Written by J.L. Haler
For our anniversary this year my husband picked an awesome hike: Serene Lake and Bridal Veil Falls. It’s just over an hour away from Leavenworth, WA and since we had never been to Leavenworth we decided to stay in town.
Unfortunately, the hike we planned was waylaid due to logging in the area cutting off access as well as my husband healing from a sprained ankle. We did end up finding a shorter hike to do, and I’ll tell you all about it in another blog.
Right now, I am going to tell you all about our stay in the quaint town.
First, Leavenworth is about a 3 ½ hr drive from CDA. Unless you are me and can’t sit still for that long. As I write this I am at my standing desk bouncing side to side on my feet, interspersed with leaving my computer to do a chore around the house……I’m not kidding.
I can sit for half an hour, an hour is pushing it, but can do. And the reason I rarely go to a movie theater is because sitting for an hour and a half to two hours drives me insane. I start getting antsy and then believe it or not my rear starts hurting from sitting too long. So, on trips my wonderful husband gets to listen to me complain that my butt hurts and I need to get up and move so help me watch for signs for a rest stop so I can get out and take a walk. "AAAGGGHHH! I'm going crazy! Where's the next rest stop?!" Lucky for me while Steve is the navigator, I’m the driver which means I can stop whenever I want to. Needless to say, we always add time on to our drive because otherwise I would be bouncing off the inside of the car like a rubber ball by the time we made it to our destination and driving Steve insane to boot.
So, in more than 3 ½ hours we made it to Leavenworth.
Leavenworth is a small town done in the Bavarian style (Bavaria is a state in southeastern Germany). The whole concept of the town was created by the city in the 1960’s. The town did renovations and restyled the businesses. They created festivals and holiday gatherings in an effort to draw people to the once popular town. The idea worked, and Leavenworth is now a big tourist destination. There are huge festivals throughout the year so if you are looking for an Oktoberfest or a winter or spring festival they are a town to check out. Also, of note. They are a fireworks free town during the 4th of July. This could be a great place for those with PTSD.
The town itself is quaint and picturesque. With Christmas lights wrapping most buildings, painted wooden signs marking each store, flowers decorating streets, and horse drawn carriage rides (I love horses). I imagine in the winter the main street is breathtaking. The town is small enough and we had a hotel close enough to the main city center that we walked everywhere. An interesting site were the skydivers in the area. Every day we would look up and see 4 or 5 people slowing floating back to Earth with the Cascades as the backdrop.
Front Street is the area where the majority of the shops and restaurants are. We walked in a shop, Kris Kringl, that has Christmas decorations year-round, similar to Christmas At the Lake in downtown, CDA. However, the one in Leavenworth is a couple of stories. And yes, they did play Christmas music the entire time we were in there. I asked one of the workers about it and was told it plays all year long. It added to the feel of the shop but made me feel bad for the employees. But none of them looked like they were ready to go insane so it was safe to shop. :)
The main strip was nice, but some of my favorite shops were on the side streets of Main and Commerical. There is a nice park area in the center of Front street that had a gentleman singing and playing the accordian several times, and other times was empty except children playing and people stopping to snack on ice cream. The main street is also undergoing some more construction.
One of my favorite things about the town was a goat. The outdoor miniature golf area we walked past everyday keeps a goat. Being the animal nut that I am that was the best part of the walk to the village every day. I’m aware that may seem weird, but I’ve always been more comfortable with animals and in nature than I ever have been in a city. Check out my goat friend in the photos.
The city has too many places to list and depending on what your interests are your favorites may be different than mine. I’ll list some of my favorite places to stop into but don’t let that prevent you from hitting the other stores. There were many restaurants and shops we didn’t make it into or didn’t spend much time in such as a Russian store and a game shop. As, I am not a shopper and have a difficult time staying indoors that much. However, my oldest kiddo is, and the whole time I was there I kept commenting on how much she would love the town and how she needs to visit it one day. I think we wouldn't see her for a week easily. I will also list some areas recommended to us that we did not have an opportunity to hit but did get rave reviews about from others we know who have been there.
Now, I did not partake in any beer or sausages. I have never been able to develop a taste for beer or wine. Give me whiskey or rum and I’m good. So, I can’t give any feedback on the brew choices. But there were countless places to stop and get a cold one. As well as, I am vegetarian so no meat products for me. But, my husband did enjoy the meals he ate. I enjoyed my meals as well and noticed it was not difficult to get vegetarian or gluten free options for those who need it.
Overall, for me. Leavenworth was a cute town. I would like to see it in the winter time, but I don’t have a driving desire to visit again, with the exception of all of the amazing hikes they have around (the hike we did coming up soon in another blog). Again, though, that is because I am an outdoors girl, I’m not a shopper and don’t really enjoy cities. My daughter however, would be able to gladly spend days there roaming the shops. She would thrive in an environment like that, she'd go in and just text me on occasion that she is alright. While I found myself feeling cooped up. There are some nice B&B’s in the area as well. So, it all depends on what you are looking for out of a vacation or trip. Leavenworth was worth seeing at least once. I am glad we went and there is one attraction to the city I haven’t even mentioned yet. It was my favorite part of Leavenworth and I’ll tell you all about it soon. It's what helped keep me sane during the times we shopped.
I love spending time with my family doing all the wonderful activities in the Inland Northwest.