While Ellensburg is perhaps best known for the Ellensburg Rodeo (yee-haw) and for its Central Washington University– this small town has a handful of gems to offer to visitors. When heading to Ellensburg for either the Rodeo, to visit a friend or family member at the University, or just as a pit stop- here are some places to check out.
What To Do:
- Check out the Kittitas County Historical Museum
This free museum offers a hands-on learning approach to the counties history. Walking through will take you anywhere between one hour to 90 minutes, and has displays varying from antique cars to guns, kitchen utensils, and much more. It’s located in downtown Ellensburg and is open Monday through Thursday.
- If the museum left you feeling thirsty, walk on over to Gard for a sustainable wine tasting (one of the few in the state!) Open seven days a week, this family owned Winery is beloved by residents in Walla Walla, Woodinville and Ellensburg alike. Their wines are affordable, world-class, and local! Doesn’t get much better than that.
- By now you’re probably feeling the urge for some food in your belly, and we recommend heading to The Yellow Church Café. Voted one of “The 15 Best Restaurants in Washington State” in 2017, this restaurant has a full history. Originally built in 1923 and a German Lutheran Church, throughout the years it’s owners has changed- but don’t let that fool you, they are serving up delicious locally sourced, and freshly made food daily.
- Along the Yakima River, just outside of town, you’ll find the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park. Complete with bathrooms, bbqs, a volleyball pitch, trails, and a picnic shelter- this is the ideal spot to spend a warm summers afternoon. Take a dip in the river before heading back into town. Open May 16ththrough September 14th.
Finally, no trip would be complete without wandering the CWU campus. Here you’ll find a hidden gem, the Japanese Garden. Complete with lanterns, statues, a rock garden & more- this is the perfect place to stop and take a deep breath. It is open to the public year round.
Did we miss something special in Ellensburg that you want to tell us more about? Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite spot in this Central Washington town.