Leavenworth, Washington is city of about 2000 residents, that is a prime example of what a small city or town can do to revive its economy by focusing on tourism when its main industry becomes obsolescent or moves away.
Starting as a logging and timber community and headquarters to the Great Northern Railway in the early 1900s, the town prospered until the railroad was moved to Wenatchee. In 1962, when the town was struggling with hard times, a committee was put together to find solutions and the idea of creating a Bavarian theme in the town was born. The rest, as they say is history. Today, Leavenworth is filled with tourists during the peak seasons.
Nestled in a river valley among beautiful mountains, the area is rich with year-round outdoor activities.
With the success of the Bavarian Village theme, the central area is jam packed with thriving boutique shops and restaurants. There is something for everyone and every taste.
Leavenworth has countless events and festivals throughout the year. Keeping in line with its Bavarian theme, Oktoberfest is the most popular time of year, but the Christmas season is a close second when the city takes on a whole new look thanks to the snow cover and beautiful Christmas lights and window displays.
Whether wine tasting at nearby wineries or sampling fine lagers and ales at a craft brewery, Leavenworth has something for you.
There are two museums in town. The Upper Valley Museum has artefacts and history about the Upper Wenatchee Valley and the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum boasts a unique collection of over 6000 nutcrackers from around the world, some dating as far back as the Roman Empire.
If you are an art lover, be sure to visit the Village Art in the Park exhibit which runs from May through October. This outdoor art show featuring work from local area artists is the longest running outdoor art show in the Pacific Northwest. It is located between the main highway and Front Street, right in downtown Leavenworth.
For live entertainment, check out the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts event schedule at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.
Every Thursday evening from 4pm – 6pm, June through October there’s a Community Farmers Market held in the Lions Club Park adjacent to the community swimming pool.
As you can see, Leavenworth is truly a year round playground with loads of activities happening at any given time.