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You can’t miss a visit to the Valley

The Yakima Valley is located about 2 hours away from Seattle and has distinct weather and scenery.  Expansive rolling hills and a warm, arid climate create delicious wine (and beer!) and a perfect getaway from the cloudy Seattle skies.

Visiting the valley is an authentic agricultural experience, home to countless family farms, orchards, and vineyards. The Yakima Valley features 5 different American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and is home to over 120 wineries. The valley also produces 75% of the nation’s hops, 70% of the nation’s apples, and is an important agricultural region for many other fruits and vegetables, including pears, apricots, spearmint, asparagus, onions, and corn.

The City of Yakima is located at the beginning of the Valley, for those coming from Seattle. From there, the Valley spans East towards Wapato, Zillah, Sunnyside, Prosser and Benton City. Most of the wineries are in the valley rather than in downtown Yakima. However, the City makes for a good location to use as base for exploring the area. Or better yet, stay at the Freehand Cellars Lodging (Unit A, Unit B) which is already closer to the valley wineries and yet within a few minutes from the City’s restaurants.

Planning a trip

We recommend spending at least 3 days (2 nights) in the area. A great trip with a strong pace would look like this:

Downtown Yakima Farmer’s Market

Downtown Yakima Farmer’s Market

Friday morning: Drive to Yakima City arriving in time for lunch, visit Wineries that are close by in the afternoon. Have dinner in the City.

Saturday: Drive to Wineries further away, have a picnic for lunch, visit more Wineries or Breweries.

Sunday: Get a good brunch. Explore the Yakima Farmer’s Market, visit a couple Wineries and return home in the afternoon.

If you only have a 2-day weekend, concentrate on the Wineries and Breweries which are closest by. If you have more time, then explore the area in more depth and at a more pleasant pace.

One of the best online resources for exploring the area is the Yakima Valley Tourism website.

 

Recommended Wineries

This is a select list of some of our favorite places. There are many other Wineries to visit, but these are some which you can’t go wrong by visiting.

All distances are based on the Freehand Cellars Lodging but they give a good idea of what to expect even if you are staying elsewhere.

Owen Roe Winery

Owen Roe Winery

First Cluster (less than 10 minutes away):

Second Cluster (less than 20 minutes away):

Third Cluster (around 40 minutes away):

Airfield Estates

Airfield Estates

Fourth Cluster (around 50 minutes away):

Further Away but worthwhile (a little over 1 hour away):

In the City of Yakima:

 

Recommended Breweries

Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Photo:    Drink Yakima   .

Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Photo: Drink Yakima.

Out of all breweries in the area, these two stand out:

 

Recommended Restaurants

Breakfast/Brunch

Lunch/Dinner

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen and Icehouse

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen and Icehouse

If you have suggestions of places to visit, or activities to add to this list, please let us know at hello@freehandcellars.com

And if you liked our mini-guide, please share!

Cheers, and we hope to see you here soon.