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20 Towns Like Leavenworth, WA

Bavarian-style buildings in Leavenworth, Washington.

Located in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is a small village known for its German culture and Bavarian-style architecture. While Leavenworth may be small, it’s just a short distance away from many popular tourist attractions, including ski resorts and wineries.

Leavenworth itself is also a major tourist draw. Tourism is a major part of the town’s economy, and festivals and other events are held here all year long. It has a continental Mediterranean climate, with fairly hot summers, rainy falls, and cold and snowy winters.

Just 2,029 people live in Leavenworth, but the village is always bustling with people. It’s especially well known for its Oktoberfest celebration and its Nutcracker Museum. If you’re drawn to the culture and charm of this Washington town, you’ll also want to look at these 20 towns like Leavenworth, WA.

1. Vail, CO

Aerial view of Vail, Colorado.

Vail has a lot in common with Leavenworth. Not only is it a mountain town that’s home to ski resorts, but it’s also designed to look like a Bavarian mountain village. You’ll see strong German and Austrian influences everywhere you look, whether you’re visiting shops or enjoying delicacies like schnitzels and schnapps.

This family-friendly tourist spot also has a large Oktoberfest celebration with live music, food, and more. While Leavenworth is a four-season tourist town, Vail mostly sees tourists in the fall and winter. Hotel rates can be expensive here, with rates as high as $668 a night, but there are also affordable spots starting at $116 a night.

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2. Solvang, CA

Old Windmill in Solvang, California.

Solvang was founded by Danish immigrants back in 1911, and it continues to capture the spirit of Denmark to this day. In fact, this Danish-themed town was actually the inspiration for Leavenworth! While there aren’t any ski resorts in the area, you will find plenty of wineries nearby.

Just like in Leavenworth, you can enjoy lots of cultural festivals in Solvang. In September, the town celebrates Solvang Danish Days, with activities like pastry-eating contests and a Viking encampment. Rooms book quickly in September, but hotel prices are reasonable the rest of the year, with prices from $104 a night.

3. Winthrop, WA

General store and Chevron Gas Station in Winthrop, Washington.

This incredibly tiny town has a population of just 394, but it still has a lot to offer tourists. Inspired by Leavenworth, the town was developed as a tourist attraction. All of the buildings have a West West theme, and there are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy.

You can enjoy plenty of skiing while you’re in Winthrop, along with activities like river rafting, fishing, and golfing. Even though most of the town’s development was fairly recent, you can also find a few historic buildings here, like the oldest legal saloon in Washington. It’s an economical vacation spot with rates ranging from $69 to $171 a night.

4. Frankenmuth, MI

Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Often referred to as “Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth is another tourist town with a strong German influence. German immigrants flocked to Frankenmuth in the 1800s, and many of their ancestors still speak German to this day. You won’t find skiing in Frankenmuth, but you will find lots of Bavarian-inspired buildings.

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While you can find lots of German shops and restaurants if you explore the town on foot, you can see even more of Frankenmuth if you go on a carriage tour! If you’d prefer to stay indoors, you’ll find indoor water parks nearby! The average hotel price on weeknights is $122, while the average price on weekends is $171.

5. North Conway, NH

Picturesque mountain view in North Conway, NH.

North Conway is popular ski town that offers some of the same charm you’ll find in Leavenworth. While the town doesn’t have a German influence, it does have many lovely pastel buildings. Some of the homes in the area were built in the Victorian era!

There’s a wider range of things to do in Leavenworth; North Conway is all about skiing. In fact, there are more than a dozen ski resorts in the area. Hotel prices are highest here during the winter, but rooms range from $80 to $224 on average.

6. Pella, IA

Tulip Time Festival Parade in Pella, Iowa.

This small town, which was once home to Wyatt Earp, is filled with Dutch-themed buildings. Tulip festivals are a major event in the Netherlands, and that’s true of this town as well. Tourists flock to Pella when the tulip festival is held in early May.

Of course, there’s more to do here than admire tulips! While you can’t ski, you can enjoy Dutch singing and dancing, cheese markets, and quaint parks. The average price of a hotel stay in Pella is $150 a night, but you can expect to pay more in late April and May.

7. Helen, GA

Helen Square in North Georgia.

Helen is another town that brings the charm of Bavaria to the United States. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, Helen is a former mining town that was transformed into a Bavarian village in the late 1960s. Much like Leavenworth, tourists flock to the area during Oktoberfest, but it offers many other attractions throughout the year as well.

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Some of the natural attractions in the area include the Anna Ruby Falls, which offers tubing, and the hiking trails in Unicoi State Park. Families may want to visit Babyland General Hospital, the birthplace of Cabbage Patch Kids. It’s a fairly affordable place to visit, with hotel rates of $57 to $144 a night.

8. Jackson, WY

Street view of Jackson, Wyoming.

Leavenworth and Jackson are both popular destinations for skiers that attract tourists year-round. You’ll find many western-themed shops, restaurants, and bars in Jackson, and there are several museums in the area as well.

One of the most popular attractions in Jackson is the National Elk Refuge, which is home to many elk as well as other types of wildlife. In the winter, the refuge offers sleigh rides! Hotel prices are at their highest in June and their lowest in November, with average rates of about $137 to $273 a night.

9. New Glarus, WI

Buildings in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

In Leavenworth, you can get a taste of German life without leaving the United States. New Glarus offers the same thing, but for Switzerland. This Wisconsin town was founded by immigrants from Glarus, Switzerland in the 1800s, and it still has a strong Swiss influence to this day.

You can see what life was like for early immigrants when you visit the Swiss Historical Village, and you can also hear Swiss German being spoken in many shops and restaurants. Depending on when you visit New Glarus, you may also be able to enjoy a cultural festival. The cost of a nightly stay can vary, but expect to see rates anywhere from $72 to $219 a night.

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10. Fredericksburg, TX

Main street of Frederick, Texas.

 

The state of Texas is known for its strong culture, but it’s easy to forget that you’re not in Germany when you visit Fredericksburg! This small town, which has a population of about 11,245, has managed to maintain its European heritage since immigrants first populated the area in the 1800s.

Leavenworth and Fredericksburg are both close to many renowned wineries, and both towns offer excellent German food. What makes Fredericksburg unique is the way it blends German traditions with Texan ones. On average, expect to pay somewhere between $119 and $262 for a nightly stay here, with higher rates during Oktoberfest festivities.

11. Stowe, VT

The gondola lift at the top of the Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont.

This is another town that’s known for its proximity to ski resorts as well as its unique charm. Stowe is a mountain town with breathtaking views and challenging hiking trails. In its downtown area, you’ll find lovely architecture and a variety of shops and restaurants.

While Stowe sees a surge of tourists during the ski season, it attracts visitors year-round thanks to its museums, spas, and outdoor festivals. There aren’t any wineries nearby, but you will find several breweries. Whether you stay in a hotel or a bed and breakfast, expect to pay anywhere from $96 to $289 a night.

12. Healdsburg, CA

Historic barn in Healdsburg, California.

If you’d rather visit Italy than Germany, you’re sure to love this Californian town. Healdsburg has a similar climate to Tuscany, making it an ideal location for wineries. If you venture into the charming downtown area, you’ll also discover world-class Italian restaurants.

You’ll find plenty of scenic vistas here, especially if you take a wine country tour. With a population of approximately 11,254, Healdsburg has been recognized as one of the most beautiful small towns in America. You can find cheaper hotels here with rates starting at $138 a night, but some popular spots have prices upwards of $475 a night.

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15. Taos, NM

Pueblo Buildings in Taos, New Mexico.

This unusual ski town is located right alongside the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Many of the buildings here are historic, especially if you visit the Taos Pueblo complex, which is home to adobe buildings that have housed Native Americans for centuries.

You’ll find fine art and beautiful architecture here, along with rich local traditions. Just like in Leavenworth, festivals are hosted in Taos throughout the year, including the Lilac Festival and the Fall Arts Festival. A stay in Taos is fairly affordable, with prices from $91 to $157 a night.

16. Hermann, MO

Aerial view of Herman Missouri winery.

Founded by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia in the early 1800s, Hermann has kept German traditions alive for well over a century. While Oktoberfest is the biggest festival held here, you can enjoy many other German cultural celebrations across the year.

When you’re not visiting German shops and restaurants, you can also enjoy the many wineries in and around Hermann. Tasting tours are a great way to sample excellent wines and see more of what this town has to offer. Hotels in Hermann can cost anywhere from $60 to $278 a night.

17. St. Augustine, FL

City hall and Alcazar courtyard in St. Augustine, Florida.

If you’re looking for a city that has the same rich cultural traditions as Leavenworth, but also has warmer weather, you’ll love St. Augustine! This Florida town was founded all the way back in 1565 by Spanish immigrants. Today, it’s considered to be the oldest city in the United States.

As you walk through the streets of St. Augustine, you’ll see cobblestone streets and stunning examples of architecture. You’ll discover historical attractions at every turn, including a torture museum and the world’s oldest collection of pirate artifacts. A nightly stay here can be pretty affordable, with rates starting at $80 per night.

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18. Castroville, TX

Alsace building in Castroville, Texas.

When you’re in Castroville, you’ll find a lot of the same German-style buildings that you can see in Leavenworth, but you’ll also see many examples of French architecture. This town was founded by German-speaking settlers from Alsace, France, which is why it blends the cultures of two distinct European countries.

As you explore the town, you’ll see buildings that look like they belong on the streets of Europe, including the Steinbach Haus, which was modeled off a building in Alsace. You’ll also find restaurants and bakeries serving authentic French and German cuisine. This tourist town has very reasonable hotel rates, with prices ranging from $68 to $159 a night.

19. Montpelier, VT

Aerial view of Montpelier, Vermont during autumn.

Montpelier takes its name from Montpelier, France, and it definitely looks like a charming French city. Founded in 1781, the town has a rich history and many beautifully maintained buildings. It’s a small town, with a population of just 7,477 people, but it isn’t lacking in amenities.

Some of the many attractions you can enjoy in Montpelier include wineries, state parks, and nature centers. If you want to see the town at its most beautiful, make sure you visit in fall, when the foliage is on full display. On weekdays, a hotel stay will cost $140 on average, while average rates climb to $191 on weekends.

20. Poulsbo, WA

Aerial view of Liberty Bay and Poulsbo, Washington.

Founded by Norwegian settlers in the late 1800s, Poulsbo is sometimes referred to as “Little Norway.” You can find plenty of European-style buildings and cultural festivals here, including the annual Viking festivals.

Poulsbo doesn’t attract quite as many tourists as Leavenworth, but both of these Washington towns have a rich culture and distinctive attractions. The Poulsbo Heritage Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about the town’s past. The cost of a nightly stay can be anywhere from $71 to $229 per night.

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