Leavenworth (Washington)

Leavenworth is a resort town located within the North Cascades region of Washington State. The entire town center is modelled on a Bavarian village.

Leavenworth, WA - Front Street



The first railway route was built through Stevens Pass in 1892 and Leavenworth became a hub for the timber industry because of its perfect location, which is right after the steep slopes of the Cascades. The city housed the headquarters of then Great Northern Railway, whose railroad network spans from Seattle, Washington to Saint Paul, Minnesota. The city was in the decline in the 1920s however, as the main railroad activity shifts to Wenatchee.

The city struggled until 1962 when Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, kicked off Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village after their visit to the Danish-themed town Solvang, California four years earlier. Since then, this Bavarian theme has been the main selling point for travelers across the US to visit the area, either just to experience the culture, or as a transit point for outdoor activities in the Cascades.

Get in

By car

Leavenworth is located along the US Highway 2, to the west of the junction with US Highway 97, approximately 120 miles east from Seattle and 180 miles west of Spokane. If you are coming from Seattle, this will be the first major town you will pass after driving through the Cascade Mountains.

The nearest Interstate to the town is Interstate 90, from which you may exit at the US Highway 97 junction and turn left at its junction with Highway 2.

By train

Get around

The tourist portion of Leavenworth is very small and centered along Front Street to the Wenatchee River, approximately a 15min walk from one side to the other on foot.



Wenatchee River west of Leavenworth






Although hotels are abundant across the US 2 strip, families and large groups tend to rent cabins just outside the downtown area.



Go next

Routes through Leavenworth

Seattle Everett  W  E  Wenatchee Spokane
Everett Stevens Pass  W  E  Cashmere Wenatchee

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 19, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.