Beers, Brats & Gingerbread

You know me as a Seattle expert, but do you want to know a secret? I was born and raised in Leavenworth, Washington! I’ve chosen the perfect time to share this secret with you, because Leavenworth just happens to be home to a mecca of Oktoberfest fun for the next two weekends.

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Picture yourself in this quaint Bavarian village. Imagine the soft hush of the Wenatchee River lazily winding through town. Savor the views of this darling town – nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains – surrounded by tall pines and adorable homes with stylish German design and windowboxes overflowing with flowers. And then? Add beer! Lots of lots of beer! And friendly locals and delicious food, too!

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October’s first three weekends in this valley are filled with local hospitality, German beer and family fun. With or without lederhosen, $20 get you in the door to join in the celebration in any of four music-filled venues. With circus-esque tents and an ambiance that feels more like a younger brother to Munich’s best-known celebration, you’ll quickly see why Leavenworth was recently chosen as one of Fodor’s Top 10 Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation!

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Don’t want to mess with the crowds and beer? My hometown just happens to boast a number of foodie-worthy restaurants, too! Andreas Keller‘s tucked away basement offers world-class German and Bavarian foods from bratwurst and schnitzel, to their famous pretzels and kitchen manager Anita’s delectable apple/caramel cake.
Not ready for a sausagefest? South‘s fresh menu brings flavors from Oaxaca, the Yucatan, Brazil and other South American countries (and their hormone and antibiotic-free beef brings even more flavor to the plate). The sweet potato an enchilada plate (with mind-blowing zucchini-corn pudding) is always on my list!
Craving something sweet? Tucked just a block off busy Front Street, across from the hospital where I was born, is the Gingerbread Factory. Their cute-yet-colorful gingerbread men (and women) are just the thing to be dunked into a piping hot, perfectly-poured latte.

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Eaten too much? The scenic walk west on Commercial Street drops down to the city’s waterfront park and onto Blackbird Island. Take the trail across the island and off the backside, and make the multi-mile loop back up to Highway 2 and walk off a few calories (while taking in beautiful riverside views of mountains and neighborhoods).

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Stay for a day – or make it a weekend – in one of my favorite home-away-from-home spots!

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