The Great Northern

Following US‑2 through wide-open spaces is guaranteed to bring new meaning to the expression “getting away from it all.”


At the heart of the Wenatchee Valley, surrounded by apple orchards and bare-brown eastern Cascade foothills, Cashmere (pop. 3,063) has an attractive downtown district, its unusual red columns and brown-shingled awnings both shading the sidewalks and giving the town some visual identity. The main sight here is the large Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village (Tues.-Sun. Mar.-Oct., $7), off US-2 at the east end of town, with an excellent collection of Native American artifacts and a free outdoor Pioneer Village made up of 21 different historic structures from around the county.

Cashmere is also the home of Aplets and Cotlets, fruit-and-nut candy, started here in the 1920s by two Armenian immigrants. These sweet treats are so dominant in the local scheme of things that the main route into town has been renamed Aplets Way. The Liberty Orchards factory (daily, closed weekends Jan.-Mar.), across from the railroad depot, is open for free tours and samples.

For road food (good milk shakes!), stop by Rusty’s Drive-In (700 Cotlets Way, 509/782-2425) at the east edge of town near the big Tree Top apple juicery, or head to the block-long downtown district, where you’ll find a handful of cafés and taverns and the Village Inn (229 Cottage Ave., 509/782-3522, $59-99).

Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village (600 Cotlets Way)
Liberty Orchards factory (117 Mission Ave.)
Rusty’s Drive-In (700 Cotlets Way)
Village Inn (229 Cottage Ave.)