Leavenworth, Washington

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Leavenworth, Washington

You would never expect to step into Bavaria while visiting central Washington, but upon entering Leavenworth in the Cascade Mountains, you will certainly feel as though you have been transported to Germany. Nearly a quarter of the town's residents can trace their ancestry back to Germany, and they have brought that Old World feel with them. Alpine-style buildings line the streets of this gateway to nearby ski areas and wineries. Though the town is small, what it lacks in size it makes up for in personality.

The City

Nestled in the Cascades Mountains and bordered by Icicle River and Wenatchee River is Leavenworth, a town that brings Germany to America. The city is charming and has a predominantly Bavarian feel, as seen in its restaurants, architecture, and people. Small shops and family-owned restaurants fill the small town. Hotels look out over the center of Leavenworth or the gorgeous mountains and rivers. In the winter, it is a cross country skier's paradise; in the summer, people can wander the streets freely, raft the nearby rivers, hike mountain trails, or horseback ride through the Cascades. The town has many special sights. You will find the Nutcracker Museum delightful, as they feature nutcrackers from ancient Rome to today. Be sure to stop by The Gingerbread Factory for delicious, homemade sweets and treats. Check out some of the German restaurants renowned for their sausages and beers. There are several breweries and wineries in the area open to visitors. After you tire yourself out in the city of Leavenworth, head into the Cascade Mountains on foot trails, horses, or with a car. The beauty of this area is unparalleled, as is the hospitality and friendliness of Leavenworth's residents.

Do & See

There is more to do in Leavenworth than its size might initially indicate. The Cascade Mountains provide an idyllic background for Leavenworth and are full of hiking trails in the summer and cross country ski areas in the winter. In the late spring, summer, and early fall, you can go on horseback rides through the mountains, rock climb, bird watch, fish, golf, and kayak down the Icicle and Wenatchee Rivers. In winter, skiing is the thing to do, but don't forget to ice climb, take a dog sled, go on sleigh rides, or snowmobile. Restaurants and shops are easy to reach; nearly everything is in walking distance. Make sure to visit the Nutcracker Museum and take in a local theatre production. If you're in town in October, attending Oktoberfest is a must and is celebrated all month long. If you can't decide between all of the fun happenings in town, be sure to ask Woody Goomsba, Leavenworth's nutcracker tour guide.


There are numerous quaint, local restaurants in Leavenworth. Most of them have a Bavarian theme and feature German cuisine, but there are other excellent establishments throughout the town. For an authentic Bavarian dinner, visit King Ludwig's Restaurant or Andreas Keller Restaurant. Breakfast is always delicious at Sandy's Waffle and Dinner Haus. If you want more fresh, homemade lunches or dinners, visit Visconti's Italian Restaurant and South. Most of all, come hungry to Leavenworth - you'll leave full of excellent food, new friendships, and a feeling of home away from home in Washington's very own Bavaria.


Across Leavenworth are small cafés, beer gardens and delightful shops. If you are looking for a great breakfast to start your day, visit The Gingerbread Factory. Leavenworth Sausage and Beer Garten and the Soup Cellar are great for lunch. For dinner or weekend brunch, be sure to visit Pavz Café for fresh, local ingredients in delicious food.

Bars & Nightlife

Leavenworth is host to many events ranging from Bavarian-themed Ice fest, Maifest and of course famous Oktoberfest to traditional regional celebrations like Wine Walks or Wenatchee River Salmond Festival. Year round there is always something to discover and not to be missed. Highlight of the season is definitely the Oktoberfest when the whole town is celebrating. Of course, Leavenworth has a lot more to offer than just Biergarten and Oktoberfest, but it definitely is the main focal point when it comes to nightlife in this Bavarian-style village. Check out local breweries or wine distilleries and enjoy the evening in one of the popular beer gardens with live music.


Despite the relatively small size, you might be amazed at how much the small town has to offer when it comes to shopping. There is a sheer number of specialty stores which offer nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins as well as chocolates, cheeses and meats. You can also find boutiques with clothing, fine china, and jewelry or get ready for your next outdoor activity at one of the outdoor outfitters.