Five great small-town art walks

Sample fine art and local color in the Northwest

ASHLAND, OR
First Friday Ashland Art Walk. With some 30 galleries, there's plenty to see. Visit April 23-24 for A Taste of Ashland; nibble fine foods and sip wine while you look ($27 per day). 5-8 p.m. Both events: www.atasteofashland.com or 877/752-6278.

BEND, OR
First Friday Gallery Walk & Art Hop. At least 16 galleries take part. Often there's live music and presentations by artists. Galleries are clustered downtown and in the Old Mill District; start anywhere and pick up a map. 5-9 p.m. www.bendgalleries.com

ELLENSBURG, WA
First Friday Artwalk. New art shows open up all over Ellensburg at venues including a couple of commercial art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants, a downtown museum--even a funeral home. 5-7 p.m. www.ellensburgarts.com or 509/962-7124.

GIG HARBOR, WA
ArtWalk. A mile and a half of the town's waterfront along Harborview Drive and side streets are packed with galleries and boutiques. The afternoon timing encourages visitors to arrive by boat. First Saturdays 1-5 p.m. www.gigharborguide.com, 888/553-5438, or 253/853-3554.

HOOD RIVER, OR
Hood River Downtown First Friday Art Walk. Once a month, the town's handful of galleries and shops show art and host live music. 5-8 p.m. www.hoodriver.org, 800/366-3530, or 541/386-2000.