As one local jokester puts it, “People come to Toppenish just to watch the paint dry.” This whistle-stop Western town 18 miles southeast of Yakima is best known for the colorful and brilliantly crafted murals splashed on its historic brick buildings that tell the story of Toppenish. The biggest draw is on the first Saturday in June, when bleachers are set up and folks watch as 12–16 artists complete a “Mural-in-a-Day.”
Visit the chamber of commerce (11 S. Toppenish Ave., 509/865-3262, www.toppenish.net , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Sat. Apr.–Oct.) to pick up a map of the 80-plus wall-art pieces, or hop aboard one of the wagon rides offered by Toppenish Mural Tours (509/967-8995, $12 adults, $5 kids, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) that leave from the depot area on one-hour tours May–September.
The town is also home to two interesting museums. The American Hop Museum (22 S. B St., 509/865-4677, www.americanhopmuseum.org , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun. May–Sept., closed Mon.–Tues., $3 adults, $2 students, free for children under 5) is the only one of its kind, shining a bright spotlight on the underappreciated hops, a vital bittering ingredient in the production of beer and ale and a huge local cash-crop.
And the once-bustling 1911 railroad depot near town square is home to Northern Pacific Railway Museum (10 S. Asotin Ave., 509/865-1911, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat. and noon to 4 p.m. Sun. May–Oct., $3 adults, $2 kids and seniors). Explore rail and steam artifacts and a restored telegraph office here.