Winter is arriving in the Tri-Cities! Temperatures have dropped significantly over the past few weeks; it has plummeted to below freezing at night. It’s time to harvest any last vegetables that might be growing in your gardens, and make sure that your sprinkler system has been blown out. We covered the topic of winter preparation in depth last month, and you can read more about it here. If you’re looking to get away for a day or two with the family, now is the perfect time to do so. Snow is yet to hit the ground, and most of the region is easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The cozy town of Pendleton lies approximately 70 miles southeast of the Tri-Cities. It has a rich history in the state of Oregon and is the focus of our destination spotlight today. Only an hour and fifteen minutes from Kennewick, the eastern Oregon city is perhaps most widely known as the namesake of Pendleton Whiskey. While it is true that the famous Canadian-distilled beverage was named after and inspired by the city, Pendleton Whiskey is imported via Hood River Distillers. You can read more about Hood River, Oregon, and all its splendors in our spotlight article, Destination: Hood River. 

The Roundup

Pendleton plays host to the annual Pendleton Roundup, a major rodeo event that brings in roughly 50,000 spectators each year. The spectacle is held at the Pendleton Roundup Stadium, a large red and beige stadium in the center of town. A statue stands at the main entrance to the stadium. It depicts a mounted rodeo rider holding on to the back of a bucking bronco. This symbol was famously adopted as the logo for Pendleton Whiskey, which it remains to this day.

Also, nearby and worth checking out are a museum and several unique restaurants. The Pendleton Center for the Arts is a venue for professional and emerging artists from throughout the region to present a variety of artistic endeavors. Local guides tout the center as a must-see attraction in the city and will be keen to tell you that the building once served as the public library for the county. Just up the street from here sits the Livermore House, a historic Pendleton residence that now serves as lodging for travelers. You can rent this house for your stay on Airbnb, and there is almost no better way to experience the charm of the city.

Eats and Drinks

Oregon Grain Grower’s Brand Distillery (that’s a mouthful) located on SE Court Ave in downtown is an inspired, hip restaurant offering some of the tastiest confections around. Fresh Neapolitan-style pizza, a unique menu, and a relaxing atmosphere make it a must-stop location. All sorts of dazzling mixed drinks are made with in-house distilled liquors, which are also sold by the bottle to take home.

The city of Pendleton doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves in the Pacific Northwest. What was once among Oregon’s largest population centers is now experiencing something of a renaissance. A youthful spirit of adventurous new business is blending with the historical landmarks of this unique Oregon town, creating something altogether new and beautiful. Visit Pendleton as soon as you get the chance! You won’t regret it.

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