Two majestic mountains, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier, overlook the Yakima Valley and the City of Yakima, located on the east desert side of the Cascade Mountains. Yakima WA is the largest city and the top destination in Central Washington. The Yakima Valley stretches southeast along the Yakima River from the town of Naches all the way to Tri-Cities, where the Yakima flows into the “Mighty Columbia” on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Fascinating geological history at the Yakima Valley Museum explains the shrub-steppe desert environment. Mountain snows, three rivers, and irrigation systems make the desert bloom. Yakima is the ‘gateway’ to Washington Wine Country, with award-winning wines, tasting rooms in the vineyards, and year-round events. Find your passion here: hike, fish, golf, bike, birds, music, art, dining, and sunshine!
Yakima has four distinct seasons and enjoys a dry, sunny climate. This fertile valley, home to numerous orchards and berry farms is also the largest hops growing area in North America. Travel the Craft Beverage Trail and enjoy great local wines and spirits.
Spring in Yakima
Spring is characterized by sunny days, crisp nights, blossoming orchards, and u-pick farms and berry farms. Wineries host Spring Barrel Tasting weekends in April. In May, events include “Cinco de Mayo” and “Tour of Artists Homes”. The Yakima Farmer’s Market opens downtown on Sundays, mid-May through October. This is ‘farm to table’ at its freshest and best. Yakima River Canyon spring events include the Yakima Canyon Marathon, and a scenic bike ride on Your Canyon For a Day.
Summer in Yakima
Summer is noted for long, hot, sunny days with cool desert nights. Locals and visitors enjoy concerts in the parks, downtown music and events, u-pick farms for berries, apples, and other fruit. Restaurants invite you to dine either inside or outside, serve local wines, beers, and meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. The Yakima Valley is the largest hops growing region in North America. You’ll see hop fields as you travel through the Valley on the Craft Beverage Trail, including breweries, wineries and distilleries. In late September, enjoy the famous Central WA State Fair, with top-name entertainers and all that state fairs offer.
Fall in Yakima
Autumn is distinguished with warm and sunny days with crisp nights. Celebrate in early October harvest events and activities such as the Fresh Hop Ale Festival followed by the vineyard version, Catch The Crush. An exciting weekend tradition held every year in Yakima on the day after Thanksgiving and through the weekend is Thanksgiving in Wine Country.
Intellectually and culturally stimulating top class professional entertainment abounds in Yakima including live theatre at several venues, but most notably, the beautifully restored Capitol Theatre, a 1500 seat performing arts center in downtown Yakima. Also performing regularly at the Capitol Theatre is the combined affiliation of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the Yakima Symphony Chorus with performances during the fall, winter and spring. Another exciting venue for multi-genre musical concerts and art performances is Yakima’s The Seasons Performance Hall. Live music is also featured in several downtown restaurants and tasting rooms.
Winter in Yakima
Winter is the “The Quiet Season” in Yakima with “dustings of snow” on the hillsides and orchards. Wineries present Red Wine & Chocolates on President’s Day weekend. Locals and visitors love to ski at White Pass on Hwy. 12, an hour west of Yakima. During the “quiet season”, concerts, theatre, art galleries, and exhibits are in full swing.
Grandview WA is a small farming community located about 45 minutes from Yakima and 45 minutes from the bustling Tri-Cities area. Set in the center of wine country, Grandview have expansive views of local farmland, snow-capped Mount Adams and towering Mount Rainier. With the dry sunny climate, it is a great spot for outdoor activities like cycling and hiking. The area is surrounded by world class wineries and tasting rooms. Cozy Rose is a romantic inn set in the heart of Grandview and the wine country. Relax in the serene, park-like setting.
Weather in Yakima and Getting There
Yakima has 4 distinct seasons. Summer is hot and dry with temperatures reaching the mid-80’s. Winter means light snow in the area with daytime temperatures in the high 30’s. Just 2+ hours east of Seattle on I-90 and I-82 or 3+ hours northeast of Portland via I-84 east and US Route 97 north. You can also fly from SeaTac Airport to Yakima daily.