August 12th and 13th Leavenworth: OK – this was unexpected. Heading for Yellowstone on US Highway 2 from Seattle is a very scenic drive which takes you through Leavenworth Washington. We had no plans to stop but we were instantly arrested when we came upon what can only be described as an Alpine Bavarian village hiding out in Washington State.
Not only that, there was free overnight RV parking a short walk from the city centre so that was definitely going to make us spend the rest of the day and the evening finding out what else this town had to offer. There were also a number of small adjacent RV sites slightly closer to the town and parking of any kind but especially RV in the town itself would have been extremely hard. Top marks to the locals for making free (and overnight) parking available.
The whole town is yet another great example (see earlier post re Chemainus) of a town reviving and remodelling itself to survive and creating a great tourist attraction to replace the lost industry. The changes began back in the 1960’s with a hotel being purchased and remodelled in an Alpine style and has spread throughout the town. The setting in the mountains is perfect and you could easily be transported in your mind to the German/Swiss border.
There was. a band playing in the town centre, interesting shops and cafes and a river walk. In the evening, live music was to be found at numerous venues and we settled on a Bierkeller style establishment serving a variety of bratwurst and steins of beer. Keep it simple and do it well – it was excellent.
Perhaps the oddest attraction in the town, however, was the Nutcracker museum with over 6,000 different nutcrackers on display dating from prehistoric to current times. More interesting or more boring than our visit to the Barbed Wire museum in Kansas – I am not sure?
Basically, Leavenworth ticked all the boxes – don’t pass through – stay and enjoy.