Union Gap was founded in 1883 and was actually the original city of Yakima. The city moved four miles away in 1884 and slowly grew into the city of Yakima that remains there today. Union Gap was officially named in 1917.
Union Gap is nestled in between two mountain heads, and that’s how it was named. The community has grown over time and now features a good selection of shops, restaurants, museums and outdoor recreation spots. The town hosts quite a few events and festivals each year, including the Pioneer Power Show and Swap Meet held the 3rd weekend in August at Fullbright Park.
Union Gap has gotten a big boost over the years from commercial businesses moving to town. The notorious upheaval of the Yakima Mall stores brought new life into Union Gap’s Valley Mall, and several of Yakima’s well known restaurants like El Porton now have Union Gap locations. In 2012, Cabela's opened a location there, much to the delight of the area’s avid outdoorsmen and women.
If you’re a history buff, you can visit Union Gap’s Pioneer Graveyard. Established in 1865, the graveyard is the final resting place of some of Yakima’s original settlers. Another place worth exploring is the Central Washington Agricultural Museum, which has over 3,000 antique hand tools and other glimpses of pioneer life, all in a park-like setting.
If you get hungry in Union Gap, you’ll have your share of food options. Some of them have been around for quite awhile, like the Pepp’rmint Stick Drive-In from the 1940s. But if you only have time to enjoy one meal in this town, do yourself the favor of ordering a burger and a milkshake from Miner’s Drive-In. It’s the favorite stop of every bus full of young athletes, and it’s a landmark in the Yakima area.
You’ll also find an abundance of fresh seasonal produce in Union Gap. Before you leave, stop at one of the produce stands and stock up on local fruits and veggies.