Ellensburg WA

Ellensburg Washington is known for several things. For starters, it is one of the state’s most centrally located cities. It also gets attention for its prolific production of timothy-hay, which is primarily used to feed horses, cattle and a variety of other animals, including rabbits. While these facts are interesting, tourists might be more interested in the fact that Ellensburg features a historic downtown area that is a joy to explore. It also plays host to a variety of events that can add some extra depth to a visit, and the area in general provides plenty of options for things to do on the side.

Right in the heart of the Kittitas Valley along Interstate 90 is where you will find inviting Ellensburg Washington. Serving as a backdrop for this city of approximately 18,175 people are rugged mountains, some of which help to form the Cascade Range to the near west. The scenic beauty and the relatively dry and sunny climate encourage residents and visitors alike to enjoy a variety of recreational pursuits, such as hiking, horseback riding, biking and fishing. Come winter, driving west for some skiing or snowboarding at the Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Area is an option, and the upper reaches of Kittitas County is known for its excellent snowmobiling trails.

As a side note, Ellensburg is home to Central Washington University. The decision to award the city with this institution of higher learning was made by the state legislature, and it was very much in response to Ellensburg’s losing out to Olympia in the bid to become the state capital.

Ellensburg Rodeo

Ellensburg Rodeo
Ellensburg Rodeo

Labor Day Weekend is one of the most popular times to visit Ellensburg. This is largely due to the fact that the Ellensburg Rodeo is in full swing during the holiday. Founded back in 1923, this renowned rodeo is among the best in North America, not to mention one of the largest. In fact, as far as the Pacific Northwest region is considered, only the Calgary Stampede is bigger in size. Labor Day Weekend is also when the Kittitas County Fair opens, so it is an especially busy and fun-filled time.

Kittitas County Farmers Market

Kittitas County Farmers Market
Kittitas County Farmers Market

On Saturdays from May to October, Ellensburg’s historic downtown area plays host to a delightful farmers market that runs from 9 am to 1 pm. Fresh produce from the area is in good supply on market days, and visitors can also expect to come across a tantalizing array of baked goods and other tempting delights. Not all of the vendors at the Kittitas County Farmers Market specialize in food-related goods, however. Arts and crafts items are also available in good supply. Local entertainers, the likes of which tend to include jugglers and musicians, only add to the atmosphere.

Clymer Museum of Art

Clymer Museum of Art
Clymer Museum of Art

While exploring the historic downtown core of Ellensburg, visitors might take the opportunity to check out the Clymer Museum of Art. Situated at 416 North Pearl Street, this museum focuses primarily on the work of the renowned illustrator and painter, John Ford Clymer-born in Ellensburg in 1907. Many of the works that are on display reflect Clymer’s attention to the American West and to images that relate to nature and traditional lifestyles. There are also exhibits that highlight the work of some of Clymer’s contemporaries, and it is often possible to admire and even purchase works of art that were more recently created by local artists.

Image: Bobak Ha'Eri (wikipedia)

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