Located in Eastern Washington, Yakima offers locals access to a number of outdoor activities, as well as plenty of shopping and entertainment options. Affordable prices and mountain views are just a couple of reasons why retirees love Yakima.
Climate & Geography
Yakima has a cold desert climate, with a Mediterranean precipitation pattern. Although this climate type experiences all four seasons, the spring warming is slow and gradual while the autumn cooling season is short and rapid. Winters are generally cold, and summers are hot but experience a wide temperature variation between the day and night time. Due to the desert climate, humidity and precipitation is low all year round, with an average of less than 9 inches of rain, about 18 inches of snow, and approximately 199 sunny days throughout each year.
The city is located on low land that is east of the Cascade Mountain Range and west of the Columbia Plateau. The Yakima River runs along the city’s eastern border, and Spring Creek, Wide Hollow Creek, and Bachelor Creek all flow through Yakima.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Nature lovers will appreciate the wide variety of outdoor activities that Yakima has to offer. With plenty of parks in the city, it’s easy for residents to enjoy the area’s scenic views. Johnson’s Orchards is a popular destination for its variety of fresh fruits and homemade baked goods. The Yakima Area Arboretum & Botanical Garden offers an abundance of natural areas that make for the perfect stroll. The arboretum features a number of events allowing locals to enjoy the beauty of nature in Yakima.
The Yakima Valley Museum offers an in depth look at the area’s culture. The museum features several exhibits that showcase the area’s cultural and natural history. The city is also home to a number of breweries and wineries.
The Yakima Area offers locals plenty of opportunities for entertainment. The city features several places to eat and drink, and Valley Mall, located in nearby Union Gap, has a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options for locals to enjoy.
For access to even more amenities, Seattle can be reached in about two hours, providing the perfect opportunity for a day trip or weekend getaway to a bigger city.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Yakima is lower than the state and national average. Utilities, transportation, and health costs are all below the national average, while housing and grocery costs are above the national average.
The state of Washington is considered quite tax friendly for retirees. There is no income tax, including for all forms of retirement income, and property taxes are around average. Sales tax in Yakima is higher than the national average, at 8.20 percent, but groceries and prescription drugs are exempt.
The state of Washington typically scores high on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
There are two hospitals located in Yakima. They are Astria Regional Medical Center and Virginia Mason Memorial, the latter of which is rated as high performing in two procedures and conditions by U.S. News.