Downtown Pullman

Most visitors to Pullman, Washington come to see Washington State University (WSU), but there is more to Pullman than just WSU.  If you and your family find yourself in the middle of downtown Pullman, Washington, you can rest assured that your day will not be a dull one.

Downtown Pullman is the home of several businesses, many locally-owned. Not only will a walk downtown give you an opportunity to find a lot of fun, but it is a good way to see the rich history and culture of Pullman, Washington.

If you are going to go through Pullman, Washington, and you want to do it on foot, you can find a place to park around the corner of North Grand and NE Whitman Street, and use the Pullman Chamber of Commerce as a starting point. 

The Pullman Chamber of Commerce will give you much information like brochures about what to see within the city, and even places located outside of Pullman. 

You can use this information to plan for a longer trip, or you can just walk out the door and you and your family can see what Pullman is like.

If you and your family are hungry at the time, you can cross Whitman Street and head over to the Lumberyard Food Hall, where you can choose from four different types of cuisines.  Lumberyard Food Hall also has a game room, and an indoor playground for the kids.

You could also cross Grand Avenue and get a quick bite to eat at Dom’s Donuts. There is also the Riverwalk wood and metal bridge that can take you past the Pullman Depot Heritage Center, to the corner of NE Kamiaken and NE Palouse. From here, there are some more great places to eat, such as Heros N Sports (a sandwich shop) and Porch Light Pizza (a different kind of pizza restaurant).

You’ll also find a small fountain which is a replica of an Artesian Well (Pullman was once called Artesian City), and you and your kids can dip your feet in it if it is too hot outside. The Artesian Well isn’t the only piece of Pullman’s history that you will find in this area, as you will begin to see some dark tiles on the sidewalk. This is part of Pullman’s Walk of Fame, and each tile has the names of distinguished Pullman residents such as mayors, WSU presidents, and other outstanding members of the Pullman/WSU community.

If you head down Olsen street, you can check out the interesting vintage store of Dregs, or check out Neill Public Library.  If you keep following Olsen until you hit Grand again, you will see the Cougar Plaza of the City of Pullman, complete with Washington State University Logo (the iconic one) as well as a statue of Butch the Cougar (official mascot of WSU). This definitely a good place to sit down for a bit, and get a picture with you and your family (proof positive that you have been to Pullman, Washington).

Keep walking down Grand Avenue, and you’ll see a lot of interesting stores like Palouse Games, where you can just stop and play a game together.  There is also Michelle’s Closet, an interesting consignment store. The RTOP theatre is also on Grand, and there might be a show for all of you to see. If you still haven’t eaten, there are many great restaurants on Grand like O-Ramen and the Mandarin House. For dessert, check out Palouse Country Candy, located at the intersection of Main and Grand, which should please all tastes.

While you are Main and Grand, you can continue uphill on Main to The Gladish, and there is an art gallery known as Studio 509. If you don’t want to go uphill and out of the way for the arts, you can head down Grand Avenue for some great places such as the Monarch Boutique, Kure & Co. Clothing store, and the Terracotta clay pot studio. Keep going down Grand and you’ll hit Rockstar Tan Bar and A Modern Plantsman, which has a lot of live plants inside.  All of those stores have much for all ages, but Pauly’s Bar and Grill and MyOffice Tavern are definitely for the adults.

At this point, you can turn around and head down to SE Paradise Street, which starts at Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant. You’ll see some interesting art on the wall of wings, and it is a good place to take a photo of you and your kids. Follow SE Paradise St, and you’ll see several back doors of places on Main Street. You can also see Palouse Creek Brewery, and if you head down Kamiaken Street, you’ll get to Noshies and Glassphemy.

If you keep going down Paradise Street, you will find the Hotel McCoy, the home of Art, Coffee, Beer, and Wine as well as the Roost Coffee and Market and Foundry Restaurant at Bell Tower Event Venue, another place to find something where you and your family can eat.

Paradise Street joins up with Main Street, and you can head to SE Sprint Street, and then you can head to Brelsford WSU Visitor’s Center. Brelsford WSU Visitor Center has a lot of information about WSU, and you can learn a lot there and grab a lot of brochures. Don’t forget to take a photo with your kids posing on the giant concrete WSU letters outside.

From E Spring Street, you will find Lentil Lane, and you can follow that to go to Reaney Park, which has a pool and playground, in case your kids need a break. You can also follow the remnant of the Bill Chipman Trail, and this will lead on a paved trail if you turn left. If you turn right, it is 8 miles to Moscow, Idaho, which could be a little too far for a day that is about to end.

On the Bill Chipman Trail, you will pass Sanctuary: A Yoga, Barre, and Dance Studio, which has some smoothies. There are some great benches and a bridge on this trail, and it will end with this cool small waterfall.

Then there is a bridge that leads to Thomas Hammer Coffee House, which has a huge mural on the outside and many great beverages inside if you need another break. Also, Lily Bee’s is close-by, and it is an interesting clothing store.

Across the street from here is the Scusi Pasta restaurant in case you want fine dining or the Sugar Babe Bakery for a quick treat,  but on the same side of the street is Mela Bangladeshi Cuisine. You’ll find more Walk of Fame tiles as you walk up Main Street, and you’ll hit some great shops like Pups and Cups, a Coffee place that allows dogs inside, and you and your kids can pet them if you ask.

You can spend some time on Main looking around the shops like Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, Rico’s Tavern (a good food and drink place), Nayarit Mexican Restaurant, and It’s Poke-man (for Pokebowls). The other side of the street are some other great restaurants like Pizza Perfection. There is also Pullman’s very fine restaurant of The Black Cypress and the club on the top, Etsi Bravo.

If you and your family haven’t had dinner yet, this would be the best time. Chances are, your feet will be tired from all the walking that you have done, but your heart will be full from all that you have seen.

All of that makes for quite a great day/night in downtown Pullman, and you should take the time to explore even more of the city or even outside of it. You’ll be glad that you do.