In the middle of Washington state, a Bavarian town exists. Unlike the Danish town of Solvang, CA, which was actually founded by Danes, Leavenworth was not founded by Germans. Instead it was a gimmick, created by two Seattle businessmen trying to save the town after the lumber mills closed their doors in the 1950s. The town masterminds even visited Solvang to gather support for their idea. In the end, Solvang assisted them in pursuing their German town dream. Their plan worked. Now it is a busy recreation and vacation destination, with fun shops and great food, beer, gingerbread and ambiance.
The Nutcracker Museum houses over 9,000 nutcrackers from all over the world, throughout history. It was started by a couple who had a private collection of 3,000. Since they opened, they now receive donations, adding to their already incredible collection. (Donated nutcrackers identical to ones they already have on display are sold in the museum store.) It is one of those places you have to see in person to understand it’s wonder. From nut cracking shoes to Mickey, there is too much to observe in a single visit.