Moving to Yakima

With an enticing blend of natural beauty, small-town charm, and a vibrant cultural scene, moving to Yakima, Washington is like discovering a well-kept secret of the Pacific Northwest. Our comprehensive Yakima relocation guide will help you explore the city's lush wine country, bustling farmer's markets, and diverse neighborhoods, providing essential insights and practical advice. As you decide to embark on this new adventure, we are here to make your moving journey as smooth and delightful as a sip of Yakima's finest Merlot.

Moving to Yakima, WA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Yakima

1. Sun and Agriculture Combine to Make Yakima "The Palm Springs of Washington"

Get ready to soak up some rays, because Yakima boasts approximately 300 days of sunshine each year. That's right - more annual sunshine than Miami, Florida, a fact that surprises many newcomers. This sunshine is key to Yakima's flourishing agricultural scene. The region is recognized as one of the best apple-growing areas in the world and boasts extensive vineyards, making it a paradise for wine lovers and foodies alike.

2. Enjoy a Blend of Culture and Nature

In Yakima, you won't have to choose between urban life and outdoor living, as the city provides an enticing mix of both. The downtown offers art galleries, music venues, breweries, and wine tasting rooms, while just a short drive from the city center you'll find beautiful rivers, lakes, and hiking trails. Whether you're an artist, gastronome, angler, or mountain biker, there's a little something for everyone in Yakima.

3. Yakima is the Heart of the Yakama Nation

Yakima is the cultural epicenter of the Yakama Nation and rich in Native American history. The annual Yakama Nation Treaty Day Commemoration and Cultural Center are incredible ways to explore the local tradition, history, and culture. Plus, the Yakama legends imbue the landscape with a sense of sacred mystique found in few other places.

4. Say Hello to the Nob Hill Water Tower

Not many people outside Yakima know about the iconic Nob Hill Water Tower which is visible throughout the town. Built in 1936, it was one of the tallest structures in Washington at the time and while not in use anymore, it remains a prominent piece of Yakima's skyline. At night, the tower is illuminated making it a comforting beacon to guide you home.

5. Sportsman's Paradise

Are you an outdoors enthusiast? Welcome home! Yakima Valley's diverse geography offers activities for every taste, from hiking and biking to fishing and hunting. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the many athletic events hosted in Yakima, from minor league baseball games to the annual SunDome Volleyball Festival. Plus, the nearby Yakima River offers unparalleled opportunities for fly fishing and rafting.

6. Hop in for Some Beers

This might come as a surprise to ale aficionados, but Yakima Valley actually produces a staggering 75% of the nation's hop crop! This bounty patronizes a vibrant local craft beer scene. Tour local breweries, enjoy tasting events, and don't forget to sample the unique flavors of Yakima's homegrown hops. It's barley - excuse me, barely - conceivable how much beer variety you'll find here!

So there you have it - everything you need to know to start picturing your new life in Yakima, Washington. From an abundance of sunshine and a thriving arts scene, to rich Native American history and unrivaled outdoor opportunities, Yakima is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Perhaps the only thing left for you to do now is figure out your favorite local beer. But don't worry, with all those hops floating around, you'll have plenty of chances to decide. Cheery Yakima awaits!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Yakima

Pros of Living in Yakima

Nature Accessibility

Yakima is a paradise for nature lovers. With a variety of outdoor activities and scenic beauty around, it's easy to enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, or jogging in Yakima. Places like the Cascades, Mt. Rainier, or the Yakima River Canyon offer incredible views and experiences all year round.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other places in Washington, Yakima has a fairly low cost of living. Here, it is possible to own a home or rent an apartment without draining your savings. The cost of groceries, transportation, health services, and utilities are also relatively cheap.

Cultural Events

Yakima is known for its cultural flair and hearty festivals, such as the Yakima Folklife Festival, Fresh Hop Ale Festival, or Cinco de Mayo festivities. These cultural activities bring the community together and provide a lot of fun and entertainment for all ages.

Wine Country

Yakima Valley is well recognized for its wine production. With over 100 wineries in the valley, living in Yakima can mean enjoying world-class wines, visiting beautiful vineyards, and participating in a variety of wine-related events and festivals.

Agricultural Abundance

Yakima is one of the leading agricultural regions with a bounty of fresh produce, particularly famous for its apples. Fruit stands and farmer's markets are common, offering residents access to fresh, locally sourced foods.

Cons of Living in Yakima


The climate in Yakima tends to be semi-arid, meaning it can get pretty hot in the summers and cold in the winters. The lack of consistent precipitation may make it somewhat difficult for people used to more humid or temperate climates.

Economic Diversity

Primarily an agricultural town, Yakima may lack the kind of economic diversity seen in larger, more cosmopolitan cities. This may limit job opportunities in certain fields like technology, finance, or creative industries.

Social Life

Yakima is known for its relaxed, quiet lifestyle. While this is a pro for people looking for a peaceful life, it may be perceived as a con by people who crave a vibrant nightlife or a bustling urban scene.


Despite being a smaller city, traffic can sometimes be problematic in Yakima, especially during agricultural season when large machinery and trucks are common on the roads. This may increase commute times and cause delays.

Health Care Services

While Yakima has adequate health care facilities for a city of its size, it may not offer the same level of specialized medical services found in larger metropolitan areas. Residents requiring specialized care may need to travel out of town for treatment.

Modern day picture of Yakima, WA highlighting pros and cons of living in Yakima, WA

Is Yakima a Good Place to Live?

Yakima, WA is a great place to live because of its affordable cost of living, rich agricultural scene, and access to various outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and skiing. The city also boasts great wineries, a vibrant arts scene, and a close-knit community. Whether you are a wine connoisseur, art-lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, Yakima accommodates everyone with its versatile charm.

What Is Yakima Famous For?

World-renowned Wine Producing Region

The Yakima Valley produces more than half of Washington's wine grapes, ensuring it's place on the global wine production map. With over 60 wineries covering the region, it's a paradise for wine connoisseurs and beginners alike exploring its scenic vineyards and tasting its world-class wines.

Bountiful Apple Orchards

No trip to Yakima can be considered complete without a visit to an apple orchard. Not only does the city boasts of housing some of the oldest apple trees in the country, it's also one of largest apple producing regions in the world, justifiably earning Yakima the epithet of the 'Apple Capital of the World'.

Capitol Theatre

Immerse yourself in the magic of live theatre at the Capitol Theatre in Yakima. With its decorative interiors that hark back to the splendor of yesteryears and an exciting year-round schedule of performances, the theatre has been serving up a slice of Broadway in the heart of Yakima since 1920.

Yakima River Canyon

The Yakima River Canyon, draped in rich colors, is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts. From fishing, birding, and rafting, to hiking and wildlife photography, the canyon allows a view into some of the best natural spectacles that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Capital building of Yakima, WA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Yakima, WA, as of 2023, the average property tax rate is 0.93%, which is lower than the national average of 1.07%. This puts Yakima among locations with relatively lower property tax rates in the US.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, Yakima, WA enforces a combined sales tax rate of 8.4%, which includes its 6.5% state tax. This is above the average US combined sales tax of approximately 7.12%, making Yakima's sales tax one of the higher rates in the country.

Income Tax

As of 2023, Washington State, including Yakima, enforces no state income tax, making it one of the seven states in the US where residents do not pay state income tax. However, Federal income tax still applies and may vary depending on income level.

Housing Market

The Yakima, WA housing market presents a highly affordable option compared to the national average. The median home cost in Yakima is approximately $200,000, significantly lower than the US average. The city also boasts a lower cost of living. However, the market for renters is a bit challenging with a higher than average rental cost. Buyers should note the steady appreciation rates, up 10.3% in the last year, a trend that's expected to continue. Despite these technicalities, Yakima offers an array of affordable housing opportunities, the key is in understanding and navigating the market.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Yakima, WA is generally considered lower than the U.S. national average and substantially more affordable comparative to larger cities like Seattle. Housing is particularly inexpensive, with median home cost in Yakima significantly lower than the state and national medians. Healthcare and utilities costs lean towards the national average, while grocery and transportation expenses are also relatively affordable. Despite these stats, residents' earnings in Yakima are also typically less than the national average, which balances out the cost benefits to some extent. Therefore, affordability in Yakima mostly depends on personal income levels and lifestyle choices.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Yakima, WA, typically enjoys a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers and cold, relatively wet winters. Average summer temperatures peak around 82degF, while in winters, it dips to a low of 20degF. The area receives an annual rainfall of approximately 9 inches, much less than the US average, making it relatively dry. Clear, sunny skies dominate more than half the year, with snowfall observed during winter months. Natural disasters in Yakima include earthquakes and floods. The city rests near the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which makes it prone to seismic activities. Flooding often occurs in the spring due to snowmelt and significant rain events. Wildfires, though not as common, can also pose challenges during the hot and dry summer months. These diverse weather patterns make the climate in Yakima a fascinating study in contrasts.

Typical weather in Yakima, WA

Economy & Job Market


* Agriculture, particularly apples, hops, and wine grapes

* Healthcare

* Education

* Retail

* Manufacturing

Ever sweated about where your next apple or bottle of beer might come from? Worry no more. Yakima, WA is America's apple capital and the nation's top hops producer! Now that's something to toast to. Yakima's economy has historically been rooted in agriculture, celebrated for its apple orchards, and in recent years it has become a major player in the wine industry as well. But the fun doesn't stop there. Now, the economy has diversified to include a healthy representation of healthcare, retail, education, and manufacturing industries as well. The city is also home to several medical facilities and school districts, offering a ripe bunch of opportunities. Season to taste with an increasing number of retail stores and manufacturing firms, stir gently, and you have the unique, diverse economic cocktail that is Yakima.

Eyes on Yakima for your next move? Good choice! The city calls out to job seekers across industries, with healthcare posting the strongest job growth in recent years. Don't be disheartened if you're not medically inclined, though. The retail sector, particularly at the Union Gap area, has seen robust growth as well. Even the manufacturing industry has been holding its own nicely. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Yakima has a higher unemployment rate than the national average, but don't let that get you down. The city boasts a lower cost of living than many other parts of Washington State, which is just the cherry on top of this exciting career and life opportunity. So come, settle down, get yourself a nice backyard apple tree, and become part of Yakima's diverse and dynamic job market.


Traffic and Transportation

Oh, the joys of traffic in Yakima, WA! While the city might not have the hustle and bustle of larger metropolitan areas, the nearly 20 minutes average commute time sure keeps things interesting. The Yakima Transit system ensures fun on the bus rides with plenty of options to get you to your destination. The fixed route service operates from Monday to Saturday, and the Dial-A-Ride offers flexible options for those with special needs. Fancy a flight? The Yakima Air Terminal (McAllister Field) is our charming, small city airport. It might not be bustling like LAX or JFK, but you can bet it's less hectic and more convenient for your travels. Whether by bus, car, or plane, getting around Yakima certainly keeps things adventurous!

What is the traffic like in Yakima, WA?

Best Neighborhoods in Yakima

1. West Valley Neighborhood

This leafy community zone effortlessly tops our list as one of the best neighborhoods in Yakima. West Valley is a family-oriented area with plenty of suburban charm. The neighborhood is popular for its highly-rated schools, secure environment, and lovely houses. Families, particularly those with kids, will find West Valley's expansive parks, recreational facilities, and niche eateries a delightful offering. Also, with community activities and neighborhood events occurring throughout the year, settling down in West Valley is like joining an extended family!

2. Terrace Heights

For those who value panoramic hillside views and tranquility, Terrace Heights could be a perfect choice. This residential gem is located atop a bluff overlooking downtown Yakima and is known for its unique blend of suburban comfort and rural charm. Terrace Heights offers serene surroundings coupled with amenities such as markets, restaurants, bakeries, and more. With its friendly residents, you'll likely feel a warm community spirit the moment you set foot in this neighborhood.

3. Englewood West

Englewood West is one of Yakima's hub of activity. It's a bustling neighborhood that buzzes with life and charm. Historic homes, tree-lined streets, and well-maintained yards are staples in this area, providing a scenic backdrop for residents. With easy access to shopping centers, mouthwatering eateries, and a slew of entertainment options, there's always something for everyone to do in Englewood West. Plus, its proximity to schools and various local businesses makes it a practical choice for families and professionals alike.

4. Gilbert District

If you're after lifestyle, then the Gilbert District is just the ticket! Considered Yakima's artsy district, Gilbert is filled with quaint boutique shops, art galleries, breweries, and coffeehouses, all within walking distance of each other. The district is also home to Yakima's farmer's market, where locals gather to sample fresh produce and homemade goodies. Gilbert District is recognized for its vibrant, youthful energy and is a real creative hub for those who embrace the hip city neighborhood vibe.

5. Broadway District

For fans of history and grandeur, the Broadway District is one to consider. It's a well-established neighborhood with historic homes and captivating architectural allure. The diversity in house styles, from stately manors to cute cottages, reflects the rich cultural history of the area. Broadway District offers easy access to Yakima's main core, yet it maintains a quiet, relaxed small-town feel. Enjoy strolls along the quiet tree-lined avenues, visit beautiful city parks, or indulge in the neighborhood's eclectic mix of local shops and eateries.

In conclusion, from serene suburban retreats to exciting scenes bursting with activities, Yakima, WA has a neighborhood to suit everyone's lifestyle. Whether you're a family seeking for excellent schools, a young professional wanting an artistic hub, or a retiree in search of peace and tranquillity, you're guaranteed to find a community in Yakima calling your name. Check out these amazing neighborhoods, and who knows, you might just find your new home!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Yakima, the Heart of Washington State. This industrious city is one of the Northwest's best-kept secrets, with its enchanting natural beauty, rich agricultural hubs, and distinctive wineries. As a newcomer, you must experience all that this fantastic city has to offer. Exploring Yakima can be quite an adventure, so we've compiled a list of seven top things to do around town. And don't worry, we've included a couple of experiences that are off the beaten path. So, get ready to dive into the unending charm of Yakima. Let's start exploring!

1. Start at the Yakima Valley Museum

Begin your immersion into Yakima's cultural panorama at the Yakima Valley Museum. This place is a treasure trove of Yakima's social, agricultural, and natural past. The museum holds an extensive collection of artifacts, paintings, and historical objects, giving you a peek into the Life of Yakima's settlers. The museum also hosts frequent events, art programs, and kids' attractions ensuring something for everyone.

2. Visit the Yakima Area Arboretum

An island of stunning natural beauty amidst urban life, the Yakima Area Arboretum offers a serene setting to unwind. Take a peaceful stroll through the picturesque landscapes, explore a variety of tree and plant species, or attend their educational programs, the 46-acre ground is a horticulture enthusiast's paradise.

3. Indulge at the Craft Beverage Tour

Lauded as the "fruit bowl of the nation", Yakima offers a vibrant craft beverage scene. From the family-run boutique wineries to the hop-infused craft breweries, the Craft Beverage Tour is a must for libation lovers. Don't forget to sip on premium wines at vineyards offering splendid views of the Valley.

4. Explore the 'Cowiche Canyon'

An exemplary illustration of Yakima's natural allure is Cowiche Canyon. Lace up your boots and traverse through this adventure-filled trail offering sprawling views of rugged cliffs, local wildlife, blossoming wildflowers, and babbling creeks. Bonus, it's less-known among tourists, providing a peaceful getaway amongst the locals.

5. Tantalize your taste buds at Miner's Drive-In Restaurant

When in Yakima, eating at Miner's Drive-In Restaurant is a near-obligatory ritual. Famous for their monstrous-sized burgers and thick milkshakes, this spot has been feeding Yakima since 1948. Get ready to take a plunge into nostalgic, classic American dining.

6. Visit Johnson's Orchards

Experience the agricultural richness of Yakima by visiting Johnson's Orchards. An unassuming gem hidden in the outskirts, this family-run orchard lets you pluck your cherries and peaches, offering a unique farm-to-table experience. Make your jams and relishes, or take home a bagful of these juicy fruits, you're in for a treat!

7. Unwind at Franklin Park

Last but not least, visit the city's social, recreational hub Franklin Park. Positioned in the heart of the city, it houses a seasonal pool, sports fields, and hosts numerous community events and concerts, making it the perfect destination for a family fun day out!

So whether you indulge in its vibrant craft-beverage scene, delve into its rich history, relax amidst its nature, or challenge your tastebuds with its mouthwatering culinary delights, Yakima offers an array of experiences. The city's warm community and serene rural charm will ultimately steal your heart. Welcome to Yakima and enjoy discovering these wondrous adventures!

Things to do in Yakima, WA?

Find Movers for Your Yakima Relocation

Packing up your life and moving to a new city can be overwhelming, but with Yakima's welcoming neighborhoods, natural wonders, and career opportunities waiting for you, the stress is well worth the reward. Now that we've whet your appetite for your upcoming move to Yakima, your next step is to secure the professional help you need to make your transition seamless. Great Guys Moving is designed to make this effortless; just provide some basic information about your move and receive your free, no-obligation moving quote. Trust the company that connects people with the most reputable movers in the industry. Your adventure in Yakima is just a click away.

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