I instantly fell in love with this quaint, Bavarian village. I had been to Leavenworth as a child, and then again more recently for a late-night dinner on our way home from Seattle. But I have never really been there – it was never our destination.
We took I-90 over and ended up going through places like Quincy, Wenatchee and about a billion apple orchards. After a while I started to get restless and tried to take a selfie with Juneau which proved to be a challenge as she would’t stop licking my face. I got probably about five in a row that looked a lot like this:
While we were all walking around, I could totally picture my mom living there, owning a little shop downtown. I think the thing I was most impress with was the massive flower baskets everywhere. They were stunning. I love our hanging petunias downtown, but Leavenworth put ours to shame.
I also appreciated how dog-friendly the town is. The sidewalks are extra wide and almost every store had a water bowl out. Not to mention there were stakes out that you could tie your dog to while you looked in the shops. We still had someone out with the dogs at all times because of how crazy it was, but it’s such a great idea. Speaking of the dogs, everyone there loved them! Both Shelby and Juneau got so much attention – they were happy girls. There were at least three other Bernese Mountain Dogs in our campground, so the bug felt right at home with her kin. :)
One thing I really wanted to learn while we were there was the town’s history. I failed, but managed to do some post-vacation research this week. I figured a town that elaborate had to have been Bavarian from the very beginning, but as it turns out, Leavenworth started out like many other towns across the Northwest – founded by settlers looking for gold, timber and furs.
Once the railroad was rerouted, Leavenworth turned into a ghost town, and it wasn’t until the early 1960s that the town leaders decided to dress it up and turn it into their very own Bavarian paradise.
It didn’t take long for the town to transform, and created their now wildly popular festivals that over a million people come to see every year. Their Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, Oktoberfest, and the Christmas Lighting Festivals are the driving force of their economy.
I definitely had some favorite places that I look forward to going to again, like the Cheesemonger’s Shop, Copper Creek (clothing boutique), and the Danish Bakery. But the crazy thing is, for a town that consists of what seems like only a few city blocks, there are SO many more places we didn’t get to go. There’s allegedly a brewery in town that we never did find and a few more restaurants I really wanted to try.
I am so glad we camped because we were able to save some money on a room and food, but now that I know how much there is to try, I want to save up and splurge a little more next time. There’s a waffle house that was calling our names!