Discover some of the many reasons to explore Kittitas County, listed here in no particular order.
1. See a Wind Turbine Up Close
Puget Sound Energy's Wind and Solar Facility has a visitor center east of Ellensburg with interactive displays, tours and a great view of
the surrounding area. The center is open April 1 to Nov. 30, weather permitting, seven days a week.
Local artists Jane Orleman and her late husband, Dick Elliott, have spent more than 35 years amassing an eclectic collection of artwork from more than 40 Northwest artists in their home and yard at First Avenue and Pearl Street. Nearly every post and fence is covered with highway reflectors, 10,000 bottle caps, colored glass bottles and bicycle wheels. The pieces in the yard are ever changing -- as old pieces decay, new ones are added. Parking is available in a public lot on the north side of the home.
Ellensburg has a large number of older homes and buildings that
reflect several historic periods and construction styles. To take a selfguided
tour, ask for a brochure put together by the Historic Ellensburg
group at the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce or online at www.historicellensburg.org.
4. Roslyn Cemeteries
The historic Roslyn cemeteries cover 15 acres and consist of 25 separate cemeteries formed prior to the turn of the 20th century.
The cemeteries reflect a rich ethnic mix that came to the area to work in the coal mines. A visit is a step back in time.
www.roslynmuseum.com From Pennsylvania Avenue, head west and up the hill, merging on to Fifth Street and then Memorial Drive
5. No Bull
"The Bull" statue is a well loved fixture in downtown Ellensburg, but it wasn't always popular. Controversy over the statue by the
late artist Richard Beyer in downtown Ellensburg sparked some 80 letters to the editor in the 1980s. Beyer and his supporters overcame concerns about the original title of the piece ("The Cowboy") and its anatomical correctness to have it placed at Rotary Pavilion. Today, you can share your photos with the Bull on his Facebook page.
North Pearl Street, Ellensburg
6. A Tranquil Stroll
There's a traditional Japanese garden in the center of Central Washington University's campus. The Donald L. Garrity Japanese Garden, named after a former university president, features traditional Japanese plants along with a water feature and sand garden.
7. Geology Live
The Ice Age Floods Institute has an active chapter in Ellensburg that sponsors a popular series of geology
lectures and field trips each year in the region. For more information, go to www.iafi.org.
8. Go Pick Something
Upper Kittitas County is a popular place for berry picking and mushroom hunting. The Sons of Italy sponsors a "Mushroom King" contest every summer and awards the title to the person who finds the biggest mushroom during the Pioneer Queen coronation in late June. The Salmon la Sac area has good spots for berry picking in August. Contact the Cle Elum Ranger district for more information.
9. Visit Buddy
Buddy the African gray parrot, who lives at the Ellensburg Pet Center in downtown Ellensburg, is a local celebrity of sorts. Buddy
turned 30 in 2014 and has lived at the store since she was a year old. Buddy talks in a human voice and actively joins conversations
going on in the store. She also sings, whistles and dances.
412 N. Pearl St., Ellensburg
10. Olmstead Place State Park
This pioneer farm east of Ellensburg was homesteaded by the Olmstead family for 100 years before it was
donated to the state of Washington. Most of the original buildings are still intact, including the original cabin and
farmhouse. Volunteers help keep up the historic gardens, and the park plays host to a threshing bee and antique equipment show each September.