Yakima Valley is arguably one of the greatest places to be during the warmer months in Washington State. The valley boasts an affordable summer vacation with a plethora of special events, festivals and outdoor treks for everyone in your group. From wine tours and tastings to music festivals and marathons, the following is a guide to help you soak up the most of summer in Yakima Valley.
Kick off summer by enjoying a lineup of events in honor of the warmer months, like the 87th Toppenish Rodeo, returning on July 1. The event will feature a thrilling cowboy performance, followed by the fan-favorite Wild West parade on July 2 at the Lion’s Club Breakfast Post Office. If rodeos are not your cup of tea, the Vintiques Yakima will be taking place August 4, a unique event for car enthusiasts that will feature over 600 vehicles from muscle cars and hotrods to street cars and rat rods.
If you are looking for a more family-friendly event this summer in Yakima Valley or in need of some fresh fruit, visit Bill’s Berry Farm for Cherry and Berry Day on July 2, July 4 or July 9. These delicious fruits are only the beginning of the warmer month’s harvest and will be followed by strawberries, peaches and plums in August and September. Be sure to stop by and grab as many as you can along with some handcrafted baked goods from the on-site bakery.
In addition to these fun annual events, some specialty wine tasting tour dates have popped up for summer. Yakima Valley boasts over 90 wineries and vineyards across the area, and luckily for you and your squad, Kickstand Tours are available for single-day e-bike tours around the valley’s best vineyards. The tour is approximately five hours, with sips of wine in the scenic countryside. Little Hopper also offers indulgent wine tours in both Yakima Valley and other wineries in central Washington.
If the way to your heart is food, then you are in for a treat with some of Yakima Valley’s upcoming food festivals. The Prosser Beer and Whiskey Festival is taking place on August 27 with an evening of locally brewed beer to help cool you off, smooth whiskey, live music, food and specialty vendors. If beer isn’t your forte, the Menudo Festival will be taking place on Sept. 4 with a menudo cook-off contest, markets with the authentic Mexican dish available for purchase, car shows, a volleyball tournament, kids games and activities and much more fun courtesy of the Granger Chamber of Commerce.
No summer in Yakima Valley would be complete without a music festival, and luckily the Hop Country Music Festival will be making its grand debut this summer on Sept. 9. The fest will feature multi-platinum superstar Cole Swindell, in addition to some of country’s top artists to benefit local youths. The country extravaganza will feature music, food and tons of fun.
The warmer summer months are the best time of the year to get outside, and with Yakima Valley offering some of the best weather and scenic treks in all of Washington, it should come as no surprise the valley has so many unique running events. For seasoned runners, the Grey Rock Trail Run on July 9 is a 12K to 50K scenic trek through the Cascade Mountains. The trail is high in elevation and is tough and rugged, but takes you along some of Yakima’s most scenic spots. For those looking for something a bit more relaxed and unique, the Bubbles and Brews 5K is happening on July 18 with a wine tasting 1K walk with four stops, or join in on the 5K with a celebratory beer at the end.
Downtown Yakima Valley will also be hosting a one-mile trek with a mission to end domestic violence on July 2, while the Dye Hard 5K Nighttime Color Run will take place on July 9 with live music and vibrant glow-in-the-dark colors within a blacklight show.
To learn more about summer in Yakima Valley, visit visityakima.com.