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Yakima, WA (Population: 229,094)

Yakima, Washington, with an estimated population of 229,094 residents, is considered the best apple and hops producing area in the world. Yakima was named for the Yakima people who originated here and still live and work on reservations in the area. The reservation's museum, restaurants, camping, and gift shop are major tourist attractions and generate needed revenue for the city. The remainder of reservation lands are off limits to the general public in order for the Yakima to continue their ancient traditions of hunting, fishing, and harvesting local plants.

Yakima is also dotted with numerous family-operated wineries that offer tours and special spring barrel tasting events. Visitors get to experience the unique landscapes as they travel through this fertile green valley. Yakima's economy is primarily fueled by agriculture. Along with apples and grapes, other fruit crops include peaches, pears, cherries, and melons - most lucrative for the farmers in the area.

With several lakes and rivers winding their way through the valley, the outdoor sporting opportunities also draw many people to the area to live and visit. Biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, camping, fishing, and swimming are enjoyed throughout the year. Local lakes include Myron Lake, Lake Aspen, and Rotary Lake. Each year, Yakima area organizations and businesses hold several events such as a Cinco De Mayo celebration, Yakima Live (a live music festival), Fresh Hop Ale Fest, a weekly Farmers' Market, and the Hot Shots, a three-on-three basketball tournament.