Creative Day Trips in Ellensburg
In any season, Ellensburg offers the ideal escape for a taste of local art and small-town charm. Brought to you through local craftspeople, small boutiques, and world-class dining opportunities, this centrally located Washington town holds rich history and culture among its iconic brick buildings and throughout its welcoming streets. Explore the historic downtown and beyond to uncover the history and culture held within the community of Ellensburg, Washington!
If you have 1 day...
Ellensburg’s charming downtown is very walkable, allowing you to explore more galleries, museums, and other attractions, even if you’re only visiting for one day! First, fuel your day with a caffeinated beverage from D&M; Coffee, a local staple that has been serving the community since 1990. As you exit the cafe, coffee in hand, you’ll see Ellensburg’s iconic Davidson Building, which is kitty-corner to D&M.; This colorful, Victorian-style building is a magnificent example of the city’s unique architecture, featuring ornate decorations and an eye-catching tower. Just across the street is another Ellensburg photo-op, the Ellensburg Bull! This sculpture was created in 1986 by Richard Beyer, a prominent Seattle sculptor, and is a beloved tourist attraction.
After snapping a photo with the bull, make your way to Gallery One Visual Art Center to end your day with a tour of contemporary art. This curated gallery is known for its diverse and engaging exhibitions, along with educational ceramic and art studios that create deeper conversations and connections through the power of local and national art. If you are lucky enough to be visiting on the first Friday of the month, you can participate in an art walk featured by all of our galleries to get the chance to see new exhibitions and meet many of the included artists.
If you have 2 days...
Enjoy a ride down the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway for the chance to view Ellensburg’s signature landscape on the way to Ellensburg Canyon Winery. Sip the distinctive wines as you take in the absolutely breathtaking views.
On your second day, drop into the Kittitas County Historical Museum to learn more about our area’s history and heritage. Explore exhibits spanning from a neon light display to a collection of antique cars, pulse view an array of the rare Ellensburg Blue Agate in this all-encompassing museum.
Before ending your day with a meal at one of Ellensburg’s many outstanding restaurants, celebrate local art and culture by visiting Dick & Jane’s Spot. The current home to county residents offers a unique twist to art viewing, as it is decorated from top to bottom with quirky sculptures, sea glass, reflectors, and other funky pieces, all to be gazed at from the street sidewalk.
If you have 3 days...
Explore Ellensburg’s Western roots with a walk through of some of the local museums and galleries honoring our town’s heritage. Coming together to create the Western Art & Culture Center, the Clymer Museum & Gallery and the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame celebrate Ellensburg’s rich Western tradition. Take a gaze at the intricate art that adorns the space of the Clymer Museum & Gallery, which honors the late John Clymer, a long time member of the existing Western Art Association. Connected, the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame celebrates the lasting history of the famous Ellensburg Rodeo. Here, you will be able to view traditional regalia, admiral heroes of the past, and learn about rodeo terminology that is still used to this day.
Spend the rest of your creative getaway seeking out Kittitas County’s famous barn quilts, which can be found all over our area’s countryside. More than one hundred quilt blocks have been installed over the years, creating the Kittitas County Barn Quilt Trail, Washington State’s first barn quilt trail.