GP has an ideal location on the train lines for exploring the area south of Munich, i.e Mittenwald, Oberammergau, Ettal, Mittenwald, Innsbruck, etc. However, reading up on the place suggests that it is basically a glorified ski resort and focuses on outdoor activities such as hiking. We aren't interested in any of that and we aren't interested in anything that involves using a seilbahn. Is there anything else to do in GP?
Well GP is a charming town in itself, not unlike most of those smaller towns that you mention. It has a nice market area in the old town, but if you aren't interested in anything outdoors, than not sure what there is to explore south of Munich. Perhaps Berchtesgaden is more what you're looking for - WWII history?
Since Garmish is a smallish town it's easy to get in and out for day trips. When we stayed there we saw Hohenschwangau Castle and it's sister castle, Neuschwanstein. We also visited Schloss Linderhof. We took the lift up one of the mountains at Garmish, I think it was the Alpspitze, although the Zugspitze is also nearby. Even if you don't want to hike the views going up the lift and at the top were beautiful. If we had been there longer we probably would have also visited one of the nearby abbeys. I don't remember Garmish-Partenkirchen being an exceptionally picturesque town, though. I was probably reacting to the ski resort in summer feel outside the city center.
Since Garmish a smallish town it's easy to get in and out for day trips. When we stayed there we saw Hohenschwangau Castle and it's sister castle, Neuschwanstein. We also visited Schloss Linderhof. "
Originally we were going to Neuschwanstein. But after reading about what a horrible tourist trap it is, it's in our avoid file.
" I think it was the Alpspitze, although the Zugspitze is also nearby. Even if you don't want to hike the views going up the lift and at the top were beautiful."
We said that we aren't going anywhere on a Seilbahn.
"We aren't interested in any of that"
What are you interested. You can shop and dine in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. There are buildings with muraled walls, like in Oberammergau. If you want to go up on the mountain for the view, but don't want to go on a Seilbahn (cable car), there is a cog railroad the goes up the mountain and through a tunnel to the back side of the Zugspitze. Sonnalpin is a lodging/restaurant complex there, a few hundred meters below the summit, with a view of the ski slpes and Tyrolean mountain range to the south of the Zugspitze.
The Partnachklamm? OK, it is outdoors, but it's a fairly easy walk unless you have mobility problems.
As the others mentioned, it is a very attractive town in and of itself. A few areas are a bit modern, but most of it features the typical southern Bavarian chalet and Baroque architecture. As mentioned, that means lots of colorful murals. You are correct, though, in that the main attractive of the town is it's proximity to the glory of the Alps. But the same goes for Mittenwald, Innsbruck, Ettal and Oberammergau.
Originally we were going to Neuschwanstein. But after reading about what a horrible tourist trap it is, it's in our avoid file. It's no more of a tourist trap than any other castle or palace in Germany. It just happens to be more famous and as such, it gets far more visitors. Some people may disagree, but I think it's a fascinating look into the mind of one of Europe's strangest monarchs of recent centuries.
Interested in the Casino? It's fairly modern and in the middle of town. We use Garmisch as a base to travel to the other small towns in the area and rest up from the large cities...
I think it would be very helpful if the poster would let everyone know what interests them. It may be easier to suggest a town that may fit your likes.
If you don't want to do things outdoors in area where the vast majority of what people do is outdoors it cuts down on what you can be offered.
The one unique attraction of the area is the Zugspitze, with the train up one side and the lift up the other. If you need to stay at the bottom you will be limited to seeing it in passing.
I much prefer, if just walking around, Oberammergau with the wood carving studios and shops. Or does walking around a small town count as too much outdoors?
More information from you 1smithee yields custom made answers. Vague questions yield cookie cutter responses.
Mittenwald, near GP, is a charming town with an interesting violin museum and enough to keep you occupied for a day. But, GP and the surrounding area is mostly centered on outdoors. Would you rather be in Salzburg?