Things to Do in Pendleton, Oregon: Discover History, Nature, and Culture

Things to do in pendleton oregon – Welcome to Pendleton, Oregon, a charming city nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene, Pendleton offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. From exploring historic landmarks to indulging in outdoor adventures and savoring local flavors, discover the endless possibilities that await you in this captivating destination.

As you embark on your journey through Pendleton, let us guide you through the city’s must-visit attractions, hidden gems, and insider tips. Whether you’re seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a relaxing escape, Pendleton has something to offer everyone.

Popular Attractions in Pendleton, Oregon

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Pendleton, Oregon, is a charming city with a rich history and culture. It is home to several popular attractions that draw visitors from all over the region.

Some of the most popular attractions in Pendleton include:

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

  • The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is a museum and cultural center that celebrates the history and culture of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
  • The museum features exhibits on the tribe’s history, culture, and art.
  • The cultural center offers a variety of programs and events, including traditional dancing, storytelling, and workshops.

Pendleton Underground Tours

  • Pendleton Underground Tours offer a unique glimpse into the city’s past.
  • The tours take visitors through a series of underground tunnels that were once used to store goods and shelter people from the elements.
  • The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who share stories about the city’s history and the people who lived there.

Pendleton Round-Up

  • The Pendleton Round-Up is a world-famous rodeo that takes place every September.
  • The rodeo features a variety of events, including bull riding, bareback riding, and steer wrestling.
  • The Round-Up also includes a parade, carnival, and other special events.

Chief Joseph Days

  • Chief Joseph Days is a festival that celebrates the life and legacy of Chief Joseph, a Nez Perce leader who fought against the US government in the 1870s.
  • The festival features a variety of events, including a parade, powwow, and rodeo.
  • Chief Joseph Days is a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Nez Perce people.
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Historical Landmarks and Museums: Things To Do In Pendleton Oregon

Pendleton, Oregon, is steeped in history and culture, and its landmarks and museums offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past. From the iconic Pendleton Round-Up to the fascinating Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, these historical sites preserve and celebrate the heritage of Pendleton and the surrounding region.

One of the most significant historical landmarks in Pendleton is the Pendleton Round-Up, an annual rodeo that has been held in the city since 1910. The Round-Up is one of the most prestigious rodeos in the world, and it attracts thousands of visitors each year.

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The Round-Up grounds are also home to the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame, which honors rodeo legends and preserves the history of the sport.

Another important historical landmark in Pendleton is the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture and history of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The institute houses a museum, research library, and cultural center, and it offers a variety of programs and events that celebrate Native American culture.

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Additional Historical Landmarks and Museums, Things to do in pendleton oregon

  • Pendleton Woolen Mills: Founded in 1863, Pendleton Woolen Mills is a world-renowned manufacturer of woolen blankets, clothing, and accessories. The company’s historic mill is open for tours, and it offers a glimpse into the history of the textile industry in Pendleton.

  • Umatilla County Historical Society Museum: This museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Umatilla County’s past. The museum is located in the historic Umatilla County Courthouse, which was built in 1885.
  • Eastern Oregon Museum: This museum features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of eastern Oregon. The museum is located in the historic Carnegie Library building, which was built in 1913.

Outdoor Activities and Recreation

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Pendleton, Oregon, offers a diverse range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities that cater to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and families alike. From scenic hiking trails and serene parks to thrilling water activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings of Pendleton.

Explore the region’s natural beauty through hiking trails that wind through forests, meadows, and canyons, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Parks offer a tranquil setting for picnics, leisurely strolls, and outdoor games, while water activities like fishing, boating, and swimming provide a refreshing escape during the warmer months.

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Hiking Trails

Pendleton boasts a network of well-maintained hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Explore the forested slopes of McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge, where trails lead to scenic viewpoints and wildlife observation areas. For a more challenging hike, tackle the Zumwalt Canyon Trail, which traverses rugged terrain and offers panoramic vistas of the canyon.


Pendleton’s parks provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Hamley Park, located in the heart of downtown, features a playground, picnic areas, and a historic carousel. For a more secluded experience, visit Kiwanis Park, which offers scenic walking paths along the Umatilla River.

Water Activities

The Umatilla River offers a range of water activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Cast a line and try your luck at fishing for trout, bass, and steelhead. Embark on a leisurely boat ride or kayak excursion, enjoying the tranquil waters and picturesque scenery along the riverbanks.

During the summer months, cool off with a refreshing swim at the city’s aquatic center or nearby rivers.

Shopping and Dining

Pendleton, Oregon, offers a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences, catering to various tastes and preferences. From charming boutiques to renowned restaurants, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Explore the unique shops and boutiques that line the historic downtown area, showcasing local crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. Indulge in delectable culinary delights at restaurants serving everything from traditional American fare to international cuisine.

Unique Shops and Boutiques

  • Pendleton Woolen Mills: Visit the flagship store of the iconic Pendleton Woolen Mills, renowned for its high-quality wool blankets, clothing, and accessories.
  • Lone Pine Gallery: Discover a collection of Native American art, jewelry, pottery, and sculptures.
  • Sweet Clementine: Explore a charming boutique offering a curated selection of women’s clothing, accessories, and home décor.


  • Hamley Steakhouse: Savor mouthwatering steaks, seafood, and classic American dishes in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Mekong Palace: Experience authentic Thai cuisine with a wide range of flavorful dishes.
  • Round-Up Saloon and Grill: Enjoy casual dining in a historic setting, serving burgers, sandwiches, and local favorites.

Festivals and Events

Pendleton, Oregon, hosts various festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate the city’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. These events offer a vibrant and engaging experience for visitors and locals alike.

Pendleton Round-Up

The Pendleton Round-Up is the city’s signature event, held annually in September. This world-renowned rodeo attracts top cowboys and cowgirls from around the country, showcasing thrilling competitions, including saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and steer wrestling. Beyond the rodeo, the Round-Up also features a lively carnival, live music, and a Native American village, offering a glimpse into the region’s indigenous heritage.

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Pendleton Whisky Music Fest

Held in July, the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest is a celebration of music, whiskey, and the great outdoors. This three-day event features live performances by renowned country and rock artists, as well as local musicians. Attendees can enjoy craft cocktails and whiskey tastings while immersing themselves in the festival’s energetic atmosphere.

Pendleton Arts and Crafts Fair

The Pendleton Arts and Crafts Fair is a showcase of local and regional artisans. Held annually in August, this event features a wide variety of handmade items, including pottery, jewelry, paintings, and woodwork. Visitors can browse and purchase unique pieces while supporting the local arts community.

Tamkaliks Powwow

The Tamkaliks Powwow is a celebration of Native American culture and traditions. Held in June, this event brings together tribes from across the region for a weekend of traditional dance, drumming, and storytelling. Visitors can learn about Native American history, heritage, and contemporary life while experiencing the vibrant spirit of this cultural gathering.

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Eastern Oregon Film Festival

The Eastern Oregon Film Festival showcases independent films from around the world. Held annually in March, this event features screenings, workshops, and panel discussions with filmmakers. Attendees can discover new cinematic voices and engage in thought-provoking conversations about the art of filmmaking.

Concluding Remarks

Things to do in pendleton oregon

As you bid farewell to Pendleton, we hope you leave with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the unique blend of history, nature, and culture that defines this captivating city. Whether you’ve explored the iconic Pendleton Round-Up, marveled at the grandeur of the Blue Mountains, or immersed yourself in the vibrant art scene, Pendleton has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on your heart.

As you continue your travels, may you carry the spirit of Pendleton with you, seeking out new adventures and embracing the beauty that surrounds us. Until next time, farewell from the enchanting city of Pendleton, Oregon.

FAQ Summary

What is the best time to visit Pendleton, Oregon?

Pendleton is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the summer months (June-August) when the weather is warm and sunny. However, each season offers its own unique charm, with spring showcasing wildflowers, fall foliage in vibrant hues, and winter providing opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

What are some of the must-visit attractions in Pendleton?

Pendleton offers a diverse range of attractions, including the Pendleton Round-Up, a world-renowned rodeo held every September; the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, showcasing the rich heritage of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; and the Pendleton Woolen Mills, a historic textile mill offering tours and a glimpse into the city’s industrial past.

What are some popular outdoor activities in Pendleton?

Pendleton is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Enjoy hiking trails in the Blue Mountains, go kayaking or fishing in the Umatilla River, or explore the vast McKay Reservoir. For a unique experience, take a scenic bike ride along the Pendleton River Parkway Trail.