Fun, Sunny Days in Tri-Cities, WA

With 300 sun-filled days a year, the Tri-Cities is a great getaway in the heart of Washington Wine Country.

Published: 7/01/2015

With 300 sun-filled days a year, the Tri-Cities is a great getaway in the heart of Washington Wine Country.

1| Touring Wine Country
The Tri-Cities is within easy reach of more than 200 wineries offering plenty of fun events, tours, and other activities. Be sure to visit the wineries of the state’s smallest appellation, Red Mountain AVA. Primarily known for its fabulous red grape varieties, Red Mountain is typically Washington’s warmest growing region. For a truly memorable day, tour in a unique way! Red Mountain Trails offers horseback rides through the vineyards, horse-drawn wagon ride wine tasting, and dinner trail and wagon rides that end with a fresh Dutch oven cooked dinner at sunset in the vineyard. Fruit of the Vine Trolley provides an enchanting and comfortable way to visit some of the most celebrated wineries.

2| Playing Outdoors
With an exceptional climate, it’s no surprise that golf is one of the Tri-Cities’ most popular sports. Golfers have numerous courses with reasonable green fees and plentiful tee times to choose from. There’s a range of trails for cyclists, from Richland’s leisurely riverfront trail to the Sacajawea Heritage Trail, a 23-mile paved loop along the river that connects all three cities. Hikers head for Badger Mountain and four trails of varying difficulty. Kayaking is practically a year-long sport. Check out the Tapteal Greenway water trail on the Lower Yakima River. Boating on the Columbia River is amazing! Rent a pontoon boat for a leisurely ride, or ramp it up with a speedboat rental. Paddleboards are available for rent on all three rivers.

3| Tasting and Feasting
The Tri-Cities is rich in agriculture, and locals know how to savor its bounty. Each of the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland has a farmers’ market. There’s no better way to see and sample the fruits, vegetables, breads, baked goods, jams, and other goodies of the region. Two Country Mercantile stores, one in Pasco and the other just west of Richland near Badger Mountain, provide an indoor farmers’ market-style experience Each week at lunchtime, downtown Pasco’s Food Truck Friday brings all kinds of great aromas and flavors together. There are countless events revolving around food throughout the year. Each September, Pasco’s Fiery Foods Festival brings bold flavors and exciting cultures together for a celebration of food, fun, and music.

4| Connecting with History
The Tri-Cities is home to a vital chapter of American history: The Manhattan Project, the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to build the first atomic bomb and end World War II. Tours of the Pre-Manhattan Project and the Manhattan Project B Reactor are both amazing experiences. During the war effort of World War II, Richland grew from a population of 500 to 25,000 in just one year! Visit the Gold Coast Historic District to see the “alphabet houses” of the project’s scientists, technicians, and other personnel and their families.

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As seen in the issue Pacific Northwest Summer/Fall 2015 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.