Road Trip: Two Cities to Visit in Washington Besides Seattle
This year, my husband and I decided to go to Montana. Montana? Isn’t this post about Washington? Yeah, but like most of our trips, this one evolved into an awesome road trip taking us through the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho and Montana, covering 1,400 miles. Over the next several posts, I’ll write about some of the cool places we visited. Up first, are two cities in Washington – Ellensburg and Spokane. And don't worry, we love Seattle! We'll be there later on, so stay tuned! But for now, fasten your seat belts and let’s get going!
Where the heck is Ellensburg, Washington? Located in the Kittitas Valley, Ellensburg is known as the most centrally located city in Washington, about 2 hours from Seattle. It covers roughly 14 square miles and has a population of around 20,000. Ellensburg is also the home of Central Washington University.
A bit of history: On November 4, 1890, Ellensburg lost its bid to become the capital of the newly admitted state of Washington, to the city of Olympia.
What brought us there? It was completely random. Ellensburg happened to be a good stopping place for the night before heading onward. Who knew it would be adorable, too!
It was a beautiful Friday night when we were there, so we headed into town and were surprised by how charming Ellensburg was. The buildings reminded me of the old style historic western buildings - the kind you see in photos from the beginning of the 20th century. College students and families were out and about, filling the streets. It was the first Friday of the month and Ellensburg was having their Art Walk, with stores and galleries hosting a sort of open house. There were musicians playing, bartenders serving up cocktails, and there were giveaways (which I never pass up, much to my husband’s chagrin)! We strolled through some of the galleries and streets, enjoying the evening with everyone.
Afterwards, at the recommendation of our hotel, we made our way to the Iron Horse Brewery Pub at 412 N. Main Street (I give the address because initially, we went to the actual brewery where they make the beer – not where you can drink it). The food was delish! I had a cheese board and my hubby had the "Big MacGyver" mac and cheese, which he was already into before I could snap a pic! After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep before we headed onward the next day.
On the far eastern side of the Washington is Spokane. If you’re and east-coaster like me, you may have only heard of Spokane because of Gonzaga University. Beyond that, I knew almost nothing.
So, here are some quick facts about Spokane:
It was founded in 1872 as Spokan Falls (not a typo).
It’s the second most populous city in Washington.
Spokane was named after the Spokane tribe and the name means "Children of the Sun”.
It’s on the sunny side of the state.
Bing Crosby spent part of his childhood in Spokane (he was born in Tacoma).
Father's Day was founded in Spokane at the YMCA in 1910.
So, since we’d be near Spokane around lunchtime, we thought we’d have a bite and check out the city before moving on. I hopped on Yelp and again, randomly selected Cascadia Public House. While the location was in a small, rather nondescript strip mall, the food was awesome!
I had a fantastic bean and beet burger with insane parmesan garlic fries and the hubby had…..mac and cheese!
After lunch, we needed to walk it off, and since it was a spectacular day, we drove to Riverfront Park at the recommendation of our server at Cascadia! The park was buzzing with activity, from people riding bikes to kids riding the carousel. I think the entire city was in the park that day! The scenery was beautiful - paths winding along the Spokane River with greenery and flowers everywhere! The 100-acre Riverfront Park even has cable cars running over the falls! Take a look!
Fun Fact: Riverfront Park was created for Expo ’74 - the first environmentally themed world's fair!
So, I hope you enjoyed the first leg of our road trip! Come back next week for another fun destination on our driving itinerary!
Are you planning a trip to any of these places? I’d love to hear about it on Facebook or in the comment section below! And remember, Traveleidoscope is now on Twitter @Traveleidoscope, so stop by and visit!