Centralia, Washington, is a charming little city with many things to do. As the city’s name implies, Centralia is located about halfway between Seattle and Portland, making it a great stopping point for anyone traveling around the Pacific Northwest. Though the city has a long history of being a stopping point for people traveling by river and rail, it deserves to be more than just a rest stop. Centralia is full of historic charm, with a cute downtown of old buildings that house modern shops and restaurants. You’ll also find large murals around downtown that depict important events in the city’s history. There’s lots more to Centralia than just its history, though. Take a look at our list of things to do in Centralia, Washington, and plan to make a stop in the town soon.
1. Stroll around Historic Downtown Centralia
The best place to acquaint yourself with Centralia happens to be the city’s most charming district; the historic downtown. It has been the heart of Centralia since the city was founded in 1885, and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This designation has allowed the historic appearance and buildings of downtown to be preserved. However, the center of town is still a vibrant and modern place, with lots of shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore.
Historic Downtown Centralia
Address: 328 North Tower Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Historic Downtown Centralia
2. Play some bowling at Fairway Lanes
If you’re looking for a fun activity for your family or a group of friends, check out Fairway Lanes bowling alley. Whether your group is new to bowling or you’re an experienced bunch, this is the perfect spot to bowl a few games. Fairway Lanes features inexpensive prices that allow you to have fun without going over your budget. On weekends, they also have cool theme nights like Rock n Bowl and Monte Carlo. Pay a fixed rate and bowl the night away while listening to music and snacking and getting drinks from the alley’s cafe.
Address: 1501 S Gold St, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Fairway Lanes
Opening hours: Sun & Thu: 12pm - 9pm; Fri & Sat: 12pm - 12:30am (closed from Mon - Wed)
Price: From 4 USD
3. See the historic sites in Fort Borst Park
Fort Borst Park is one of the most popular parks in Centralia. It is also home to some historic spots that set it apart from other public parks in the city. You can visit the historic Borst homestead, schoolhouse, and even Fort Borst Blockhouse, which give the park its name. Fort Borst Park is much more than its historic landmarks, though. This spacious park has beautiful gardens and an arboretum that is meticulously cared for and shows off some of the local plants and trees.
Fort Borst Park
Address: Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Fort Borst Park
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
4. Explore the Seminary Hill Natural Area
Sunrise through the woods of Seminary Hill. Thanks to Gretchen Staebler of www.writingdownthestory.com for sharing this gorgeous photo.Posted by Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area on Sunday, 23 March 2014
Another great pick for outdoor adventures is the Seminary Hill Natural Area. This nature preserve sits atop a hill that overlooks Centralia. All you have to do is hike up the trails to enjoy beautiful vistas of the surrounding area. Trails vary from easy to steep, so you can either get a workout or take a relaxing stroll depending on which routes you pick. Along the 2.25 mile (3.6 km) long trail system, read the interpretive signs to learn about the flora and fauna of the area.
Seminary Hill Natural Area
Address: 118 W Maple St, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Seminary Hill Natural Area
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
5. Learn about local farming at King Agricultural Museum
Centralia is located in a part of the United States that is known for its agriculture and the abundance of crops it produces. See some of the farming tools and learn more about the techniques by visiting King Agricultural Museum! This is the largest agricultural museum between Seattle and Portland, with over 70 tractors and other unique pieces of farming equipment. The collection also includes logging equipment, railroad memorabilia, and pieces of a ferry from Seattle. All of this is housed in the Lewis County Lumber building, which is over 100 years old.
King Agriculture Museum
Address: 213 E Maple St, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: King Agriculture Museum
Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed from Mon - Wed)
Price: 6 USD
6. Browse vintage finds at The Shady Lady
Our Upper floor is full of Preloved Clothing! Sizes Small to 3x! 50% off all Sweaters & Jackets! We are making room for Spring!!Posted by The Shady Lady on Thursday, 17 January 2019
The Shady Lady is one of the best places in Centralia to shop for unique goods! This two-story boutique features stylish vintage and secondhand clothes. Everything is hand-picked by the store workers, so you’ll know that the items you’re browsing are high-quality, gently worn, and come in lots of sizes. The Shady Lady doesn’t just have clothes; you can also look at vintage accessories, jewelry, handbags, and even home-goods!
The Shady Lady
Address: 216 N Tower Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: The Shady Lady
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 6pm (closed on Sun)
7. Taste local beers at Dick's Brewing Company
We're open at 3PM today! Your weekend plans are now made.Posted by Dick's Brewing Company on Saturday, 28 September 2019
Whether you’re a beer aficionado or a casual drinker, be sure to stop by Dick’s Brewing Company while you’re in Centralia and taste some of the best beer around. Dick’s isn’t a recent addition to the craft brewery craze; it has been in operation since 1994! The backstory of Dick’s is just as good as their beer. The owner originally opened a deli that served smoked sausage that tasted just like what you would get in Europe. He began experimenting with brewing beer at the back of the deli, but when demand outgrew what he was producing, he expanded the beer side of his business! Stop by and taste the delicious results of both the beer and the bratwurst during your visit to Centralia.
Dick's Brewing Company
Address: 3516 Galvin Rd, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Dick’s Brewing Company
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 3:30pm - 7:30pm (closed from Sun - Thu)
8. Get in touch with your artistic side at Rectangle Gallery and Creative Space
Rectangle Gallery is the heart of Centralia’s creative scene! This is a creative space where you don’t just view art, you can make it yourself! They offer lots of art classes for all levels, from beginners to experienced makers. Why not just buy a souvenir to remind you of Centralia when you can also make a unique object yourself? Even if you’re not artistically inclined, you can participate in non-art activities like book clubs or explore the artworks on display in the gallery.
Rectangle Gallery and Creative Space
Address: 209 N Tower Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Rectangle Gallery and Creative Space
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10:30am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
9. Bring your kids to Rotary Riverside Park
We hope all the kids are enjoying our new playground at Riverside Rotary Park! Construction of the playground is...Posted by Juneau Parks & Recreation on Wednesday, 1 August 2018
There are few parks in Centralia that offer as much to do as the Rotary Riverside Park. This spacious park has activities for everyone, whether you’re a kid, an adult, an athlete, or just looking to relax outside. Skate at the skate park or take a stroll on the soft-surface walking paths. Play on the jungle gym or organize a pickup game at the baseball or soccer fields. Rotary Riverside Park is located along the riverside and it even has fishing and water access! In addition to all these activities, you’ll find lots of conveniences like parking, restrooms, and picnic areas.
Rotary Riverside Park
Address: Lowe St, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Rotary Riverside Park
Opening hours: 7am - 10pm (daily)
10. Unleash your inner bookworm at Centralia Timberland Library
Centralia Timberland Library is more than just a place for books; it is also a historical site and a cultural center of the city. The Timberland Library was first established back in 1913. Since then, the library building has expanded to include more books and services. The building itself has lots of great features like four fireplaces, unique folk art, and an antique chandelier. The library also offers tons of free events for kids and adults. Kids can attend storytelling or read to therapy dogs, while adults can view the library’s rotating exhibits and book clubs.
Centralia Timberland Library
Address: 110 S Silver St, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Centralia Timberland Library
Opening hours: Mon & Tue: 10am - 7pm; Wed - Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
11. Dine on comfort food at Country Cousin Restaurant
Nothing beats a warm meal on a cold day! Come try our hearty Chili Omelet todayPosted by Country Cousin on Tuesday, 8 October 2019
As the name implies, going to the Country Cousin Restaurant feels like going to your family’s house for dinner. The restaurant is not only warm and friendly, but they also serve delicious comforting dishes as you remember from your childhood. The Country Cousin has been a staple in Centralia for over 40 years, welcoming both families who have been coming for generations and travelers from out of town. Stop by and try the famous Old Fashioned Pot Roast for dinner or any of the other many items on the menu. They also serve delicious breakfast for the early risers.
Country Cousin Restaurant
Address: 1054 Harrison Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Country Cousin Restaurant
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 5:30am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30am - 10:30pm
12. Have an Irish-pub experience at O'Blarney's at the Gibson House
Centralia may be very far from Ireland, but you’ll feel a little closer to the Emerald Isle at O'Blarney’s. This Irish pub-inspired restaurant serves up classics like fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage. It’s not all traditional Irish food, though; the extensive menu includes many kinds of sandwiches, salads, and soups. If you can’t decide, spring for the seven-course dinner and try lots of things on the menu!
O'Blarney's at the Gibson House
Address: 221 N Tower Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: O'Blarney’s at the Gibson House
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri: 11am - 2am; Sat: 9am - 2am; Sun: 9am - 11pm
13. Visit the historic Fort Borst Block House
Fort Borst Block House is one of the oldest structures in Centralia. It was first built in 1856 by the government with the help of local pioneers. The blockhouse’s log construction is nearly perfect and shows off the skill of the pioneers, who had only axes at their disposal to shape the logs. The blockhouse has served several purposes over the years, including grain storage and as a residence for several families. Although it was never used to protect the pioneers, it is a unique, well-preserved historic structure that is easy to visit in Fort Borst Park.
Fort Borst Block House
Address: Fort Borst Park, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Fort Borst Block House
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
14. Go fishing in Brick Wagner Park
Brick Wagner Park has a waterfront location on Plummer Lake, which is a popular fishing spot in Centralia. The lake is man-made and sits on the site of a former gravel pit. It is well stocked with fish, making it a great place to cast a line. Bluegill, rainbow trout, and yellow perch all can be caught in Plummer Lake. Make a day of your fishing excursion and bring lunch to eat at the picnic tables in Brick Wagner Park. Even if you’re not planning to fish, this is a lovely spot to take in the waterfront vistas.
Brick Wagner Park
Address: 311 Tilley Ave, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Brick Wagner Park
Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)
15. Stroll the spacious lawns at Schaefer Park
Another popular park in Centralia is Schaefer Park. It is home to spacious green areas perfect for playing catch, throwing frisbee, or running around with your pets and kids. Schaefer also has a lovely wooden bridge that crosses over the Skookumchuck River and it is the perfect spot for taking portraits in nature. You’ll also find basketball courts, picnic areas, and everything else you’ll need for a fun day outside.
Address: 822 WA-507, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Schaefer Park
Opening hours: 6:30am - 8pm (daily)
16. Find some bargains at Centralia Factory Outlets
Centralia is rich in green spaces, but also in shopping bargains! Head to the Centralia Factory Outlets for great deals on name brands and designer goods. Pick up a luxury handbag at Coach, spa goodies at Bath and Body Works, and kids’ clothes at the Children’s Place. If you need a rest from all that shopping, grab a quick bite at the outlet’s food court. This is a great place to buy gifts for family, friends, and even yourself!
Centralia Factory Outlets
Address: 003409024007, Centralia, WA 98531
Website: Centralia Factory Outlets
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 8pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm
A city at the center of it all
Centralia sits at the center of a lot of things: Portland and Seattle, the mountains and the ocean, the past and the present. It balances all these influences beautifully and has created its own unique and charming atmosphere. Whether you’re taking in the vibrant downtown or exploring the beautiful natural areas, Centralia is a great place to spend a few hours or a few days!
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