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Whether you're riding the rails or cruising the freeway, Centralia is really worth a stop. A good start for exploring might be the well-preserved Amtrak station where the walls are lined with photos of local history. Just a block away, Main Street captures the warmth of a small town. There's many an old treasure at the Centralia Antique Market where 35 shops share one antique building. The old railroad hotel that once housed a multitude of passing characters is now the Olympic Club & Theater. So much history is packed into the photos and custom drawings here that they offer a self-guided walking tour of the building. When you're done, sit ...

Whether you're riding the rails or cruising the freeway, Centralia is really worth a stop. A good start for exploring might be the well-preserved Amtrak station where the walls are lined with photos of local history. Just a block away, Main Street captures the warmth of a small town. There's many an old treasure at the Centralia Antique Market where 35 shops share one antique building. The old railroad hotel that once housed a multitude of passing characters is now the Olympic Club & Theater. So much history is packed into the photos and custom drawings here that they offer a self-guided walking tour of the building. When you're done, sit down for a refreshing micro-brew in the Olympic Club's pub. Centralia is a great base for exploring the peaks of southern Washington state such as nearby Mt. St. Helens. Or head up along the White Pass Scenic Byway for outstanding fishing, camping and wilderness hiking. Serious railroad buffs will enjoy a ride on the area's two steam trains: you can skirt the edge of Mt. Rainier National Park or solve a murder mystery over dinner and a glass of wine. And if that's not enough to hang around for, the area hosts a variety of fun festivals, including the Southwest Washington Fair.

Myra Ingmanson
About the Expert

Myra Ingmanson and Daniel C. Schechter worked together on various titles for Lonely Planet, particularly the Pacific Northwest and Mexico books. Together they coauthored chapters for Lonely Planet's Eastern Caribbean.

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Myra Ingmanson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer late spring, early fall