Gary Clair


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The little Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA is a great place for a family vacation and to learn something new at the local museums. You wouldn’t believe that one of the largest collection of nutcrackers is right in Leavenworth. Here are some of the best museums to visit during your time in Leavenworth.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum is found right in Leavenworth, and it was once featured on the CBS morning news. There are more than 5,000 nutcrackers in this museum which spans a period of 2,000 years. The museum will guide you through the extensive collection as you learn more about the nutcrackers with a history of how these collectibles came to be. Many are works of art while others are old or unusual.

The Upper Valley Museum and Historical Society
You will find the Upper Valley Museum and Historical Society along the Wenatchee River’s banks in a turn-of-the-century sawmill. The history of the area is preserved among the many exhibits which include artifacts from the local lumber mills and railroads. These industries were crucial to the development of Leavenworth and the surrounding areas.

Cashmere Pioneer Village and Museum
The Cashmere Pioneer Village and Museum can be found just down the road from Leavenworth in Cashmere. The village is made up of 20 historical structures from the 1800’s that were brought in from the surrounding communities. These buildings include a dentist, school house, general store, blacksmith shop, and jail. Explorer scouts brought most of the structures to their current location. The museum also includes a collection of Native American and Pioneer artifacts.

Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center
Travel a little further down the road to Wenatchee and you will find the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. The exhibits on display here interpret the way life was in the mid-Columbia valley from the last ice age up until today. Among the exhibits guests will discover a Victorian house, a late 1800’s farm shop, Native American history, and a history of the area’s apple and railroad industry.

Barn Beach Reserve
The Barn Beach Reserve is located in Leavenworth’s former Haus Lorelei Bed and Breakfast. It replaced the previous Audubon Center and Upper Valley Museum. In its current state, this museum is home to the environmental learning center, the new Upper Valley Museum, and an art facility. The reserve is adjacent to the Leavenworth city park. All combined, this has created a protected greenbelt that spans 50 acres that also includes Blackbird Island.

You’re most likely visiting Leavenworth for more than just a day. Pine River Ranch Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay in the area for a family vacation or romantic getaway.

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