I lived in Orlando off and on for 10 years, so I feel confident saying I know a thing or two about tourist traps. Growing up in Florida, I always loved the REAL Florida: natural springs, protected beaches, swampy mangroves... and I looked down my nose a bit at the tourist traps: theme parks, cruises, facades. Sure I've been to most of the theme parks, but I just felt sad for the tourists who flew across the country to see fake stuff.
Well, here I sit, in my room at the Bavarian Lodge in a Bavarian-themed town in the Cascade mountains, eating crow. Leavenworth, WA (basically one street) has been fashioned for the amusement of tourists and beer/streusel lovers. Think Helen, GA for the east coasters. It's a facade, but it's also quaint and charming and filled with people who really do live and work here. I know it's not really Bavarian, but sometimes it's nice to pretend.
What's not pretend are the amazing alpine peaks and mountain lakes surrounding Leavenworth. We'll be setting off on a hiking adventure tomorrow and I'm sure my leg muscles will attest to that!