Yakima : Washington


What It Is Like to Retire in Yakima

Yakima is a small city  and the capital of Yakima County in central Washington State. The population is about 84,000 with about 3 times that number living in the metro. Located in the Yakima Valley midway between Walla Walla and Seattle, this area is one of the best apple growing regions in the world. About 75% of the hops produced in the U.S. are grown here.  Increasingly wine and wineries have become important additions to the area.

There are many festivals held throughout the year to celebrate its agricultural surroundings, as well as provide music and life to the downtown. Nearby mountains and the Yakima River offer outstanding recreation. Yakima is the regional economic and shopping center. Because it is sunnier than most of the rest of Washington, it is often referred to as the "The Palm Springs of Washington". Yakima was named an All-American City in 1994.  Yakima has 2 colleges - Yakima Community College and the new The Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (2008).

Where to Retire in Yakima and Home Prices

Yakima has at least one active adult community (see link at top left). Average home prices are much less than near the Washington or Oregon coast. 

The National Association of Realtors reports the median selling price to be $363,400 in the 2nd quarter of 2022.

What Is Special about Yakima

The Yakima Valley is an amazing agricultural producer for fruit, apples, and hops.  The restored Capitol Theatre and Seasons Performance Hall are part of the community. Interesting festivals are held throughout the year. For people who want to retire in the western U.S., Yakima offers a rich lifestyle on a budget. One of the nicest of amenities is a 10 mile biking/walking trail along the Yakima.

What Is Not Special about Yakima

Yakima is a bit remote from any other city. If the idea of living in a small city surrounded by agriculture and not much else, you could be in trouble in Yakima. Downtown Yakima has ceded its importance to the Union Gap. The Downtown Futures Initiative hopes to bring back the downtown to its former glory.

Who Will Like Retirement in Yakima

People who like a relaxed setting with plenty of outdoor activities and reasonably good weather will enjoy a Yakima retirement.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Agriculture is very important to Yakima and surrounding area. Yakima is the regional shopping and commercial center.

Climate and Physical Environment

Yakima is located in the Yakima Valley, about halfway between Seattle and Walla Walla. The Yakima River runs through town. Yakima enjoys a much sunnier climate that most of the rest of Washington.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Yakima Valley Museum specializes in the region’s geology and history as well as periodic special exhibitions; Yakima’s historic Capitol Theater and Seasons Performance Hall, as well as the Westside’s Warehouse Theater, present numerous musical and stage productions; the Yakima Symphony Orchestra provides a serious musical outlet; the Yakima Area Arboretum is a popular botanical garden; the city hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, including the Yakima Folk Festival and a live music festival; adult education classes are available at Yakima Community College; Yakama Casino.


Yakima's crime rate is very high compared to the national average.

Medical Facilities

Yakima Memorial Hospital and the Yakima Regional Medical Center serve the Metro.


McAllister Field operates commericial flights to Seattle via Horizon Airways. I 82 runs through town.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia for Yakima
City of Yakima
Retire in Washington guide


What people are saying about Yakima

Completely false information
I have a really hard time understanding why anyone would recommend retiring in an area with known gang activity and the history of violence. It doesn\'t take much search effort to see the truth.
Posted by NoBS on October 24, 2015

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