Things to Do in Centralia, Washington

March 8, 2023

things to do in centralia washington

The city of Centralia, Washington, is a charming destination. It's located along Interstate 5 near the midpoint between Seattle and Portland.

It has a population of 18,183 at the 2020 census.

The city's downtown boasts a beautiful mix of old and new buildings that make it an ideal location for exploring. You'll also find a lot of large murals that depict events from the city's history.

Downtown Centralia

Downtown Centralia is a stroll-worthy area full of historic charm. Featuring unique shops and trendy restaurants, this is one of the best places to shop and dine in Lewis County.

Take a walk through Tower Avenue and you’ll be amazed at the number of antique and craft stores on offer. You’ll also find a handful of specialty shops with jewelry, home goods, and furniture.

There’s a thriving arts community here with large murals throughout downtown. You can also catch live entertainment at the Fox Theater, a historic building that was originally the chain’s smallest cinema.

If you’re a lover of beer, Dick’s Brewing Company is a popular local brewery that has some of the best beers in town. They also have a selection of smoked meats to go along with the brews.

Fort Borst Park

One of Centralia's most well-liked parks, Fort Borst Park is a popular destination for family fun and outdoor recreation. It features a number of historical sites such as the 1860's Borst homestead and a replica of the Borst One Room Schoolhouse, rhododendron gardens and an arboretum.

You can also find plenty of activities and sports facilities at this park. Four ball fields, several soccer fields and additional grassy areas make it an ideal place to play sports with friends and family.

The park also has a dog park and a paved trail loop that is exactly a mile. These trails are heavily used by joggers, walkers, strollers and other local residents.

The Borst Home Museum

The Borst Home Museum, located within Borst Park, is a wonderful example of Centralia’s past. The pioneer Joseph Borst married a young 16-year-old girl named Mary Adeline Roundtree and they lived in a small cabin on his farm.

Then, in 1855 a local war broke out and the Borsts were forced to move into a blockhouse, a tiny building built to protect settlers from Indians.

When the war was over, Joseph and his wife started construction on their own house to replace the blockhouse. This home, which is still standing today, was designed to last for 80 years.

The historic home is open to the public on Saturdays and can be scheduled for groups. It contains many original pieces of furniture and family photographs.

Fox Theater

The Fox Theater is a historic landmark in downtown Centralia. This movie palace has been a part of the town since it opened in 1930.

Originally built as a single-screen theater, it has since been renovated and restored. The theatre now has over 1,200 seats, a state-of-the-art sound system and a beautiful interior.

The Fox has also been host to some of the biggest names in film, including Katharine Hepburn, Ethel Barrymore and Boris Karloff. It is also home to Community Concerts, featuring world-class musicians.

Seminary Hill

Located just a few blocks off Tower Avenue, Seminary Hill is one of the best places to find some peace and quiet in Centralia. This forested hill has a network of steep trails that are ideal for those who like to get out and enjoy nature.

Seminary Hill is a conservation area and is maintained by the nonprofit Friends of Seminary Hill Natural Area. The group hosts activities, events and hiking tours throughout the year.

The trails are easy enough to walk on but also offer a good challenge, particularly in some of the steeper sections. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes or a walking stick to prevent injuries.


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