28 Best & Fun Things to Do in Yakima (WA)

Yakima, Washington, is located within the Yakima Valley and is a tourist destination popular amongst wine enthusiasts.

It is one of the most fertile growing areas in the Pacific Northwest, amongst Spokane and Tacoma, Washington.

There are various family-friendly tourist attractions offered all through the area, including outdoor natural attractions, performance venues, and museums.

The White Pass Ski Resort, Mount Rainier National Park, Cowiche Canyon Trail, and the Yakima Greenway are among some attractions.

Let’s see some of the best fun things to do in Yakima, Washington.

Things to Do in Yakima

1. Visit Yakima Valley Museum

Yakima Valley Museum
Credits: Frank Fujimoto / Flickr
Yakima Valley Museum

Yakima Valley Museum is one of the top attractions in Yakima. You wouldn’t want to miss this 65,000-square-foot museum while in the city.

The museum displays various exhibits relating to the natural and cultural history of the region. Its focus is on the pioneer life, early economic development, and indigenous populations.

At the museum are several permanent exhibits, including the Making a Mark Beyond the Valley exhibit and Making a Home 1869 pioneer cabin exhibit.

There is a 2,500-square-foot Children’s Underground educational center that provides various programs and exhibits targeted at children between ages five and fifteen.

Featured at the Yakima Memory collection is a digitized exhibit of over 9,000 relevant cultural photographs.

More artifacts displayed are petrified Miocene-era trees, large collections of horse-drawn vehicles, and a replica Art Deco soda fountain.

Yakima Valley Museum has a big hall for various public event programs, TED talks, concerts, and classic movie presentations.

Address: 2105 Tieton Dr, Yakima, WA 98902

2. Explore the Yakima Greenway

Yakima Greenway
Credits: Robert Ashworth / Flickr
Yakima Greenway

One of the best ways of making your way around town is through the Yakima Greenway.

Stretching for more than 20 miles, Yakima Greenway connects many of the top natural attractions in the city.

One can access the Yakima Area Arboretum along the greenway and many other water bodies, including Willow Lake, l Lake Aspen, and Myron Lake.

Here is perfect for an all-day enjoyment, with much of its non-motorized pathway passing under shaded trees and steering away from traffic.

You would see an off-leash dog area at Sherman Park through the greenway. The waters are restrooms lining much of the path makes it a to-do in Yakima.

3. Yakima Area Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Yakima Area Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Credits: Michelle Baumbach / Shutterstock
Yakima Area Arboretum and Botanical Garden

One of the top places to visit in the city is the Yakima Area Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It adds to our list of things to do in Yakima.

Covering 46 acres all through the city of Yakima and situated on the Yakima River’s riparian habitat, this site was initially developed in the 20th century as a vegetable and chicken farm site.

The arboretum was officially established in 1967 by the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs, and since then, it has been in continual development.

There are over a thousand native and exotic plant species exhibited throughout its landscaped gardens.

They include its Joyful Japanese Garden, Xeric Garden Demonstration Site, and Carlson Butterfly Garden.

Its Jewett Interpretive Center was opened in 1992 with features including a reference library, a carillon bell tower, a public gift shop, and herbarium and solarium.

You can take the available self-guided and guided tours any day of the week, including private group tours and school field trips.

Address: 1401 Arboretum Dr, Yakima, WA 98901.

4. Enjoy good wines at Hyatt Vineyards

Hyatt Vineyards
Credits: RK6 / Shutterstock

Opened in 1983 by Lynda and Leland Hyatt, a visit to Hyatt Vineyards is one of the best things to do in Yakima.

Having grown to span over 180 acres of space throughout the Yakima Valley region, this Vineyards circumscribes the distinct Cherry Hill, Three Rocks, Estate Vineyard, and Roza Ridge regions.

Each vineyard is tagged to a unique brand label and produces a variety of white and red wines to its name.

They include award-winning merlot, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and zinfandel variants.

You can check for their seasonal taproom, which is opened to the public during the summer, fall, and spring months.

It overlooks the Eastern Cascade Range and offers various current and limited reserve wine release

And if you have private special events, the winery’s grounds are also up for rentals!

Address: 2020 Gilbert Rd, Zillah, WA 98953.

5. Check out the Yakima Valley Visitors Center

Yakima Valley Visitors Center is the first port of call destination for any visitor of the Yakima Valley. It is open for public access on Saturdays and Sundays all through the year.

This center provides information on outdoor adventure sites, nationally recognized breweries, family-friendly attractions, and the wine country region of the state.

There are on-site travel consultants offered to help visitors plan their itineraries as Washington tourists.

You’ll see various artisan goods and souvenirs produced in Yakima, along with changing regional wine and beer selections, of which some are placed for sampling.

There are also Yakima Valley-themed gift baskets showcasing locally-produced food, gifts, and beverage items.

Do well to purchase yours in memory of the center, which is one of the best things to do in Yakima.

Address: 101 N Fair Ave, Yakima, WA 98901.

6. Snowboard at White Pass Ski Area

White Pass Ski Area
Credits: Lukas Gojda / Shutterstock
Ski

Located fifty miles west of Yakima, close to the southeast entrance of Mount Rainier National Park, is the White Pass Ski Resort.

It is a favorite amongst locals and residents alike makes the list of fun things to do in Yakima.

During winter, snowboarders and skiers of all abilities find White Pass as a place of enjoyment.

There are beginner-friendly ski lessons, and also available are expert-only terrain having chutes and cliffs.

White Pass Ski Area covers over 1,500 skiable acres, and at the White Pass Nordic Center are groomed trails of 18 kilometers.

There is more than enough to cater to the crowds flocking slopes every season.

Interestingly, White Pass is unveiling another dimension in the summer months. It is a Mecca for mountain biking and hiking.

7. Purchase Fresh Produce at Yakima Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market
Credits: a-image / Shutterstock
Farmers Market

The Yakima Farmers’ Market entered its 21st season in 2020 and holds in a Valley Mall king lot every Sunday between May and October.

You’ll see handmade confections, locally grown produce, and artisan creations each week on your visit to the farmer’s market.

And between 8:30 am, and 10:00 am, you could get served with hot breakfast in the morning.

You would also enjoy live music and local artists’ presentations at the community space.

There are over twenty different vendors with stalls at the farmers market, so you can pick up seasonal produce such as apples, cherries, cheese, peppers, and eggs.

Address: Nine East Valley Mall Boulevard, Union Gap, Washington

8. Visit State Fair Park and Yakima Valley SunDome

Yakima Valley SunDome
Credits: Cacophony [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Yakima Valley SunDome
The State Fair Park and Yakima Valley SunDome have had a major stake in being a community gathering and public special event site.

Its relevance started in 1892 when it was used for the inaugural Central Washington State Fair.

Currently, the 85,500-square-foot facility plays host to various public special events all year, including concerts, circuses, boxing matches, sporting events, and major conventions and symposiums.

The Yakima Valley SunDome multipurpose arena is a 6,195-seat arena constructed in 1990 as only the second dome arena p feature a concrete sectional roof design in the world.

It is nationally recognized as the host of many major annual high school sporting events like dance and drill competitions and several WIAA high school basketball state tournaments.

Address: 1301 S Fair Ave, Yakima, WA 98901.

9. Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Center

Yakama Nation Cultural Center
Credits: Yakama Nation Cultural Center / Facebook
Yakama Nation Cultural Center

Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Center is located in the south of the city and provides an awesome introduction to the Yakama Nation people and their history.

It is a 12,000-square-foot facility containing a great collection of art, artifacts, and photographs.

The Cultural Center also houses the Yakama Nation Library and Heritage Theater.

There are different dioramas and displays at the museum, which include life-size dwelling replicas and massive exhibits braced with special sound effects.

Visiting the campus’ immediate surrounding alone is worth it, with Mount Adams proudly standing on the horizon.

Also, for the sake of culture, the nearby Fort Simcoe offers even more history to learn about.

Address: 100 Spilyay Loop, Toppenish.

10. Yakima must-visit: Yakima Sportsman State Park

Yakima Sportsman State Park
Credits: George Wesley / Flickr
Yakima Sportsman State Park

One of the top attractions to visit in Yakima is the Yakima Sportsman State Park.

It a public recreation facility situated in Yakima County and spans 247 acres along the Yakima River’s floodplain path.

This park was initially opened as a private facility in 1940 and was managed by the Yakima Sportsman’s Association before being converted into a state park facility in 1956.

Here, diverse seasonal outdoor activities are offered, including areas for fishing, hunting, and camping. Camping is at the park’s 266-acre campground park.

Yakima Sportsman State Park is home to over 142 bird species throughout its grassland, pond, and marsh habitats, including red-winged blackbirds, herons, and hawks.

There are hiking trails of more than two miles along with kitchen shelters, children’s playgrounds, and volleyball courts.

Address: 904 University Pkwy, Yakima, WA 98907

11. Relax at Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park
Credits: Mike Peters / Shutterstock
Mount Rainier National Park

Located in west-central of Washington, the Mount Rainier National Park is close to Yakima and Ashford cities, joining the list of best fun things to do in Yakima.

Mount Rainier is one of the three national parks in Washington, and can be accessed easily from Yakima, be it a camping excursion or a day trip.

It is located 70 miles from Yakima to the beautiful Stevens Canyon Entrance of the park.

The Ohanapecosh Campground – one of the best campgrounds at Mount Rainier – is situated in a primary forest, only a few miles.

You could reach the Sunrise Visitor Center of the park with a two-hour drive from Yakima.

Mount Rainier offers a lifetime place to visit, among the many campgrounds, stunning mountain scenes, and hiking trails.

Address: 39000State Route 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304

12. Walk the Cowiche Canyon Trails

Cowiche Canyon Trails
Credits: Michelle Baumbach / Shutterstock
Cowiche Canyon Trails

Overseen and operated by the Cowiche Canyon Conservatory, the Cowiche Canyon Trails is one of the best things to do in Yakima.

Cowiche Canyon Conservatory is a land trust in charge of over 5,000 acres throughout the Yakima region, including nature trails up to 30 miles.

The region covers various natural ecosystems, including grassland and sage areas, basalt cliffs, oak-lined woodland regions, and meadows booming with native wildflowers.

Available wildlife includes great blue herons, beavers, while the rivers are full of crayfish and salmon.

The trail system is the main Cowiche Canyon Trail and some other summit view trails, including secondary loops.

You would also enjoy horseback riding at Snow Mountain Ranch trails.

This makes what to do in Yakima, WA, for a fun time, consider an addition to your list of Yakima attractions to visit.

Address: 8006 Cowiche Canyon Rd, Yakima, WA 98908

13. Explore Yakima Toppenish Murals

Toppenish Murals
Credits: Jay Galvin / Flickr
Yakama Leaders Mural

The Toppenish Murals started in 1989, with its inaugural mural, “Clearing the Land,” being a part of the centennial celebration in the state.

The MURAL-IN-A-DAY is an annual event that draws in artists in their dozens and more to paint a wall-sized, historically correct mural every year.

And today, you can still see some well-drawn 75 murals. If you wish to experience them, it is best you go on a narrated horse-drawn wagon tour.

This tour is available between May and September, although one can easily complete a walking tour in about an hour with the help of a map from the visitor center.

14. Bale Breaker Brewing Company

Bale Breaker Brewing Company
Credits: id-art / Shutterstock
Craft Beer

Bale Breaker Brewing Company was opened in 2013 and currently ranks as the fifth-largest independent microbrewery in the state.

It is one of the most interesting things to do in Yakima as it showcases a variety of handcrafted brews made by Kevin and Patrick Smith, and Meghann Quinn.

The brewery is a 27,000-square-foot production facility and taproom that operates a 30 barrel brewhouse that offers occasional outdoor terraces.

Main Brews include its Bottomcutter Imperial IPA, Topcutter and Leota Mae IPAs, and Field 41 Pale Ale.

Seasonal brews are often tapped at the public taproom facility, which hosts various public special events and rotating food truck pop-ups.

The brewery also offers tours on an appointment, where you can learn of the company’s production process and its history.

Address: 1801 Birchfield Rd, Yakima, WA 98901

15. Check out Central Washington Agricultural Museum

The Central Washington Agricultural Museum is located in Union gap city, just on the south side of Yakima.

It is a 15-acre property that calls one’s attention to the agricultural past of the region, the people, and their equipment.

You’ll see pieces of equipment and multiple display buildings comprising the museum’s collection.

They include a working 1930s-era sawmill, a Northern Pacific Railroad boxcar, and a 1908 homestead.

You wouldn’t also miss the Farm Equipment Yard, with this display featuring hundreds of donated and antiquated farm equipment and tractors.

It gives you a firsthand picture of the older generations’ methods of farming.

This agricultural museum features events that include an Annual Old Steel Car Show, Old Town Days, and Civil War reenactments.

Address: 4508 Main Street, Union Gap

16. Visit Bonair Winery

Bonair Winery
Credits: Ievgenii Meyer / Shutterstock

Established in 1985 and operated by owners Gail and Shirley Puryear, Bonair Winery has been in the business making fine wines in the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills region.

Its home Château Puryear Vineyard, originally planted in 1980, is the site for the production of its signature wines, including a wide selection of red and white wine variants.

More wines are produced in the Morrison Vineyard, planted initially in 1968 and bought over by the winery in 2001.

Bonair Winery is open every day and offers free tastings to guests who buy wines, with a token charged otherwise.

Address: 500 S Bonair Rd, Zillah, WA 98953

17. Watch performances: The Capitol Theater

Capitol Theater
Credits: Jasperdo / Flickr
Capitol Theater

The Capitol Theater (which was initially opened in 1920 as the Mercy Theatre) is the primary performing arts venue in Yakima. Are you in search of what to do in Yakima some theater time, Capitol Theater is quite an option.

Designed by architect Marcus Pritecaiteca, the Capitol Theater was the biggest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest as at the time of its opening.

It underwent a full restoration in the 1970s by the Allied Arts Council and the City of Yakima and reopened to the public in 1978 with a gala ceremony.

Currently, this 1,500-seat venue hosts performances for event series and a good number of local organizations, including performances by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.

Every year, over 176 performances are showcased, including community concerts and touring Broadway musical performances.

Would you need some live performances while in the city, then add The Capitol Theater to your bucket list of things to do in Yakima?

Address: 19 S 3rd St, Yakima, WA 98901.

18. Get Fine Wines at Kana Winery

Kana Winery
Credits: Stokkete / Shutterstock

Kana Winery is managed and owned by a certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, Palmer Wright. It joins the list of best things to do in Yakima.

Housed in Yakima’s Art Deco-style 1931 Larson Building, Wright converted his winemaking hobby into a business venture.

This winery operates several vineyards throughout the Yakima and Columbia Valleys.

They include the Coyote Canyon, Champoux, Elephant Mountain, Boushey, and Stone Tree Vineyards.

They have fine table wines and various white and red wines up for sale and tasting with the winery’s Tasting Room and Hospitality Center, showcasing a bistro-style seating area.

In addition, a variety of special public events are offered all through the year, including live music performances and open mic nights.

Address: 10 S 2nd St, Yakima, WA 98901.

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19. Float down the Yakima River

Yakima River
Credits: Patrick Krohn / Shutterstock
Yakima River

One proper and popular pastime on a hot summer day is by floating down the Yakima River  Canyon

It provides a fun and refreshing way of staying cool when the heat gets intense and is one of the top things to do in Yakima.

You can come with your own raft (if you’re experienced) or rent one. However, there are diverse tour options for you to move with a guide.

Under a guide, you would have an absolutely enjoyable scenic river float.

It doesn’t matter whether you seek a family-friendly attraction or a more challenging option; hitting some of the best rapids in the Yakima river does great justice.

20. Johnson’s Orchards

Johnson's Orchards
Credits: kozirsky/ Shutterstock

Dating back to 1904, Johnson’s Orchards is a seasonal orchard and fruit packing warehouse established by Alfred Johnson – a Swedish immigrant.

Currently, the orchard is operated by Johnson’s fourth-generation family members and provides seasonal fruit varieties such as signature cherries, apricots, apples, pears, nectarines, and peaches.

They are also processed within the historic 1916 fruit-packing warehouse of the facility.

In 2011, to facility commenced a commercial kitchen that bakes various Little Bake Shop pastries and pies all through the year. They also produce Copper Pot Caramels line.

You can purchase Purple Star Wines here, crafted and bottled by Kyle Johnson’s family member.

Address: 4906 Summitview Ave, Yakima, WA 98908.

21. Picnic at Fort Simcoe State Park

Situated on the Yakama Indian Reservation grounds, Fort Simcoe State Park preserves one of the last area pre-Civil War-era forts in the American West.

This historical park occupies 196 acres of space and has an interpretive center staffed with rangers that explain the history of the property.

Before it was operated as a United States Army fort (1856 – 1859), the property used to be a Yakama Nation camping site and then a controversial indigenous boarding school.

Fort Simcoe State Park is a famous historical site in the Pacific Northwest and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and

You will see some fort buildings and officer’s homes preserved all over the site, including its original blockhouse, restored barracks, and former tribal jail.

On-site activities such as bird watching, camping, and picnicking are popular here. You can also explore the hiking opportunities too!

Address: 5150 Fort Simcoe Rd, White Swan, WA 98952.

22. Check out Portteus Vineyards

Portteus Vineyards
Credits: Rostislav_Sedlacek / Shutterstock

Planted in 1982 by Paul Portteus III, Portteus Vineyards is another evidence of the vineyard activities to do in Yakima.

Portteus started crafting homemade beers and wines at age nineteen. This winery was among the first twelve wineries in the state at the time of its planting.

Currently, the winery occupies 74 acres in the Yakima Valley.

There are available bottle sales at the winery, and you can select from the varieties of red and white wines in addition to the tastings offered.

All free public special events provide free bring-your-own glass pours, so you need not worry about purchasing tickets.

Special events such as a Thanksgiving new release sampling event, Spring Barrel Tastings, and President’s Day-themed Red White and Chocolate events are offered throughout the year.

Address: 5201 Highland Dr, Zillah, WA 9895.

23. Exercise at the Yakima Tennis Club

Yakima Tennis Club
Credits: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock
Yakima Tennis Club

Yakima Tennis Club aims to promote a healthy and active lifestyle through tennis, summer aquatics, pickleball, and social events.

There is an outdoor facility that has a wading pool, a playground for the kids, two outdoor pools, and nine outdoor courts.

Aside from swimming and playing, you can stop by the Courtside Cafe for a snack, lunch, or even dinner.

Their indoor facility offers eight courts with LED lighting and beverages and snacks. There are also six pickleball courts with plenty of opportunities for visitors to play seven days a week.

Don’t forget to take a brief walk along the canal to reach their four upper courts!

Address: 516 N 35th Ave Indoor facility is at 2505 Fruitvale Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902-6307

24. Visit Berchman’s Brewing Company

Opened in 2015, Berchman’s Brewing Company is a nano-brewery in Yakima named after the late father of owner Doug Robinson.

It is housed in the former 1889 Opera House Building, which used to house the North Yakima Brewing and Malting Company.

This brewery focuses on natural production techniques braced with sustainable business practices. There are various seasonal and year-round brews offered by its taproom.

Some of them are its Little Scot Scottish Ale, Dark Pony Chocolate Coffee Stout, Hoppy Harwood IPA, Wide Hollow Pale Ale, and Summer Graze Golden Ale.

The brewery also hosts special public events including festivals and Downtown Summer Nights events such as the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.

Address: 25 N Front St # 2, Yakima, WA 98901.

25. Play Games at The Nob Hill Casino

Nob Hill Casino
Credits: Netfalls Remy Musser / Shutterstock

Opened in 2001 and under operation by Yakima Hotels, the Nob Hill Casino is one of the exciting things to do in Yakima.

It acts as a premiere entertainment and nightlife complex for Yakima. It also offers visitors (age 18 and above) 7 game tables for poker and table games like pai gow, Spanish 21, and blackjack.

Progressive tables provide opportunities for competitions with a Crazy 4 card room offering the only chance of playing the game in the state of Washington.

You would also enjoy the racebook and pull tabs offered, along with a complete bowling alley facility.

Don’t forget to taste any of the traditional American fare varieties offered at the casino’s Last Frontier Steakhouse, tagged with a casual cocktail lounge.

Address: 3807 West Nob Hill Boulevard, Yakima, WA 98902.

26. Enjoy Great wines at Gilbert Cellars

gilbert cellars
Credits: Christian Delbert / Shutterstock

Recognized for offering award-winning handcrafted white and red wines, Gilbert Cellars are a family-owned Yakima winery that adds to the list of things to do in Yakima.

They have a tasting room on the historic Front Street of the city. It is open on appointment to the public all days of the week.

They also offer gourmet cheese plates, and Creamery are available for sale to complement the tasting plates.

Winery tours are offered on appointment as well, between April and September. These tours disclose the history and operations of the winery.

They have a barrel room along with a lawn-style amphitheater that shows live music performances all year long.

Address: 5 N Front St, Yakima, WA 98901.

27. Don’t miss Downtown Yakima’s First Friday

Downtown Yakima First Friday
Credits: Carolyn Gray / Facebook
Downtown Yakima First Friday

First Friday is a festival hosted in Downtown Yakima. This event takes place on the first Friday of every month and includes art walks, wine tasting, music, and more.

It takes place on Yakima Avenue and commences from 1st Street to 3rd Street. During this time, many Downtown tasting rooms and businesses host live music.

You will have your pick of arts, food, wine, beer, music and entertainment, taking seven blocks of Yakima Avenue and some blocks to either side.

Every season, it offers a great fun evening with friends and is one of the best things to do in Yakima.

28. Visit AntoLin Cellars

AntoLin Cellars
Credits: K.Decha / Shutterstock

AntoLin Cellars is a boutique Yakima winery that opened in 2007. It is owned and operated by Linda and Tony Haralson, who have had this passion for winemaking for more than a decade.

The winery combines its owner’s names and has a tasting room facility that is accessible by the public from Wednesdays through Sundays.

It is within the historic North Front Street district of the city, and you offer red and white wine varieties cultivated from the winery’s estate vineyard.

First Friday tasting events is a public special event hosted by the winery. This event showcases art and live music performances.

They also boast several awards from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and are one of the best places to visit in Yakima.

Address: 14 N Front St, Yakima, WA 98901.

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Plan your Trip to Yakima

Yakima does great to take care of history buffs, nature lovers, and anyone searching for an adventure.

The local attractions including parks, wineries, museums, waters, and trails, are definitely going to give a treat

So, why not start to make plans on spending your next vacation in Yakima. This piece can also act as a guide to this arrangement.