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13 reasons you need to see Leavenworth, Washington, in the fall

13 reasons you need to see Leavenworth, Washington, in the fall

13 reasons you need to see Leavenworth, Washington, in the fall

Video: 13 reasons you need to see Leavenworth, Washington, in the fall

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WILLWORTH EAST FROM SIATLE, through dense evergreen forest and over a high mountain pass, you’ll find a small town with German restaurants, distinctive Bavarian architecture, unusual specialty stores and people dressed in Lederhosen. Willkommen Lievenworth – or so says the big wooden sign that greets you when you get here.

The Bavarian theme is only part of what defines this central Washington town, though. Against the backdrop of the northern Cascades, the region is full of forests, rivers and wildlife, from bears and cougars to eagles and orioles. Fall is still warm enough for short sleeves, but the morning air is a little fresher, the leaves are bursting with fall color, and local produce is overflowing with freshly picked fruit.

Fall in Leavenworth means biking a rough mountain trail, eating a plate of sausage and sauerkraut, floating 190 feet above the valley on a zipline and listening to lots of ompa music. The fun options are endless – but here are 13 highlights you won’t want to miss.

1. oktoberfest by Leavenworth – “the next best thing to Munich”…

Leavenworth Oktoberfest.

Leavenworth Oktoberfest

Photo: Icicle TV

Any German village worth its salt knows to turn it up during Oktoberfest. In Leavenworth, that means watching the town’s mayor tap the keg in a traditional ceremony before heading out for live music (from German bands), sipping icy German beer from clay mugs and devouring juicy grub and giant turkey legs at four neighboring locations.

While a beer-soaked festival may seem incompatible with family fun, Oktoberfest is actually great (and free) for kids until 9 p.m. A special area for kids (aptly named the Kinderplatz) is full of features – like bounce toys, a climbing wall, balloons and activities for kids. The 2017 festival runs for three weekends, Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14.

2…. but it’s not the only party in town

Leavenworth Parade

Leavenworth Parade.

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Leavenworth loves its festivals. To meet local artists and see their work, head to Front Street for Village Art in the Park, an outdoor art show that runs through Oct. 22. During the Sept. 9 Wine Walk, you can wander downtown sampling wine at more than a dozen locations. (Indeed, free local cheese, a glass and live music are just a bonus.)

The Autumn Leaf Festival, the city’s longest-running event, has been a staple since the city became Bavarian in 1964. Visit Sept. 23-24 for two parades, children’s activities, food booths, live music and some top-notch entertainment, including the famous Wenatchee Youth Circus locals.

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3. the atmosphere gets very romantic

Leavenworth Carriage

Leavenworth Carriage.

Photo: Hans Christian Andersen Carriage Co.

It’s easy to see why Leavenworth is a popular destination for proposals and weddings. For an unforgettable experience, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the tree-lined streets. You even have several options: both the Hans Christian Andersen Carriage Co. and the Leavenworth Carriage Company will take you out for a ride through the cobblestone streets under the fall foliage. Not too shabby for a date.

Feel cozy during your stay, whether it’s a fireplace in a rustic cabin, nestled in a B&B or at the luxurious Sleeping Lady Mountain Hotel. There, a couple can book a couples massage at the spa, do yoga together or take a dip in the hot pool or sauna. Then there’s the resort’s romantic package (think rose petals sprayed on your bed).

And if you want something completely new, check out the Posthotel. Recently opened, their spa is state-of-the-art, and the entire experience is focused on wellness. Imagine taking a dip in the saltwater pool, enjoying an authentic European breakfast, and spending the day in the relaxation lounge. Leave the kids at home for that – adults only.

4. Local adult beverages.

Doghaus Brewery Leavenworth

Doghaus Brewery Leavenworth

Photo: Doghaus Brewery

Central Washington is wine country, and you’ll find dozens of wineries and tasting rooms around Leavenworth. Boudreaux and Eagle Creek Cellars have tasting rooms on Front Street, but their wooden wineries are worth a visit (Boudreaux requires an appointment). To feel like a movie star, take a limo tour of local wineries.

For beer, check out Leavenworth’s many beer gardens, breweries and bars. At Icicle Brewing Company, you can take a weekend brewery tour or mingle in the tasting room where you can sample local lagers and ales. If you’re traveling with your dog, Doghaus Brewery allows you to have a cold drink with your pup on their 9th Street.

The distillery situation is also strong in these parts. Head to the tasting room at Blue Spirits Distilling to sample gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey produced from local glacial waters. If a sip of cucumber vodka, buttered rum or cherry whiskey doesn’t please you, there’s nothing you can do about it.

5. Leavenworth’s only specialty stores are good for hours of browsing

Leavenworth street shopping

Leavenworth street shopping

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Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

You need a new cuckoo clock. A chic hat. An old-fashioned music box. A bath care package and vintage 70s memorabilia. A board game you vaguely remember from your childhood. Because who doesn’t need all that? Downtown Leavenworth has many stores you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

“The Wood Shop & Hat Shop is a two-for-one offering: first look at puzzles, games and classic handmade toys, and in the second browse through newspaper hats, cylinders and fluffy creations. Then go down the road to pick up beer mugs or cuckoo clocks at Alpen Haus Gifts or browse the huge selection of music boxes at Die Musik Box. Make your trip even more international with items at Jubilee Global Gifts, and don’t leave until you smell the smells at Bubblery – everything is handmade, from perfumes and soaps to candles and lotions.

One of Leavenworth’s best features: even the most familiar companies have updated logos and signs in classic Germanic fonts. Ubiquitous businesses like Starbucks, Wells Fargo and McDonald’s have never looked so appealing.

6. You can hike or bike along beautiful fall trails

Leavenworth fall trees foliage

Leavenworth fall trees foliage

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

In Leavenworth, the best way to work off that German food (or German beer) is to hit the road. If you’re traveling with the family, Hidden Lake is a great choice. It’s 1, 5 miles of easy terrain studded with huge ponderosa pines. Go a little longer and hike the 12, 5-mile trail at Spider Meadows – you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re not actually in the Alps.

There are also plenty of biking options here. For a leisurely ride, head to the Blackbird Island Trail at Waterfront Park – just watch the fish jump. Freund’s Canyon or Devil’s Gorge are good choices for the more serious cyclist. If you haven’t packed your bike, you can rent one in town at Arlberg Sports Haus and Der Sportsmann.

7. Freshly picked local produce is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted

Leavenworth farmers market

Leavenworth farmers market

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Local orchards bring in millions of apples and pears every fall. The community farmers market at Lions Club Park is open every Thursday night through October, and it’s worth a wander to check out a bunch of fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Along the road in Peshastin is Smallwood Harvest, where you can catch the tail end of summer peaches, catch some Bartlett pears, pick a pumpkin, or choose from all kinds of apples – Braeburn, Criterion, Rome Beauty and Winter Banana – all in season. Bring the whole family for this one because the kids will love the cow train rides, petting zoo, moving games and puppet shows.

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8. German food is legal …

Andreas Keller Leavenworth restaurant beer

Andreas Keller Leavenworth restaurant beer

Photo: Andreas Keller Restaurant

Bratwurst. Sauerkraut. Schnitzel. You can spend days sampling Bavarian dishes in Leavenworth and never eat the same thing twice.

In the wooden booth at Andreas Keller, spread Bavarian mustard on a warm pretzel and choose from eight kinds of sausages. At Viscontis Sausage Garten, the sausages are made next door (using local ingredients) at Cured. All are gluten-free and taste great with spicy German potato salad. And since there’s no such thing as too much sausage, head to Munich Haus for fried Bavarian sausage paired with a spicy cider apple kraut. The currywurst, beer and traditional sausage ⅓-pounders are outstanding.

9…. but even if you don’t like goats and sauerkraut, you’re still in luck

Leavenworth dining

Leavenworth dining.

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Leavenworth has exploded in recent years when it comes to culinary options. At Alley Cafe, for example, you’ll find its Italian option and then some more, like steamed crab dumplings, followed by medium black bean ravioli. For a sense of this farmer’s market, Watershed Cafe is where all the local produce – Washington apples, Oregon tenderloins, pesto-crusted cod – comes across.

But don’t fill up. Head to Soup Cellar, where you’ll find a salad bar and homemade soups (they also serve plain prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights, which you can eat). At The Loft, it’s nachos, gourmet burgers and meat sandwiches. If you’re adventurous, try the signature Canadian-Bavarian fusion dish: poutine with sausage. Because you can’t stay away from sausage for long here.

10. You can substitute candy store, gourmet store, candy store …

BRANDED CONTENT DO NOT REUSE

BRANDED CONTENT DO NOT REUSE

Photo: Oil and Vinegar Fudge Hut

At Fudge Hut, you can choose from dozens of flavors from the classic (chocolate walnut) to the slightly unusual (tiger butter). When you’re done, head to Schocolat, a gourmet boutique where you’ll find gluten-free, handmade chocolates with ingredients like dried local pears, cinnamon liqueur and freshly roasted coffee beans. If you’re craving baked goods, head to the Bavarian Bakery – the owner (and regular baker) is from Germany, so it’s homemade and authentic. And then there’s Homefires Bakery, where you’ll find the best pies in town. (Yes, the pies are suitable for hand luggage.)

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As for snacks, check out Cheesemonger’s Shop and browse sausages, German beers and all things cheesy – hard, soft, smoked, grass-fed and more. Finish your gourmet tour at the Oil & Vinegar Cellar, where you can explore dozens of oils and vinegars that are perfect for dressing salads and spreading on soups.

11. Inspired by German entertainment, you’ll be transported across the Atlantic

Folk Band Leavenworth

Folk Band Leavenworth

Photo: Jessica Thomsen for AlpenFolk

Like any Bavarian village where people regularly wear Lederhosen, Leavenworth is full of enthusiastic artists. Local festivals-especially Oktoberfest-are hotbeds of yodeling, polka, folk dancing and omp music. Local favorites include the German polka group Musikkapelle, the German/Austrian folk dance group Edelweiss Tanzgruppe and the Austrian folk quartet AlpenFolk.

Even if you can’t make it to the festival, there are entertainment programs at several locations. Andreas Keller, Der Hinterhof, Bavarian Bistro and Bar, Wok About Grill and The Loft regularly play live music.

12. fall is still an adventurous season

Leavenworth zipline outdoors

Leavenworth zipline outdoors

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

Fall may fall between summer rafting season and winter northern skiing and snowmobiling season, but there’s still plenty of adventure to be had. Climbers can book a lesson or guided climb at the Northwest Mountain School. For some ziplining, head to Ziplines Leavenworth, open during October, and fly through the air suspended nearly 200 feet above forest level, conquering up to nine ziplines and a suspension bridge.

You can also ride in the Cascades on horseback with outfitters and icicle guides or along the forest trail at Eagle Creek Ranch. Red Tail Canyon Farm offers high rides through nearby meadows and into Red Tail Canyon, topped off with a hillside barbecue dinner.

13. And, of course, the slopes are ablaze with the bright colors of fall

Wenatchee River Autumn Leavenworth

Wenatchee River Autumn Leavenworth.

Photo: Brian Munoz

Every fall, deciduous trees in and around Leavenworth are teeming with fiery red, orange, and yellow flowers. As you explore, you’ll see colorful cottonwood trees, maples, and blueberry bushes. A tour of the Charas to observe the glowing alpine larch is the perfect way to see the fall colors. Or head to Waterfront Park for a 360-degree view of the foliage.

No matter what you see, no matter what you do, one thing is clear: Leavenworth is an incredible trip in the fall.

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Fall color palette

Fall color palette

The color palette of fall is varied. It can include cozy combinations of rich warm hues, contrasts impossible in summer, or it can convey the melancholy of fading. Autumn combinations of colors can be simply admired. And someone can use them in autumn compositions, help to choose color of clothes or decorate an interior.

The color palette of autumn is associated with.

First of all, the color palette of autumn in the inhabitants of the northern latitudes is associated with the changed color and fallen leaves. Such palettes can include a range of related shades.

But that’s not all. Autumn means deep water and pale blue skies, sunrises and sunsets, exposed dark tree branches, dark clouds and ripe berries.

fall color palette

Soft Autumn Palette

Early fall can be soft and gentle. Light sky and delicate golden hues are very appropriate here.

fall's soft palette fall's soft palette

Cold blue skies

The understated beauty of cool sky blue is beautifully complemented by fall colors

cold blue skies

Dark and warm colors in the fall palette

Dark colors add expression and create a great contrast to the radiant shades of yellow. Very striking combinations.

fall color palette fall color palette

Dark and warm colors in the fall clothing palette

Contrasting palette with the inclusion of dark blue

Deep blue perfectly complements the fall orange and yellow shades.

fall color palette

Autumn palette with deep blue in clothes

A sophisticated dark turquoise addition

Also a great addition to the fall palette is dark turquoise:

fall color palette fall palette

Winter is getting closer. Cold Deep Autumn Palettes

And cold deep fall has its own modest charm and nobility, too. Such a palette approaches the cold and understated winter combinations.

Cool fall color palettes Cool fall color palettes fall palette fall palette

Bright accent.

The late fall palette contains a spectacular contrast of cool shadows, pale skies and bright fall accents

fall palette fall palette

Don’t forget the pink.

The understated pastel palette of late fall fits perfectly with delicate shades of pink.

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