Yakima is named after the confederation of Yakama tribes which inhabited this area before the arrival of the europeans.
Their very large reservation with mountains, forests and salmon hatcheries are a very short twenty minutes away. There is also a cultural museum and a very well stocked library at the reservation.
The Yakima Valley is wine country. This is where many of those great Washington State reds are born. There have been some great wines made in this region, and you can spend many afternoons hopping from vineyard to vineyard (with a designated driver, of course.) I've been to several, but on this trip Dmitri and I went down to the Columbia Crest vineyard, which is located just outside Paterson WA, some 75 miles southeast of Yakima. It's a kind of mecca, both for oenophiles and for winos like myself.
The Yakima County Jail is nothing if not austere - but it does its job without being a complete blot upon its neighborhood. Architecturally, it's quite an interesting building.
You can actualy jump off the cliffs along this river or float for a few miles. Great way to cool off during the sumer.
The Greenway is a great place to take a jog, walk your dog, throw a frisbee, or take a bike ride.
A 10 mile path that follows the Yakima river.