The advantage of living in a big country is having so many places to travel. Earlier this year, I stopped in Ellensburg, WA for a bit, looking around. I vowed I would be back to explore to my heart’s content, and let others know of this beautiful area. With many events scheduled this winter, Ellensburg is a wonderful place to take a holiday, family and all.
Seasonal festivities begin November 20, when the Kittitas County Farmers Market has a Holiday Market. This will be a great time to get unique gifts for friends and family, and join others searching for something special.
The following week, on the 26th and 27th, ” Moments to Remember Holiday Events” presents a cookie scavenger hunt, the downtown lighting ceremony, parades, and a chance to get your child’s picture taken with Santa.
Between November 20th and December 5th Central Washington University (CWU) hosts many musical events. Check the college website here for further information. Some of the people I spoke with mentioned CWU Jazz is great to see and hear. On December 10th, they will perform the Nutcracker.
Self-guided tours are fun for those who like to go at their own pace. Two of these are the First Friday Artwalk on December 3rd, and on December 4th the First Saturday Birdwalk. I’ve been assured there’s a great turnout for these events, so anyone participating should have a great time.
A recently introduced event, the Ellensburg Winterhop Brewfest, is returning January 15, 2011. Running from noon to 5 pm, the Brewfest is spread about the downtown area in ten or more locations. About 20 Northwest Breweries are expected to participate. Contact the Chamber of Commerce (609 N Main St, Ellensburg, WA 98926; 888-925-2204) for further information. Last year it sold out more than a week in advance. Several thousand people attended the festivities.
In the event you are unable to stop by Ellensburg this winter, make the city part of your vacation plans next year. Following are activities to plan on seeing while you are there.
Sightseeing and shopping
Children’s Activity Museum (C.A.M.) (118 E 4th Ave, 509-925-6789, Wed, Fri & Sat 10 -5; Thurs 12 – 7) is fun for families. Everyone learns something, and the kids can relax and play. Parents are encouraged to interact with their children. For information, visit their website here.
The Pine Street Mall (413 N Pine St, 509-962-4104) is open seven days a week. It features Country & Western décor, jewelry, and handbags. There’s also an Avon store, Scentsy products (such wonderful candles), beauty shop, outlet store, and antiques.
I’ve nicknamed the following group the “Pearl Street Extravaganza.” Each one is close to another, giving the visitor an opportunity to make the most of a temporary stop on the way to somewhere else.
The Clymer Museum of Art (416 N Pearl St, 509-962-6416, winter hours: M – F 10 – 5, Sat 10 -4, Sun 12 -4) has been open for more than twenty years. It features the work of John Clymer, whose paintings captured the American West, in addition to hosting new exhibits on a regular basis. An added plus is the gift shop, and the fact that admission is free to the public. To see some of Mr. Clymer’s work, please visit here.
Pearl Street Books & Gifts (421 N Pearl St, 509-925-5678) has a great selection of best sellers, non-fiction, and children’s books. I enjoyed looking through this independent bookstore. It is interesting to view the arrangement for different stores.
Shoes 2boot (425 N Pearl St, 509-933-2013) features such names as New Balance and Crocs. It’s a lot of fun to check out inventory at shoe stores; sometimes you find the perfect pair of boots, tennis, or sandals for which you’ve been searching.
Downtown Health Mart Pharmacy (414 N Pearl St, 509-925-1514) has a bit of most anything, including sunscreen, lotion, and the typical Rx items you may have forgotten to pack.
Gallery One (408 N Pearl St, 509-925-2670) is a non-profit Visual Arts Center, featuring contemporary art exhibits and a gift gallery. Go here for information on their current exhibits and hours of operation.
There’s a varied selection in Ellensburg. Among the local favorites are Peace Café Vegan & Vegetarian (323 N. Main St. 509-962-9599), Rodeo City Bar-B-Q (204 N. Main St, 509-962-2727), Matterhorn (101 Umptanum Rd, 509-925-7200), and D & M Coffee (301 N. Pine St, 509-962-9333).
Many of the events draw a large enough crowd that local hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and even campgrounds are filled. It’s recommended you book reservations early, no matter what time of year you plan to attend. Go here for more information.
Here is the link for a map. Go here for an extended weather forecast.
I believe you will enjoy your visit as much as I enjoyed mine.
Chamber of Commerce, Ellensburg, Washington
Winter 2010 Booklet, 101 Things to Do in Kittitas County