Yakima, Washington

Photo by Abhinaba Basu

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Anyone who’s enjoyed a craft beer or two has most likely had a taste of Yakima’s most famous crop. Nearly 75% of the hops used in the United States come from Yakima Valley, and for beer lovers, it’s hard to beat drinking a hoppy beer in the home of American hops. 

Among the options are breweries like Bale Breaker, located on a 1932 hop farm founded by the brewery owners’ great-grandparents, and Valley Brewing, which almost exclusively focuses on IPAs (the Little Hopper beer bus can escort you around so you don’t have to designate a friend to drive). Time a visit for late fall to attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival to drink the fruits of that year’s harvest.

It’s not just beer lovers who’ll find Yakima is the perfect Washington destination for a food and drink vacation. Yakima Valley also has the largest variety of produce grown in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, more than half of Washington’s wine grapes are grown here, from cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay to syrah and riesling. 

Like with hops, there’s nothing like tasting from the source. The Yakima Valley has more than 120 wineries with tasting rooms both urban and rural that are spread over five American Viticultural Areas and 70 miles. For something different, Red Mountain Trails offers tasting tours via horse, wagon, and bike. 

Yakima’s bounty is easy to reach, too – just a two-hour drive from downtown Seattle, or a 45-minute Alaska Airlines flight from SeaTac.