One of only 73 others that have been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists, Ellensburg is proud to have received the Silver Level award as a National Bike-Friendly Community. What does this mean? That Ellensburg, WA has proven their commitment to bicycling through bike promotion, education, infrastructural adaptations and pro-bicycling policies. What does this mean for the bicycle enthusiast? That Ellensburg as a community has come a long way in making the town bike-friendly, through the establishment of bike lanes and crossings, artistic bike racks downtown, and promoting the success of events like "Bike to Work Day" and the Ellensburg Manastash Bicycle Tour.
Interested in exploring some of the gorgeous bike trails embedded in the heart of nature? Check out the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (over 300 miles long), The Cle Elum Loop (connects Ellensburg and Cle Elum via backroads in the rolling countryside), Shoestring Lake, or the Fishhook Trail.
Art & Culture
Ellensburg is known as an artsy town with strong historical and cultural roots! Check out any of the various art galleries and the museums and immerse yourself in the town. Gallery One Visual Arts Center is cultural mecca in Ellensburg, and just a taste of what art & culture is like. With a new exhibition theme each month, art is kept fresh and fun for those repeat visitors that can't get enough of the museum. Make sure to visit some of the outdoor art too! Dick & Jane's Spot is a must go outdoor experience that demonstrates the true talent of the people of Ellensburg. Fill out the Dick & Jane's guest book to mark your visit and then stop by The Ellensburg Bull to take a quick selfie while sitting in his lap. Don't forget to take note of the fading murals of local businesses from pre-billboard times throughout Historic Downtown.
Enjoy an interactive artistic experience? Visit on the 1st Friday of every month to experience The Ellensburg First Friday Art Walk from 5pm-7pm in downtown Ellensburg. This event showcases art in all forms in galleries and non-traditional spaces, through wine, music, locals and visitors alike. The downtown area comes alive with culture and celebration when various businesses, galleries, museums come together to celebrate the beauty in local artists.
For the Foodie
If quality, freshness, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients and freshly baked bread don't get your attention, maybe the local wines and microbrews will! Check out local favorite, The Yellow Church Cafe on Pearl St. in Ellensburg the next time you're in town. Need some Latin spice in your life? Try a savory empanada at Earthquake Empanadas on 5th Ave. With a different selection of empanadas offered daily, you're sure to find something unique to satisfy your taste buds whether you're in the mood for savory, sweet or spicy.
Cornerstone Pie is where you'll find the intersection of fire-roasted pizzas, mouth-watering locally-sourced salads, feisty appetizers, and sandwich "grinders" that are bursting at the seams with flavor. With cuisine created in an artisan kitchen and served to you in a distinctive Steam Punk-inspired setting, this restaurant is artistically designed of recycled materials, and historical artifacts that are key to Ellensburg's history. Wash it all down with a Pacific Northwest-crafted pint of cold beer while you enjoy some of the entertaining events that Cornerstone Pie regularly offers their guests.
"Hay is for horses," you say?? Well known and widely used in the race horse industry, Timothy hay is recognized by race horse owners as their premium feed for award-winning Kentucky Derby horses. Cows also fancy this exceptional roughage with its low-protein, high-fiber content and cold-tolerant, cool-season oriented ease for growing in the Kittitas region. A major source of revenue for Kittitas County, approximately 90% of the hay harvested here is shipped out internationally to countries like Japan -- generating a whopping $69-80 million for the area every year! Come see for yourself what all the fuss by taking a tour of one of our local farms during harvest season in late August/early September.
The first settler, William Bud Wilson, built the first log cabin in 1868 where Ellensburg is today. While much of the downtown area of Ellensburg burned down on the 4th of July in 1889 (10 city blocks of businesses and over 200 homes), the city did not give up and went on to immediately rebuild, this time understandably using brick and stone in their construction. Many of these significant structures have been preserved over the years, available for public viewing and exploring in the roughly bounded area between 3rd and 6th avenues, and Main and Ruby streets. Some highlights for the historical culture enthusiast include the First Methodist Church erected in 1910, the Cadwell Building (1889), the impressive Davidson Building (1889), and the Collings Block (1910).
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