Welcome to Ellensburg
Author: Natalie Lake | Posted In: Go | April 2022
The city of Ellensburg is home to the Central Washington Wildcats, but there is a lot more to offer for those in search of a drivable weekend. Whether you want a day of hiking, wine tasting or spa treatments, there is a spot among the green hills and windmills.
On the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street sits Hotel Windrow, a boutique property that opened in early 2020. This dog-friendly hotel has multiple event spaces as well as three different spots for cocktails and comfort food. The Basalt restaurant features local ingredients and unique cocktails. Back 40 is a smaller hangout spot behind the hotel, which is a great place to enjoy and host company. But the most breathtaking is Top of the Burg, which offers 360-degree views of the Cascades and Yakima Valley AVA. This hotel fits in perfectly with the rustic and timelessness of Ellensburg.
For more information, please visit hotelwindrow.com.
Ellensburg has a small-town feel, with some fabulous leisure activities. At the Alenté Spa and Salon, they use Aveda products and offer a multitude of services for a day of pampering. They do lashes, massages, hair and nail care. Ellensburg is close to countless farms, ranches and vineyards that offer wine (and beer) tours and tastings. There are five different wineries: Brix Wine Bar, Ellensburg Canyon Winery, Gard Vintners, the Ellensburg Distillery and Thrall & Dodge Winery. While there are many wine tours and tastings to choose from, there is only one brewery that stands out. Iron Horse Brewery is known for its signature beer, Irish Death; its headquarters and pub is dedicated to serving the local beer fan base. It is the sixth-largest producer of beer in Washington State and definitely worth a visit.
When you drive into town, you will notice there are a lot of cabins that have quilts on them, some visible from the I-90 freeway. A certain map leads you in and out of Ellensburg detailing multiple barns and different quilts. It is called the Barn Quilt Trail and it’s a first in Washington State, with over 50 quilts presented. It starts in Roslyn and goes as far east as the outer limits of Kittitas. A self-guided tour, it can be as long or short as you’d like.
Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, which gives stunning forest views around the Yakima River. With a total trail length of 2.2 miles, it is a great place for a bicycle ride, jog or walk in nature. There is also a longer trail that connects in Ellensburg. Formally known as the Iron Horse Trail, it is now called the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Starting in Ellensburg, you can travel east to North Bend or west to the Idaho State border.
EAT & DRINK
Within walking distance of Hotel Windrow there are many other noteworthy eateries, such as the Ellensburg Pasta Company, the Palace Cafe and the Porch. They all offer a variety of cuisines with daily or weekly specials. A more laid-back choice is the Tav. It has a college restaurant vibe with a bar and pool tables, with a storied history that spans almost 90 years. The Tav, first known as the Rehmke Building, has occupied the bottom floor since the mid-1930s. It originally was called “the Tavern,” but changed names in the 1970s.