Winter is a perfect time to visit Bavaria. That said, traveling to Europe isn’t accessible to everyone. If the U.S.A. is a little closer to home for you, you might want to consider visiting one in the states, because yes—they do exist! It’s important to remember that there are plenty of towns around the country that have roots in German culture, and were founded by German immigrants. Places like Fredericksburg in Texas, Hermann in Missouri, New Ulm in Minnesota, and Amana Colonies in Iowa all were German-founded and conserve their rich heritage. That said, they don’t have Bavarian architecture (either due to the immigrants being from other regions of the country or because of impracticality). They are great places to get a taste of the culture, but if you’re wanting to see Bavarian architecture in person, here are the three most Bavarian towns in the USA:
This alpine village is nestled in the middle of the picturesque Cascade Mountains of western Washington. Expect lots of snow, twinkling lights, pine trees, and warm drinks. The area is ideal for those who love to do winter sports, such as skiing! When you’re getting chilly from exploring the Bavarian town, stop in the Gingerbread Factory—a little pink cookie shop that also bakes vegan zucchini banana bread and sells incredible espresso drinks. If you want a taste of the German fare, don’t miss the Sausage Garten. It’s a really popular spot, so be prepared for a line, but their vegan frankfurts are incredibly juicy and flavorful! Get it with a beer for a truly Bavarian experience in the mountains. Be prepared for cold weather, so dress warmly and feel free to warm up inside the little shops. The town is known for their nutcracker and cuckoo clock shops, so be sure to visit those to admire the artistry. All in all, this is the perfect spot for those who love the great outdoors, all things cozy, and of course—Bavaria!
Located in northern Georgia, this Bavarian town offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Being in the Deep South, this is a great option for those who don’t want to battle heavy snows, but still want the romance of an alpine village. Stop in Betty’s for a PB&J or an avocado cucumber sprout sandwich! This is also a great spot to pick up local snacks to munch on while walking around the town.
Named by TIME as one of the “9 Most Christmassy Towns in America,” it’s not hard to see why “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” has captured tourists’ hearts for years. It’s festive all winter long, with its Bavarian architecture and deep snow, making it perfect for those who love the cold. Enjoy covered bridges, huge steins of cold beer, and German-influenced shops and food all around. Getting hungry? Come in from the cold to Honey B’s Eatery for vegan pancakes—topped with Michigan maple syrup, vegan butter, and powdered sugar. They also have lavender ones which are topped with blueberries, vegan icing, and calendula flowers. Want something more savory? Munch on a vegan breakfast bagel sandwich or vegan gravy and biscuits!
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Photo: Sean O’Neill via Creative Commons; Humberto Moreno via Creative Commons; Christopher Woodrich