Cities and Towns of Southwest Washington
Kelso, a community with Scottish roots traced back to 19th century pioneers, sits along side Interstate 5 just north of the Columbia River and is a near neighbor to the city of Longview. Located approximately 48 miles north of Portland, Oregon at the confluence of the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers, it often serves as a base for visitors en route to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
History is Kelso's home-town attraction. The Cowlitz County Museum features several exhibits dating back to the establishment of the town in the late 1800s, including a Toutle River pioneer cabin and Native American artifacts. The museum also serves as a repository for the county's historic archives and organizes walking tours of Kelso's historic buildings.
The city also commemorates its history each year with the Highlander Festival during Labor Day weekend. The three-day festival features a local version of the traditional Scottish Highlander games, dancing and the emotionally moving Kirkn - the Tartan service. Golf enthusiasts won't want to miss the Kilted Klassic Golf Tournament as well.
The Kelso train station represents both the city's past and its future. Built in the late 19th century, the station is currently being renovated to serve as the first multi-mode transportation center for the region. The station will be equipped with stores, restaurants and other conveniences and will serve as a hub for rail and inter-regional bus services.
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