Little Bavaria in the northwest of the United States
It’s hard to believe you’re in America. The small town is nestled in the Cascade Mountains, about 120 mi east of Seattle.
The best way to get there is Via Highway 2, which runs north of Interstate Highway I-90 and goes directly to/from Seattle.
This trail is very scenic. In addition, the mountain landscape is already quite Bavarian, which will then reach its peak on arrival in Leavenworth.
Otherwise, you can also take Exit 106 from I-90, north via Highway 97, then on Highway 2.
If you neglect the English language, which of course you can hear everywhere here, then you would think that you are in Bavaria, Germany.
German language is also spoken here in many places, after all, street names are in German, the shops and inns have German names and Bavarian folk music is blasted on the streets from loudspeakers.
Maybe you are lucky and come to the place at a time when an event (maybe even a beer festival) is taking place on the market square. Otherwise, Leavenworth, WA, is always worth a visit.
When to travel?
You can visit Leavenworth all year round, it’s always worth it. Special events are the Carnival in February, the May Festival, the Summer Festival in July/August and the Oktoberfest.
Then Leavenworth presents itself especially beautiful at Christmas: you will rarely find another city that is so elaborately decorated.
Accommodation and restaurants?
Hardly any information is needed for this, as the place is small and manageable.
Come early (around noon) in the summer season, if you want to stay spontaneously, then you still have a good chance. Inns can be found around the market square.
How did Leavenworth become what it is today?
Leavenworth, located in the Cascades Mountain range, is neither a movie set nor the former settlement of Bavarian immigrants, but the result of resourceful inhabitants who were looking for a way out of the threat of unemployment. While Leavenworth experienced an economic boom at the end of the 19th century through railway, logging and sawmill, from which the inhabitants of the village could live well for many years, they suddenly faced a lull at the beginning of the 30s – the Great Northern Railway Company no longer served the line to Leavenworth, which meant that the logging industry couldn’t keep afloat in the area and the sawmill was finally closed.
For thirty years, Leavenworth was close to becoming a ghost town until the remaining residents made the right decision in the 60s: Leavenworth was to become Bavarian-style down to the smallest detail, so that one could professionally switch from logging to tourism. After all, the Leavenworthers knew the Americans loved Bavaria – what could be more obvious than to move Bavaria to the United States? With joint efforts, the residents turned their village into a completely Bavarian village, in which nothing reminds of the USA since then. The authenticity of the Bavarian scenery is rounded off by the Cascade Mountains and makes the half-timbered houses look deceptively real.
Even the branch of a worldwide fast-food chain, the bank, the local supermarket and the gas station were given a Bavarian façade with wooden decoration, a large balcony and flower boxes. Restaurants and hotels with German-sounding names such as “Alpenrose Inn”, “The Enzian Falls Hütte”, “King Ludwig’s”, “Cafe Christa” or “Best of the Wurst” sprang up like mushrooms in the Bavarian Forest in Leavenworth… and ensure that today more than one million visitors from all over the world are well accommodated in Leavenworth every year.