Sponsored by Visit Tri-Cities
Spread along three rivers the Tri-Cities region boasts 300 days of sunshine each year and a rich wine country atmosphere. Many visitors come for the rustic horseback rides through sun soaked vineyards that stop for wine tastings and a private picnic. From there, it’s a simple matter of choosing between dozens of outdoor activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and biking to complement a weekend trying as many of the diverse wines of the Columbia Valley as possible.
There are over 200 wineries within an hour’s drive of the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). Because of the four American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) that comprise the soil of the Tri-Cities, each of these wineries produces wide varieties of consistently award-winning wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling.
Many of the local wineries are smaller and operated by the winemakers or owners themselves, which allows for visitors to receive more intimate tours and in-depth knowledge about each vintage. If a horseback tour isn’t quite right, try a wagon ride or book a luxury car to ferry you between wineries. Tulip Lane in Richland is home to three diverse wineries in close proximity to one another, each with unique offerings like live music, high-end tasting menus and even a fused glass studio.
Families and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in the Tri-Cities, as well. Enjoy a stroll along the Columbia River in historic downtown Kennewick, followed by an afternoon browsing the charming shops and cafes the town has to offer… and maybe a little more wine. The Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village offers a central tasting experience in boutique tasting room and wine production facilities.
Take the chance to explore the outdoors by kayaking or paddle boarding along the shoreline of the Columbia, Yakima or Snake Rivers. There are plenty of rentals within walking distance of the Columbia, with options to pay by the hour or by the day. Be sure to check in advance for night classes and the opportunity to paddle under the full moon.
The Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve boasts numerous trails with varying levels of difficulty and an elevation of 1,593 feet. Take in the colorful 360-degree panoramic views and feel the vibrant energy coursing throughout the region. Extend your hike with the neighboring Candy Mountain, which offers a slightly lower elevation and moderate incline, but equally stunning views. The abundant sunshine and clear skies of the region give visitors views of Rattlesnake Mountain, the major Cascade Mountains, Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount Rainer.
Whether you stay close to the mountains or decide to stick next to the water, the perfect bite is always close by – or on wheels! Enjoy the local food truck varieties or their brick and mortar counterparts throughout town. From scrumptious barbecue to Italian comfort dishes to Asian fusion cuisine, the culinary scene is worth experiencing to the fullest (to balance out all the wine!).
With abundant sunshine, good eats, famous wines and outdoor fun, the Tri-Cities is the perfect blend of small-town charm and cosmopolitan amenities. To learn more about the Tri-Cities, go to visittri-cities.com.