Everything You Need to Know Before Vising the Tri-Cities

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't done the best job of exploring the state I've called home for the past 20 years. I've been intentional about getting out to explore Washington state and I must say, I've not been disappointed. Recently, we packed up for the weekend to explore the Tri-Cities {Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland} and found a great mix of small-town feeling fun in a growing mid-sized city. You'll be surprised what you can find in the Tri-Cities!

visit tri cities washington in a weekend

Everything You Need to Know Before Vising the Tri-Cities


Where are the Tri-Cities?

The Tri-Cities is centrally located among all of the metropolitan areas of the Pacific Northwest including Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane Washington as well as Boise, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon. The average drive time from any of these cities is about 3.5 hours. How's that for being centrally located?

Once you get to any part of the Tri-Cities, everything you need in the area is a 20-minute drive!

tri cities river

The Confluence of Three Rivers

Listen, you can't read anything about the Tri-Cities without the line "the confluence of three rivers". It's literally the buzzword of the town. But it's true! The Tri-Cities are joined together "at the confluence" of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia Rivers. 

Tri cities three rivers

If you visit and you don't throw around the word confluence were you even there? I mean honestly.

Because you've got the rivers literally running through it, there are a bounty of outdoor activities to take advantage of.

Want to explore more? Find out more about Wenatchee, WA in a weekend!

Weather in the Tri-Cities

Outdoor activities are best enjoyed with decent weather and despite the proximity to rainy Seattle, the Tri-Cities boasts an average of 300 sunny days a year. We literally crossed over the mountain pass as we drove from the Seattle area and the car thermometer slowly crept up by 20 degrees.

Not going to lie, we also brought with us some windy and rainy weather, which made some of our outdoor planned activities less accessible, but you can't win them all! By the afternoon, the sun had started peeking out and we were able to enjoy our planned outdoor activities. As with all things with travel, you will need to be flexible.

Pacific Northwest Packing Pro Tip:
 Always pack layers! 

local flowers from a flower stand tri cities

The Heart of Washington Wine Country

Experts say that the weather and the soil in the Tri-Cities are similar to the Burgandy and Bordeaux regions in France. That probably explains why there are more than 200 wineries {big and small} within a one-hour drive!

From wine tasting tours to tasting rooms and even wine cruises on the river, you aren't going to want to miss planning a wine tour in one of the nation's top wine regions.

Want to explore island life? Check out Camano Island!

Outdoor Fun in the Tri-Cities

Growing up in land-locked Indiana, I find myself refreshed just by being by the water. The Tri-Cities has more than 30 hiking/biking/running trails. Biking and running are very popular in the area and you can often find races all year long. You'll also find plenty of water sports to keep you busy too!

reborn bike shop bike rental tri-cities

Rent a bike from Reborn Bike Shop

Call ahead to make a reservation so you can make sure they have the right bike for you. Ride along the Richland Riverfront trail with seven miles of scenic paved trail along the Columbia River. There are plenty of benches and swings along the trail for a quick rest, or wander down one of the small trails to get up close to the water.

footgolf in the tri-cities

Play FootGolf at Columbia Park Tri-Plex

FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf. Played on a traditional golf course, you use a soccer ball to kick and see how long it will take to score {there is par on every hole} in the 21" diameter hole. This game was such a hoot and everyone from the teenager to the parents had a great time playing!

footgolf in the tri-cities

Speaking of Golf...

There are 14 golf courses in the Tri-Cities area that will offer challenges for golfers of all skill levels.

paddleboard rental tri-cities

Get on the Water with Northwest Paddleboarding

Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Northwest Paddleboarding and change your perspective with a great view from the water. You can take a moonlight paddle and venture off after dark using LED lights or take a lesson and then explore the area on your own. They will transport your rental equipment to and from the river for you! Getting out on the water in a kayak or paddleboard is a more seasonal activity to be enjoyed from May-September so keep that in mind.

food in the tri cities

Food in the Tri-Cities

As the area explodes, the options for delicious locally-owned restaurants have too! You can find a variety of foods and I even noticed a few food trucks in the area too!

One thing you will notice as you drive into the area is that the Tri-Cities are teeming with local food and farm stands. You can find farmer's markets, produce stands, and u-pick farms and get the freshest food around!

local food from the country mercantile

Country Mercantile

What started as a roadside farm stand is now an expansive homage to agritourism in the Tri-Cities. You can find fresh produce, homemade chocolates, and fresh baked goods, and everything in between.  Not only is the Country Mercantile a great place to stop for a snack, but you can also pick up locally made food you can whip up for dinner or share with friends and family.

food in the tri cities

Lu Lu Craft Bar and Kitchen

Everything at Lu Lu Craft Bar and Kitchen is prepared daily from scratch for an exceptional farm-to-table experience. It's really a local taste from a family who has been farming in the areas for decades. The beef you eat comes from steers raised by their dad and brother and the pork is from pigs raised by their mom just a few miles away! We've got to say that the pig candy gets top marks!

food in the tri cities

Atomic Ale Brewpub and Eatery

This hole in the wall establishment has limited hours and was hopping when we visited. It's the Tri-Cities first and best brewpub with an original wood-fire oven. The dining area is family-friendly and table games are available. 

where to eat in the tri cities

Proof Kitchen and Bar

High-end bar food and a mix of craft cocktails and beer, Proof is one of Pasco's newest restaurants. There is a fun arcade room where you can school the kids in classic games like Ms. Pacman while you wait for your food to arrive. Don't miss the fun surprise hiding behind the secret doors. You'll find an over 21 bar hiding with a speakeasy feel. 

uptown shopping in tri cities

Don't miss this!

Instagram Stop!

Don't miss the retro mural walls in the Uptown Shopping Center. 

tri cities mural art

Take in History

Visit the Manhattan Project National Historic Park and learn more about one of the most profound historical events at the first full-scale plutonium reactor facility.

Take in a Game

Visiting in the summer? Take in a Dust Devils game at the local Gesa Stadium in Pasco. Visiting in the winter? Head to the Toyota Center to take in a hockey game with the Tri-City Americans. 

father and son on the columbia river

There is literally something for everyone when you visit and you can see and do a whole lot in just a few days!


tri cities washington

Click here to learn more and to plan your trip to the Tri-Cities!

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