Road Trip: Heading to the Apple Cup? Explore Pullman's On- and Off-Campus Treasures

There’s more than football to this college town
  • The Cordova Theater in Pullman, Washington
SIMPLE PLEASURES: The Cordova Theatre is part of the self-guided historic walking tour

This article appears in print in the November 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Toward the end of the month, cars traveling over Snoqualmie Pass are likely to be adorned with Husky purple and gold and Cougar crimson and gray as football fans head east to take in the November 23 Apple Cup at Washington State University in Pullman. But there’s more than football to this college town.

Get Your Bearings. Hike up to the WSU water tower (less than 2 miles northeast of campus via NE North Fairway Road and NE Terre View Drive) for a scenic perspective, including a view of the Bryan Clock Tower, built in 1909, which lights up the center of campus at night.

Bryan Clock Tower, a campus landmark

Campus Highlights. Head to campus for a visit to the “Crimson Cube”—the new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (7301, 1535 Wilson Road; 509.335.1910), Washington’s largest public fine arts facility east of the Cascades, wrapped in distinct crimson-colored glass and reflective panels. Then check out the site of the big game, Martin Stadium  (1775 NE Stadium Way; 800.462.6847), where you can snap a selfie beside the 15-foot-tall bronze “Cougar Pride” statue. Last stop before heading downtown? Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe (2035 Ferdinand’s Lane; 509.335.2141). Order your scoop of “Apple Cup Crisp” or “Cougar Tracks” (all made with milk from WSU’s dairy cows) and don’t forget to pick up a tin of famous Cougar Gold Cheese before leaving.

Stroll Historic Downtown. Incorporated in 1888, Pullman has a wealth of old buildings and historic locations along its tree-lined streets. Stop by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce (415 N Grand Ave.; 800.365.6948) for a self-guided walking tour brochure that highlights 20 locations including the three-story brick Mason Building (105 W Main Street), now the Anawalt Building, and Cordova Theatre (135 N Grand Ave.), now Pullman Foursquare Church.

The crimson-colored Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Enjoy Hearty Eats. End your walking tour at the 1926-era building that once housed Hutchison Studio and is now home of Porch Light Pizza (Pullman, 200 NE Kamiaken St.; 509.334.7437) where you’ll find handcrafted pizzas, salads, wine and tap beers. Other dining options include Cougar Country Drive-In (760 N Grand Ave.; 509.332.7829), popular with athletes who chow down on the burgers—voted best in the Palouse. 

For breakfast, head to nearby Moscow for eggs Benedict and the huckleberry zucchini bread French toast at The Breakfast Club (Moscow, Idaho, 501 S Main St.; 208.882.6481). Just need a caffeine fix and snack? Roost Coffee/Market (125 SE Spring St.; 509.332.8534) is the place to go.

Hoisting a glass at The Coug. Photo by Lance Lee Lijewski

Game Time. Whether you want to watch the Cougs play from a warm perch, or catch another game, Pullman is home to a number of pubs where big screens keep the crowd entertained. The Coug (900 NE Colorado St.; 509.332.1265)—with seasonal brews and ales—is a local favorite.

Before You Leave. Pick up some WSU gear with a stop at the College Hill Coug Store (1000 NE Colorado St.; 888.885.1993), owned by WSU alumni, and where crimson and gray is always in style. 

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