Bavarian-Style Alpine Inn Nestled in Cascade Mountains
Though it lies in the Cascade Mountains rather than the German Alps, the town of Leavenworth, Washington, looks a lot like a quant Bavarian village, complete with beer halls and schnitzel eateries. In the winter, snowfall on A-frame roofs gives the town's buildings the appearance of gingerbread cottages. And the town’s bakeries, polka bands, and lederhosen-wearing locals charm visitors year-round. The Obertal Inn is no exception. Exposed russet beams crisscross white plaster on the inn, with third-story rooms overlooking the Cascades’ monumental slopes.
After checking into your standard king fireplace guest room, take a late-night dip in the year-round, eight-person hot tub. Thanks to Leavenworth's high-altitude vantage point, the stars appear extra bright. In the morning, innkeepers Hans and Andrea Mulders serve a continental breakfast buffet in the wood-paneled dining room. At the waffle bar, combine fresh berry toppings with housemade syrups in flavors such as strawberry ginger, or sprinkle pumpkin seeds, almonds, or shaved coconut on fruit salads.
Leavenworth, Washington: Bavarian-Themed Town with Orchards and Whitewater Rafting
Located about a two-hour drive east of Seattle, Leavenworth draws holiday-season visitors with sparkling lights and festival decorations before transforming into a mountain town for hikers, kayakers, and fishers in the spring and summer. About 700 miles of trails surround the town, meandering through the Cascade range and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The Icicle River and the Wenatchee River run through the area, attracting rafters with Class II and Class III rapids.
As the area’s center for all things Bavarian, Leavenworth is home to German-style bakeries, bars with beer gardens, and several restaurants with names ending in “haus,” where you can try kielbasa, bratwurst, ciderkraut, and specialty mustards. The town’s annual Oktoberfest takes place over the course of three weekends (October 5–6, 12–13, and 19–20), beginning with a Bavarian procession featuring villagers in traditional dirndls and lederhosen.
The warm weather and fertile soil also make the region perfect for growing pears and wine grapes. Fruit stands teem with locally grown cherries, peaches, and apricots. There are also about a dozen vineyards nearby where you can taste varietals from the Columbia Cascade region.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.