As long as Steven’s Pass isn’t snowed in, Leavenworth, Washington is one of the more convenient weekend getaways for people living on both sides of the cascades. Unless I’m mistaken, Leavenworth was once a logging town, that has since re-invented itself as an alpine village in the Cascades, complete with building facades typical of German and Austrian alpine architecture. Many of the restaurants specialize in German cuisine like schnitzel and wurst of various types. Most of the shops are geared toward tourists looking for knick-knacks and food stuffs.
The town also knows how to celebrate every holiday with beer and entertainment, starting with Oktoberfest and continuing through the calendar year, ushering in the Christmas season the weekend after Thanksgiving, then continuing into the New Year and beyond.
I’ve been to Leavenworth exactly 3 times since moving to Seattle in 2004. I’ve seen 3 celebrations in Leavenworth in those 3 visits. These weren’t planned excursions to join in celebration, these were trips to get out of the house for the day without driving more than 100 miles, which is exactly what we did on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
The drive through Steven’s Pass is gorgeous this time of year, especially if you’re lucky enough to get a break in the clouds so that sun shines on all the snow covered conifers. We stumbled onto a celebration announcing the Christmas season this time around, complete with a parade of children and a performance of alp horns. Sadly I left every camera at home as I started the day only planning to get coffee.