Hotel at a Glance: Der Ritterhof Motor Inn
Der Ritterhof Motor Inn looks like a Swiss chalet in the middle of the Alps, down to the gingerbread trim on the lodge and snow-capped mountains in the distance. But it’s actually a roadside inn in Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed hamlet nestled in the Cascade Mountains. Set along the town’s main drag, Front Street, the inn is only a five-minute walk from galleries, boutique gift shops, and cafés serving locally brewed beer.
- Start off the morning with a free continental breakfast.
- Play a game: The hotel has a sprawling front lawn where you can play croquet and badminton.
- Take a dip in the outdoor pool (open seasonally) or relax in the hot tub.
- Go skiing: Some deals include two lift tickets, valid at nearby Stevens Pass ski resort.
- Bring along Fido: Pet-friendly rooms are available for an additional fee.
Leavenworth, Washington: Bavarian-Themed Town with Orchards and Whitewater Rafting in the Cascades
Once a busy logging town, the village of Leavenworth fell upon hard times when the Great Northern Railway Company rerouted its trains in the 1920s. More than 40 years later, locals banded together and hatched an unusual scheme to save the town: they would turn Leavenworth into a Bavarian-themed tourist destination. Taking advantage of its Cascade Range setting, the entire town was rebuilt in the style of an alpine village.
The makeover transformed every aspect of the settlement, from store signs—now hand-carved wooden posts—to the exteriors of every building in town, including local fast-food restaurants. As the area’s center for all things Bavarian, Leavenworth is now home to German-style bakeries, bars with beer gardens, and several restaurants where you can try kielbasa, bratwurst, ciderkraut, and specialty mustards.
Located about a two-hour drive east of Seattle, Leavenworth draws visitors all year long with an abundance of outdoor activities. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes at nearby Stevens Pass; hiking and rafting take over in the spring, summer, and fall. About 700 miles of trails surround the town, meandering through the Cascade Range and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The Icicle and Wenatchee Rivers run through the area as well, attracting rafters with Class II and III rapids.