Yakima Blog

 

The Fairgrounds is home to the best Fourth of July celebration in wine country, with admission free from noon until 11 p.m. The Yakima Transit Park and Ride offers free shuttles to the fairgrounds all day, so it’s easy to get the party started. Park at the Gateway Center, Eisenhower High School or Wide Hollow School with shuttle service every 15 – 20 minutes from 3:30 – 11:30 p.m.

A nostalgic Fourth of July celebration brings the community together at this old-fashioned event with carnival rides, face painting, classic contests and much more. Food vendors dish up American favorites as well as locally sourced ingredients for truly Pacific Northwest specialties.

Celebrate Summer with a Bang

The fireworks display is the biggest in the region, taking place at dusk and lasting 20 minutes. Seating is available at the fairgrounds, but some visitors prefer to bring their own lawnchairs and relax while taking in the celebratory environment.

Come hungry and ready to showcase your patriotism at the biggest party of the summer. Of course, being wine country, vineyards will also be representing with options to pick up your favorite bottle or two to take back to your guest room.

 

It’s berry season in Yakima Valley and your chance to stroll the gorgeous orchards to “cherry pick” your bountiful harvest. Yakima has been irrigated since 1889, offering a perfect agricultural setting with five wine growing regions. The desert soil with volcanic ash creates rich crops starting in April and stretching all the way through November. It’s the biggest crop in the Pacific Northwest.

Choose from several farms, or visit them all! All Natural U Pick is family-friendly with toys for kids, a picnic area, and an eclectic offering of fruits and veggies. Bill’s Berry Farm in Grandview is famous for their apple cider press. Don’t miss their Cherry Festival the last Friday and Saturday of June from 9am – 5pm where you’ll be treated to entertainment, contests and the best cherries in town.

‘Tis the Season

What can you expect to find in June? It’s the season for broccoli, blueberries and apricots, satisfying your sweet and savory cravings. Pick cherries and hunt for the perfect chard, cauliflower and cabbage. Currants and gooseberries are also in season, along with raspberries and rhubarb.

Hunt for a basket of the perfect strawberries, and get the freshest zucchini you’ve ever tasted. Nothing compares to snagging the idyllic bounty from local farms, whether it’s for a business outing, family time, a date, or simply to explore your adopted valley solo.

 

 

Treat Dad to a feast fit for a king at the local Bob’s Burgers and Brew where burgers (and a lot more) are done right. Enjoy a special dining experience with fast, friendly service and full flavors you’ll never forget. Only the best ingredients are used, and there are over 20 burgers on the menu along with the tender hand-picked cod dishes. Grab a sandwich, grilled on a French roll, and don’t forget about the luxury salads sure to satisfy even the biggest appetites.

Bob’s is also open for breakfast as well as a massive Sunday brunch. Available to cater to parties of all sizes, choose from the fire-side room or a banquet hall. Whether Dad wants an eggs benedict and French toast or the biggest deluxe burger in town, Bob’s is the place to be with beer on top, handcrafted cocktails and a pub with plasma televisions.

What’s on the Menu?

Burgers are king here, starting with the Western BBQ Burger with six ounces of beef topped with American cheese and smothered in Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce. Try the Guacamole Bacon Burger with Hormel smokehouse bacon, pepper jack cheese and house sauce. The Hawaiian Ham and Pineapple Burger is a sweet surprise, with Swiss cheese, savory sauce and grilled pineapple rings.

Here for Sunday brunch? Don’t miss out on the all-you-can-eat buffet with the ultimate omelet station as the star! From flapjacks to house potatoes, hash browns to scratch biscuits, it’s the ultimate meal for the dad in your life. (Plus, the Bloody Marys are famous!)

 

 

Although the Pacific Northwest is well-known for sustainable fare and locally-sourced ingredients, sometimes you need authentic Indian cuisine to pair with that perfect regional wine. Taj Palace is Yakima’s premier Indian restaurant, known for having traditional curries and tandoori dishes as well as an impressive lunch buffet.

It’s recommended you make a reservation for dinner because, as Yakima’s only Indian restaurant, tables can fill up quickly. Specials fuse classical dishes with Washington favorites, like the Wild Salmon dish that is marinated with Indian herbs and spices and served with a house salad.

Spicing Up Your Getaway

Tandoori options fresh from the clay oven are popular, like the Tandoory Murg featuring a full chicken leg quarter marinated in a creamy yogurt and offset with vinegar and spices before being served to your table on a sizzler. Also try the Rack of Lamb and numerous naan specials, like the sweet Kabuli Naan with cashews, raisins and cherries.

Save room for dessert, like Rasmali, a delicious food consisting of homemade cheese patties swimming in an almond-sweetened cream. Coconut and mango ice cream are also sweet ways to cool off this summer!

 

 

Big, juicy, homemade comfort food at its finest. In Yakima, you’ll find a plethora of burger destinations, starting with Bob’s Burgers and Brew. Pairing your favorite sandwich with craft cocktails and beers, this local chain is a favorite hangout. Try the Ranch Burger with smokehouse bacon and American cheese, the Hawaiian Ham and Pineapple for a touch of sweetness, or the Bleu Cheese with an addictive special sauce.

Miner’s Drive-In is a touch of nostalgia with a drive-through window that’s been slinging burgers since 1948. Jumbo patties and shakes are staples, and it’s where you’ll get traditional burgers done right. Double down with the patties, choose your toppings, and always leave room for one of their famed monster shakes.

Burger Up!

Try Famous Burger and Teriyaki Sandwich for some American-Asian fusion. It’s a no-frills establishment with counter service, best known for their namesake burger. However, there’s a variety of other burger and sandwich options, some featuring sweet and sour sauce while others put chicken as the star.

Burger Ranch is a local favorite, known for their from-scratch offerings and the freshest ingredients around. Here, you’ll find classic burger concoctions, but you can also customize your burger to suit your whims. It’s a great choice for a quick and delicious bite.

 

 

Located at the Yakima Airport, the McAllister Museum of Aviation is open Thursday – Saturday, and admission is free (although donations are appreciated). The entire museum is available as a rental venue, a popular and unique option for weddings and gatherings, and with a constant influx of visiting aircraft, no two visits to McAllister are the same.

Current highlights include a Lance Sorensen 1976 Gumman AA5A-0144 Cheeta and a Cubcrafters Carbon Cub FX. Many Saturdays, their  “unique airplane presentations and flying demonstrations” program brings one-of-a-kind aircrafts to Yakima, and the public is welcome for workshops, demonstrations, and of course plenty of photo opportunities.

Flying High in Yakima

Oftentimes, visitors are joined by school programs. Children have been falling in love with McAllister for decades, and hundreds of kids visit the site every year. The museum partners with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles program, giving children from 8 – 17 the chance to participate in ground instruction and complimentary airplane rides. All costs are donated by local pilots and philanthropists.

Year-round, visitors with children can also join the Young Eagles program. Regular Yakima visitors often get a membership, and for just $30 per year, you get voting rights, museum library access, newsletters and the opportunity to support this beloved museum. A recent agreement with the Seattle Museum of Flight allows access to both organizations for a double whammy of high-flying fun.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

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.

 

You don’t need to road trip to Seattle for a festive St. Patrick’s Day (although it’s certainly a beautiful drive!). Yakima is home to a number of quaint celebrations, including the annual La Salle High School’s St. Patrick’s Day Gala. Tickets are available to the public for $75 and includes a traditional Irish dinner with catering by Rich Sisters.

As a fundraiser, the gala offers entertainment by Beltaine-Celtic Fusion and includes a live auction and raffle with over $10,000 in prizes. Good Vibrations plays a range of hits for dancing into the wee hours. In the morning, you can kick off the festivities with the complementary Annual Shamrock Cup 6k Run and Walk at 9 a.m. for just a $20 entry fee.

Celtic Dining

Yakima might be known for wineries and Northwestern cuisine, but there are also some British-leaning venues in town. McGuire’s Irish Restaurant and Pub is a favorite, where you’ll find genuine Irish dishes, a darts room, the best fries in Yakima, and of course green beer for the holiday weekend.

The best bars for celebrating include Bill’s Place which features a shamrock on the awning year-round. Bert’s Pub was the first bar in the country to open after Prohibition, and the Scottish legacy can still be felt in the interiors (although initially Grant’s Pub, it turned into Bert’s Pub when ownership changed hands). Where will St. Paddy’s Day find you?

 

Aptly named, the Teapot Dome used to be a gas station and was designed to look like a teapot. It’s an homage to the Teapot Dome Scandal that surrounded the Harding presidency. The scandal sent Albert Fall (Interior Secretary) to prison for leasing government oil reserves around the country, and it’s become a landmark in Yakima.

Visitors can find the Teapot Dome at 117 First Avenue in nearby Zillah. Appreciate the unique architecture of this tiny station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other “teapot architecture” can be found around the nation, including the sister station in Teapot Dome, Wyoming.

A Cuppa History

Yakima Valley’s Teapot Dome was erected in 1922 and became a fixture along US Route 12. You’ll notice the circular frame of the roof and the “handle” made of sheet metal. A concrete concoction makes up the spout. In the early part of the twenty-first century, these buildings were crafted as roadside attractions and were especially prevalent in the 20s and 30s.

Yakima’s gas station was functional for years. However, when Interstate 82 was created less than one mile away, customers stopped coming to the Teapot Dome for anything more than a novelty picture. The city bought it in 2007, rehabilitated it, and relocated it to its current home on First Avenue.