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5 Foreign-Themed Towns in the United States

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1. Leavenworth, Washington

Back in the 1960s, the economy of the Central Washington town of Leavenworth was struggling after the largest employer had left town. How could this sleepy Central Washington town be saved? Well, by turning it into a Bavarian village, of course! Taking its cue from another famous Bavarian-themed town, Solvang, California, Leavenworth transformed itself into what it is today. It’s now home to some delightfully kitschy architecture and one of the most spectacular holiday light displays in the nation.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

151 comments

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10:45AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:51PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

I am surprised that Kimbalton Iowa was not mentioned for it's lovely dane community! My guess is that you had not heard of it...so go check it out. *smile* It's lovely! http://www.kimballtoniowa.com/

5:27PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

interesting

7:51AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

thanks

3:39AM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

My hometown is 30 minutes from Tarpon Springs - one of my family's favorite things to do is to take a day trip over there. It's really touristy, but it's a lot of fun!

9:26AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Factual inaccuracy in the blub about Leavenworth, Washington: The other town mentioned, Solvang, California; is NOT Bavarian themed...it is is SWEDISH themed, just as Kingsburg, California is.

3:50AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Very interesting and can be followed up with so many more culture themed communities like all the Chinatowns and little Italy's peppering our great nation. Thanks for a great read!

9:56AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

7:08PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

I'm ready for a road trip, and I know just where we are going thanks to Katie! Thank you for the wonderful article!

12:28PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thanks!

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