4 minute read

South Central

South Central

At A Glance

1 Oak Creek Wildlife Area

Located near Naches, the WA Department of Fish & Wildlife manages this land that is home to the Yakima elk herd as well as mule deer, California big horn sheep & mountain goats.

2 Yakima River Canyon

This rugged canyon divides the hills of sage covered desert between Yakima and Ellensburg and is known for its year-round sport fishing.

3 Umtanum Creek Canyon

Trek through a desert canyon wilderness, over the Yakima River via a suspension bridge. Watch for bighorn sheep, mule deer and many species of birds.

4 Central Washington Agricultural Museum

The largest agricultural museum in the Pacific Northwest! See original machinery used by early settlers for farming and cultivating the land.

5 Toppenish Murals

Discover the 'city of murals.' Murals on downtown buildings depict the cultural diversity of the region and reflects the city's theme: "where the west still lives."

6 Walkable Wine Tour

Prosser Vintners Village is located in Yakima Valley's wine country and is designed for a casual stroll; the village has excellent local wineries to sample all within walking distance.

7 Water Sports in Tri-Cities

Clover Island Marina in Kennewick offers easy access to the Columbia River to enjoy boating and other fun water sports.

Length: 22 miles, SR-821

Driving Time: 75 minutes

Yakama Scenic Byway

Length: 76 miles, US-97

Driving Time: 1.5 hours

Local Planning Resource: visityakima.com


Blessed with almost 300 days of sunshine, south central Washington lies in the rainshadow of the Cascade Mountains. It’s dry and warm here and you can smell sagebrush in the air. There’s endless sunshine and blue skies. Tumbleweeds roll across fields and magpies sit on fenceposts. Put on your sandals and shorts and start exploring this wide-open beautiful countryside.

Farm fresh

Savor the details of the landscape. You’ll see farms, orchards, vineyards, desert hills, pine forests, and dry grasslands. Large rivers and valleys cut across the terrain. Irrigation along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers has turned these valleys, with their rich volcanic soil and ice-age flood silt, into fantastically fertile farmland. This is where the world’s best apples and cherries are grown. Some roadside farm stands have been in the same families for generations. People flock here to hand-pick and stock up on seasonal fruits and veggies.

Roadside Farmstands

Don't forget to leave some extra room in the car to bring home some farm-fresh fruit and local estate wine to share with friends and family.

Wine Country

You’ll quickly discover that you’ve landed in Washington’s Wine Country. Vineyards and wineries abound. Stop at one of the many tasting rooms dotting the countryside between Yakima, Prosser, the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla. While you’re sampling wine, you’ll often hear amazing stories about the art of winemaking or how the grapes are grown from the actual winemaker.

With 120 wineries scattered throughout the Yakima Valley, where do you start your wine tasting adventure?

Yakima: Home to a pleasant mix of urban and rural wineries, Yakima is a great place to start any wine tasting adventure. Enjoy the local night-life as you taste your way through the Downtown Yakima tasting rooms.

Zillah: Many of the 17 wineries in the Rattlesnake Hills region are located within the very vineyards that grow the wine grapes. Each winery offers a unique tasting room setting, some with views of snow-capped Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

Prosser is the birthplace of the Washington wine industry, This quaint little town is home to more than 30 wineries, 12 of which are within walking distance of each other in Vintner’s Village. Prosser is also home to the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, a unique wine tasting and educational destination focused on Washington State wine and agriculture.

Red Mountain is the smallest and warmest wine grape growing region in Washington. A magical combination of sun, soil, slope, wind and geology produces red wine grapes that are highly prized for creating wines of superb concentration and depth, which consistently earn critical acclaim. There are a dozen wineries here with some beautiful tasting rooms.

The Tri-Cities , also known as the Heart of Washington Wine Country, provides delightful opportunities to discover why the region is one of the top wine destinations in the world! Whether you’re new to trying wine, a seasoned wine aficionado, or an overall adventurist – there’s something for every kind of traveler with more than 200 wineries within a 50-mile radius. Our blend of small-town charm with cosmopolitan amenities allows for more intimate wine experiences.

Wine Tasting In The Yakima Valley

With over 120 wineries and five AVA’s in just 70 miles, wine tasting in the Yakima Valley is a rewarding and unique experience.

Local Craft Beverages

Many visitors come here for the wine tasting and are delighted to discover a lively craft beverage scene that includes beer, wine and spirits. Seventy-five percent of the nation’s hops are grown here. What makes this place unique is being able to sip your favorite craft beverages among the fields, vineyards and orchards where the ingredients are grown. It’s no surprise that you can enjoy amazing wine, beer and farm-fresh fare in local eateries and breweries. Authentic and delicious Mexican food is easy to find too.

Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway

Experience the short 27-mile trip along this curvy canyon road between high desert sage-covered hills. There are gorgeous view points along the way and you'll see hawks soaring above and fly fishermen below. In the summer inner tubing down the river is a popular way to beat the heat.

Yakama Scenic Byway

Named for the local Yakama Indian Nation, this byway begins near Union Gap, home to the unique Central WA Agricultural Museum. Don’t forget to stop in Toppenish and see the 75 painted outdoor, historical murals. Further along is the Goldendale Observatory State Park, with access to one of the nation’s largest public telescopes.

The byway ends on the banks of the Columbia River. Visit the nearby Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge Memorial and then relax in the beautiful tasting rooms at the Maryhill Winery!

Explore the Heart of Washington Wine Country®! Beautiful weather, amazing outdoor recreation, and a mouthwatering culinary and craft beverage scene.

Download our FREE visitor’s guide at: www.VisitTri-Cities.com | 800-254-5824