The morning started out with a quick winding drive up into the mountains to Leavenworth Washington. Not to be mistaken with the German Alps, although pulling into town and seeing this Bavarian theme village with the towering high snow capped alpine mountains you may be questioning just where you are.
So why is there a Bavarian village in the middle of Washington state? Tourism has a lot to do with it. In the late 1800’s Leavenworth was a bustling boom town: gold, logging and sawmills along with the rail line made Leavenworth a hot spot. After the dwindle of the boom the railway was redirected and Leavenworth’s hot spot became a cool spot.
In the 1960’s it was decided to put Leavenworth back on the map. The town wanted to boost tourism by creating a Bavarian village in downtown Leavenworth. Needless to say this was not done half-assed. As you wonder through Leavenworth, everything and I mean everything has a Bavarian flare to it
I found a parking spot right on Front Street, which at the time I did not realized how lucky that was. Boomer and I hopped out and immersed ourselves into the “Bavarianess” of the town. Boomer is part German Shepard, so I am sure he felt right at home.
Our first stop was the local pet shop, A Paw Above. Boomer loves to go shopping so anytime I can take him into a store I try to. As we checked out the store we chatted a bit with the shopkeeper who upon our checkout handed me a list of “pet friendly” locations that I could bring Boomer with me to. I quickly checked the list and saw that Icicle Brewery and the Munchen Haus Restaurant, both places I had planned on going, were both dog friendly. I joked with the shopkeeper that Boomer would be pleased to visit the brewery later and we went on our way.
Boomer and I walked around the streets as the temperatures began to rise. Leavenworth appeared to be quite dog friendly with several shops offering bowls of water outside but Boomer was getting overheated even with stopping at every water bowl. I loaded him back into the truck and drove him around a bit in the air-conditioning. It was not the best decision as I left my free and shaded parking spot. After a bit of cooling off we circled the town 3 times before we could find a parking spot, this time not in the shade and not free. Although it was only $5 for parking, it was not located right in town. I am sure if it were during Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest festivities and I parked where I did it would seem as though I had scored a great parking spot!
I took Boomer down to the Waterfront Park off of 8th street to fill some time before the shops opened as it was still early in the day. This park is dog friendly and was filled with beautiful lush foliage. We walked along the dirt trails reading the interpretive signs about the fauna.
After coming off of his swimming adventure the day prior, Boomer stood looking into the Wenatchee river with a thought of ‘how do I get her to let me go swimming again?’. The water was moving much too fast and looked to be full of run off, so it was not the cleanest water and I had to deny Boomer his swim.
We wondered around the park for a bit. There were trails leading all around the park, even a map that gave you the highlights of the trail but I found the map confusing. I could never find where I was on it. It did have a red star in the key to mark where you were, but there was no star on the map. It did not really matter however as you could enjoy the walk along the river and through the forest without knowing where you were.
There were many people enjoying the park along with us from walkers, runners to bikers. It looked like a great park for tourists and locals alike to enjoy. We ate a small sack lunch in the park before returning to town. It was a great spot to eat lunch as it was not too crowded and you could find some shade. Picnic tables were sparse so we used one of the many park benches for our lunch.