Leavenworth is “the Bavarian village” in a true alpine wonderland. The village is ensconced in a flat little valley by the photogenic Wenatchee River. Pine forests carpet mountains of the Cascade Range that loom abruptly on all sides, while fruit orchards mantle slopes nearby downstream. Settlement began in the 1890s with arrival of a railroad and logging, but the town struggled during the Depression. In 1965, the citizenry adopted a Bavarian theme.
Today, a manicured park faces solid blocks of colorful alpine chalets. Ornate wall paintings, old-fashioned street lamps, hand-carved signs and multicolored flowers are everywhere. The theme-identity now goes well beyond its origins. Specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, beer halls and bakeries are staffed in part by European craftsmen, chefs and shopkeepers attracted here in response to the village’s evolving fame and prosperity. Richly varied lodgings also reflect gemütlichkeit in town, and alpine grandeur beyond.
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