Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian town about 2.5 hours east of Seattle. An interesting historical tidbit, the town was originally settled by Germans, however during the 1950’s they decided branding the town German wasn’t ideal with the current climate, and decided to settle with Bavarian.
What the town is most famous for are the Christmas lights which they decorate on every building and tree in the town center. We went on a Saturday evening which was busy and wall to wall with people. A good idea would be to find a restaurant or bar with a view and get there early to snag a view of the lighting without having to fight through the crowds. Another tip is to go during the weekdays and it will be less crowded and the lights will still be on.
An underrated part of the town are all the amazing restaurants and food stalls lined up and down the village. Be sure to indulge in Munchen Haus which has amazing bratwurst and a must try is the jalapeno and cheddar brats. After you’ve had your fill of the brats, be sure to wash it all down with their fantastic beers in the many breweries and bars in the area. The mini doughnuts in a food stall in the middle of town are a perfect and budget friendly desert to cap off your delicious meal.
Most of the shops located have unique gifts, and are definitely worth visiting while you walk through the town. Another fun thing to do with the kids is to take a horse drawn carriage ride. The route isn’t too long so it’s more for the experience of being in a carriage. It is a bit pricey at $40 per ride for 4 and $5 for every extra person, so you can decide before you go if it’s worth it to you.
A few other housekeeping items: The parking in the area is not great so expect to spend $20 for a paid lot and there’s literally only one uber driver in the area. There is a free shuttle on Saturday which will take you to and from the town from Sleeping Lady Resort, so keep that in mind if you are staying at that resort. Bring cash as many vendors only take cash and the carriage ride is cash only.
Overall, the picturesque town is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and there’s something for everyone. We really enjoyed our time with the kids watching the lights, eating the delicious food, and enjoying a few beers along the way. We definitely plan to make it an annual tradition for our family.