Five Fun Facts About Pendleton, Oregon

pendleton oregon

pendleton oregon

Pendleton, Oregon sits in the eastern part of the state and is south of the Columbia River and the border with Washington. It’s famous for the Pendleton Round Up, a major annual rodeo which brings approximately 50,000 people into the city each September. Pendleton is also home to the nearby Wild Horse Casino which is another popular draw to the area. The Old Town section of Pendleton is listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places and is an interesting part of town to visit.

Pendleton can be a fun weekend destination or a great place to stop on the way east or west through the region. Here is a look at five fun facts about Pendleton, Oregon should you be heading that way.

The Pendleton Round Up

The Pendleton Round Up began in 1910 and is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and in 2008 it was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. The ten events held there include bareback riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, steer roping, calf roping, Brahma bull riding, team roping, indian relay races, steer wrestling, and wild cow milking.

What’s In A Name?

The city of Pendleton was named for Senator George H. Pendleton of Ohio. He was the 1864 vice presidential candidate, who along with presidential candidate George B. McClellan, lost the election to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Underground Pendleton!

Part of downtown Pendleton features underground tunnels and basements that were once part of the community’s “red light district”. Today, there is a popular tourist attraction that takes travelers on tours of these underground spaces.

Training World War II Heroes

Jimmy Dolittle’s Raiders, the World War II squadron that bombed Japan from a great distance away, did some of their training at Pendleton’s airport.

Famous Sports Names

Before having a 16 year Major League Baseball career that included appearances in three All-Star Games, slugger Dave Kingman was born in Pendleton. Pendleton was also briefly the home to Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and Dallas Cowboys star, Bob Lilly who had relocated there from Texas for his senior year of high school.

The Wildhorse Resort & Casino

Wildhorse Resort Casino

Heading down Interstate 84 from Washington into Idaho, I was looking for what might be a fun stop along the way. Then, there it was. Just five miles east of Pendleton sat the Wildhorse Resort & Casino.

I’m not a big gambler, but sometimes it’s fun to hang out in a casino and try your luck. We got a room for the night very easily and were immediately impressed by the quality of the surroundings, as well as the fact that there were three or four choices for eating out right there on the premisis.

I hit the casino floor, and I’ll be honest, I was not a big winner. I tried my hand at blackjack and poker, and came out about even. I’m not usually a fan of slot machines, but after just 45 minutes playing them, I found myself moderately ahead. I then took my meager winnings and entered a poker tournament and proceeded to lose it all. In the end though, I’d had about four hours of entertainment and was not significantly poorer for the process. In fact, it was a truly fun time.

We didn’t take advantage of the golf, movie theater, or live entertainment at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino as we were a little pressed for time. Just knowing that those kinds of options are available though makes me think that I could’ve even had a better time while there.

Another meal and a good night’s rest and I was ready to hit the road the next day. Headed down to Idaho to do some more exploring of the Pacific Northwest. Wildhorse Resort & Casino was in my rearview mirror, but the memories of a fun time will probably be more than enough to convince me to make a return trip.

If you’re heading that way, you should really give The Wildhorse Resort & Casino a try.

Spend the Night at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton

Wildhorse Resort Casino2

The Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, Oregon is the perfect spot to head to when on a road trip through Eastern Oregon or when traveling back and forth between Washington and Idaho. You can find a lot of things at Wildhorse, including golf, live entertainment, dining options, and of course gambling. You can also find it to be a very nice and conveniently located place to spend the night.

Rising up out of the desert like landscape that surrounds the Wildhorse Casino is the resort’s 10 story tall Tower Hotel. I specifically requested a room near the top because I wanted to check out the view and I was not disappointed. I didn’t have the time on this trip to make use of one of the available golf packages that could be combined with the hotel stay, but I’ll be remembering that for my next trip through the area. I did make use of both the sauna and hot tub though and that was the perfect way to end the day.

The entertainment options being conveniently located right on the grounds with the hotel make the Wildhorse Resort and Casino much more than just a place to spend the night. I got pretty lucky that night on video poker but didn’t really leave with much winnings. That was alright because I’d budgeted a small amount for gambling there and gotten well over a few hours of entertainment back for my investment.

The next day I was moving on to Idaho. The Wildhorse Resort and Casino was in the rearview mirror but will always be on the radar if I take another road trip along that stretch of highway.