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>> land of wine and cherries
Where can you see dozens of cool murals, eat authentic Mexican food and sample award-winning wines–all in one day? The Yakima Valley, of course.
Most of the landscape is arid and desert, but irrigation systems to provide water from the nearby Yakima and Columbia rivers has helped the sunny, dry valley to produce cherries, mint, apples, hops, asparagus and wine grapes for decades now. Although the local economy is driven by agriculture, it is the products of that agriculture that bring visitors to the region, adding a jolt to the local economy as well.
At the north end of the valley is the college town of Ellensburg, which boasts a rodeo in addition to its antique stores and fun eateries. To the south rolls the Yakima River, and tucked into canyons on either side are several popular desert day hikes. The town of Toppenish boasts more than 40 Western-style painted murals that cover many downtown buildings, and are absolutely worth a stop to see. And of course, there are the dozens of wineries that dot the valley and lure visitors to their tasting rooms and scenic, rolling vineyards.