Sunny Yakima sprawls around the confluence of the Naches and Yakima Rivers framed with tawny, dry hills that belie the fertility of this agrarian region. Yakima's climate and rich soil enable an extended growing season, making this Central Washington's commercial (and agricultural) hub. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes, apricots, cherries, mint and hops are all grown, picked and boxed in Yakima to be shipped on nationally, and it's this rich heritage of produce production and the area's fruity history that is the focus at the Central Washington Agricultural Museum, a few miles south of town.
Because of the regular spells of sunshine, popular activities in the Yakima area are mostly liquid-related, designed to assuage both body and, spirit. The Yakima Weekly Recorder published an ad from local brewery owner, T. Hess, in 1888 which said, "The undersigned would respectfully inform the people of Yakima that he is not dead yet, and always keeps on hand a superior quality of Lager Beer"; today, there are two breweries downtown that can pour you a pint made with locally grown hops, though the region is becoming increasingly well known for its wines - there are number of wineries open for tastings within the general vicinity, should tippling take your fancy.
Those after rather some physical activity can make a bee-line for the river, where the preferred mode of transport is an inner-tube float down the Naches. Optionally, do some catch-and-release fishing in Yakima River Canyon for rainbow trout and take a spin around in a ski boat.
For a ride off-road, steer your 4-wheel-drive along the Jacob Durr Wagon Road, the old thoroughfare between Ellensburg and Yakima and the 'shortest route to the Kittitas Valley, finished in 1888. Most of the ruts are original, as are the views out over the Cascades and Yakima Valley.
Yakima is 111 miles southeast of Seattle and 125 miles north of Portland, Oregon.