Leavenworth, WA

"Washington's Bavarian Village" and "Bavaria in America"

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Leavenworth! Locals deck the village out in strings of lights. (Credit: Sandra Trummer)

I came to Leavenworth for the first time in the summer of 1975. I instantly fell in love with it and my Swiss husband was working for a Swiss logging company at the time.  I went back home to Olympia, WA only long enough to put our home up for sale, pack, and get my kids’ school papers. Leavenworth is an awesome place to live and bring up a family.

The people here in the village are all sweet and nice to each other and always helping a lending hand. Our Leavenworth visitors are always excited to be here.

We get people from all over the world who visit. This Bavarian village offers an extensive list of activities: white water rafting, tubing, ziplining, wine and beer tastings, festivals, golf, hiking in the mountains, taking a horse drawn sleigh ride, skiing, snowmobiling, and the list goes on. Leavenworth always has something interesting to do and is nestled at the foot of the Cascade Range.

In 1975, the town had just started to transform into a Bavarian village, only two buildings were changed over. I took a part time job in a Danish bakery for 18 years then decided to take a few years off from work. Now, I’ve been working for an Australian store for the last five years.

Brian’s Story

I am retired army and my wife and I lived in Germany for three years and traveled extensively while we were there. Some of our favorite places to go were the Blackforest region and Bavaria, especially the villages of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Munich, Bad Tolez, Oberammergau, Hohenschwangau and Berchtesgaden. We both love the look and style of the buildings, the towns and villages nestled among the Alps and the food. Many of our fondest memories are of the trips we took throughout the years we lived there and the many photos and souvenirs we purchased there.

Having visited Leavenworth many times over the last 20-plus years with my wife, I can assure you that there is little if any difference between Leavenworth and the towns and villages I remember so fondly in Germany.

A typical day in Leavenworth. (Credit: Brian Beaulac)

My wife and I decided to take the three-hour drive over to Leavenworth for the weekend to enjoy the food, sights and atmosphere of this quaint Bavarian Village. About 15 miles outside of Leavenworth, I ran out of gas. No problem I thought I carry a spare five-gallon gas can in the vehicle. But upon checking, it was empty. I had forgotten that I gave it all to someone I found stranded on the side of the road a week before. It was then that a vehicle stopped and a man in his 60s like me offered to drive me into Leavenworth and back so I could refuel our car. He was friendly and full of stories and questions asking if we’d even been to Leavenworth and telling us places we shouldn’t miss on our visit. After refilling the gas can and then our car, he asked us to follow him back into Leavenworth where he treated us to lunch and kept us spell bound with stories and descriptions of what to see and do there. I’ve long since forgotten his name, but I will never forget his kindness and enthusiasm for this wonderful location.