When traveling I often find some of my favorite discoveries are places I had no intention of visiting in the first place. A pit stop in Oregon led me to Cottage Grove and it’s connection to film history. A request for a quick breakfast spot in Santa Fe introduced me to one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. And with a few hours to kill in Arizona I discovered a fantastic ghost town. This past trip to Washington once again proved my point when I spent a day in the city of Ellensburg.
After visiting the town of Leavenworth my sister and I decided we needed to chose a place to spend the night. We looked at the map and found the city of Ellensburg to be the perfect stopping point and quickly booked a room. We figured it would simply be a rest stop on our way to Spokane but when we headed out for dinner we discovered a quaint town in the heart of Washington.
Ellensburg is the home of Central Washington University and after a delicious dinner at Cornerstone Pie we took a look around campus.
I was surprised to see so much historic architecture in a relatively small city and it turns out there’s an interesting explanation for it. In the late 19th century Ellensburg was bidding to be state capital and several beautiful buildings rose up as a result. They ultimately lost the bid to Olympia but, luckily, many of the historic structures remain.
Intrigued we decided to do some further exploration the next morning. We took a quick jaunt through the local farmer’s market held in the heart of the historic downtown.
While wandering around we came across the Clymer Museum and Gallery and decided to check it out.
John Clymer, an Ellensburg native, was a noted artist and illustrator of the 20th century and many of his pieces graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
Upon his retirement he settled in Jackson Hole, WY and spent much of his free time painting the Northwest.
Ellensburg is very proud of their native son and in 1988 the Clymer Museum & Gallery was opened. Filled with several of the artist’s original works as well as rotating exhibits devoted to contemporary western works it’s well worth visiting.
Speaking of well worth visiting…I’m so happy I decided to spend a day in Ellensburg, WA. So much more than a pit stop it’s a beautiful town filled with historic architecture and big dose of Western culture.