Located in the center of Washington State in sun-kissed Kittitas Valley, historic Ellensburg is home to Central Washington University and boasts year-round recreational activities, note-worthy wining (and dining) and a solid list of culture-oriented events to supplement the local clutch of art galleries and museums. Though Ellensburg's most conspicuous historic buildings are actually Victorian, the town has plenty of wild west connections including one of the country's biggest Labor Day rodeos; you'll also find that there's plenty to reflect Ellensburg's western location in the works of artistic talents from the area. What you won't find so easily is the icy-hued Ellensburg blue, a rare agate formed only in these parts that accounts for a significant portion of the souvenir market and is the prime prize for aspiring rock-hounds in the region.
Though it's quite easy to stay busy for a good half-day at least simply enjoying a walking tour of Ellensburg's historic downtown, there's no reason to dash on to your next destination with undue haste; outdoor recreation is plentiful in the Kittitas Valley and nearby forests year-round, and this is a great base for forays into the Wenatchee National Forest or the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area (where elk abound) just a short drive to the west. In summer when things heat up nicely, it's easy enough to cool off on a refreshing float down a stretch of the Yakima River, while fall's cooler days and nights are better suited towards would-be hikers or bikers, who head for nearby trails and campsites flung with a canopy of stars.
Ellensburg is located approximately 110 miles east of Seattle and 170 miles west of Spokane.