Centralia is uniquely positioned between the major cities of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon and has long served as a stopping point for travelers between the two cities. The city was originally settled in the 1850s and was commissioned by George Washington when he learned that the Northern Pacific Railway had plans to lay tracks in the area. Before this, though, the area was host to a toll ferry along the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers.
Centralia has experienced many ups and downs since it was originally settled and suffered major losses after the 1980 explosion of Mt. St. Helens. Today, however, the town enjoys a bustling economy with a population of approximately 16,000 residents and is a popular location for travelers looking for a quiet getaway. With a host of natural attractions and the kind of beautiful serenity only a small town can provide, Centralia is the perfect spot if you're looking for a nice break from busy life.
Best Time to Visit Centralia, WA
The best time to visit Centralia is usually in the early summer through early fall months, from the end of May through to the end of September, when skies are clear and temperatures are comfortable. Even at the peak of summer, temperatures rarely climb above 84 degrees.
The city is bustling with life and activities for visitors to enjoy this time of year, and a host of outdoor attractions are open for you to explore as well. Because this is the most popular time of year to visit, hotels tend to fill up quickly and rates tend to be higher, so it's best to book your stay as early as possible to get the best rate.
If you're interested in a winter getaway, Centralia is positively beautiful when it's bathed in blankets of snow, the likes of which remind many travelers of something out of a storybook. There isn't quite as much to do during the winter months, usually between December through the end of February, but what a visit this time of year lacks in available activities, it more than makes up for it in the way of breathtaking scenery as the area transforms into a virtual winter wonderland.
Rates tend to be much lower this time of year and there are always rooms available. This would be a great option for a nice Christmas vacation.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Centralia, WA:
Centralia by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean price trends by star rating class in Centralia, WA. You can use these line graphs to evaluate the least expensive seasons to book a room in Centralia for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Centralia, WA
For higher-end luxury hotel options, you'll have to look in nearby Tacoma. While these hotels aren't actually located in Centralia, they're still close enough that you can easily sample everything this charming town has to offer while simultaneously enjoying easy access to the active nightlife in Tacoma.
The Hotel Urano is of particular interest in this category and is located in downtown Tacoma, just a short drive from Centralia. With everything this hotel has to offer, the drive is more than worthwhile. Nearby attractions include numerous historical and art museums, live theatre venues, and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Exciting shopping venues and fine dining options surround this hotel, so you'll have plenty to keep you occupied while you're not enjoying the nature and history of Centralia.
When you are ready to enjoy everything Centralia has to offer, you can either make the drive yourself or enjoy a luxurious train ride into town.
Affordable Hotel Options in Centralia, WA
3 Star Average Prices: $116.50
Centralia has plenty of nicely affordable hotel options for you to choose from, making it more than possible to plan a great trip without breaking the bank. Centralia Inn is located very close to downtown as well as Fort Borst Park. In fact, both locations are so close to this hotel, you could easily enjoy a relaxing day in nature, filled with hikes and beautiful scenery, and enjoy fine dining downtown without ever venturing more than a few miles from your room. Free wireless internet is available to all guests.
The King Oscar Motel is another affordable option to consider and also within close proximity to downtown Centralia as well as Yardbirds Mall, providing easy access to shopping. When you're ready for some time outside, Fort Borst Park is also just a short drive away. Previous guests have credited this hotel with spacious rooms and comfortable beds. Standard amenities include a free breakfast, an indoor pool, and high-speed wireless internet. This is a great deal for the price!
2 Star Average Prices: $96.48
Which Centralia hotels have real discounts?
Bargain hunters can find plenty of great deals on hotels in Centralia as well. If you know how to shop around for a great price and then get additional discounts, you can get the best bang for your buck at some of Centralia's best hotels.
Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel offers discounts for AAA members where you can save up to 15 percent on your nightly rate. Availability and the exact amount of this discount will differ depending on hotel occupancy and the time of year, so make sure to check dates for the best available discount. This hotel is just outside of Capitol State Forest, providing easy access to hiking trails and picnic areas. Standard amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, and this hotel has been receiving great reviews for large groups.
For a great rate with a senior discount, check out Quality Inn Centralia Chehalis. This great hotel is just minutes from downtown and right down the road from Fort Borst National Park. Because it is also just off Interstate 5, many other local attractions can be easily reached as well. The hotel features an outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay. Recent guests have made positive comments about some of the great shopping venues located near this hotel.
Best Value Options in Centralia, WA
Travelers looking for a good balance between price and value will have plenty of options to choose from. The Hilton Garden Inn Olympia is located just a short drive outside of Centralia and is close to great attractions like the Washington State Museum, the state capitol, and Capital State Forest. This hotel offers quite a bit for its relatively low rates, including amenities like an on-site bar and lounge, a fitness center, and an indoor pool.
Located just off a major state highway, Prairie Hotel is another great choice if you're looking for something a little farther out. This hotel has charming and attractive rooms and offers great nightly rates with a friendly and helpful staff available to meet your needs. Prairie hotel offers accessibility options for handicap travelers and is even pet-friendly, so if you want to bring your furry family members along with you, this is a great option to consider.
Top Attractions in Centralia, WA
There are plenty of things to see in do in Centralia, and the few listed here are among some of the most popular locations sought out by regulars and tourists alike. Great Wolf Lodge is a must-see for any family trip. This location has a number of water slides, pools, hot-tubs and shopping available, all in one location. On top of all that, there is also a hotel right in the building, offering travelers plenty to do without ever having to leave. On-site dining is also available here.
For more great shopping, visit the Centralia Outlet Malls. If you're interested in finding great deals and endless sales on all of your favorite brands, this is another must. Centralia Outlet Malls is popular among tourists and locals alike and is open year round, so there's plenty of shopping available no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
Fort Borst Park offers plenty of outdoor family fun. This park includes multiple hiking trails, picnic areas, and even a children's fishing excursion. There's a lot of history to be learned about the local area here if that's something that interests you. Whether you're an avid outdoor enthusiast, love fishing, enjoy learning about history and culture, or just want to enjoy some fresh air and natural scenery, there's something here for everybody.
Finally, Central Glass Works is an interesting and unique experience you're sure to love. This isn't a venue where you simply watch glassblowers work and have the opportunity to browse and purchase their products, although that is certainly an option. If you're feeling adventurous, the friendly staff is more than willing to teach you how to craft your own masterpiece. What better way to commemorate your visit than bringing own your very own, custom-blown piece of glasswork? This is another popular location for locals and visitors alike.
Recent traveler reviews of Centralia, WA
Below are reviews of the city of Centralia, WA from an actual visitor's perspective.
Score 4.0 / 5
Centralia, WA is a very friendly town and every amenity you could want within a short walking distance.
Score 5.0 / 5
In Centralia, the outlet malls were our favorite with great prices and selection especially at the Nike store. If you want inexpensive Chinese food, I recommend a place called Panda. The portion sizes were extremely large. One plate could feed a family of 4 for around $10.
The average traveler rating of the city of Centralia, WA shown above is 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews