Bavarian-Style Alpine Inn Nestled in Cascade Range Mountains
Though it lies in the Cascade Range 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. A-frame roofs line the main drag, giving 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 reflects Leavenworth’s Bavarian influences, too. 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, you can enjoy a flat-screen tv or venture outdoors, where 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. Be sure to visit the waffle bar, which is stocked with fresh berry toppings, warm fruit compote, and housemade syrups in flavors such as strawberry ginger.
Leavenworth, Washington: Bavarian-Themed Town with Orchards and Whitewater Rafting
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.
As the area’s center for all things Bavarian, Leavenworth is home to German-style bakeries, bars with beer gardens, and several restaurants where you can try kielbasa, bratwurst, ciderkraut, and specialty mustards. The town’s annual Oktoberfest takes place over the course of three weekends, 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. In the warmer months, 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.
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