Summer is the season for road trips. From the perfect playlist to tasty travel snacks (the calories don’t count on road trips, right?), there are few things better than loading friends and family into the car and hitting the road. There are only so many weekends for road trips, so make the most of your summer with an unforgettable getaway to the Tri-Cities!
The Tri-Cities’ incredible weather alone is worth the drive. The 300 days of sunshine and moderate climate make the Tri-Cities a year-round mecca for sun worshippers and outdoor enthusiasts, but the region is especially remarkable during the warmer months. The Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers that meander through the Tri-Cities offer opportunities for water skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, boating and more. Visitors also enjoy biking through the region’s endless open spaces or along the Sacagawea Heritage Trail, a 23-mile paved loop trail that runs along the Columbia River shoreline. Hikers that summit Badger or Candy Mountains are rewarded with extraordinary sweeping vistas of the Tri-Cities. Or the more adventurous can explore White Bluffs for breathtaking views of the Hanford Reach National Monument.
Scenic landscapes are a highlight on any road trip and a drive to the Tri-Cities, also known as the Heart of Washington Wine Country®, takes visitors through some of the country’s most picturesque vineyards. Wine aficionados are hard pressed to find a wine tasting experience more authentic than what the Tri-Cities has to offer. This notable wine region features more than 200 wineries within an hour’s drive, from boutique tasting rooms to production scale facilities. Visitors can walk (or take a horse-drawn wagon!) through rolling vineyards, chat with winemakers and taste some of the finest wines in Washington. The wine experience is further enhanced by the burgeoning local food scene. Restaurants offer excellent dining choices, from regionally famous barbecue to scratch kitchens to dinner cruises featuring locally-sourced ingredients and spectacular sunsets. There is a tasty menu for every palate.
The Tri-Cities isn’t just for outdoor recreationists or wine lovers, it is the ultimate destination for families looking to escape the city for a few days. Home to outstanding outdoor fun and unique attractions, the Tri-Cities offers a variety of activities for families. There are multiple parks along the Columbia River featuring distinct play opportunities, such as the Family Fishing Pond and the Playground of Dreams, and splash parks to beat the heat. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the Gesa Carousel of Dreams, featuring fully restored, century-old wooden horses handcrafted by famed carver Charles Carmel.
Just because it’s summer break, it doesn’t mean the kids can’t learn something while on vacation. The Tri-Cities has been fostering a reputation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) tourism due to the significant scientific discoveries and research that have taken place in the region during the last century. Unearth ancient mammoth bones at the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Dig, explore deep space in Washington’s largest planetarium, visit the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) where Nobel Peace Prize winning research was conducted proving Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or tour the Manhattan Project National Historical Park which tells the story of the people and science that ushered in the atomic era.
Whether you’re hitting the road in a two-seat convertible or piling into a minivan, there is nothing like a road trip to the Tri-Cities. Plan your weekend getaway at visittri-cities.com or request a 2018 Official Tri-Cities Visitor Guide.