Exploring Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington is a popular tourist destination built into the edge of the Wenatchee National Forest about a two-hour drive from greater Seattle, Washington.

We made a short detour into downtown Leavenworth on our way home from Lake Chelan last spring.

Modeled entirely after a Bavarian village, the Leavenworth experience is intended to bring you into the heart of central Europe. From lederhosen to Maypoles, cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and honest-to-goodness live mountain goats, Leavenworth has established a unique niche worth checking out in real life.

Mountain Goat spotting!

Mountain Goat spotting!

Because we were on our way home to Oregon, we only spent a few hours in the downtown shopping district. Truthfully, finding a parking spot was not easy. The roads are sloped and narrow and knowing how to parallel park came in handy.

Downtown Leavenworth

Downtown Leavenworth

We visited during an art festival, and troops of colorful dancers were gathered near the gazebo at Front Street Park. We stayed a while and joined in on the cheering and clapping.

Leavenworth Performers

Bavarian Dancers

While many of the shops and restaurants are disappointingly touristy (Coldstone Creamery in a replica 17th century building is still Coldstone Creamery), we did frequent delicious bakery serving a variety of authentic breads and pastries before heading home.

Leavenworth Pastries

Bavarian Bakery Heaven

Overall, the drive to Leavenworth is beautiful and the town is certainly unique. We’d like to come back and fully explore the region’s many activities, festivals, and attractions on a future road trip.

Leavenworth WA

Happy trails! 

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.