Yakima Activities

 

Yakima is home to the last operating, turn of the century interurban electric railroad-and it’s a trip you have to take. At the Yakima Valley Trolleys museum, you’ll see modern trolley operations and can even charter your very own trolley for any special outing. The operating season is now extended through September with trolleys operating on the weekends, and private rentals available year-round.

Stop by South 3rd and Pine Street between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to hop aboard at the Carbarn. Trolleys whisk you down charming Pine Street along the Selah line. Fare is just $6 for adults and $4 for children.

Trolley-ing Along

In the museum, you’ll see classic trolleys like the Flatbed locomotive and line car built in 1910, the steeple cab freight locomotive from 1922 and the double truck steel car built in 1930. Popular with filmmakers, the local trolley system hasn’t changed in 100 years, though maintenance is an ongoing priority. Vintage trolleys from Yakima have been in-demand with filmmakers for decades, especially since they operate through orchards, antique commercial districts and offer a great view of the river canyon.

The Carbarn and trolleys look just like they did in the early years, including the upkeep of two electric freight locomotives and four streetcars. Let the trolleys take you back in time, whether it’s for a romantic outing, photography or film project, or simply to satisfy the history buff in you.

 

More than 30 miles of trails encompass the Cowiche Canyon Trail system, perfect for hiking and biking. From Cowiche Canyon West to East, the Uplands/Scenic Trails, and the summitview of Snow Mountain Ranch, there’s a trail length and challenge for every outdoor lover. Conveniently located just a few miles from downtown, it’s the trail system that gives you a gorgeous introduction to wine valley.

Although summer is usually prime time for hikes, it’s still best to check the “mud-o-meter” at every trailhead to see if any sections are likely to be slippery. Unfortunately, much of the landscape is vanishing, but Cowiche Canyon Trail is both a conservation effort and an opportunity to get up close and personal with native plants and natural landscapes.

Take a Hike!

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy skirts the various trails, featuring tree-covered streams and slopes peppered with sage. You’ll find plunging cliffs and thriving wildlife. The area is free to explore thanks to a land trust. Discover this Central Washington gem, located barely west of Yakima.

With 5,000 acres of meadows full of flowers, oak-filled woods, basalt cliffs, and grasslands, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or picnic. Beavers, great blue herons, and salmon are just a few of the local residents who call the protected area home.

 

 

Welcome spring in Yakima at the Yakima Area Arboretum, a dedicated city green space that encompasses 46 acres. Here, you can stroll through natural areas and gardens, and take in stunning tree collections. Nature walks are a great way to discover the valley, or perhaps you want to try out a gardening class. In the spring, it’s common to see weddings, workshops and fieldtrips happening in the arboretum.

Considered one of the most stunning places in Washington State, it’s a real treasure within the valley. Open daily from dawn until dusk, you’ll also want to visit the on-site Jewett Interpretive Center and the Tree House Gift Shop (Monday – Saturday). There’s never an entrance fee to the arboretum, and dogs on leashes are welcome.

Discovering the Garden

Enjoy a self-guided tour, and see the blossoming fruit trees in April. Start at the Interpretive Center with a complimentary tour map. Private/group tours are also available, and free, but contact the arboretum staff in advance for scheduling.

Prefer a more challenging outing? There are two orienteering courses, one 0.5 miles from the center and another one mile away. Directions to the courses are on the self-guided map and offer a great way to explore even more of the garden. In April, the garden really starts to come alive with colors, blooms and animals. Come discover the real Yakima.

If you really want to wow Dad this Father’s Day, book a reservation at one of Yakima’s top ranked steakhouses. Black Angus features holiday specials like the fire-grilled fresh artichoke, jumbo shrimp cocktail, wagon wheel sample platter and, of course, your favorite cuts from filet mignon to New York strip. Their peanut butter cup pie, sky high mud pie and chocolate chip cowboy cookie are just a few of the delights on their separate dessert menu.

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Kyoto Sushi and Steakhouse gives you the best of both worlds if you can’t decide between great steak and Asian flavors. With a massive lunch and dinner menu, it can be hard to decide! Do you want to start with miso soup or fried scallops? The hibachi dinner special offers filet mignon, lobster, scallops and more while dessert ranges from fried banana ice cream to chocolate lava cake.

Big Steaks!

Creekside West Bar and Grille is a local staple where Thai chicken nachos, bacon gorgonzola fries, killer clams,  and steak burgers are sure to please. Try the blue buckle BBQ burger, battered steak fries, or their famous mac and cheese.

George’s Steakhouse is a little known, best kept secret where the locals flock for fresh ingredients, locally sourced cuts, and some killer secret recipes! Where will you book this Father’s Day?

Rich with equestrian options, from the new horseback rider to the experienced, Yakima hosts rodeos year-round and it’s home to a number of cowboys. Horse-friendly trails snake around the region, from the rugged hills to the pine groves, making this wine country the perfect place to saddle up. You’ll be able to discover views impenetrable by foot or car, and it’s a fantastic way to bond with fellow travelers.

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There are many outfitters offering both guided rides and horse rentals, so you can customize your trip. Some are full days on scenic meadows, others are for experienced riders only on overnight trips along alpine ridges, and others are mellow wine country tours with stops at several wineries along the way. If you prefer to ride alone, there are many trails that cater to solo or small group rides, complete with riding camps.

Where to Go

One of the most popular local areas is the William O. Douglas Wilderness area. You might also fall in love with this slice of the Pacific West Trail where great wildlife views and unbelievable scenery can be found. Cowiche Canyon is another fantastic stop, or the Lower Valley Yakima pathway, where a 14-mile wine country trail from Sunnyside to Prosser can be found.

Finding an outfitter that suits your needs is key, and you can start by checking out the Back Country Horsemen of Washington. The Pegasus Project is a unique organization offering horseback riding to children with special needs. No matter who you go with, get ready to giddy up!

 

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is straight out of a fairy tale, complete with other-worldly green hues and ideal temperatures for outdoor adventures. In Yakima, try the local farmers market, where you can sample some of the best homegrown produce and pastries in Washington. Next, head to Hyatt Vineyards for a tasting and tour of the gorgeous vineyard.

At Yakima Sportsman State Park, you can reserve a camping space or permit, and spend your spring break getting back in touch with Mother Nature. It’s also a popular geocaching destination. The Hogue Cellars is an excellent source for local wines where the staff is knowledgeable and friendly and has a knack for perfect pairings.

A Break in Paradise

Cowiche Country Trail is a great choice for hiking year-round, and you can even schedule a leisurely horseback ride. Stop by the Yakima County Visitor Information Center for free guides and information on the latest events and festivals. Fort Simcoe State Park is always calling, a place for hiking, biking, picnics, and birding.

Head to Bale Breaker Brewing Company for some locally crafted beer and eats that are seasonal and sustainable. At Portteus Winery, you’ll find a wide range of wines that go perfectly with your spring break escape.

Central Washington State FairFall is starting to close in on us rather quickly and we all know what that means. It is time for the fair. That’s right, the Central Washington State Fair is here! The 2014 Central Washington State fair kicks off September 19th and runs all the way thru September 28.

For those of you who are new to the fair, there is so much fun to be had, you won’t be able to stand it. With fun activities for all ages, live entertainment, beer and wine gardens, cooking shows, contests, and carnival rides you will come back for more each year.

Take a stroll through the livestock area and see the round corral clinic with Dan James as he wows you with his horses. Stop by Barnville and let the kids have a hands-on milking demonstration. Cheer on your favorite little piggy at the All Alaskan pig racing.

For daily schedules, entertainment line up as well as all the other information, to include parking, times and prices, visit the Central Washington State Fair website. Advance tickets and wristbands can be purchased online. Don’t forget to book your Yakima hotel with us! Reservations are quick and easy on our website. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Yakima SpasWhile you are in town, enjoy not only the local wineries, beautiful scenery and fantastic restaurants but treat yourself to a relaxing day at the spa. Everyone deserves a little pampering every now-and-then and this just might be the perfect time for your ‘Me’ day!

With several great choices in town, we thought we would give you the highlights on each to make your decision a little easier. Sole Therapy Day Spa is located off Creekside Loop near the airport. With a wide variety of services, they can answer to your every whim from facial treatments to mineral makeup to massages and laser treatments. A serene place that offers it all, you can’t go wrong with an afternoon at this Yakima spa.

Next there is Ummelina Day Spa. Another, tranquil and relaxing Yakima spa with nothing on their mind but making yours relaxed. Enjoy a day to yourself or bring your friends or significant other for a group treatment. Enjoy any number of body treatments, massages or hand and foot treatments. Their menu of services is not short nor will it leave you desiring anything more.

Last on our list is A La Mode Spa and Salon. This all in one Yakima Spa not only offers all of the typical massages and body treatments but you can also take advantage of their salon. After your facial make an appointment to have your hair and nails done. Kill all your birds with one stone at A La Mode.

Yakima Folklife FestivalThis week is the 32nd Annual Yakima Folklife Festival here in Yakima. This long going festival is one that draws many year after year. Each year the festival is held at the Yakima Valley Museum and Franklin Park adjacent to the museum. This two day festival, as always, is free to the public.

Enjoy live music throughout the weekend both at the Museum Stage and Franklin Park. In addition, concerts will be showcased in downtown venues both Friday and Saturday night. Check out the following locations for even more music and entertainment throughout the weekend:

-Kana Winery

-Gilbert Cellars

-5 North

-Northtown Coffeehouse

-Sports Center

-Santiago’s

Hear top performers such as Planes on Paper, Chance Brothers, Big Sur, Joshua Hope, Gone Fiddlin’ Again, Waterbound, Dylan Jakobsen, and the Rod Giles Band.

There will be numerous food and craft vendors set up and plenty of fun activities for the kids. Bring the children and let them get in on the fun. Kids can enjoy face painting, arts & crafts, inflatable jump houses and so much more.  There is entertainment for all age groups so bring the whole family and enjoy two full days of outdoor fun, excitement and entertainment at the Yakima Folklife Festival this weekend.

Cinco de mayoCinco de Mayo is a great time to celebrate the Latino culture and heritage and we are here to give you a little guidance on exactly what, when and where you can enjoy some of the largest and most exciting activities in the Yakima Valley this weekend.

The 13th Annual Fiesta Grande kicks off Saturday in downtown Yakima with fun for everyone. Bring your sense of humor for the talent show that kicks off at 10:45am. Stick around for great performances by dancers, musicians, salsa and some great food. Sunday has just as many activities that won’t disappoint. Sign up for the talent show open to the public and show off your hidden talent. If you don’t like to be a part of the action, cruise through the car show that is open between noon and 5 pm. Bring your lawn chair and set up your spot on the parade route because it is sure to be a good one! And don’t forget to check out the horse show. Kids are sure to love all of the activities and music. It is great family friendly fun all weekend long.

If you can’t bare any more Mexican food, be sure to visit one of our top Mexican restaurants next week. Unlike the Cinco de Mayo festivities, they will still be around!