Must Visit Shops in Leavenworth

First off, I’m a guy. Yes, I enjoy shopping, but my shopping is way different than my wife’s shopping. My wife can spend 2 hours in a children’s clothing store, touching every garment on every rack, putting together matching ensembles. She may, or may not buy anything. I walk through the store, look for something cute/funny/unique/exotic/interesting. If I happen to find a garment that says something cool about how much the child loves their Papa, I might buy it, but then I’m done. In and out in 2 minutes, and on to the next shop.

The last time I went to Leavenworth, we spent about 3 hours shopping on two different days. We walked and browsed through a lot of unique shops. I wait for my wife, while she tries to keep up with me.

I enjoy the kind of shopping (browsing) that we do in Leavenworth. Much of what I enjoy the most involves food. When we have the time, we’ll walk from shop to shop and explore each one. When time is limited, I seek out my favorites. Here are mine, in no particular order.

The Hat Shop is a regular stop, especially when we have the grandkids with us. Find the funniest hat…and…picture time!

Schocolat, Fine Handmade Chocolates is basically just one small counter in the back of Ganz Klasse, which is a home furnishings boutique. If you visit Schocolat, you will be offered samples of their artistry. You will find that their chocolates are absolutely heavenly.

Munchen Haus is an outdoor restaurant with several options of the best brats. They have dozens of different mustards and sauces to douse your brat with, along with their warm apple cider sauerkraut. For years, we have selected Munchen Haus as our first choice for dining in Leavenworth.

Fresh Burger Cafe is a new favorite on my list. We discovered it on our last trip to the city. It may be one of the best burger/sandwich/soup/salad cafes anywhere. They have a small inside dining area, but more seating outside on their patio.

The Kris Kringle Shop has more Christmas decorations that you ever imagined could be available. I’m not a decorator, so I’d probably never buy anything there. My wife is the decorator in our house. She buys stuff.

The Cheesemonger’s Shop offers samples of a number of interesting cheeses.

A Matter of Taste has samples of hot sauces, flavored honey spreads, mustards, dips, etc. I especially like the flavored honeys.

The Metal Waterfall Gallery is a shop that I’ve walked through many times, but I always go back. I just find the sculptures to be fascinating enough for another look. They catch my interest as I walk through the store.

When we stay at our Worldmark condos (and there is one in Leavenworth, which we utilize on occasion), we go through a lot of coffee. They used to provide us with all the coffee we needed for our stay, but they changed their policy, and now we have to purchase our own coffee. When in Leavenworth, we make Alpine Coffee Company one of our first stops so we can get a pound of coffee to get us started for our stay in the condo.

My wife and I spent a couple weeks in Russia, a few years ago. We bought a few souvenirs to bring home with us. Gifts From Russia is reminiscent of our souvenir shopping in Moscow.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the shops you’ll find in Leavenworth.


The Other Side of Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth's main street reflects its modelli...
Leavenworth’s main street reflects its modelling on a Bavarian village (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leslie and I made the 2 hour drive from Yakima to Leavenworth a couple Saturdays ago for a family reunion.  Our children were unable to attend the reunion with us this year, so we decided that we would at least take our 2 young grandsons (both are one and a half years old) with us.

We were only able to stay in Leavenworth for a few hours, with more than half that time spent enjoying dessert and visiting with our extended family in a banquet room at the Enzian Hotel.  That left very little time to see the town and wander through the vast array of Bavarian shops that Leavenworth is known for.

We’ve been in Leavenworth at least once a year for as long as I can remember, and have visited the shops there every time.  Skipping them this one time wouldn’t destroy the trip for us.  Besides, we didn’t think the babies would be real content strolling through stores that are packed with pretty little gift items that they aren’t allowed to touch.

No, instead we decided to spend our spare minutes on the other side of Leavenworth.  The side behind the town and down by the Wenatchee river.  The side that I have only on rare occasions ventured into.

On the Riverfront Park Trail in Leavenworth, WA. image by Don Wilson

Leavenworth has a couple nice little nature parks with neat walking paths through them.  The pathway criss-crosses the Wenatchee river over bridges to get from one park to the other.

Our walk took us through Waterfront Park, across a bridge to Blackbird Island, and across another bridge to Enchantment Park.

Our primary focus was on keeping the boys entertained while we hurriedly completed the walk through the nature trail, so we didn’t take time to fully enjoy the surroundings.  I understand that Waterfront park is a popular bird-watching paradise and it is common to spot an osprey or a bald eagle there.  We saw neither.

On Blackbird Island, we stopped to let the boys throw some rocks in the river.  You have to let the boys be boys, you know.  I’m sure this was one of the highlights of their day with Nana and Papa. The younger one gave us a bit of a surprise, as you’ll notice in the following video.

About this time, I received a phone call from my dad, who was with some family members at Krystall’s restaurant.  They were sitting down for lunch and wanted us to join them.  That led to a hurried walk through Enchantment Park without really noticing anything about it.  Through research, I learned that they have a playground, baseball field, soccer field, and trails for hiking and biking.

It’s quite an asset for Leavenworth to have this nice little sanctuary so close, yet isolated from the busy traffic and tourism of downtown Leavenworth.  Though the town was packed, as it always seems to be, the parks were quiet and peaceful with a limited number of people.  It seems to me it’s a nice little getaway.

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