Its location alone, in an Alpine valley beneath a sentinel-like peak, makes this small town a major attraction (allow a half hour for the drive from Garmisch). Its main streets are lined with painted houses (such as the 1784 Pilatushaus on Ludwig-Thoma-Strasse), and in summer the village bursts with color. Many of these lovely houses are occupied by families whose men are highly skilled in the art of wood carving, a craft
that has flourished here since the early 12th century. Oberammergau is completely overrun by tourists during the day, but at night you'll feel like you have a charming Bavarian village all to yourself.