Category Archives: Featured Attractions

Grant County Museums

Grant County is located in the eastern and southern portion of North Central Washington. When you visit Grant County, you’ll be visiting a very special part of Washington State. A part that features a great deal of farmland, the amazing Columbia River, and some lively communities and popular vacation getaways. You’ll be in the neighborhood of impressive hydroelectric dams, intriguing natural wonders, and also be able to enjoy one of the best climates in the entire state.

You’ll also be in an area that is home to a fascinating history. Much of that history is available to explore to, thanks to the many Grant County Museums.

Grant County Museums

Grant County Historical Museum
Grant County Historical Museum
Grant County Historical Museum is located near the east end of Ephrata and features a unique look, including historic buildings available for touring, at life in this rural county during its early days.

Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
The Moses Lake Museum & Art Center is a one-of-a-kind attraction featuring an interesting look at the early days of the community combined with an impressive art collection.

Wanapum Dam Heritage Center
Wanapum Heritage Center
Located inside the Wanapum Dam, one of the impressive hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River, the Wanapum Heritage Center not only looks at the history of settlement in the area but also Native American history as well.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Visitor Center
Though technically not located within Grant County as it’s just across the Columbia River in Vantage, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is one of the more fascinating state parks in the region. The visitor center there features incredible examples of petrified rock and a great look at the history of the discovery of this unique locale.

Douglas County Museums

When you visit Douglas County, whether you’re from North Central Washington or not, you’ll quickly see that this is a part of the country that is proud of its history. Douglas County is located in the eastern portion of the region and features a number of small towns, some dramatic landscape, and some very popular attractions. Douglas County also features some great museums.

Visiting these museums will give you an inside look at the lives of the settlers who first came to the area, the Native Americans who were already here, and a lot of the accomplishments of the people who have built it into what it is today.

Douglas County Museums

Douglas County Historical Museum
Douglas County Museum
The Douglas County Museum is located in the small town of Waterville, right on Highway 2. This is truly one of the more underrated museums in North Central Washington and it does a great job telling the story of the early settlement of the county.
Website: Douglas County Museum

Dry Falls Visitor Center
Dry Falls Visitor Center
Dry Falls is one of the most dramatic scenic locations in the entire state of Washington. Perched right on its rim is the Dry Falls Visitor Center. When you visit there you will find out everything you would want to know about this amazing place. From how it was formed to how it has impacted the lives of the people who live near it, it’s all covered there.
Website: Dry Falls Visitor Center

Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center
Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center
There probably isn’t a more famous attraction in North Central Washington than Grand Coulee Dam. Some people visit to marvel at its size, some to view the laser light show, and some to learn about its history. The best way to do the latter is to take the time to visit the famous Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center.
Website: Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center

Tumwater Pipeline Bridge – Don’t Just Drive By

Tumwater Canyon is a beautiful drive most times of the year. You get to see the rugged rocky canyon walls, the raging Wenatchee River, and can even stop at places like Tumwater Dam, The Alps Candy Store, or Swift Current Picnic Area. Another spot worth checking out is one that usually just gets driven right by, the Tumwater Pipeline Bridge.

The entrance to the parking lot of this secluded little spot is just a couple miles west of Leavenworth. Find a parking spot, walk down to the little beach, there’s even a restroom there. Take a look around though. Look at the decaying walls and leftover building remnants that make up the spot where you’ve parked your car. You’re parked right where a pretty decent sized powerhouse once sat, making electricity from water from the Wenatchee River to use to help the electric trains get through the Old Cascade Tunnel under Stevens Pass to the west side of the mountains.

Tumwater Pipeline Bridge - Tumwater Canyon
All around are remnants of the old powerhouse.

That water was brought to the power generating plant through a pipeline from the Tumwater Dam. That pipeline came down the south side of the Wenatchee River and crossed the river on a bridge before reaching this spot. The building is long gone as is the pipeline, but the bridge is still there.

Tumwater Canyon - Pipeline Bridge
The Tumwater Pipeline Bridge – Tumwater Canyon

Walk around the “Road Closed” barricade at the west end of the parking area and a very short trail leads you to the pipeline bridge. Basically, the bridge is just as it was back in the time of power production except for the top half of the pipe having been cut off. The lower section was then filled in with material to give it a flat surface and a pedestrian bridge was born. The trail continues up the path of the old pipeline grade on the other side of the river and offers a nice leisurely stroll along the Wenatchee River. When you reach a large rock pile, you’ve reached the end. Some people do scramble over the rocks while most turn around and return to the pipeline bridge and the parking area.

Tumwater Pipeline Bridge - Tumwater Canyon
The beach area along the Wenatchee River.

When water is lower in late summer, the beach area grows and offers enough space for a few families to enjoy the sun and the cold water of the Wenatchee River.

The Tumwater Pipeline Bridge is another of the many fun stops along Highway 2 in Tumwater Canyon.

Okanogan County Museums

Okanogan County sits in the northernmost part of North Central Washington and is home to a number of great communities, attractions, and things to experience. You can visit an Old West themed town, the grave site of Chief Joseph, the largest hydroelectric producing dam in the nation, and even visit a ghost town without leaving the county.

If you love history, Okanogan County can help you out there too. Here is a brief look at the museums you can experience when you visit Okanogan County.

Okanogan County Museums

Shafer Museum
Shafer Museum
The Shafer Museum is located in Winthrop, Washington and is home to some of the best examples of historic machinery used in the early days of the region.
Website: Shafer Museum

Okanogan County Historical Museum
Okanogan County Historical Museum
The Okanogan County Historical Museum is located on the north end of Okanogan and includes a great display of artifacts detailing the early days of the county.
Website: Okanogan County Historical Museum

Conconully Museum
Conconully Museum
Conconully is a very small community with a fascinating history. That history can be explored with a quick stop at the Conconully Museum.
Website: Conconully Museum

Okanogan County Historical Museum
Colville Tribal Museum
The Colville Tribal Museum does a great job of telling the story of Native American history in North Central Washington.
Website: Colville Tribal Museum

Fort Okanogan State Park Interpretive Center
Fort Okanogan State Park Interpretive Center
Fort Okanogan State Park is a day-use-only state park that features a great view of the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia rivers. It also features an outstanding interpretive center with some very nice displays on both what life at the fort was like, as well as its impact on the area around it.
Website: Fort Okanogan State Park Interpretive Center

A Memorable Experience At The Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

We had a very cool opportunity recently to go out and visit one of the more talked about attractions in North Central Washington, the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

The Leavenworth Reindeer Farm is located just a couple minutes north from Leavenworth on the Chumstick Highway. When you pull into the driveway and park at the top of the hill, you’ll be overlooking a beautiful little farm surrounded by some of the best local scenery. Walk down the driveway and you’ll immediately feel welcomed, both by what you see and what you hear.

The tour starts with a brief overview of the farm before your guide breaks into a friendly, funny, and enjoyable talk about the farm, its beginnings, and of course the reindeer. After this short introduction, we were given a few tips on how best to get the reindeer to welcome us, including some ideas on the best methods of feeding them. Then, armed with bowls filled with feed pellets as well as willow branches with what we were told were very tasty leaves, we entered the reindeer pen.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

The reindeer immediately recognized that it’s feeding time and some slowly meandered our direction while others came a little more urgently. Smiles came to the faces of the kids and adults alike as these very gentle creatures that you never think you’ll be this close to stand right in front of you, snout first in your bowl or lazily munching on the leaves from your branch. Reach out and touch them, though not their velvet covered antlers, and feel their fur. It’s something you’ll never forget.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

The laughter from the kids as the reindeer followed them was about the only sound as the animals themselves are very quiet. After awhile, our hosts helped set up some great photo opportunities for the families and groups that were there. Soon the feeding time was over and we exited the enclosure.

Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

The farm offers some great atmosphere as we saw other animals around too, including chickens, geese, pigs and one very friendly cat.

Soon it was time to go and as we were very near Leavenworth, a town packed with fun things to do, there were more entertainment options to be had. But you can bet the hot topic of the day, the thing that was discussed the most, was that amazing opportunity to have an up close and personal experience with real reindeer.

Check them out online:
Website: Leavenworth Reindeer Farm
Facebook: Leavenworth Reindeer Farm
Instagram: Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

Plain’s Wood Decked Wenatchee River Bridge

The small town of Plain, Washington is a great place to visit and there are plenty of Plain attractions to see too.  There’s great scenery and awesome recreational possibilities in all directions.  There are even a couple of fun stores to visit and some very nice places to stay.  If you know where to look, there are even some cool historical features.

Years and years ago, you could head out of Plain on Chapel Drive, cross the Wenatchee River, and head towards the Lake Wenatchee area and beyond.  Today though, you can still drive down Chapel Drive, but crossing the river there isn’t possible unless you’re on foot, on a bicycle or motorcycle, or on a snowmobile.

This is a very impressive bridge with wooden planks, an aged metal structure, and some very nice views up and down the Wenatchee River.  Bring your camera too and don’t forget to stop back in town for a coffee, snack, or even a full meal.

NCW Attraction: The Horan Natural Area in Wenatchee

Located on the north end of Wenatchee, right where the Wenatchee River flows into the Columbia River, is the Horan Natural Area.

Wenatchee - The Horan Natural Area

You can get to the Horan Natural Area easiest via Confluence State Park on the north side of the Wenatchee River. The Apple Capital Loop Trail is a trail that stretches for approximately 11 miles and runs along the shore of the Columbia River on both the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee side. This popular loop trail will eventually take you right past the Horan Natural Area entrance, making it easily reachable from several areas around town.

Wenatchee - The Horan Natural Area

This is a very cool opportunity to see a protected nature area right inside the city limits of Wenatchee. As you walk along the paths, it gives you an indication of what the scenery was like there before all this development and settlement came.

Go and visit the Horan Natural Area a number of time through the year too. As the seasons change, so does the vegetation, surrounding scenery, and even the local wildlife you can occasionally find there.

Wenatchee - The Horan Natural Area

If you’re in the Wenatchee area and looking for something to do in the outdoors, head on over to the Horan Natural Area. You won’t regret it.

The Secret Life of Pets at Gateway Cinema in Wenatchee

The Secret Life of Pets at Gateway Cinema in Wenatchee

Having decided to take the kids to see a movie at Gateway Cinema in Wenatchee, we decided on The Secret Life of Pets. It really was a fun movie showing kids just exactly (okay, maybe not) what their pets do, think, and talk about when their people are gone all day. Both kids really liked the movie and, of course, the treats too. Gateway Cinema always offers a first class movie watching experience.

Gateway Cinema in Wenatchee

From the comfortable seats to the option to put as much butter as you want on your popcorn, we always have a great time at Gateway Cinema in WenatcheeGateway Cinema in Wenatchee

Gateway Cinema – Wenatchee

The Best Picnic Spots on the Apple Capital Loop Trail

Picnic Spots on Apple Capital Loop Trail

The Apple Capital Loop Trail is one of the key features of life in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. It can be accessed at a number of points, crosses the Columbia River twice, and meanders past a wide variety of urban and natural scenery. There’s a lot of reasons to make use of the Apple Capital Loop Trail but one of the best is as a picnic destination.

Here’s a look at some of what we think of as the best picnic spots on the Apple Capital Loop Trail:

Picnic at Walla Walla Point Park

Walla Walla Point Park is probably the most popular spot along the trail. It really has everything for the active family, including climbing toys, volleyball courts, swim area, as well as handball, tennis, and basketball courts. Settling in at one of the many picnic tables there can allow different members of the family to sprint off to enjoy any of those fun pursuits, only to come back for food and drinks after an appetite has been worked up.

Picnic at Wenatchee Confluence State Park

Wenatchee Confluence State Park is located north of the Wenatchee River and is popular with those wanting to visit and be close to town, while enjoying the camping experience. There are some great picnic spots there towards the water where a unique swimming and wading area is located. Again, lots of fun can be had as there are playground toys, tennis and basketball courts, and all kinds of water recreation available there. This can be a fun picnic spot for families with young children.

Picnic Spots Just North of the State Park

Just north of Wenatchee Confluence State Park is a narrow strip of park that lines the Apple Capital Loop Trail as it heads towards the Odabashian Bridge. This area really isn’t a destination part of the trail which makes it perfect for a quiet picnic spot. There are tables nestled in little hollows and along low bank access to the Columbia River. Bring your own entertainment activities or just some scooters and bikes and you just may feel you have this little part of the park and trail to yourself.

A Picnic at the 9th Street Trailhead

The 9th Street Trailhead is located in East Wenatchee and offers a nice parking lot and immediate access to one of the most beautiful parts of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, an area known to locals as “Porter’s Pond”. There are no picnic tables located in the area but two great picnic spots are right there near the fountain, using the low wall as a place to sit, and then down towards Porter’s Pond, again using the low wall for a place to sit. This is yet another great spot to bring bikes and scooters too.

Picnic at the Orondo Street Boat Launch

A fun picnic spot along the Apple Capital Loop Trail is the Orondo Street Boat Launch. When you find your spot there you can enjoy watching boats being loaded into and out of the water, a good amount of people watching, and all the activity out on the Columbia River. Before or after eating you can also walk down boat launch or even out on the nearby boat dock at the north end of the parking lot. You can even walk over to the very popular Pybus Market which is an outstanding place to walk through and experience.

Picnic at Riverfront Park

The main part of Riverfront Park sits at the bottom of 5th Street on the Wenatchee side of the river and is a great picnic spot. There are lots of picnic tables available, plenty of shade trees, and some nice things to see. Before or after enjoying your picnic, you can get out and look at the phenomenal amount of sculptures and pieces of art that line this part of the Apple Capital Loop Trail. Again, there’s plenty of activity out on the water to enjoy viewing from there too.

Picnic at the Linden Tree Area

The Linden Tree Area is a historic part of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, featuring an old barn with ties back to the early days of agriculture along the river. The barn is now used as a boathouse and there are some nice shady areas and picnic tables scattered about the area to enjoy a picnic at. You can also get down to the water in the Linden Tree Area, including at a neat spot where a small creek flows into the river.

The Apple Capital Loop Trail is a fabulous feature of the Wenatchee area and lends itself greatly as a place to get out and enjoy a meal at. Any of the above picnic spots will serve you well and as you get out and explore it you may find a few favorites of your own.

Go Bowling And More At Lake Bowl In Moses Lake, Washington

Lake Bowl in Moses Lake

Located in Central Washington, Moses Lake is fun as a destination, a place to live, or just a place to stop off at as you motor on past on Interstate 90 on your way across the state of Washington. Moses Lake has a lot of important, interesting, and fun things to see and do both within it as well as in the surrounding area. One of those places is Lake Bowl.

Lake Bowl is located at the corner of Highway 17 and Stratford Road and is one of the hot family spots in Moses Lake. Bowling is historically a great fun activity that the whole family can enjoy and whether you’re looking for a one-night-out experience or a bowling league opportunity, Lake Bowl is the place to go in the Moses Lake area.

Lake Bowl is so much more than just a bowling alley though. It also offers a loaded arcade area with some very popular video games as well as some extremely fun ticket redemption games. The arcade is awesome for birthday parties and group events too. Just check out these two videos for all you need to know about that.

If you’re looking for a fun family activity that everyone will enjoy, whether you live in Moses Lake or not, Lake Bowl is the place for you.

Check out Lake Bowl online:

Lake Bowl in Moses Lake

Or go see them on Facebook:

Lake Bowl on Facebook