Ellensburg's Best Kept Secrets: Locations the Locals Love

Uncover some of Ellensburg’s hidden treasures! From off-the-grid adventures to local-favorite restaurants, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to the Ellensburg spots you should be visiting during your next weekend with us.

Whipsaw Brewing

Whipsaw Brewing is an artisan nano brewery that offers fantastic brews and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere to the people of Ellensburg. Each batch of beer is personally hand-crafted and tasted to ensure patrons receive the highest quality product. This independent craft brewery has definitely left its mark on the people of Ellensburg. Not only do they offer delicious brews, but they are also a kid- and dog-friendly taproom, wholly embracing the social aspect of drinking. In support of other businesses, Whipsaw also partners with local food trucks, which you can find regularly parked out front to provide food that pairs perfectly with your craft beer. The social atmosphere is further echoed in the games to be played on the lawn, encouraging some friendly competition and entertainment that’ll make you feel even more at home here. Experience Whipsaw’s welcoming hospitality for yourself and head in to share a pint and swap stories with the locals during your visit!

Photo courtesy of Whipsaw Brewing

Reed Park / Craig's Hill

Reed Park sits upon Craig’s Hill above the Ellensburg Rodeo arena and provides a panoramic birds-eye view of Ellensburg, the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, Central Washington University, the Kittitas Valley, and the Stuart Mountain Range. A local favorite, this Ellensburg viewpoint is easily accessible, making it perfect for bringing kids along or enjoying regardless of the season. The park also has walking trails to explore and is a popular location for watching the sunset or sledding in the winter.

The Red Horse Diner

Join in on the good times that are always happening at the Red Horse Diner, where you are taken back to the fabulous rockin’ fifties when Elvis was king and the ’58 Corvette was the hottest car on the street. The retro theme of this classic diner is a sight to see, decorated wall-to-wall in neon lights and vintage signs. The menu is sure to please as well, filled with all your favorites, from juicy burgers and steak fries to an assortment of delicious milkshakes guaranteed to fill you with child-like glee.

Photo courtesy of Red Horse Diner
Photo courtesy of The Early Bird

The Early Bird

Gather at The Early Bird to enjoy everyone’s favorite weekend meal ‘ brunch! Ellensburg’s restaurants bring it when it comes to brunch, and this charming joint is no different. Serving up reimagined breakfasts with such twists as a rotating savory waffle, a breakfast salad, and a Korean-marinated steak and potato breakfast burrito, this eatery offers truly unique menu items and experiences. Complete your meal with a round of mimosas or a Bloody Mary and enjoy a relaxing morning on the charming outdoor patio.

Dark Moon Craft Beer

Dark Moon Craft Beer has one of the best beer selections around, and is expanding into wine and cider as well. They specialize in finding unique flavors that reflect the ever-shifting craft beverage industry, providing customers with tastes of beer they’ve never tried in order to expand their beer experience in a memorable way. They say, “Whether crafted by traditional brewers (grain, water, yeast) or the pioneers (mango, quinoa’) beer is infinitely adaptable.” This beer bottle shop and tap room has beer that can be purchased by the bottle to take home or poured from one of the nine taps to sip at the bar or on one of the comfy couches. The bartenders are eager to discover what customers like so that they can point them to something new or unexpected that they’re guaranteed to enjoy. In doing so, they hope to play a role in the ongoing beer and wine education of their patrons, an attitude that creates a playful environment encouraging us all to try out some bold new flavors and learn together.

Photo courtesy of Dark Moon Craft Beer

Umtanum Creek Falls

Umtanum Creek Falls Trail is an Ellensburg classic that never fails to draw hikers back again and again to enjoy the scenic trek. This short, 3 miles out and back trail snakes through an enchanting forest of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine along the burbling Umtanum Creek to ultimately reveal a stunning 40-foot waterfall. As you make your way along the trail, look closely for wildflowers like yellow desert-parsley, bluebells, squaw currant and bitterbrush, and listen to the different bird songs, using binoculars to spot bluebirds, woodpeckers and more. Identify the sweet fragrance of sagebrush, while keeping an eye out for bighorn sheep on nearby canyon walls. Soon enough, you’ll hear the rush of water and arrive at the top of the picturesque waterfall, which cascades into a crystal-like pool surrounded on three sides by basalt walls. In the spring and summer months, hikers can take a rough trail down to admire the falls from the bottom. In the winter, however, it is safest to stay at the top and enjoy the view from above, minding your footing as you near the edge.