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Famous Landmarks in Yakima – Our Top Five

The landmarks in Yakima serves as so many purposes. Things to do in town, historical places to watch a show or eat. We decided to come up with 5 solid places that we can all connect with. Either we’ve been there, we know about or we show them off when we have people coming in from out of town. These Yakima landmarks serve us daily and many of us may take for granted.

The “Palm Springs of Washington” sign

Yakima - Palm Springs of Washignton sign
photo by John Riggs

There’s no way we could have a famous landmarks of Yakima list without featuring this. So many questions come from this famous landmark. Why is it there? Who put it there? Is Palm Springs the Yakima of California? People passing by Yakima on I-82 will see this sign near the 1st Street exit. One local blogger says it came from the Yakima Centennial back in 1985 or so but once it was over, they painted the ‘palm springs of Washington” to fill the empty space. Since then it’s become both the #1 landmark of Yakima and the butt of many jokes as well.

Miner’s Restaurant

Miner's Restaurant
photo by John Riggs

Home of the Big Miner and has been serving the Yakima Valley since 1948. If you ask most people in Yakima where out of towners should go to grab something to eat, they may recommend this place if nothing more than for the experience. The burgers are gigantic, extra large portions of fries and real milkshakes. This place has also hosted many of our neighboring high school sports teams when they come to Yakima to play, often times the coach will take them here. The restaurant has since expanded, but the sign hasn’t changed in years and has become a landmark in the Yakima suburb of Union Gap on 1st street near Valley Mall. Too many things on the menu to list off, but most people already know what they want. Me? I’ll take a double miner w/ cheese, large fries and a large marshmallow shake – you gotta try the marshmallow shake.

photo by John Riggs

The Larson Building

Larson Building
photo by John Riggs

If Yakima had a skyline, the A.E. Larson Building would be included in that based on the fact that it’s the tallest building in Yakima. Built in 1931 and used to host a ton of old offices and abandoned rooms, it has gone through a major overhaul that’s been on-going in 2007 including a new bistro on the first floor called Plaza Socievole. Perfect for people in downtown Yakima to relax and grab a glass after work. More newer tenants keep occupying offices in the Larson building and why not? You can see it from a mile away and conveniently on Yakima avenue in downtown Yakima.

You can read about the history of this building and find out who A. E. Larson was here

The Franklin Terraces

franlkin terraces
photo by John Riggs

Franklin middle school and Franklin park is also host to the Franklin terraces. These terraces have provided fun for all ages over the years. They contain two terraced areas of grassy lawn, a straightaway in the middle and mini-terraces on the side. Anytime snow hits the ground, kids grab their sleds, snow disks, toboggans and the occasional garbage sack to sled down. During the summer months you may find today’s youth ‘ice blocking’ down them even though it’s generally frowned upon as it ruins the landscaping. Great for exercise and rolling down, the Franklin terraces have a million and one uses – and all free of charge. Located behind Franklin middle school on 22nd and Tieton drive.

Track 29

Track 29
photo by John Riggs

What do you get one a once busy and bustling train station becomes inoperative? You build shops out of genuine railroad cars for a unique shopping experience. Track 29 located at 1st and Yakima avenue it a fun experience where each car is it’s own shop. Great 100% authentic Italian food from Russillo’s, a cupcake from Truly Scrumptious bakery, Yesterday’s Village, Tequila’s Mexican restaurant and more all found in one place. Often times in the summer they’ll also feature live music and entertainment on the boardwalk. The unique-ness of this shopping experience and the history of why they did what they did makes this one of Yakima’s landmarks.

That’s what I came up with. What landmarks should have made this list? Which local locations are important to you? Comment below, I’d love to see what you’re thinking about.

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