5 Reasons to Visit Ellensburg

Ellensburg is home to Central Washington University, yes, but this town is so much more than just a city where there’s a college. It’s rich in history, a haven for art and culture and a true destination that should be on everyone’s must-visit list.

What’s so special about Ellensburg? We’re so glad you asked! Below, we’ve highlighted just five of the many reasons why you shouldn’t just visit Ellensburg, but why you should take the time to truly experience it time and time again:

Outdoor Adventuring

Ellensburg should be THE outdoor enthusiast’s No. 1 excursion destination. Why? Simple: We have everything! From boating, kayaking and tubing in the summer, to hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, biking and camping spring through fall; and let’s not forget about snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

Summer to winter, our lands are poised for outdoor adventures galore.

Photo Credit: Canyon River Grill

Delectable Eats!

Picky eaters rejoice! From fast food to fine dining, Ellensburg has something for everyone’s palette.

If you’re pallet just happens to flourish when fed fine dining, the Canyon River Grill is an option that enables you to eat fresh oysters, salmon, or even a Wagyu beef burger. Begin your delicious culinary journey with a Blistered Shishito Pepper, perhaps, and conclude your meal with a Crème Caramel.

If craving something a little more simplistic, yet super tasty and unique, you could check out The Red Pickle and order a Latin-flavor-infused burger, like the Gauchito. Or grab a slice of fire-roasted pizza from Cornerstone Pie. For a fabulous cup of coffee and bakery fare, try The Early Bird, Jenikka’s Coffee House or Hayday Bakery & Brew.


Cultural experience is a must in Ellensburg, hence the absolutely amazing array of museums and galleries.

Gallery One: Visual Arts Center offers art classes, lectures, studio space for resident artists and features a gift shop. Local and international artists’ and visual artists’ work can be viewed through ever-changing exhibits.

The Clymer Museum of Art, moves from the visual to the historical, as they hold the largest collection of John Clymer’s work.

You could spend the entire day in the Kittitas County Historical Museum, learning about the valley’s archived narrative.

Thorp’s Mill Town Historic Preservation, Dick and Jane’s Spot, the Leah Polacek Butterfly Garden are just a few more examples of Ellensburg’s dedication to preserving history, while also bringing the future to the forefront of every-day life.


Ellensburg’s wineries are perfect for your sipping pleasure.

Ellensburg Canyon Winery, for example, would make for an amazing date night with its onsite vineyard, tasting room and option for tasting flights.

Gård Vintners is another winery in Ellensburg. They are family-owned and craft their wine from a sustainably-farmed estate vineyard. You can sip wine and listen to live music throughout the week, plus join their wine clubs.

Besides its vineyards and wineries, Ellensburg and the surrounding area are known for its breweries: Ellensburg Brewing Co and Tilted Tree Cidery, Iron Horse Brewery, Whipsaw Brewing, and Enchantment Brewing … to name a few.

Local Shopping

From Central City Comics to Central Party & Costume, Ellensburg is chock-full of local businesses selling a variety of treasures and an assortment of one-of-a-kind items. Evolve Clothing + Jewelry, for example, imports the majority of its goods from India, Thailand and Nepal, focusing on fair trade and quality items.

Photo courtesy of Winegar’s

Ellensburg offers a plethora of things to do, places to go and events to experience! Indoor and outdoor adventures await you and your family, no matter the time of year. We hope to see you soon!