Sponsored by Visit Tri-Cities
The Tri-Cities region boasts 300 days of sunshine each year and the winter months are no exception! Enjoy a rustic horseback ride through sun-soaked vineyards that stop for wine tastings and a private picnic. Once you’ve had your fill of one-of-a-kind wines, choose between dozens of outdoor activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and biking to complement your ultimate weekend of leisure. No matter which season you decide to visit, enjoy blue skies that lead to breathtaking sunsets as you explore the Tri-Cities.
There are more than 200 wineries within an hour’s drive of the Tri-Cities, including the renowned Red Mountain AVA in Benton City. The complex mixture of rare and highly valued soil types on Red Mountain helps produce award-winning varietals for wineries near and far.
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. Spend a day, weekend or week on Red Mountain and you’ll still have plenty more to sip and sample.
Traveling between wineries brings a lot of fun options for visitors. Horseback tours are available for moseying from one winery to another. Or try a wagon ride, pulled by working horses for a more leisurely pace. Visitors can book or rent a luxury car to cover more ground. For those looking for a short walk 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.
Purple Star Winery in Benton City, Washington. Image credit: Visit Tri-Cities
Another local hot spot is the Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village, which offers a central tasting experience in boutique tasting rooms and wine production facilities. Take a stroll along the Columbia River or head further into historic downtown Kennewick to browse the charming shops and cafes the town has to offer.
Once you’ve got your shopping in, it’s time to explore the outdoors! 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.
Looking for a little less elevation? The Chamna Natural Preserve is another wonderful way to experience the Tri-Cities. The Preserve offers 30 miles of trail along the Yakima River, and is home to a variety of diverse waterfowl.
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.