Yakima’s Unique Attractions 5

{the last must-see place to visit} While in the area, make sure your OOTs visit the heart of the Valley found nestled in the revitalized streets of Yakima’s historic district.  Almost a ghost town at one point, the concentrated efforts of Operation Downtown Renaissance have brought life back into the neighborhood, now rich with antique buildings, eateries and entertainment.  I have listed a few of these sites for guests to take in during a quiet stroll down the city streets. 

Front Street

The Old North Yakima Historic District is comprised of numerous buildings constructed in the late 1800s that remain as a reminder of the “preeminent role of the railroad and founding of the city of Yakima.”  The district is “characterized by decorative brick work and detail that is typical of turn-of-the-century architecture”. 

A favorite stop of mine along the way is The Depot Restaurant & Lounge  found at 32 N. Front St., and is the home of an antique domed passenger waiting + baggage room which once served as an operating train station {see the train theme again} .  Sit back and relax with a drink in this peaceful dinner setting.  {Information on the historic district found on Mimian’s blog}

depot when it was a railway station

{the Depot then}

the depot restaurant

{the Depot now}

inside the depot

{spacious quarters}

Wine enthusiasts can head to the Cascade Wine Store for tastings of local selections if the vineyard tours don’t fit into the plans.  If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up instead, North Town Coffeehouse ‘s inviting atmosphere comes complete with an assortment of java, gelato and free WiFi.

north town coffee house

chic digs + comfort + coffee = ❤

The Ave

Along the town’s main drag, Yakima Avenue, your guests will be able to see the best of what’s old + new in the district.

Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine at Santiago’s Gourmet Mexican Restaurant which will be hard to miss as their large patio overflows onto the sidewalk with lavish flowering baskets and large potted plants inviting all to come inside.

In with the new, but not out with the old.  Another historic {train} attraction on The Ave can be found in the innate character exclusive to Track 29.  A featured location on the View of America website, this unique mall is home to many great shops and offers “a stroll back in time on the authentic wooden boardwalk” and invites visitors to “sit and relax on the benches and watch the trains go by.”

track 29 boardwalk

{journey to the past}

track 29 2

{the thumbprint of our city}

Set in what was once the Yakima Mall, the Hilton Garden Inn provides a luxurious stay for Valley visitors as its exterior is lined with newly established, upscale shops that range in focus from wine to entertainment.  After a day of exploring the streets, unwind at Ummelina Spa inside the Inn’s lobby.  This relaxing retreat offers an extensive list of treatments for guests — including a one for the tootsies!

Not one for roaming the streets on foot?  Hop on the Yakima Valley Trolley to take in the sights and sounds of the city.  After being absent from the streets for so long, I was so happy to find that the trolley was up and running once again.  “The last authentic, all-original turn-of-the-century interurban railroad in the U.S.,” the trolley’s rails reach a little over 5 miles and “provide [a] historical [and] educational trip for sightseers . . . of the vintage rail transit.”

all aboard trolley




Located on Naches Ave, the Seasons Performance Center “has taken center stage in Yakima’s entertainment scene” and boasts a musical arrangement to include jazz, classical and world music performed by musicians from all over the world.

While downtown, take in the beauty of the {almost} century-old Capitol Theater.  With an attractive exterior that can be seen from the streets, the {even more stunning} interior is only accessible through arranged tours when the theater is not hosting an event. If you happen to be down there on a Sunday, you won’t want to miss the Farmer’s Market, abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables from local orchards, as well as live music, BBQ and local crafts!

capitol circa 1920

{circa 1920 and much what it looks like today}

capitol inside

{grand stage}

farmers market

{Sundays at the Market}

The downtown area offers free on-street parking as well as several lots that can be accessed from Front and First Street.   

If my list of things to do in the Valley this week still isn’t enough for your guests, send them to the Yakima Valley blog for even more {101 to be exact} to-do and see ideas in the city.  The business directory also allows visitors to search by category and the calendar of events gives up-to-date information on the current happenings around town.

And that rounds up my Unique Attractions week! I hope all your OOTs find something different to have fun with in the Valley during their stay. 

.::Next week: Budget Resources::.  

See you then!


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