The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch is the best family vacation you can have in Germany. It’s comfort, location, and amenities are first rate.
We have been traveling around the world with our kids for 5 years now. We can honestly say that out of everywhere we have stayed, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany was the most comfortable vacation we have ever had. From the hotel to the local dining experiences we had, everything helped us feel warm, cozy and at home during a wet, rainy autumn.
For anyone wanting to experience the beautiful scenery of Bavaria, the adventures of the Alps or the delectable German cuisine, Garmisch is the place to go.
Our visit to Garmisch was not as action-packed and adventurous as it could have been. Matt had a dental conference to attend, so of course we tagged along so we could experience the area as well. Unfortunately the kids both got sick with a fever and a bad cough so our dreams of adventuring through Bavaria slowed down a bit.
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort
The weather was pretty wet during our week. We were warned it can be unpredictable, so we had packed warm clothes. Some days were beautiful and sunny, but I didn’t want to take the kids out in the cold weather so we hung out at the hotel on the rainy days.
The hotel was great for nursing 2 sick kids back to health. Edelweiss is a really nice hotel with great amenities, and the room was comfortable with nice beds, making naps easy for the sick kids. After nap time we would go down to the TV area where they had kid movies playing all day. The kids would watch a movie while I sat next to the fireplace reading a book. All favorite things to do on a cold day!
The pool area has a lifeguard and children’s area with water fountains where the kids can play. There is also a large hot tub outside, which is where the kids spent much of their time. The hotel also has a playground, a miniature golf course and bike rentals. If you plan in advance you can ask about the Child Development Center and their babysitting program.
There are several places to eat at the hotel. The buffet had a lot of options and was a great choice for breakfast, but we tried to eat out every night to experience the local food as much as we could.
For the most part, the weather worked out in our favor, because the weekends were absolutely beautiful. We went to Salzburg for a day, it had clear skies and a warm sun, only getting cool at night. When we went out in the Garmisch evenings, the cold rain calmed down or disappeared completely. Check out our itinerary for Salzburg here.
Although we didn’t see and do as much as we planned, we now know what we want to do when we go back. We are considering this last trip a great introduction and research trip so that future adventures to Garmisch can be epic.
Here is what we found…
Where to buy Lederhosen and Dirndls
When we went to Berlin a couple of months ago, I was constantly looking in every shop window looking for lederhosen. It’s not common in northern Germany, but it is in Bavaria. There were so many shop windows that had lederhosen and dirndls we could have shopped all day! As it were, we were given a list of some good places to start our lederhosen search.
- Landhaus Factory
- Daller Tracht
- Loisachtaler Second Hand
We found that the second-hand stores seemed to be priced just as high as the regular stores. You can expect to pay anywhere from $40-$150 for a kids outfit. The women’s dirndl that I got was on sale for $100. Again you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 for the dress and everything that goes with it. Authentic lederhosen can get pretty pricey – after all, it’s real leather. The price for something cheap would start at $100. The whole family got something to wear, and although it was expensive, we will hopefully all be wearing them a lot for the next 3 years!
This is a fair trade store whose name means “forget me not.” I loved this store and found some cute clothes for myself and for Jeannie, all certified fairtrade and sustainable. It was a nice store with great products, and I loved it!
Places to eat in Garmisch
- Zum Wildschütz – delicious goulash, roast pork and soups, and a must try semi-liquid chocolate cake.
- Bräustüberl Garmisch – Obazda is a great appetizer made from camembert, spices and German butter, great for eating with pretzels and bread!
- Mukkefuck – Large and mouth-watering salads and delicious pork dishes.
- Bollywood Tandoori – We had to get Indian food while we were out of Italy!
If you get the chance to have a traditional Bavarian feast, do it! Jeannie was looking forward to Bavarian night more than Halloween that week – she referred to it as “the dance party,” and reminded us all day about it. It was fun to dress up and eat traditional food. The best part of the night was dancing with the kids but especially watching Jeannie and Royce dance!
Things to do in and near Garmisch
There is so much to do in the region, and this is a great place to set up “home” for a week trip exploring Bavaria. Our future trips back to the area will include a ski trip as well as the Salzburg Music Festival.
- Lake Eibsee, beautiful place for a scenic walk
- AlpspiX viewing platform
- Hiking at the Partnach Gorge
- Visit the historic 1936 Olympic Stadium
- Oberammergau – home of the world-famous Passion Play Theater
- Ettal Abbey
- Schaukaserei Ettal – a cheese factory
- Kolbensattel Alpine Coaster
We are excited to do all this and more when we return. We rode the thrilling and terrifying Alpine Coaster on the last day we were there, and are excited to try it again. The kids sat in front of us and Jeannie hollered the whole way down – she loved it! You pick up some serious speed, but the brakes quickly bring it under control.
Other things to check out:
- Kehlsteinhaus – “The Eagles Nest,” a building on a peak used for Third Reich meetings
- Day trip to Munich, Germany
- Zugspitz cable car
- Day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
- Neuschwanstein Castle (German castles are incredible!)
- Day trip to Salzburg, Austria
- Hiking, skiing, mountain biking – basically all outdoor activities, including parasailing!
- Eat delicious German food
- Roast pork
Armed Forces Recreation Centers: AFRC
I had no idea what this was or that it even existed until a few weeks ago. Take note and spread the word! Armed Forces Recreation Centers are resorts for the military. Just like with any resort, these AFRC resorts offer tours of the area, amenities like fitness room and pools, comfortable accommodations and restaurants. The big difference: they have very reasonable prices, based on military pay grade.
How had I never heard of these?!? ArmyMWR lists 4 on their website:
- Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul Korea
- Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Germany
- Hale Koa Hotel in Hawaii
- Shades of Green in Florida
I would even mention the New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo, not a resort but a nice military hotel that you can stay in while you go to the happiest place on earth, Tokyo DisneySea (sorry, Disneyland)!
Who can stay at an AFRC or Military Resort?
Active duty military and their family members are eligible, along with DoD personnel, their family members and veterans. For a full list of who can stay at Edelweiss Lodge view their list here.
Book your trip:
Just book it! Whether you are in the military and can stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort or not, Garmisch, Germany has many nice accommodations and is an incredible and family-friendly place to travel. You will have an amazing time! We have loved Germany, it has completely taken us by surprise. For more Germany travel ideas, check out our Berlin post.