hours. A trip to Leavenworth is like stepping into European Bavaria. From Oktoberfest celebrations in the fall to intricate Bavarian-inspired architecture, Leavenworth will have you singing “The hills are alive!” in no time flat.
Leavenworth started out a bustling railroad town in the early 1900s, but then the railroad was rerouted. Next came the Great Depression which left town leaders wondering how to save their beloved city. Local leaders came up with a plan to turn the city into a Bavarian-themed village, and the rest is, “Geschichte!” or for us English-speaking folks, “History!”
What to See & Do in Leavenworth, Washington State
From Seattle, take Highway 2 for 117 miles (188 km). The route through the Cascade Mountains is breathtakingly beautiful with lots of photo ops along the way!
You can easily spend a day shopping in Leavenworth. One of my favorite shops is the Kris Kringl, which offers year around Christmas decoration shopping! Besides the many clothes boutiques (I’m quite the fan!), we also found a hat shop, shops for pets, specialty food shops, and shops for things I didn’t realize I needed! Come during December for shopping in a what New York Times wrote, “It’s like living in a snow globe.”
If you love German food (and who doesn’t?), you’ll be in schnitzel heaven in Leavenworth! Some of the specialities of the region include locally grown fruits, ciders, wines, and cured meats. Not only are there numerous German restaurants, but you’ll also find many specialty food shops. I lost track of how many local wineries had shops that were giving out samples and touting their winery tours! It’s amazing how much you end up buying when there are wine samples on every block!
Although not on our last trip’s itinerary, the Leavenworth region has over 800 miles of hiking and cycling trails. Rock climbing is huge with the neighboring Icicle River Valley being ranked in the top five rock climbing sites in the nation. Combine those activities with rafting opportunities on the Wenatchee River, and you’re good to burn as many calories as you have time to expend!
Have you been or want to go to Leavenworth, Washington? Please share by commenting below! Any questions? Please ask!
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