Discover the Yakima Valley & South-Central Washington

Explore the Region’s Beauty, Recreation, Lifestyle & Culture


Here in Yakima, Wash., the home of United Country Real Estate | Dedicated Realty, LLC, we’re blessed to live in the breathtakingly beautiful South-Central region of the state. We’re surrounded by canyons and mountains, rivers, lakes and lush green forests — so many spectacular settings to enjoy serene, country living.

This is Washington’s Wine Country, as well as a core part of America’s craft beer industry. Fruit orchards, vineyards and other stretches of farmland roll across the Yakima Valley. Meanwhile, outdoor recreation is king, with hunters aiming for birds or big game in the timber, while anglers troll for trout and bass on the river.

In general, the feeling here is a slower-paced, more relaxed lifestyle. But it’s also one where all the amenities of bigger cities are still easily accessible. There are quite a few charming and popular communities here, such as Yakima, Ellensburg, Union Gap, Naches, Sunnyside and Zillah. And the list goes on, each community with its own unique history and culture.

Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of the Yakima Valley area and South-Central Washington for residents and visitors alike.

Outdoor Adventures in the Mountains and Valleys of Washington

Mount Adams, a prominent peak in the Cascade Region, attracts outdoor adventurers seeking challenging hikes, scenic views and pristine alpine landscapes in Yakima. This advanced summit has active glaciers, crevasses to navigate and complex terrain, but totally worth it if you can handle it.

However, within 20 minutes to an hour of Yakima there are two Ranger Districts (Naches and Cle Elum, respectively) that offer a world of recreational activities for all ages and interests. Within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, these districts boast campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, fishing and hunting spots, and more.

A bit farther out within a couple hours’ drive of Yakima, Mount Rainier National Park is a must-see. It features the country’s second-largest mountain (also an active volcano), wildflower meadows, glacier-fed rivers and towering forests. Lake fishing for salmon and trout can be pretty productive here and wildlife truly thrives.

Between Ellensburg and Yakima, the Yakima River Canyon winds through the area, offering recreation sites for family-friendly river rafting, camping and marveling at the towering cliffs. Sometimes the best way to explore the outdoors is just to hit the road on an extended trip. The Chinook Pass Scenic Byway runs 92 miles from Enumclaw near Seattle all the way down to Naches. It takes you through state and national parks, past waterfalls, mountain ski areas, and captivating small towns.

Finally, if you’re a sports enthusiast, there’s plenty of local action for you as a spectator or a participant. There’s pro auto racing at the Renegade Raceway in Parker, minor-league basketball with the Yakima SunKings, as well as multiple golf courses and community recreation venues.

Attractions for Everyone to Enjoy in the Yakima Valley & Beyond


The Yakima Valley and surrounding areas of South-Central Washington are filled with historic downtown districts, seasonal farmers markets, top-rated wineries, seemingly endless live music and a whole lot more. From strolling the 46-acre Yakima Arboretum and admiring its gardens and wooded beauty, to trying your luck at the popular Legends Casino in Toppenish, there are attractions for everyone to enjoy here.

The late 19th and early 20th century architecture of Downtown Yakima stands out as much as its unique local shops and arts venues. And when spring arrives, so do the area’s farmers markets. A few good local ones to check out include those in Ellensburg, Roslyn and Yakima.

Of course, those markets underscore the importance of agriculture to the region. But if you want to do a deep dive on the history of farming in the area, the Central Washington Agricultural Museum is the place to go. It features exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Speaking of agriculture, all those vineyards and orchards in the region are there for a reason. This is Yakima Valley Wine Country, producing more than half of Washington’s wine grapes and home to dozens of wineries, wine tours and a celebration of wine culture. For two of the top-rated wineries here, start with Treveri Cellers in Wapato and Airfield Estate Winery in Prosser.

Last but not least, local events and annual festivals never seem to disappoint in this part of Washington. The Fresh Hop Ale Festival celebrates the valley’s craft beer, while Chinook Fest in Naches features a dozen bands and camping “Where Music Meets the Great Outdoors.” The spring brings the Yakima Taco Fest, Summertime welcomes Yakima’s Downtown Summer Nights and by fall, it’s time for the Central Washington State Fair. Welcome to the area!