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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