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Overview

In the mid-1960s, a group of Leavenworth residents sought a splashy strategy to attract people to this former logging and mining town on the Great Northern rail line. Drawing on the spectacular natural setting, they recreated Leavenworth as a Bavarian theme town. With its Mitteleuropa architecture, Oktoberfest celebration, and shops hawking everything from nutcrackers to cuckoo clocks, Leavenworth has become a significant theme-based destination. Dozens of restaurants with waitresses in dirndls serve weinerschnitzel and knockwurst, and there are enough wine tasting opportunities for a satisfying tour of Washington's wine industry. With so ...

In the mid-1960s, a group of Leavenworth residents sought a splashy strategy to attract people to this former logging and mining town on the Great Northern rail line. Drawing on the spectacular natural setting, they recreated Leavenworth as a Bavarian theme town. With its Mitteleuropa architecture, Oktoberfest celebration, and shops hawking everything from nutcrackers to cuckoo clocks, Leavenworth has become a significant theme-based destination. Dozens of restaurants with waitresses in dirndls serve weinerschnitzel and knockwurst, and there are enough wine tasting opportunities for a satisfying tour of Washington's wine industry. With so much going on year-round, it has become the latest stop on the Amtrak Empire Builder making an easy trip without a car easy whether from the east or west. Beyond the kitsch, outfitters provide gear for nearly every form of outdoor recreation. Nearby lakes and mountain streams offer excellent camping, hiking, biking and water sports for all skill levels. The mountains create an inspiring backdrop for visual and performing arts, as well as luxurious inns with rustic touches. Leavenworth really loosens its lederhosen for a multitude of festivals such as Maifest or the Bike and Brews Festival.

Myra Ingmanson
About the Expert

Myra Ingmanson and Daniel C. Schechter worked together on various titles for Lonely Planet, particularly the Pacific Northwest and Mexico books. Together they coauthored chapters for Lonely Planet's Eastern Caribbean.

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Myra Ingmanson for Triporati

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