With its beautiful weather, central location, and strong community. Yakima is the Heart of Central Washington. A short visit to one of this city’s many museums will enrich your stay in the Valley. The various museums and historic areas pay tribute to the hard-working pioneers of the Yakima Valley, the history of Yakama, and the definitive agricultural heritage, each offering a flavorful glimpse of the Valley’s past, present, and future.
Yakima Valley Museum
This 65,0002 ft museum has two floors full of exhibits on the cultural and natural history of South Central Washington. It conserves the history of Yakima to inspire the community, learn from the past, celebrate the present, and prepare for the future.
Besides the preservation and the exhibition of historical artifacts and stories, it also provides the historical perspectives that may influence bad decisions about the future of the Valley.
Founded in 1950, the Yakima Valley Museum focuses on preserving and exhibiting historic artifacts and stories. Still, it operates the Sundquist Research Library & Archives and partners with the Yakima Valley Libraries to serve Yakima Memories. This online archive has thousands of papers and photographs of this region’s rich history.
Northern Pacific Railway Museum
This restored telegraph office is both a museum and a gift shop. The Northern Pacific Railway Museum is open to the public from May through mid-October, five days a week, and for special events like Toy Train Christmas.
This railroad was built by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1911. It served for 50 years as a transportation center for the community. As more modern ways of transportation arrived, railroad use declined, and by 1981, it was no longer in use. In 1989, a group of rails fans approached the city to suggest turning this old railroad into a museum. After replacing electrical systems, stripping paint from the oak trim, and other work, this museum opened its doors on July 4, 1992.
Central Washington AG Museum
This is the largest museum of its kind at the Pacific Northwest. It stores over 150 antique tractors and above 1,000 pieces of historic machinery and offers acres of exhibits that showcase life on the farm over the past 100 years. The purpose of this museum is to collect, preserve and showcase the Cultural and Agricultural History of the Central Washington area.
This place used to be a farm on the southern outskirts of the original “Yakima City,” incorporated in 1883. Nature trails through the hillside and along Ahtanum Creek offer a unique walk through nature. The Pioneer Power Show is held on August’s third weekend. The past comes to life with restored farm equipment and implements of generations.
Fort Simcoe State Park
This 196-acre Park is located in the Yakima Indian Reservation. It is primarily historic preservation, one of the few pre-Civil war forts in the west. Fort Simcoe was used by Native American children between 1860 and 1922 as a boarding school.
Fort Simcoe was an 1850s military installation created to keep the peace between the settlers and the Indians. Due to this unique historical significance, the Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1974. This site used to be an Indian campground where many trails crossed. The Park is closed in winter from October 31 through March 31.
American Hop Museum
Located in the heart of the nation’s largest hop-producing area, this unique museum features striking exhibitions and a fantastic gift shop highlighting various items devoted to the history of hop cultivation. Since most of the hops grown in the U.S. are in Yakima Valley, this museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of the American hop-growing industry.
The museum first opened in 1993, and it exhibits a variety of artifacts from all over America. From the colonial period to this day, it includes old photographs, hop memorabilia, publications, equipment, hop antiques, and a model of a hop kiln.