Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visitors to the Yakima Valley have discovered the secret!

Where did the 2009 travelers to the Yakima Valley that stopped at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center come from? (Partial list)

Seattle, WA
Redmond, WA
Bellevue, WA
Fort Meryers, Florida
Kelona, BC
Atlanta, Georgia.
Beaverton, Oregon
Umatilla, Oregon
West Kelona, BC
Duncan, BC
Mancos, CO
Fountain, CO
Hartford, CT
Tacoma, WA
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Watsonville, CA
Poulsbo, WA
Panama City, Panama
Overland Park, Kansas
Indian Head, SC
Ottawa, Ontario
Orange, Texas
Westby, WI
Ellensburg, WA
Kirkland, WA
Campbellsport, WI
Upland, CA
Mt Croghan, South Carolina
Bethesda, MD
Brunswick Maine
Victoria, BC
Newport News, VA
Grant, NH
Amherst, MA
Grantham, NH
Mountain, WI
Sasktoon, Canada
Bozeman, MT
Lubbock, TX
Portland, OR
Yankton, SD
Madison, WY
Calgary, Canada
Houston, TX
Santa Maria, CA
Lynnwood, WA
Quincy, WA
St. Paul, Minnesota
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Tucson, Arizona
Nanaimo, BC
Jackson, Missippi
Ladner, BC
Twin Falls, Idaho
Winchester, Kentucky
Puerto Rico
Gig Harbor, WA
Palm Desert, California
Providence UT
Clearwater, Florida
Eugene, Oregon
Dawson, Georgia
Grand Junction, CO
Durant, OK
Oregon City , Oregon
Mokeno, IL
San Diego, California
Abbeville, LA
Newark, DE
Hingham, MA
Dublin, NH
Dallas, Texas
Anchorage, AK
Denver, CO
Port Townsend WA
Spokane, WA
Washington, DC
Victoria, BC
Walla Walla, WA
Copenhagen, Denmark
Decatur ,TX
Paris, France
Olympia, WA

People from everywhere have discovered the secret.
The Yakima Valley is a great destination to visit.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

New "Off Leash" Dog Park

The Yakima Greenway has completed a new, "Off Leash" Dog Park at Sherman Park. Walk up the trail from the parking lot, less than one quarter mile to the fenced area. Enter this area by a double gate system. Your dog can enjoy running free among the trees and rolling in the leaves, as well as meet new dog friends.

Take Nob Hill Blvd or Exit 34 I-28 E, after crossing the freeway
turn left at the light, then immediate right, then left to parking area past the Humane Society building. This area is Sherman Park. The Humane Society encourages taking the dogs housed there for a walk, to enjoy this area. There is no charge and the dog will appreciate the chance to roam free, until they find new homes.

To continue walking on the 10 mile paved Greenway you must keep your dog on a leash. The Greenway paved pathway runs adjacent to the beautiful Yakima Arboretum grounds where dogs are not allowed.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Looking for Antiques & Treasures in the Yakima Valley?

Antique: (Latin: antiquus; old); an old collectable item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society. Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship or a certain attention to design. They are bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the Yakima Valley you will find many unique antique shops, offering numerous treasure hunting finds. As you enter the Yakima Valley, Precision Fruit & Antiques off I-82E Exit 29, is a bargain shoppers delight. You will find unusual items as well as produce in season, wines and specialty food products. Precision Fruit has seasonal hours.

The city of Yakima is host to a large number of antique shops; Yesterday's Village houses over 75 separate small unique shops. Take Exit 33B to Yakima Avenue.
As you drive west on Yakima Avenue, this store is located just over the railroad tracks. Turn right into the parking lot, the entrance to Yesterday's Village is on the left in the large brick building.

Continuing west on Yakima Avenue, there are four antique shops on the right side of the street between fifth and seventh avenues. Pieces of the Past, Memories on the Avenue, Attic Clutter, and Talk of the Town are the places for hours of fun searching for unusual antique items.

Churchill's Books has been in operation in the Yakima Valley since 1937 and is a must for every book lover to visit. Spend time perusing the selection of unique books at 125 S 2nd Street and don't forget to pet the resident cat.

Union Gap is a city well known by, "Shopoholics," for the Valley Mall, surrounding retail stores and those searching for antique shops. Take Exit 36 to Valley Mall Blvd, turn left onto Main Street for Gap Treasures, Somewhere in Time, and Time Travelers.

The city of Prosser antique shops are located off Exit 80, I-82 E, turn right, Bonnie's Vine & Gift Shop is on the left side of the street as you drive toward the historic downtown. Each of these shops are located on Sixth Street in the historic downtown; Dairy Farm Antiques featuring antiques and collectibles, Sixth Street Gift & Art Gallery, with local artisan created gifts, jewelry, gourmet foods and art. The Rustic Rooster is a quaint shop featuring antiques, home decor, and collectibles.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White Pass Scenic Byway is Designated as a National Byway

The National Scenic Byway Foundation announced a new national designation for the White Pass Scenic Byway. According to the Foundation, the White Pass Scenic Byway is one of 42 new designations for the America’s Byway Program from across the nation. Collectively, there are 193 such designations in the United States and only seven in Washington, including Chinook Pass Byway, Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway, International Selkirk Loop, Mountain to Sound Greenway (I-90), Stevens Pass, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Maree Lerchen, board president of the White Pass Scenic Byway, went to Washington DC to accept the official designation. She stated, “Aside from the honor and recognition of this coveted designation, we are now in a more favorable position to compete for future USDOT Federal Highway Administration grants. The White Pass Scenic Byway will also be included in the international marketing efforts from the National Scenic Byway Foundation.” Lerchen acknowledged the dedication and commitment of many partners who helped establish this byway program since 2002.

The US Forest Service is a key player on the byway. Much of the byway is on the Gifford PinchotNational Forest and Wentachee National Forest lands. The location between three major mountain peaks, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier National Park and the Mt. St. Helens National MonumentWashington state geography and geology. distinguishes this byway as one with unique character and prominence. The diverse landscape from the lakes district to river valleys into the foothills and alpine cascade mountain climate to the arid steppe of Eastern Washington provides a cross section of

In addition to the recent designation, the byway board of directors is currently working on a community gateway sign project through the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program. These funds are earmarked for constructing and erecting two major gateway signs at the east (Naches) and west (Mary’s Corner) end of the byway. This grant will also provide for signs in six locations along the byway. Communities receiving these signs are: Mossyrock, Morton, Randle, Packwood, Naches and the summit of White Pass.

Earlier this month, the White Pass Scenic Byway received notice they have been chosen to receive $82,000 from Federal Highways to install wayfinding signs in the byway communities. The grant is being matched by local funds of $20,000 for the project. These traveler signs will help direct travelers off the byway and into their communities.

For more information about the National Byways Designation and grants as well as the National Scenic Byway Foundation visit:

For information regarding the White Pass Scenic Byway visit:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Yakima Valley "AVA's", American Viticulture Areas.

The American Viticulture Areas or AVA's, is the term for the vineyards in a certain geographic area where the grapes are grown and the characteristics of the climate, soil, elevation that affect the wine produced from those grapes. These are federally designated regions recognized by the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. When a wine bottle label designates an AVA, 85% of that wine must come from the AVA.

There can be AVA’s designated within a larger AVA. The Columbia Valley is an AVA, and includes areas that are also designated AVAs. For example, the Yakima Valley is within the Columbia Valley AVA while the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, Red Mountain AVA and Snipes Mountain AVA are all smaller geographic areas located within the Yakima Valley AVA.

The Yakima Valley is Washington State's first AVA established in 1983 with over14,000 vineyard acres and more than 65 wineries. The Rattlesnake Hills AVA, established in 2006, has 1500 vineyard acres and over 20 wineries. The nearby Horse Heaven Hills AVA, established in 2005, is over 8,000 vineyard acres and has 20 wineries. Red Mountain AVA established in 2001, features over 710 vineyard acres and 15 wineries. The most recent AVA is Snipes Mountain. It was recognized in 2009, has a mere 145 acres and is located above and between the towns of Sunnyside and Granger in the Outlook area. (video interview on history of Snipes Mountain AVA)

The vast acreage of vineyards in the Yakima Valley and numerous wineries make this the premier area in Washington State to both taste wine and enjoy the changing views of the vineyards from spring to harvest. Special celebrations take place each year, Spring Barrel Tasting to Thanksgiving in Wine Country, where on can enjoy the fruit of the vine at the source.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

October-National Pasta Month

The harvest time and cooler weather calls for a hearty pasta dish to warm the soul.

A warm, comforting food, pasta is celebrated month long by the National Pasta Association.
The Yakima Valley offers choices to fill your pasta cravings. You can dine out or take home this comfort food. In downtown Yakima, the Olive Garden features the new, Stuffed Mezzaluna with Shrimp or Sausage Crescent-shaped ravioli filled with four Italian cheeses, tossed with sauteed herb-marinated shrimp and Roma tomatoes in a white wine cream sauce or choose the grilled Italian sausage and Roma tomatoes in a creamy homemade tomato Alfredo sauce, topped with melted mozzarella. A fine way to enjoy this food that is a staple all over the world.

901 Pasta, celebrating 23 years in the Yakima Valley has a wonderful selection of uniquely prepared adventuresome dishes, such as Cajun chicken linguine, chicken and rosemary ravioli and so much more. Enjoy the comfortable, eclectic atmosphere of this neighborhood cafe.

Looking for a quick "drive through" pasta place. Yes, just drive though and pick up your lunch to go or have it delivered and save the trip. You will enjoy the generous portions from Pasta Express on North1st Street, Yakima. Pasta Express offers daily hot pasta specials such as Tortellini with Marinara, lasagna, spaghetti & meatballs and every day garlic chicken or shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo are available. Call 248-2577 or Fax 249-0838 your order in for delivery, open Monday through Friday from 6am-4pm. Pick up a menu along with your morning latte' to peruse your pasta choices.

Don't forget to celebrate World Pasta Day, October 26. Acknowledge the fact that pasta is a staple all over the world, with your favorite pasta dish.
A fun food that people equate with a good time.........sitting around a big table, sharing a meal. Pasta is a great dish to pair with a fine Yakima Valley Wine.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Family Fun in the Yakima Valley

The Yakima Valley is known for its healthy, family friendly, down on the farm activities. Fall is an special time to visit with the apples ripening on the trees and the family jack o lantern pumpkins in the fields ready to be chosen.

The Big Red Barn at Washington Fruit Place, Barrett’s Orchards offers farm fresh fun every day with apple tasting, a self guided orchard trail, hay maze and pumpkin patch. On weekends your family can experience a hay ride through the orchard and watch old fashioned cider pressing.

A haunted corn maze, hot spiced donuts and pumpkin cannon fired on the hour every weekend in October, Thompson Farm is the place to go. While your family is there check out the farm animals and help feed the chickens.

Jones Farm in Zillah offers a wide array of apple varieties. The fruit stand is surrounded by orchards and the hay maze is nearby, feed the ducks in the pond located on the country lane and visit the pumpkin patch for Jack-o-lantern possibilities.

Unique Halloween celebrations:

Don’t forget the unique Northern Pacific Railway Museum Haunted Train Run the weekends of October 23, 24, 25 and October 29, 30, 31, 2009 from 6pm – 9pm and will feature ghosts, goblins, and all kinds of scary things as you tour the haunted depot and 2 haunted railroad cars. Admission is $5 per person. Ages13 and older please.

Halloween Pumpkin runs are offered for families with younger children at the Northern Pacific Railway Museum on Saturday, October 31 only. This event features a caboose ride, museum tours, and free pumpkin for each child. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under

All Aboard the Halloween Trolley in Yakima on October 31. The 102 year old street car will leave the Trolley Powerhouse every ½ hour from 11a.m.-4p.m. Fun, treats and the first 100 children visiting receive a free pumpkin.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

City of Murals-Art Galley

In the Yakima Valley, the city of Toppenish is known as, "The City of Murals." Huge murals are painted on the sides of buildings depicting the diverse history of Toppenish, from its Native American roots, rodeos, and hops harvest to railroads. The original paintings, painted as proofs, chosen to become murals, are on display at the Toppenish Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. The original artwork was submitted for consideration for the "Mural in a Day, " a yearly event where a new mural is painted on the side of a Toppenish building. The 2009 Mural was painted on the back of the Toppenish Chamber building.

At this "Art Galley" you may buy souvenir postcards of the murals depicted on the buildings and more information on the history of Toppenish.


514 S. Elm Street Toppenish, WA 98948

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Yakima Valley Wineries Evolve into Entertainment Venues

Yakima Valley wineries and tasting rooms are evolving as they expand to entertainment destinations.

Downtown Yakima and Prosser's Vintners Village are on the leading edge of this new entertainment development. On any weekend in downtown Yakima you will find live music at Tim's Downtown and other tasting rooms. On the first Friday of every month Gilbert Cellars, Kana, Plaza Sociovole and Tim's, numerous local restaurants feature live music, from blues to rock bands, acoustic duos to jazz. These wineries each offer special menus such as gourmet pizza, appetizers, cheese flights or tapas. Tim's even sells a selection of local micro brews. Each of the tasting rooms are destinations to sip fine wine enjoy conversation with friends and listen to a varying selection of music. Fourteen of the downtown Yakima restaurants,
Barrel House, CafĂ© Melange, The French Carousel, The Depot, Golden Wheel, Greystone, Libby’s, Santiago’s, 2nd St Grill, Sports Center, Russillo’s, Tequila’s, Great American Grill, and Tony’s Steakhouse, will wave the corkage fee for wine bought at the downtown wineries and brought to their resturants. they will honor same day purchases.
In Prosser's Vintners Village, a destination with a dozen tasting rooms in two blocks, you will find varying entertainment experiences a growing trend. These beautiful landscaped huge buildings, styled from modern, Tuscan inspired, to an airplane hanger, are offering food, live music, cinema nights and even a 5k run though the vineyards this fall. Airfield Estates 5K run through the beautiful estate vineyard, as well as the fun filled Annual Grape Stomp at the winery, on October 10. Airfield Estates is also known for its cinema nights which feature movies that include flying and plane themes. The Thanksgiving in Wine Country celebration, November 27-29 is one of the largest events in the Yakima Valley. The wineries from Yakima to Rattlesnake Hills to Red Mountain join together to offer food and wine pairings, live music and more.

Coming to visit the wineries of the Yakima Valley? Picking up your holiday wines and Christmas gifts?
For an experience to remember, check the schedule of events and see what entertainment your favorite winery is offering to compliment great wine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

BMX Track-Bring your Bike!

If you have a BMX enthusiast in the family be sure to bring his/her bicycle along on your visit to the Yakima Valley. The track, located in the city of Union Gap is the official site of Yakima Valley BMX, "where no one sits on the bench." Group races are usually scheduled on Saturdays.

Set in the beautiful Ahtanum Youth Park, this 74-acre park was once a Department of Agriculture farm labor camp, where well established trees shade picnic areas.

As well as the BMX Track, there are opportunities to play soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and horseshoes. Other facilities are available to reserve for large group gatherings such as covered picnic shelters, two buildings, a 4-H Ropes Challenge Course and an outdoor arena for equestrian use. The park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until dusk. There is a small fee for parking.


From Seattle
Take exit 110 to merge onto I-82 E/US-97 S toward Yakima 36.3 mi
Take exit 36 for Valley Mall Blvd -Union Gap 0.3 mi
Turn right at E Valley Mall Blvd (signs for Union Gap) 0.3 mi

Take the 2nd left onto 1st St/Main St
Continue to follow 1st St 0.2 mi
Continue on Main St 0.2 mi

Turn right at W Ahtanum Rd
Destination will be on the left 1.3 mi

Ahtanum Youth Activities Park
1000 Ahtanum Rd
Union Gap, WA 98903-1202

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prosser Balloon Rally - Sept 25-27, 2009

The Prosser Balloon Rally, a popular wine country event fills the sky with colors. Wineries join in the festivities with specials, winemakers onsite to answer questions and educate visitors. This is the Grape Crush season for wineries. A street fair of Yakima Valley fresh foods, arts and crafts entertains visitors while the balloons are traveling the valley. The night glow of the huge balloons is the spectacular highlight! Many activities to enjoy during the Balloon Rally.

Want to volunteer to crew a hot air balloon this year? Here is the information on how to crew a hot air balloon.

How to crew for a hot air balloon - More DIY How To Projects

The night glow taken in 2006.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Story - Chalk Art Rose' by Two Mountain Winery

What is the meaning of the label on "Chalk Art" Rose' produced by Two Mountain Winery?

Each year, Two Mountain Winery hosts a Chalk Party where artists young and old to try their hand at chalk art. The participants enjoy fine wine, food, live music, creative artistic expression and survive the numerous art critics to vie for the coveted prize.

The prize? The winning Artwork becomes a new label of Chalk Art Rose'. The Pegasus Project, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization is supported by a portion of the purchase price on each bottle. The Pegasus Project, of the North American Riding Handicapped Association (NARHA), provides therapeutic riding, equine-assisted activities to those with special needs and disabilities. Founded in 2003 as a pilot project of seven riders with special needs and one instructor. The tremendous response from the riders and their families and remarkable benefits enabled the Pegasus Project to expand its therapeutic riding services. The project is located at Tumbleweed Ranch, Highway 12 in Yakima, WA on a beautiful twenty-six acre site.

Plan on coming for the fun in June of 2010 to "Celebrate being a kid again!" Draw with chalk on the floor of the winery tasting room, be creative! In the meantime when you visit the winery in the Rattlesnake Hills of the Yakima Valley, buy "Two Mountain Chalk Art Rose' Wine" to support this great program.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

America's juice-grape capital, the Yakima Valley!

Drink a glass of grape juice this morning?

Tree Top Inc., located in the Yakima Valley city of Selah, is Washington State’s number one producer of apple and pear juices, also produces Concord grape juice. Their website features an overview of concord grape growing throughout the four seasons in the Yakima Valley. You will find recipes such as the concord grape sorbet delight. The Tree Top corporate headquarters in Selah features a gift shop where one can purchase Tree Top products and gift items.

Spread a little grape jam from the Yakima Valley on your toast this morning?

In the U.S. today, approximately 1 billion pounds of fruit spreads are produced annually. Grape jelly and grape jam are two of the most popular products. Concord grapes are used in grape juice, fruit snaks, for flavorings in gum, candy, ice creams, sherbets, milk shakes, gelatin desserts, fillings for bakery products, yogurt and fruit smoothies. Yakima Valley is the USA’s #1 producer of Concord Grapes used in grape juice, jams and more.

The National Grape Cooperative Association, an agricultural co-op, produces 14,425 acres of concord grapes grown in the Yakima Valley in Washington State. This is the most acreage of concord grapes grown in any state in the USA. The pressing and storage plant for the Pacific Northwest is located in the city of Grandview.

This website features a history of the grape from 6000 BC to a history of the concord grapes from 1853, when the seedling was exhibited before the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In 1854 the grapes were placed on the market, calling them the "Concord Grape" after the town of Concord. Concord grapes are deep purple, contain seeds and when eaten raw are squeezed from their skins into the mouth.

update 1.30.10 --2009 harvest Washington-nation's largest producer of juice grapes, Concords, crushing 205,000 tons last year, compared with New York's 84,900 tons

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yakima Valley Girlfriends Escapes in Oprah Magazine

The October issue of "O", The Oprah Magazine will feature an ad for Yakima Valley Girlfriends Escapes. If you have ever watched Oprah on TV you know how she values her girlfriends. Oprah, on her website, offers some advice for healthy relationships with your, "Great Girlfriends," as well as a few tips for inspired Girlfriend Getaways.

Oprah tips include, Girlfriends as "Traveling Buddies; leave the family and the job for a few days every year and go on a getaway with your girlfriends. Spend time researching the type of place you all want to go.....and what you want to do (Relax? Shop? Tour?). Remember, half the fun is in the planning!" A Girlfriends "Get Pampered weekend: Get your girlfriends together for a weekend of relaxing, shopping and eating! Pick a getaway that's easily accessible for all of you, and make a retreat of it! Get pampered at the spa, take a trip to the shopping district and eat at the best restaurants. The weekend will surely energize all of you!”

The Yakima Valley offers a variety of girlfriend escape opportunities. Need a reason to escape with your girlfriends, how about a bachelorette party, a special birthday outing, college sorority gathering or friends getting away to have fun. More than a night out this is a relaxing fun weekend!

Choose from A Girls Winery Party Getaway Package In Prosser, WA. Get 4 (or more) friends together and experience a private Olsen Estates winery party which includes wine and tapas of imported cheese, Yakima Valley seasonal fresh fruit, antipasto plate, side salad and a double chocolate brownie. and a1/2 Hour body massage and/or foot massage. This is a great deal, check the rates and see.
A girls night out at the exclusive and beautiful Desert Wind Winery. The sleepover complete with chick flicks, pedicures, wine and don't forget the huge winery gift shop.

Mary’s Place Tea House and gift shop for your High Tea party. Where you can put on big hats, drink tea and eat special goodies all in a woodland setting. This is the perfect setting for special mother-daughter getaways.

Wine Therapy in the Rattlesnake Hills. Spend 3 days and 2 nights in the Rattlesnake Hills, one of Washington's Oldest AVAs located in the Yakima Valley. Package includes: Lodging at the Zillah Comfort Inn, in room chocolates, breakfast and evening snacks; Private "Wine Therapy" Wine Tasting at Bonair Winery. Restaurant, Spa, Bistro Discount Certificates; 2 Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail Passports; Option to add a Limousine to the package.

Relax, unwind and savor the lifestyle. Spa experiences, a tea party in the woods, or traveling to wineries in Washington wine country. Special group rates by hotels with suggestions for a fun filled weekend. Customize an unforgettable weekend with friends with the special rates.

Girlfriends getting together are a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Take in the health benefits to conversation, fun and friends happiness, laughter, relaxation and joy in the Yakima Valley.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where is the Swimmin' Hole in the Yakima Valley?

There is a Yakima county park that is a hidden gem. Looking for fun in the water? The swimmin' hole? Eschbach park has it all!

Whether it is kayaking in the 2 acre pond or enjoying the natural running stream perfect for floating on a hot summer day, Eschbach Park is a geat way to cool off with water activities. One can rent inflatables as well as single or double kayaks. Enjoy a family picnic at one of the many picnic sites which include bbq pits. Basketball courts, horse shoe pits, volleyball areas, and softball fields are also available. On the weekend a concession stand is open which sells pop, ice cream, candy, picnic supplies and inflatables. For $3.00 per car, you and your family can picnic, swim and play all day. The park is open 9:30 AM-7:30 PM.

Traveling west on Highway 12, pass the 40th Avenue exit and take your next left from the highway. Turn right onto S. Naches Road and travel approximately 5 miles to the park.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Wine Country 4th of July Celebration!

Red, White and Blues Celebration! This is a weekend long celebration of independence in Washington Wine Country, the Yakima Valley. New this year is the chance to hop aboard a shuttle bus to the Main event the evening of the 4th of July at Silverlake Winery.

Kicking off the evening of Friday the 3rd, the wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills celebrate with live music and food from picnic items to BBQ, Craft Vendors and special prices on wine. Piety Flats Winery participates with music from 5:30-8 :30 by Just Us and is offering picnic items for purchase. Paridisos features Miz Dees’ BBQ and The Rod Giles Band playing music from 6-9pm.

Live Free music and food at the wineries all day long the 4th July. Bonair, Knight Hill Winery,Silver Lake Winery, Tefft Winery will all feature live blues music and different speciality foods to purchase. These are great places to sit back and enjoy the music, fine wine and sunny afternoon.

Main Event-Stay in Yakima for the night and take the
shuttle bus provided by A&A Motorcoach, from your hotel, the Ledgestone, Hilton Garden Inn, Fairfield Inn, Best Western Ahtanum Inn to the Main Event at Silverlake Winery on Saturday the 4th of July. Starting at 7pm until 11pm. with a 7:20 wine tasting class, Why we sniff sip and swirl! at 7:45. BBQ buffet dinner and wine bar. Dancing to the Coyote Kings! View the fireworks happening all over the valley from the Winery, situated above the vineyard on the hill. Many other local wineries will be present. Bring you lawn chair and/or blanket. This will be a fun filled gathering at Silverlake Winery!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Story - Chalk Art Rose' by Two Mountain Winery

What is the meaning of "Chalk Art" Rose' produced by Two Mountain Winery?
Two Mountain Winery's Chalk Party, each year artists young and old to try their hand at chalk art. The participants enjoyed fine wine, food, live music, creative artistic expression and survive the numerous art critics to vie for the coveted prize.

The prize? The winning Artwork becomes a new label of Chalk Art Rose'. The Pegasus Project is supported by a portion of the purchase price on each bottle. The Pegasus Project, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization of the North American Riding Handicapped Association (NARHA), provides therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities to those with special needs and disabilities. Founded in 2003 as a pilot project with seven riders with special needs and one instructor, the tremendous response from the riders and their families and remarkable benefits enabled the Pegasus Project to expand its therapeutic riding services. Located at Tumbleweed Ranch on Hi-way 12 in Yakima, WA on a beautiful twenty-six acre site.

Plan on coming for the fun in June of next year to "Celebrate being a kid again!" Draw with chalk on the floor of the winery tasting room, be creative! In the meantime when you visit the winery in the Rattlesnake Hills of the YakimaValley, buy "Two Mountain Chalk Art Rose' Wine" to support this great program.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Have You Been to The Beautiful Tuscan Inspired Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center?

Find the information you need on sites, activities and events in the Yakima Valley. The Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center in Central Washington has a comprehensive selection of information about events, cities in the Yakima Valley, Central Washington as well as Washington State, Oregon and Idaho.

The Gift Shop at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center has an ever changing inventory of specialty items produced in the Yakima Valley. This is an example of the products you will find in the shop; Chukar Cherries Chocolate, Cherry Pie Filings, Mick’s Pepper Jellys, “Its All About the Pretzels”, Tillen Farms Pickled Products, Tree Top Apple Juice, Chukar Cherry Apple Chips, Jumpin’ Jack Popcorn on the Cob, Folklore Sodas ,Rattlesnake Hills Wine Glasses, Rattlesnake Hills Pass, Corkscrews, Local Cookbooks, Postcards, Souvenir booklets and gifts. Unique Gift Items jewelry, leather purses, wooden cheese boards.

You can even buy your, “ I (love) Yakima” T-shirt there!

Located off exit 33A I-82 E, Open 9-5 M-S 10-4 Sunday. Winter Hours 9-4 M-S Closed Sunday

You will be glad you stopped there for help in planning your stay in the Yakima Valley!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Driving on Interstate 82, you probably noticed the “Welcome to Yakima, The Palm Springs of Washington” sign. Many have asked, What’s that about? Erected many years ago by tourism promoter and local developer Gary Lukehart, his intention for the sign was to remind travelers that like Palm Springs, the Yakima region is blessed with hundreds of days of sunshine each year. We know we are not like Palm Springs as a Hollywood celebrity hang out (though we do have our local celebrities) or a major golf destination ( though we do have some great golf courses). So come enjoy the 300 days of sunshine and all the things that Palm Springs does not have, like more than 70 wineries and acres of vineyards, farm fresh experiences or world class Alpine skiing and trails.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Have you played golf in the Yakima Valley yet?

3 Courses- only 2 hours and 15 minutes from Seattle!

300 days of Sunshine!

Open Year Round!

Minutes to Downtown Yakima!

Apple Tree Golf Course, one of the Pacific Northwest's premier golf experiences. One of Golf Digest’s 4-star winners, the course is carved from the rolling terrain of 100 year-old orchards. The world-famous 17th hole, a 10,000 square foot "Apple" shaped island, has been named "Best Par Three" by the Seattle Times, "one of Washington's top 18 holes" by Washington CEO and continues to be featured in countless golf publications, calendars and web sites. Give it a try and earn bragging rights if you make “par” on the 17th at Apple Tree. The rest of the championship track plays over 6,900 yards featuring a variety of scenic challenges including lakes, fountains, and a beautiful cascading waterfall. The Apple Tree Golf course features a fine restaurant and lounge overlooking the course as well as a pro golf shop. The Apple Tree Restaurant in the club house serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is an award-winning dining experience with spectacular views of the golf course and the surrounding valley.

Suntides Golf Course, nestled in a small valley just northwest of the city of Yakima plays over 5,941 yards. The charming course was built on the previous site of a dairy farm and is now surrounded by residential homes, fruit orchards, the Naches River and nearby rock cliffs inscribed with ancient Native American petroglyphs. Suntides offers a restaurant, lounge and RV park in the quiet setting adjacent to the 18-Hole Championship Putting Course. This putting course offers 2,323 feet of quality grass greens, sloped fairways surrounded by roughs, traps, tricky doglegs and water hazards. Enjoy stepping out of your RV and walking to the course on sunny mornings to play your first round of golf or take on the putting challenge.

River Ridge Golf Course , a 9-hole course featuring 2,130 yards of golf. This course opened in 2003 in Selah, WA just north of Yakima. A four acre lake and bridges blended into the design to protect natural habitat. River Ridge has a clubhouse, pro shop, full bar, carts and rental equipment. The “lodge” style restaurant clubhouse features 2800 square feet of deck, (700 square feet covered) overlooking the course.

All three of these courses are located only a 2 hour 15 minute scenic drive from Seattle and minutes from Downtown Yakima for evening entertainment, wine tasting, numerous restaurants and the Ummelina International Day Spa.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Escape to the Yakima Valley: 101 Things to do!

1. Escape the hurried pace of life and enjoy a long leisurely lunch featuring Yakima Valley food and wine
2. Relish the abundant fresh fruit and produce available
3. Experience First Friday in Downtown Yakima- wine tasting, music, art walks
4. Join the thrill of tasting wine straight from the barrel-Spring Barrel Tasting
5. Break Away at the Yakima River Canyon 26k Marathon April
6. Bicycle, jog or walk the 10 mile Yakima Greenway.
7. Enjoy the tranquility of fishing in one of the Yakima Greenway ponds
8. Try your luck at Legends Casino or Casino Caribbean.
9. Tour the Toppenish murals in a horse-drawn wagon, May 1st -Sept 30th.
10. View the various species of wildlife in the Yakima River Canyon.
11. Watch the progress as artist creates a mural in a day Toppenish early June
12. Slow down and Float the Yakima River Canyon on a hot summer day
13. Exhilarating Naches “Flip Flop,” September. Class 3 Whitewater Rafting.
14. Treat yourself to a stay at one of our fine bed and breakfast Inn's.
15. Savor Authentic Mexican food
16. Picnic in one of our many lovely parks, Sarg Hubbard, Randle, Franklin
17. Discover Catch and release fly-fishing on the Yakima River.
18. Bike the Breathtaking Yakima Canyon with your family in May
19. Experience a music concert at the memorable Seasons Performance Hall
20. Enjoy an invigorating game of tennis on our new public courts at Kissel Park
21. Participate in the "Gap-to-Gap" Relay the end of May
22. Sunbathe in sunny cloudless days of summer
23. Bird watching in the Yakima Valley, eagle, loons, heron, pelican
24. Swim and picnic at “Eschbagh Park”. Rent tubes and kayaks for the day!
25. Discover the Yakima Valley Museum & the 50’s Style Soda Fountain
26. Yakama Indian Nation Treaty Days in June
27. Healthy, fresh picked fruit, vegetables available at fruit and produce stands.
28. Visit the McAllister Museum of Aviation. Flight school operated for 73 years
29. Pick your own fresh apples and peaches
30. Fort Simcoe west of White Swan, Established in1856
31. Tour Yakima Valley wineries. Downtown Yakima, Naches, Zillah, Prosser, Benton City
32. Learn about the culture of the Yakamas at the Yakama Nation Museum.
33. Relax at the Yakima Folklife Festival at Franklin Park, Second weekend in July
34. Attend the Central Washington Antique Farm Equipment Expo August
35. Hoist a beer with friends at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival or Moxee Hop Festival
36. Catch a Yakima Bears baseball game June - September (Minors - D'backs)
37. Celebrate summer!"A Case of the Blues & All That Jazz" Sarg Hubbard Park August
38. Learn about hop production at the Toppenish Hop Museum
39. Tour the Darigold plant in Sunnyside and enjoy their cheese and ice cream samples
40. Walk through the Yakima Arboretum during any season
41. Golf at The Apple Tree Golf Course, RiverRidge, Enjoy lunch featuring local food & wine
42. July 4th fireworks at Yakima's State Fair Park!
43. Be entertained at Toppenish's "Whistle Stop Music Festival" in August
44. Ride the Yakima Trolley May-September
45. Watch the Night Glow at Prosser's "Great Hot Air Balloon Rally" in September
46. Attend the Central Washington State Fair in September
47. Shop at the Yakima Valley Mall in Union Gap, the largest in the area
48. Explore the Vineyards with a winemaker
49. Skateboarding at Kiwanis Parks' new Tony Hawk designed Skateboard Park
50. Ride on BMX course at Ahtanum park
51. Travel a scenic , peaceful country road through vineyard and orchards
52. Visit the Children's Underground Museum at the Yakima Valley Museum
53. Enjoy Sportsman State Parks' nature trail, interpretive lessons in the summer
54. Get purple feet during "Catch the Crush" at the local wineries in September
55. Pick a peck of peppers, tomatoes, asparagus etc at one of our local produce gardens
56. Try out your roller-blades on the Greenway
57. Like Rollerblading try Skateland in Union Gap for Indoor skating
58. Exciting Car races at Yakima Speedway
59. Find out how cherries are grown, on the nature trail walk at Barrett Orchards
60. Bike ride through the wine country
61. Enjoy a movie under the stars in the Summer at Gilbert Park
62. Be entertained! Free summer concerts at Franklin Park -Thursday evenings June-July
63. Enjoy the Art Galleries and exclusive Gift Shops in Downtown Yakima
64. Learn about historic Yakima-Walk the downtown area Historic District, Map available
65. Hike the many trails along the Yakima River Canyon, White Pass, Chinook Pass
66. Celebrate “Thanksgiving in Wine Country” in November
67. Pamper yourself in a world class spa
68. Wapato Harvest Festival Labor Day weekend. Parade, carnival, food and game booths
69. Bike or car ride through the hop yards in Moxee and East Valley area
70. Order lunch at the 1950’s style “Soda Fountain” at the Yakima Valley Museum
71. Attend Concert or play at the Historic Capital Theater
72. Walk the Labyrinth at Gilbert Park
73. Go Antiquing in the Historic district of downtown Yakima
74. Search for the Geocaches all over the city of Yakima , Over 700
75. Visit the Millennium Plaza, read the inspirational quotes about the Yakima Valley
76. Visit the Historic Ahtanum Mission, Picnic
77. Visit the Dinosaur Park in Granger.
78. Drive through the valley in the spring and enjoy the fruit blossoms in March and April
79. Rimrock Lake a great place for boating
80. Feed the ducks at Randall Park. Picnic play a quick game of basketball
81. Go Snowmobiling up the North fork of theTieton, White Pass, or Chinook Pass
82. Visit the Northern Pacific Railroad Museum in Toppenish
83. Camp on the Yakima River and roast hot dogs and marshmallows
84. Take the family to Family Field Day at the Greenway Mid-April for free fun events
85. Visit the Central Washington Agriculture Museum
86..Visit historic Fort Simcoe, Military Fort founded in 1856
87. Spend the night in a tepee on the Yakama Indian Reservation
88. Bring a Picnic lunch to one of the many wineries and enjoy the wine, sunshine and view
89. Spend an evening wine tasting in downtown, sit outside for a leisurely dinner with friends
90. Fall Festival Fun at Thompsons Farm -Pumpkin Cannon during October Fall Harvest
91. Meet a local grower at the Farmers Market, Sundays, Mothers Day -October
92. Hike to Boulder Cave, Highway 410 summer, bring flashlight, find secret waterfall
93. Enjoy Community band playing at Randle Park on Wednesday evenings in the summer
94. Wapato Filipino-American Community’s Harvest Dinner, Filipino Food, cultural dances
95. Learn to make a grapevine wreath at Silverlake Winery in November
96. Ski at White Pass, Enjoy the Winter Carnival in March
97. Watch Elk and Mountain Sheep at Feeding Stations (winter months)
98. Watch the famous “Lighted Farm Implement" Parade in Sunnyside -December
99. Cross country skiing on the many trails along White Pass and Chinook Pass
100. Enjoy the Jones Farm Hay Maze during Fall Harvest
101. Feel the freedom of wide open spaces in the Yakima Valley

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

*Jackson's (Flat) Stanley Adventure in the Yakima Valley!

Jackson's Stanley from King Williams, Virginia, came to the Yakima Valley to visit his cousin, Heather. His first stop was the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center and Gift Shop, Exit 33A off I-82East. The visitor center staff helped him with a Yakima Valley Visitor Guide, Map and information on the attractions and activities in the Yakima Valley. He learned that the Yakima Valley in Central Washington State is one of the world’s top agricultural growing regions. Abundant fresh fruit such as cherries, many kinds of apples, peaches, pears, grapes which are made into wine, and a great variety of fresh produce can be found in the Yakima Valley. Jackson's Stanley chose some fun places to visit and exciting activities in Yakima.

Jackson's Stanley wanted to go to a Yakima Bear's Game but baseball season hadn’t started yet. He did go to see the Yakima County Stadium, and would like to come back and watch a ball game there, when they start in June. He especially wants to go to a Friday night game where there will be live music from 6-7.

The Yakima SunDome is next to the Yakima County stadium. “Walking with the Dinosaurs,” will be playing April 23-26. He is looking forward to seeing life sized dinosaurs!

Jackson's Stanley learned to roller skate with Heather at Skateland Fun Center Roller/Inline Skating Rink in Union Gap. This is a large indoor rink, open year round. After roller skating he ate a famously huge Miner burger at Miners Drive Inn. Miner’s has been in the Valley since 1948.

Jackson's Stanley was told at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center that Toppenish was the capital of the Yakama Nation, and is known for over 70 large Western-themed murals on the sides of the buildings. A new mural is painted every year – all in one day! June 5- 6, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of Mural-in-a-Day, creating Toppenish's 71st mural. Friday June 5 will include the preparation of the wall, mixing paint and cartooning. The artist, whose mural design is chosen, will have the help of other artists to paint the mural on Saturday. A dozen professional artists will begin painting at 9 am and finish the entire mural by nightfall. During these two days there will be a pancake breakfast, horsedrawn mural tours, crafts vendors and other special events.
This is Jackson's favorite mural!

Jackson's likes trains! In Toppenish at the Northern Pacific Rail and Steam Museum, he saw the 1902 steam engine that is being restored as well as the Train Depot built in 1930 and train related artifacts.

Jackson's (Flat) Stanley had fun in the Yakima Valley visiting with Heather! He hopes to come back again soon!

*For Jackson and Heather

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Tourism Matters!

Tourism Ambassador for South East Washington, from the Yakima Valley, is Martin Olsen of Olsen Estates Winery.

Martin says "People are just starting to learn about the Yakima Valley and its richness. What we've got here is something really special." The amount of growth and infrastructure here in the past five years is really measureable. I think that's all directly related to tourism....."

Come to the Yakima Valley for Spring Barrel Tasting April 24-26 and ask Martin "Why Tourism Matters!"

Spring Barrel Tasting,the last weekend in April is a great opportunity to learn about the growth of the wine industry in the Yakima Valley, take tours of the vineyards, talk to the winemakers, learn about food and wine pairing or just sample great wine, bask in the sunshine and listen to live music.

April 24-26: Come experience springtime in full bloom in the Yakima Valley! Meet Martin, his brother Leif and winemaker, Kyle Johnson at Olsen Estates for a guided tour of Olsen Brothers Ranches 2,600-acre Olsen farm started by his father 25 years ago. The Olsen family has a 100 years of interesting history in the Yakima Valley, maybe Martin will share more of his families saga. The tour will begin at Olsen Estates winery, where you board a bus and travel 15 minutes to the farm visit several vineyard sites, get an overview of the Olsen’s diversified crop production, which include cherries, apples, hops, and blueberries. The tour concludes at sunset among the vineyards atop Olsen Hill, with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Package includes a photo keepsake to take home as a reminder of your Spring Barrel Tasting weekend! $50/person, 20 people max 3:00 - 6:00 PM


April April 24-26: Kick off your Spring Barrel Tasting weekend with our Vine to Wine tour at Olsen Estates! On Friday from 3-6pm, the Olsen's are offering a guided tour of Olsen Brothers farm and vineyards, including wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres ($50/person). Then, relax on the patio where we’ll be featuring the smooth sounds of R&B guitarist, Wayman Chapman, on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Tapas available, as well as barrel samples and wines by the glass or bottle. $5 event fee (waived with Wine Yakima Valley premiere pass). 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Olsen Estates Winery.

Check the numerous events happening at over 60 wineries in the Yakima Valley during Spring Barrel Tasting Weekend.

There is something for every member of your family, Bike Rides, Dinosaurs, winemaker dinners, art and craft fairs,Fresh Asparagus,antique car show, fun, live music at wineries, wine tasting, dueling pianos, BBQ oysters, sunshine, evening wine tasting & live music, dancing in downtown Yakima at the Sportscenter and Taste of Washington and much more!