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Most visitors think of wine when they hear Yakima, but there’s also a hopping brewery scene! Visit Yakima Craft Brewing Company for tasting flights, refillable growlers, and savory snacks chosen specifically for how well they pair with each pint. You’ll want to try the Lincoln Avenue Stout with a special coffee blend in the brew and the clean, sessionable 1982.

Hop Nation Brewing Company is all about Washington love. In the tasting room, you’ll see ideas brewing daily. Firkins are cracked on Thursdays, so the freshest cask beer is available for the weekend. Relatively new, this brewery features Master Brewer Ben Grossman and specializes in Yakima Valley Hops along with Columbia Valley Grain.

Brew Up

Bale Breaker Brewing Company is nestled on a commercial hop farm but still welcomes visitors. Check out the tasting room, or relax on the dog-friendly patio. Dubbed a handcrafted showcase of beer, the Baling Room is open Tuesday – Sunday for tastings. Try the Dormancy Breakfast Stout for a real wake-me-up.

Wandering Hop Brewery is a little operation that’s family owned and operated. You’ll want to follow them on social media to keep up with their happenings, and reach out first to schedule a private tasting and tour. This brewery is proof that great things truly come from small packages.

Where will your brew tour begin?

 

 

Nothing is more romantic than the holidays in Yakima where many of the vineyards are covered in snow, and you can warm up with a cup of locally-made cider, mulled wine or hot cocoa. The downtown Yakima Winter Wonderland events include a lighting of the enormous community Christmas tree, tours of downtown on horse-drawn carriages, performances by local artists, and of course, a visit from Santa—just in the first week of December!

Free horse-drawn carriage rides are available throughout the month, as merchants in the historic district host a holiday open house on some special Saturdays. Check out the ornament-making workshops at Yakima Maker Space, and don’t miss the performances by the Yakima Youth Symphony which take place throughout the holiday season.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside …

Enjoy the Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade on December 3, and don’t miss the Toy Train Christmas that takes place until December 17. Also on December 3, there’s the Holiday Crafts and Antiques Bazaar at Mighty Tieton, where you can pick up gifts, decorations and more from local artists.

On December 3 and 4, A Christmas Pops Spectacular is featured by the youth symphony, and bars and restaurants throughout town are offering holiday specials. Slip into one of the many tasting rooms for some seasonal pairings, and make this December one to remember.

 

 

There’s no better place to be than wine country for Thanksgiving, where you can pair a glass with turkey, dressing, potatoes and pumpkin pie! Every November, Wine Country Thanksgiving takes place throughout the holiday weekend, and this year there are over 50 local wineries participating. Check out the debut releases before anyone else, taste them paired with autumnal cuisine, and enjoy this beloved tradition that includes scenic drives.

Wine-makers and T-day chefs are on site to help with sauce pairings, seasoning and bringing out the flavors of the holidays. Every participating winery is offering something unique, so be sure to check them all out during your long weekend. Hop from winery to vineyard, sampling tasty treats and glasses of vino along the way. You’ve never enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast like this before!

Bottoms Up

Prefer a more traditional feast for Thanksgiving? A number of local restaurants are open on the big day. Mel’s Diner is a favorite, laidback family-owned restaurant serving traditional sides and, of course, juicy turkey cuts. At Legends Casino, you can enjoy a fantastic meal in between your favorite table games.

Many head to the Clarion for their holiday feast, and picking up a pie from Shari’s (or dining there late night!) is a popular pick when those pie cravings hit. However you want to celebrate in Yakima, you can rest assured locally owned vineyards, restaurants and diners have you covered.

 

 

Halloween and wine country are a perfect pairing! If you’ll be in Yakima this haunting season, there are plenty of options to get wicked. The Branding Iron Restaurant and Lounge is famous for their Halloween party, which goes down on October 31 from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. Get $3 margaritas and well drink specials. You can also score a $4.99 dinner special with spaghetti, burgers, giant combo burritos, chicken breast, chef salads and hoagies. Hosted by TNT Jam, the costume contest comes with a $50 prize.

At Susie’s Bourbon Street Bistro and Bar, get a $9.45 “bucket of beer” to share before entering the contest for sexiest costume, best cat costume, most creative, best couple costume and overall best! Pirates of the Columbia provide the entertainment, and with drink specials like Dracula’s Kiss, Ghoul Juice, and Ghost and Ghouls, the party will go until the late hours.

Treats and Tricks Galore

Only at Hoops will you find over $1,000 in cash prizes on Halloween night! Plus, with $1 well specials, .75 for drafts, $1 domestics and a Smirnoff Brew Bucket for just $8, it’s bound to be one of the most popular stops of the night.

Families love Bill’s Berry Farm for the hay rides, apple slingshots, and of course pumpkins ripe for the picking. Numerous Yakima area neighborhoods celebrate Halloween, and little ones can enjoy some top-of-the-line trick or treating all around town.

 

 

 

Start autumn right at Yakima’s annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival on October 1. Rated as one of the top ten beer fests in the country, the tastings and entertainment go from 5 – 10 p.m. with over 40 breweries showcasing their goods in 2016. With over 100 beers to sample, you’ll want to come thirsty and hungry for great beer pairings. Cyclists love the beer bike cruising around the event, and it’s a great way to rev up your appetite.

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Homebrew contestants are welcome, and attendees are in for a real treat when sampling what can be brewed up in garages! There’s also a bevy of wines to sample and for sale—you’re in wine country, so it’s a given that local vineyards make a splash. General admission is just $35, or you can upgrade to VIP status for $75 to get early entry, a catered buffet, VIP only music and tap handles, special beer gardens, pint glasses, restrooms and $20 in drink script!

Pour You

Many come for the food, and this year really delivers. Some of the featured food vendors include D-Lish Mini Donuts, Winey Dogs, Antojitos Mexicanos, and HopTown Pizza. Stop by French Fry Heaven for the ideal beer pairing, or go to Kim’s Got Smoke for all your barbeque cravings. From Slow Pokes Grill & Smoke to the sweetness at R & J’s Kettle Korn, there’s something for everyone.

Live music abounds with numerous stages and performances around the venue. VIP members have their own exclusive entertainment, but all attendees will be treated to performances from entry until the festival ends.

 

 

 

Peach Days at Washington Fruit Place is celebrating its twelfth year of honoring the luscious, sweet and delicious Washington peach—and in September visitors can take advantage of the last of the festivities for this season. From August 5 through September 12, head to 1209 Pecks Canyon Road in Yakima for oodles of free samples of peaches in every imaginable conjuring. Freshly picked peaches, homemade ice cream with nectarines, and smoothies are just a few of the mouthwatering and free samplings available at the Barrett Orchards gift shop.

Of course, any time of year is the perfect time to visit the “big red barn.” Tree-ripened fruits from the heart of Yakima Valley are revered around the world. It’s that volcanic soil and daily produce harvesting that made the orchard famous. From pears to cherries, apricots to apples, shopping seasonally and locally has never been more appealing.

Family Fun

September is also heading into the autumn harvest season, and you’ll get a sneak peek of what’s to come. Pumpkin patches, hayrides and more are family-friend fun throughout Yakima can be found here. All produce is organic and tended with love.

“See you at the orchard!” is the motto of the farm, and you’ll want to come hungry and ideally with your own sturdy, eco-friendly bags. It’s impossible to leave the farm without picking up at least a few goodies to take home.

 

The party of the year happens Labor Day weekend at Silver Lake Winery! On September 3, head to 1500 Vintage Road in Zillah to honor the beginning of the harvest season. Sign up for some grape stomping, and help the winery’s process of producing some of the tastiest vino in Yakima. Bring the kids and check out live music, or treat yourself to frozen “vinoritas.” Local vendors flock to the winery to showcase and sell their goods.

However, just because autumn is nearly upon us, that doesn’t mean summer is over yet. Lunch during the festival is tropical, so you can say farewell to the hot months in style. The winery was established in 1987 and is proudly the state’s biggest consumer-owned vineyard. You’ll be treated to tastings of award-winning, ultra-premium wines that are perfect for enjoying today or putting away for a special future celebration.

Let Passion Flow

There are two tasting rooms, in Woodinville and Zillah, and for the festival, the Zillah tasting room is a favorite hot spot. The party goes until 5 p.m., and the tropical retreat within the vineyards provides the perfect romantic getaway. One drink ticket and a souvenir glass is just $10, or you can purchase drink tickets separately for $5 and get a glass of wine, vinorita or a full tasting flight.

The party begins at 11:45 a.m. with lunch and a band, with the grape stomp “kicking” off at 12:15. Hang around for the second grape stomp and limbo competition at 2:45, or join the group grape grope and bung pass at 4:00.

 

 

 

Yakima is known for wineries and locally sourced American fare, but there’s also a smattering of Thai restaurants to spice things up during your getaway. Start your journey at Yakima Thai Cuisine where a casual atmosphere pairs perfectly with Thai beer or a local glass of wine. The Pad Thai and spicy fried rice get rave reviews, and the Thai coffee is the perfect end to a delicious meal.

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Thai House features fresh spring rolls, butterflies and skewers as starters using local, organic ingredients and fresh herbs. Try the Tom-Yum with chicken or shrimp, or for a real treat, try the ginger chicken and chicken swimming angels. Dessert includes Thai coconut ice cream, sticky rice with mango, or fried banana with ice cream.

Time for Thai

At the Tea Garden, you’ll find an authentic menu with some of the most delectable tea in town. Available for carry-out to enjoy in your suite, reviewers recommend the Tom-Yum, Pad Thai and yellow curry. Chicken curries and their egg rolls really take the cake, and the lunch buffet is always sure to satisfy.

Bamboo Thai Cuisine is another option, a tiny establishment that’s family-owned and has been dishing up genuine Thai fare to locals for years. No matter which of the four establishments you pick, you’re guaranteed to heat up your trip with some seriously spicy and sweet dishes.

 

 

Conveniently located on Merlot Drive, you’ll find everything you need to relax on August 4th and 8th at 7 p.m. at Airfield Estates Winery. Sunset yoga, a locally sourced snack, and of course a glass of wine from the vineyard just steps away are perfect early starts to your weekend in Yakima. Each session is led by a seasoned, certified yoga professional and designed to help you relax, rejuvenate and make the most of your stay in wine country one asana at a time.

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All levels are welcome, with modifications offered to make the hour-long class enjoyable, yet challenging, for everyone. Airfield Estates has been a popular family-owned and operated winery for four generations, starting in 1968 as a simple, small vineyard offering up some of the tastiest glasses in the region.

Airfield Today

Now, you can find 27 types of wine grape varietals on the 900+ acres. All estate wines come directly from the local vineyard, and one of the most popular is the award-winning Sangiovese rose, which has strong strawberry aromas and a crisp tang of cranberry and raspberry, the perfect glass for a warm summer day. Other award-winners include the 2012 Mustang, which is a blended red, and the 2014 Viognier.

The vineyard offers a number of events in the summer in addition to yoga, including the Grilled Salmon Demo and Cookout on August 13th. Stop by for a tasting or to visit the on-site store open seven days per week, or register online now for a yoga session or the salmon bake. In wine country, the perfect pairings are always on point.

 

 

Worried about overspending on an extended stay? Don’t—at this hotel, you save more the longer you stay. Even better, this is a property that you’ll want to call your home away from home. As an all-suites hotel, each room is 20 percent larger than standard rooms at 460 square feet (that’s bigger than some studios!). With full kitchenettes, large bathrooms and big closets, you have all the space you need for a longer stay.

The hotel is also close to multiple business centers and all the top destinations, making your temporary commute fast and easy. The Yakima SunDome is nearby, government buildings are in the neighborhood, and you’re surrounded by wine country, so when it comes time to kick back, options are never far away.

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Pack Light!

At this property, you don’t need to cram your suitcases with all the odds and ends necessary for a longer stay. All the bells and whistles are right here in your fully furnished suite with a separate living area. There’s no need to squeeze in that hair dryer, the “good towels” (the hotel has plenty!) or luxury bedding. You’ll feel right at home.

Ask the front desk staff for recommendations on restaurants, wine tours, shopping and more. After all, there will be plenty in the budget left to treat yourself when you save with every additional night you stay.