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        Yakima Washington is located in Central Washington.  Shielded from the costal rains by the Cascade Mountain Range the Yakima area is considered a high desert region with cool winters and warm dry summers.  The region boasts of 300 days of sunshine per year and four distinct seasons. High temperatures range from an average of 37 in the winter to an average high of 88 in the summer months.  Average annual precipitation is approximately 8 inches of which half is made up of snow fall in the months of December to February. 

        Yakima's central location in the State of Washington makes it an ideal starting point for many destinations and sights across the region.  The Cascade Ski Areas are approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours to the west, fantastic fishing is right at the Yakima City limits on the Naches and Yakima Rivers, spectacular golf courses dot the county and the majors cities of Seattle, Spokane, and Portland are just a few hours away by auto.

        A fast growing industry in Yakima County is wine production.  Climate, availability of land for vineyards and wineries plus the agricultural background of the work force has made the Yakima Valley an ideal winery region.  The various wineries produce excellent products, offer gifts ideas plus interesting tours of their facilities and the wine making process.

        The history of the Yakima area is one of the wild west.  Although there is a brief mention of Europeans in the area as early as the 1700's, Lewis and Clark's expedition of 1805 and their news of abundant wildlife and fertile valleys drew settlers to the area.  The increasing amounts of settlers in the 1850's lead to the conflict with the Yakama Indian Tribes and the Yakama Indian Wars of 1855.  Yakima County was formed from portions of Walla Walla County, Kittitas County and Benton County.  The City of Yakima was originally established where the City of Union Gap is at presently and was incorporated in 1883.  In 1884 the Northern Pacific Railroad, unable to establish a station in Yakima built four miles to the west.  The railroad then moved numerous buildings from Yakima to the new settlement of North Yakima around the new station.  Upon incorporation North Yakima became the official county seat in 1886.  By 1890 city utility services are available and by 1905 Yakima had its own daily newspaper the Yakima Herald Republic.  Like many other western cities, Yakima continues to grow and today the City of Yakima proper has a population of 80,800 and a regional population of 229,024. 

        Combined, Yakima's climate, the central location, a past rich with historical significance and almost everything good that nature can offer makes Yakima an excellent destination or a base to explore the Northwest.

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