This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. Skip the jet lag and overnight flights: there are places right here in North America whose architecture and ambience will transport you to Europe in the twinkling of an eye. Here are four places to explore.
Leavenworth, Wash. Like a small town in Bavaria, half-timbered buildings, carved wooden balconies, murals painted on building facades (a folk craft called luftlmalereien), and German food served by waitresses in folk costume abound in Leavenworth, a small town a 2.5 hour drive east of Seattle. Nestled against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains in winter, when over 500,000 lights adorn trees and buildings, it’s postcard-perfect. In spring and summer, window boxes are crammed with flowers. In fall, trees that turn crimson and orange.
Main Street in Leavenworth, Wash.
You’ll think you’re in the Alps when you spot Pension Anna, where carved wood balconies adorn the facade, floral-painted wood armoires stand in hallways and some guest rooms, and a breakfast of cold cuts, cheese and hazelnut and fruit jams is served in a cozy wood-paneled room decorated with Bavarian landscape photos and cowbells with beaded leather straps. Ditto for the Enzian Inn, where guests are serenaded by an alpenhorn at breakfast; floral-painted carved wooden beds and a fireplace are in all suites. The lobby has a stone wood burning fireplace, view of an outdoor heated pool and two hot tubs and a 1786 floral-painted Austrian hope chest. At Andreas Keller, a rathskeller with a muraled interior and an accordionist at night, pork schnitzel Cordon Bleu, stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese, and the sausage platter are favorites. A large upstairs terrace with “fire tables” and a scenic view of the town is a choice place to dine on sausages and beer at Rhein Haus. The town of 2,300 people has dozens of shops, including Ganz Klasse, a home goods and gift shop featuring many imports, almost 20 wine and cider tasting rooms and a Nutcracker Museum, whose over 7,000 nutcracking devices include some centuries old. Be sure to read: Summer travel will be more crowded, but there’s good news, too. Here’s how to plan for the throngs.Scandinavia in Wisconsin’s Door County
Many small towns in scenic Door County …
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