This magazine isn't about Central Washington's most famous places, although we couldn't help but mention a few of the local gems for the benefit of visitors or new residents. No, this magazine is more about quiet places that go unnoticed or unrecognized.

Places that you might have driven past on your way elsewhere but didn't pay much attention to or that you didn't know the story behind. There's a bit of history. A little mystery. A touch of trivia.

Some the places might be familiar, others new. We hope, however, that you finish reading about them you'll know a bit more about Yakima and the surrounding regions than you did before.

Forgotten Roads, Beautiful Byways, Natural Wonders

A towering rock formation that altered the life of a young man who would grow up to influence the entire county. A 2-mile-long tunnel beneath the Cascade Mountains. Some of the nation's oldest paved roads. These can all be found within easy driving distance from Yakima.

- Wenas Road

- Kloochman Rock

- Snoqualmie Tunnel

- Blewett Pass

- Tieton Lava flow

- Zillah silt cliffs

- Lincoln Grade

- Oak Creek feeding station

- Maryhill Loops Road

- Yakima River Canyon

- Hanford Reach

- Wildlife ponds of Sunnyside

- Gingko Petrified Forest State Park

- Yellowstone Highway

Traces of the past

Tunnels under the city of Yakima? One man has spent years on a quest to learn more about them. Fancy old buildings? The Yakima area has three elaborate enough that castle is part of their name. Did you know about the vanished community of Roza that once thrived in the Yakima River Canyon? There are plenty of traces of the past if you know where to look for them.

- Snipes cabin

- Convicts Cave

- Little Roza

- Three castles

- Naches store

- Yakima tunnels

- Pioneer Cemetary

- Brickworks of Granger

- Transformer station

Spooky, mysterious or just plain unexpected

A place where cars appear to roll uphill. Floating islands. A secret government facility in plain sight. The work of a nationally renowned artist sitting high above southeast Yakima. These are among the unexpected, and occasionally mysterious, places that dot Central Washington.

- Lake Buchanan dummies

- Horses at Vantage

- Gravity Hill

- Mel's Hole

- Carousel museum

- Hops museum

- Larson Building lobby

- Yakima Research Station

- Signal Peak

- Timmerman's curse

- Dick and Jane's house in Ellensburg

- Church of GodZillah

For the newcomers

When we asked readers to submit ideas about amazing or interesting places, many of the region's best-known places were repeatedly suggested - and for good reason. Here are a few of Central Washington's better-known locales worth a visit, especially if you are new to the Yakima Valley.

- Yakima Valley SunDome

- Yakama Nation Cultural Center

- Yakima Valley Museum

- Toppenish murals

- Fort Simcoe

- Northern Pacific Railway Museum

- Goldendale observatory

- Capitol Theatre

- Apple Tree Golf Course

- Princess Theatre

- The Merci Box Car

So where are these stories?

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