Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A visit to Leavenworth....Washington, that is

For several years now, the Chamber of Commerce of Leavenworth, Washington, has been sending us brochures of what is happening in this community.  It has always been a wish to travel to Leavenworth to enjoy this town for ourselves.  There is virtually some sort of fest going on each month of the year.

Leavenworth was incorporated in 1906.  A timber community, the Great North Railroad was located there since the 1900's.  The railroad relocated in the 1920's and this greatly affected the economy of the town.

Leavenworth struggled until 1962 when a committee was formed to transfer the city into a so-called Bavarian village.  The population of this town in 2009 was 2347 people.

The homes and businesses are painted and decorated almost exactly like what you would find in Germany, in Bavaria.  The whole town atmosphere is very German.  We were a little disappointed in the wines.  There are quite a few wineries in this area, and tasting rooms which let you sample before buying.  For us, the wines did not meet expectation.  We are disappointed though did buy a bottle of dessert wine which went well with the apricot tart I baked.  

Oh yes, we came back with close to 10 pounds of beautiful apricots.  Some went into the tart and the others into a "gourmet" jam that is still in production.  You will have to come back later to find out about this jam.  A work in progress.  

Leavenworth is located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.  The scenery is gorgeous, not unlike Germany.  The "committee" that wanted to bring life back to Leavenworth was quite astute in thinking of a German theme for this town.  First of all the background was made for it.  The people are very friendly though I did not find one who spoke German.  The bakery was closed, but I was told the couple who own it are originally from Germany.  No one else speaks the language.  

Leavenworth is not on the main drag running through the state of Washington.  It is a little drive to reach this village.  But on the way, you are entertained by the farmers.  

How often have you driven through the "bread basket" of America, only to wonder what is planted in those fields next to the highway?  It is always a guess.  Well, the farmers of Washington have placed signs along the road by their fields telling you what is planted.  How great is that!!!  I saw field corn, seed corn, sweet corn, wheat, peas, potatoes, wine grapes, Concord grapes, gala apples, bosc pears, cherries.  The list goes on and on.  Did I forget apricots?

If you have the chance to be in central Washington, want to shop the stores that carry everything German including a constant Christmas season, nutcracker museum, doll shops, and food.  I did not mention the food.

Several very nice German restaurants where you can order anything from bratwurst and schnitzels to sauerbraten and of course....

This must have been close to 5 pounds!  Roasted and lying on a bed of sauerkraut, rot kraut and spaetzle. Along with a beer, it was a good German meal.  

I will draw the winner of my anniversary giveaway tonight and share with all in the morning.


  1. What a pretty town and that last photo of the food makes my mouth water, We had German butchers in S.Africa and their meat and sausages were simply the best. Strange that nobody speaks German!
    The idea of signs is a fantastic one. I hate driving through farmland and not recognising what the crops are. Diane

  2. I had to pour myself another cup of coffee for my delightful visit with you this morning! Lovely photos.


  3. Okay, I'm showing my ignorance here, what's Schweinshaxe? Five pounds sounds like it must be very good. I tend to go with the more is better adage on good foods. LOL!

    Very interesting that this town determined to recreate itself to be a mini-stateside visit to Germany.

    Enjoyed the visit! blessings ~ tanna

  4. What a lovely day trip, Susan. Towns like this are always enchanting. I hope the food was as good as it looks. Well-made German fare is delicious.I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. This is a beautiful place specially during the Holiday seasons!!! I was in seattle for almsot 2 years and this was 1 place we used to always visit!!!!

  6. Enjoyed this and how interesting. Even before I read it I thought of Bavaria in Southern Germany.

    Hope you do get to the UK and yes I'll give you ideas. You may even get to come this way.

  7. Schweinehaxe after a good Leberknudel soup is The Great Dane's fantasy meal. I'll have to show him that photo!

  8. Leavenworth is so beautiful. You got to see it at the perfect time of year. There is a lovely campground in the area where we used to go when my children were little. I'm happy to read that the food was good.

  9. For Tanna, that is a roasted pork hock. And for the Great Dane, the liver dumpling soup does sound wonderful. It has been a long time since I enjoyed that.

  10. How interesting this is, Susan. My favorite German restaurants (in the USA) are in Milwaukee, though it is by no means any longer the German city that matches my grandmother's memories of growing up their in the late 1890s and early 1900s, alas. (And I've never been to the Amana colonies.)

  11. Oh, Leavenworth definitely looks like Germany. I've never heard of the town but can see it would be great to visit because of the scenery. The Schweinshaxe looks delicious and reminds me of some of the great German restaurants around here.

  12. Anonymous10:08 AM

    I was interested in what the Levenworth trip was like. Kind of an interesting story to get everyone to buy into the German theme and yet not speak the language. But cool none the less. Does it bring in tourists? I think it sounds like a visit is worth it.
    Laurie-- processing a new day

  13. This was such a nice tour; love that you include many intersting facts. Another part of your country that I have never heard about. German food speaks to my soul.

  14. My husband and I went a few years back the day after Thanksgiving...I had been many times growing up in Olympia but my husband had not. we had so much fun and loved every minute of the town and the food.

  15. Thanks for sharing your visit to Leavenworth. I haven't been there in many years. It is a fun little town. Oh I would love to get some apricots too.