Bavarian buildings in downtown © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Romantic Getaway in Leavenworth, America’s Little Germany
By deviating from the routine just a smidgen, you can have a totally unique experience. Enjoying your vacation in the small, eccentric town of Leavenworth in the state of Washington will give you just that.
Try driving to the east of Seattle via a mountain pass, toward the heart of Washington. After about a two-hour drive through the North Cascades, famous for its breathtaking scenic view considered to be the most beautiful in the United States, you will arrive at a small village surrounded by the majestic Cascade mountain ranges. It is Leavenworth, a resort town that adopted the style seen in the Bavarian Alps region of southern Germany. Despite its long winter that brings snow five months a year, Leavenworth also has clearly-marked four seasons, and is a popular tourist destination all year round.

You will find many places for fishing and other water activities around. © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Leavenworth’s sign welcoming vistors. © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Spring at Leavenworth is full of natural energy © Icicle Village Resort

Picturesque Scenery of Bavarian-Themed Village
Leavenworth had its rail line connected at the end of the 19th century and saw an explosive population increase thanks to the booming logging and sawmill business. However, when the industry suffered downtrend and the rail was rerouted, Leavenworth turned into a ghost town. After decades of scraping by, the town had an idea to revive its economy—to offer an experience of the Bavarian Alps to its visitors. The entire downtown went through a facelift while community leaders came up with plans for year-round festivals. These efforts led to the rebranding of Leavenworth as the best tourist destination not just in Washington, but across the Pacific Northwest region as well.
February is usually considered a quiet month, but not in Leavenworth. The town holds special celebrations under the theme of ‘Village of Lights: Love from Leavenworth.’ For visitors who travel after the busy Christmas season, the downtown stays lit up with over half a million holiday lights. The abundance of snow makes it a paradise for winter sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, and sleighing. Near the downtown is the Leavenworth Ski Hill where people can enjoy skiing at an affordable price, and at a 45-minute drive are two famous ski resorts. Meanwhile, local wineries provide special wine and chocolate tasting services scheduled for the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend.

Front Street Park in the heart of downtown. © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Freshly-Baked Pretzel & Cold Beer Combo
Whatever the reason may be for your trip to Leavenworth, there are some local must-haves. Pretzel, a traditional Bavarian snack, right out of the oven is one of them. At JJ Hills Fresh Grill, pretzels are served with a special home-made cheese sauce and local beer during Happy Hour which lasts from 2pm to 5pm. Order a refreshing draft beer and get a seat in the outdoor balcony offering a view of Tumwater Canyon and Icicle Ridge. Get a taste of jagerschnitzel and chicken schnitzel for your fill of Bavarian special dishes.

Okoberfest, one of the main festivals, moved to the neighboring town of Wenatchee this year. © Leavenworth Oktoberfest

If you are interested in trying out famous local beer, head over to Icicle Brewing Company located on Front Street. You will be introduced to various award-winning craft beers. Find a table in a cozy corner of the shop and order ‘Dark Persuasion,’ a German chocolate cake ale.

Maifest signals the arrival of spring © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Beerhouse during the festival © Shutterstocks

These festivals aren’t complete without pretzels. © Shutterstocks

You need to hurry up in order to finish looking around downtown souvenir shops with storybook appearances before sunset. Kris Kringl sells Christmas ornaments all year round. The shop displays rare, hand-made ornaments from the Ore Mountains in Germany, a region well-known for its woodcraft. There is also the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum if you want to check out over 7,000 models of nutcrackers dating back to the 13th century as well as more recent productions. If you prefer, you can purchase a custom-made nutcracker by a professional wood carver at a gift shop. Other popular shopping items in Leavenworth include cuckoo clocks, music boxes, and beer steins with lids.

People riding in carriages is one of the familiar scenes you might find in the downtown. © Shutterstocks

The river at sundown © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Whitewater rafting is one of the most popular activities in Leavenworth. Photo by Brian Munoz © Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Simple Retreat and Activities Presented by Nature
In addition to having a relaxed vacation, one way to fully immerse in the benefits given by the natural environment of Leavenworth is to try different outdoor activities there. Icicle Creek Road that runs along the Icicle River is famous for its beautiful scenery. Rivers near Blackbird Island, a wildlife haven for ospreys and eagles, overflow with salmon twice a year. Other popular outdoor activities in the area include hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, and golf. Bouldering, more approachable than rock climbing, and tubing down a river could be enjoyed as special local leisure activities. There are also rafting spots. The Wenatchee River is the most popular whitewater rafting venue in Washington, with activities peaking in spring and summer when the water level goes up due to the snow melting in the mountains.

Remember to check out Leavenworth Summer Theater if you want to give yourself a memorable experience of a summer night in a foreign land. The most beloved repertoire of any year is “The Sound of Music.” Without a doubt, it is a Bavarian-themed musical perfectly suited for the natural environment of Leavenworth. A star-studded night sky and an uplifting entertainment experience will round off your perfect day and become a cherishable memory.

Where to Stay in Seattle: LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE
Opened in September 2020, LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE is located in the 44-story building on 5th Avenue in Midtown, Seattle. The hotel’s glassy facade mirrors sunlight and the surrounding downtown area. Creative designs with a modern flare used in 189 rooms and suites were inspired by the beautiful landscape the city offers. Near the hotel are some of the major tourist destinations including Space Needle, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market. LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE is a rising landmark of the city suitable for both business travelers and tourists.

Address 809 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone +1-206-800-8110
February 2022 Editor:Jung Jaewook
Writer:Yeah Joon Han-Mann
Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, Icicle Village Resort, Leavenworth Oktoberfest

Where to stay?

  • February 2022
  • Editor: Jung Jaewook
    Writer: Yeah Joon Han-Mann
  • Cooperation: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, Icicle Village Resort, Leavenworth Oktoberfest
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