"Nearly Ignored Community on Cowlitz River" Kelso by glabah

Kelso Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 29 photos

Passing through Kelso on Interstate 5, it is easy to miss Kelso since most of the town is not visible from the highway. Longview, on the other side of the Cowlitz river, has more industry, and therefore more money. Kelso has a shopping mall and the airport. There is only a single city park of any size, but it is somewhat far from downtown.

In short, there isn't a huge amount of interest here, but you will find a few items of minor interest:

+ A paved pathway leads along the Cowlitz river. As it is far from the highways and other busy streets, it is reasonably pleasant, but unfortunately there are some places with a lot of trash.

+ Downtown has a few interesting restaurants and old buildings that have survived.

+ There is a small but reasonably busy theatre right in the core of downtown.

+ This is a popular "gateway" of sorts for those visiting the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. It has hotels and some tourist information related to that, but a huge portion of the people actually go up to the State of Washington Mount Saint Helens Visitor's Center close to Castle Rock instead.

+ The train station has been rebuilt to serve as both a train station and local tourist information center. Volunteers here actually are part of the local chamber of commerce, though they are also able to answer some Amtrak questions.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Downtown is located close enough to Interstate 5 to be convenient, far enough to not hear the traffic noise much.
  • Cons:Too small to have a huge amount right in the town itself.
  • In a nutshell:May be worth a visit on your way through.
  • Last visit to Kelso: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated Apr 3, 2011
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