Hotel at a Glance: Obertal Inn
Obertal Inn and the surrounding Bavarian town of Leavenworth look like they belong in the German Alps instead of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. The inn’s exposed russet beams crisscross over a creamy-white facade beneath an A-frame roof, the blue-tinged mountains rising sharply behind it. You can enjoy the mountain views from many of the spacious rooms and two-bedroom townhomes.
- Breakfast: Pair rich, Italian-roast Boyd’s coffee with freshly made waffles dripping with strawberry-ginger syrup or fresh fruit salad with flaxseeds.
- Look up: The town’s high altitude and remote location make it perfect for stargazing.
- Grab dinner at the roughly two-dozen restaurants within walking distance of the inn. While there’s plenty of Bavarian food available, you can also dig in to Italian or Thai.
- King rooms: Each one is slightly different—some offer fireplaces; others, balconies or hot tubs—but all are equipped with fridges, microwaves, and flat-screen TVs and include complimentary breakfast.
- Two-bedroom townhomes are spacious enough for families, with two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.
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.