Welcome to Accidental Bavarian, your doorway into the beautiful Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Washington. Nestled in the rugged and scenic Cascade Mountains alongside the Wenatchee River, Leavenworth is a gateway to year-round outdoor adventures, culinary and agricultural tourism, and family fun.
Leavenworth is also a city of festivals. Nearly every calendar month has a new festival to celebrate. From Ice Fest in January to Maifest welcoming spring, then from the Autumn Leaf Festival in September to the Christmas Lighting Festival celebrating the arrival of snow play and Santa Claus, and every week in between, Leavenworth is waiting to help your family make beautiful memories for many years to come. Read more about Leavenworth's Festivals.
Our love affair with Leavenworth began many years ago. This website is an outgrowth of that love. It's our vision to create a website that hopes to serve the people of Leavenworth by encouraging new visitors, help tourists get information and advise from other tourists, and keeping other long-time visitors connected to our favorite place. If you're curious about who we are and why we've created Accidental Bavarian visit the Contact page.
Accidental Bavarian is intended to help you find things to do, places to eat, things to see and overnight accommodations in Leavenworth, Washington. You'll find our tips and recommendations and what's currently happening in our home away from home.
You can also read a recent blog post "Who Are the Accidental Bavarians and Why Are They Stalking Leavenworth?"
Call to Artists! Now accepting submissions! Icicle Arts Gallery at Barn Beach Reserve is pleased to announce a new exhibition "Expressions of Time", which will run March 22 - May 5, 2013. Artists may submit one or several pieces of visual art inspired by the title, interpreted in your own creative style. For this exhibit, photography will not be accepted, unless it is incorporated within a work (such as a collage). They will be juried by the Icicle Arts Gallery Committee. Submissions due March 10, 2013. Details and application here.
KHQ-TV in Spokane did a nice video segment on Christmas Lighting Festival.
Leavenworth Winter Sports Club will benefit from the proceeds at the 2nd Annual Vox Docs Film Festival in the Snowy Owl Theater at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Join the ski club Saturday, May 4th at 2pm for the showing of the documentary, "Ready to Fly," staring Lindsey Van and her struggle to become a woman ski jumper.
Together Leavenworth, Washington and Stevens Pass Winter Resort are Washington's Best Winter Destination. Visit the website to find the best Stay and Play packages, discounted shopping, services and dining, and savings on winter activities of every kind. Leavenworth and Stevens Pass: Ski tested, Woody approved!
This short film was filmed last year entirely in Leavenworth. It has been receiving outstanding critical praise and begins to make the rounds of the film festivals after the first of the year.
Ira Finkelstein's Christmas, the movie filmed last winter in Leavenworth, has just posted the trailer for the movie. And here it is, making it's worldwide debut right here at Accidental Bavarian. It took "Best Comedy Feature" at the Family Film Festival in Los Angeles March 25, 2012 and is now touring other film festivals.
Bescover.com is an online directory, with details for over 45,000 worldwide properties. Pamela Lanier's Bed and Breakfast Inns lets clients search boutique properties for the perfect place to stay for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a girl's weekend, or wine tasting tour.
Their best-selling print Guidebook, "The Complete Guide To Bed and Breakfasts Inns & Guesthouses International", is currently in its 27th edition and has sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide.
Accidental Bavarian is now working with Bescover Bed and Breakfast Inns and they are offering a special discount to our Leavenworth property owners for new and renewing memberships.
The Leavenworth Summer Theater box office is now open. The summer 2012 season offerings are the western themed, rip-roaring Annie Get Your Gun, the tap-dancing extravaganza Thoroughly Modern Millie and the perennial Leavenworth favorite, Sound of Music. In December A Christmas Carol returns to Leavenworth. Visit our Theater page for more theater information and links. Read more >>
Congratulations to Cashmere Mountain Bed and Breakfast. Owners Brian and Rochelle Shugrue were awarded the 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award by Trip Advisor. The award recognizes hospitality excellence, and is given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on Trip Advisor. For more Bed and Breakfast inns in the Upper Wenatchee Valley see our Bed and Breakfast page. Read more >>
The rivers are running fast and furious. We found a website where you can go to check the river flows and lake levels before you go out on the water. Or see our Sports & Recreation page for area tubing and rafting guides. Read more >>
We look for businesses, individuals, organizations or events that are extra cool, provide outstanding and friendly customer service or go above and beyond in representing the best of Leavenworth. This time around, we're naming The Cheesemonger's Shop "Leavenworthy. We've been shopping there for many years and wouldn't dream of traveling to or through Leavenworth without stopping. If we're having a a picnic we stop for sliced meats and cheeses and refreshing drinks. But most of all they're Leavenworthy because they're a locally owned business, providing world-class gourmet product, with fantastic small-town service. Shop at The Cheesemonger's Shop for imported and domestic cheese, cured meat and Bavarian products like stollen, sauerkraut, cookies and mustard.
This year, for the first time, Accidental Bavarian has created a virtual Advent Calendar to help your family celebrate this most wonderful time of the year. Come back everyday in December to find a new scripture verse and image meant to remind you of the many reasons we have to celebrate. Along the way you'll also find tidbits about old world Christmas traditions and recipes. Please enjoy this Christmas card created especially for your family.
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Visiting Leavenworth for the Christmas Lighting Festival? The village is decked out in countless beautiful lights. Stroll Front Street each evening under beautifully decorated trees. All of the shops on Front Street are decorated with the beauty of the season to welcome you. On Saturday and Sunday evenings the first three weeks in December, the lights will come on as the whole village gathers to sing Silent Night at the conclusion of the day's festivities. Some describe Leavenworth as a life-sized snow globe. See for yourself.
Check out our Winter Fun Page. We've given you links to winter activities, festivals and sports. We link you to the winter resorts, driving tips, family fun, and great shopping. See why Leavenworth, Washington truly is Washington's Best Winter Destination.
WA State Dept. of Transportation is Leavenworthy!
On an April day last year we had to make a trip to Seattle for a dear uncle's memorial service. We decided to stay in Leavenworth for the weekend. Before leaving we made sure we reviewed the WSDOT Winter driving page. Read more >>
The Leavenworth Ski Hill will open this Saturday, Dec. 10th for Tubing, Skiing and Snowboarding. This will be the first weekend of the 2011-2012 Season and offers discounted early season rates for skiing and snowboarding at $10 per person. The Tube Hill will charge non-peak rates of $15 for 90 minutes.
Operating hours for the Rope Tows, Tube Hill and Ski Hill Lodge will be Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Lodge will offer a limited menu of drinks and snacks.
The Nordic trails, Ski Jump and Ski School will not be open. For more details about the Leavenworth Ski Hill please visit Tube Hill or Leavenworth Ski Hill. They will make a decision about mid-week operations on Sunday.
You've probably heard Leavenworth, Washington described as a "Festival Town." There are over 20 separate festivals throughout the year, celebrating the arts, culture and folklife. One of the most popular of Leavenworth's festivals is Oktoberfest, celebrated for three weekends in October. The Oktoberfest schedule is now available on our Oktoberfest page. Read more >>
Come to Leavenworth to see the fall leaves and be part of the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival. Read more >>
September and October are upon us. Welcome fall with a visit to one of the many orchards and farms in the Leavenworth area. You'll find family activities and delicious seasonal fruit and produce. Pick apples, ride a cow train and pick a pumpkin. For the grown-ups, find a winery tour or make a day of visiting tasting rooms. In nearby Cashmere visit Liberty Orchard's Aplets and Cotlets factory store and tour the nearly new Cashmere Cider Mill Tasting Room. For more on Leavenworth area agritourism check out the Cascade Farmlands website. You'll find downloadable driving and walking maps and links to festivals, fairs and other activities.
When you're visiting Leavenworth this summer be sure to make plans to take in two long-running local markets. Village Art in the Park is the Pacific Northwest's longest running outdoor art show and sale. From May through October visit Leavenworth's Front Street Park and view art by local and visiting artists. The show supports local and community art-based projects and scholarship awards. Fridays-Sundays 9am-6pm. In July and August the art show runs on Thursdays too.
Also on Thursdays during summer, the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market is a great place to sample and buy local produce, arts and crafts, and ready-to-eat food products. Visit the Lions Club Park on Highway 2 on Thursday evenings, 4-8pm. (Look for their new sign!) Later in the summer local musicians provide live music.
Washington State Department of Transportation is Leavenworthy!
On an April day this year we had to make a trip to Seattle for a dear uncle's memorial service. We decided to stay in Leavenworth for the weekend. Before leaving we made sure we reviewed the WSDOT Winter driving page. The spring was so cold and wet we knew we could run into winter-like driving conditions. On this page we accessed PDFs about winter driving tips, viewed mountain pass webcams, got information about studded tire and tire chain requirements, and subscribed to email notifications about specific road and pass conditions.
We had a new smart phone and those emails proved vital. We were able to avoid a 4 hour delay on Snoqualmie Pass and reroute to Stevens Pass (opened due to the hard work of the WSDOT just hours before after an avalanche.) The WSDOT is also very active on Twitter, alerting drivers to road hazards, mountain pass conditions, weather conditions and communicating with travelers. We once used Twitter to alert WSDOT about some questionable conditions at a busy rest area. If you follow them, they follow back so that you can let them know if you see a problem like a rock slide, water on the roadway or a dirty rest area.
We won't travel anywhere in Washington State without connecting with the Washington State Department of Transportation. Because the fine folks there work so hard to keep our roads open, minimize road hazards, and communicate with Washington State travelers, they are most definitely Leavenworthy.
Christmas is fast approaching and in Leavenworth that means that trees and buildings all throughout the village have been strung with millions of lights, the City Park Sledding Hill is awaiting a coating of snow and the arrival of children of all ages. Local bands, caroling groups and dancers are rehearsing and Santa Claus, and his friends are sprucing up fur-trimmed hats. Belled harnesses are getting a final polish.
Starting on the first Saturday in December, Leavenworth begins the celebration of Christmas Lighting Festival. So special that it's been featured on HGTV and Good Morning America, the Festival attracts families from far and wide, year after year. Be there to witness as your Bavarian getaway transforms itself into a virtual snow globe of Christmas Magic. Crowned "The Ultimate Holiday Town USA" from the A&E Network and featured in 2006 & 2007 by Good Morning America.
Leavenworth welcomes you with roasting chestnuts, Holiday Characters, Woody Goomsba, Old Fashioned Caroling and pure simple Christmas Magic. Read more about the music, parades, tree lighting, living Nativity, Christmas Bazaar, and the Leavenworth Summer Theater Christmas show on our Christmas Lighting Festival page.
Check out our travel blog for new articles about Leavenworth and other fun places we've visited. Some of our latest blog posts are about a visit to St. Augustine, Florida and a yummy treat we discovered there, some travel photo books we put together, the Leavenworth MaiFest Awards, and a photo blog of some of our Leavenworth, Washington favorites. Check back often or subscribe to the RSS feed.