A Day in Dayton Washington

Dabble in Dayton's diversions.

Once a racetrack for native tribes, then a way station for explorers Lewis and Clark, the town of Dayton in Washington State wasn’t settled until 1880, when Jacob Weinhard planted a brewery in town. Today, with 117 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the town boasts the oldest working courthouse in the state, built in 1887, and the oldest surviving train depot, dating to 1881.

Begin a walking tour at the Dayton Historic Depot Museum, which has 2,500 historic photos, an extensive collection of antique furniture, a caboose from Oregon Railroad and Navigation, and, this year, a history of the town’s Blue Mountain Cannery, now part of the Seneca Foods asparagus harvest. Check out the Palus Artifact Museum for a 10,000-piece collection of Native American history, and don’t miss the Monteillet Fromagerie to sample three varieties of artisan chevre: fromage blanc, herbed, and fresh Montrachet. In the afternoon sun, stroll the Touchet River Dike Path or put your feet up in Chief Springs Fire and Irons Brew Pub with an ale and a paperback.

For the adventurous, make a jaunt to Ski Bluewood—a hidden stash, prized by powder hounds for its superb glade skiing—or schedule a free tour of Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility, where you can climb inside the base of 221-foot-tall, electricity-generating wind turbines lining the hills.

—Christopher van Tilburg

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