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Tri-Cities

Savor three cities, 10 golf courses, hundreds of wineries and year-round sunshine

At the confluence of the Snake, Columbia and Yakima Rivers, Southeast Washington State’s Tri-Cities is a metropolitan conglomeration of three cities: Richland, Kennewick and Pasco. (West Richland, which was formed by dissatisfied Richland residents, is also generally included under the Tri-Cities umbrella.)

The climate is semi-arid, as is characteristic of much of the Pacific Northwest area east of the Cascade Mountains, with cold winters that drop well below freezing and hot summers with daytime temperatures frequently topping 100 degrees. Unlike many cities in the region, the Tri-Cities get around 300 days of sunshine a year.

Pasco was the first of the cities to be founded, back in 1891, as a result of railroad expansion to the area. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation—known for plutonium production—was the main employer in the region during the Cold War.

The Tri-Cities is well known for its numerous opportunities for outdoor fun, and water sports are particularly popular here thanks to the city’s location at the confluence of three rivers. Boating, fishing and swimming are all major summertime activities and there are lots of free boat launches throughout the area. The area also has around 67 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails and is host to a number of races, including the Tri-Cities Marathon, St. Patrick’s Day Foot Race and Leprechaun Dash. Other activities include wine tourism and golfing, and the area offers a variety of fun, family-friendly events throughout the year.

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Visit Tri-Cities

Annual Events

The people of the Tri-Cities like to stay active, and though outdoor activities reign supreme here, there are also plenty of cultural and educational events for the whole family, many of which have become annual traditions.

Every June, Richland hosts Cool Desert Nights, a celebration of classic cars, street rods, and motorcycles featuring lots of gorgeously restored autos, car parades, a pancake breakfast and lots of fun activities for children.

Bluegrass music lovers from across the Northwest descend on Pasco’s Sacajawea State Park every June for the annual Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival, a three-day music festival with not only live music performances, but also workshops for kids and adults and on-site camping.

The Allied Arts Association has been running Art in the Park (formerly known as the Clothesline Show) since 1950, and today this annual fundraiser—usually held on the last full weekend of July—features a huge array of craft booths offering handmade wares by local craftspeople.

Started in 1966, the Tri-City Water Follies is an annual air show and boat race, featuring flight stunts performed by some of the country’s most talented flight demonstration teams.

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Visit Tri-Cities

Washington Wine Country

In the heart of the Columbia Valley, the Tri-Cities make an ideal base for sampling the area’s world-famous wines. The area is at the same latitude as the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, and the vineyards are well known for Cabernets, Merlots and Petit Verdots. The Tri-Cities Washington State University also has its own wine research center, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, which offers an observation deck for visitors who want to look in on the research.

There are over 200 wineries within a 50-mile radius of the Tri-Cities. Don’t miss a visit to Kennewick Badger Mountain Vineyard, which specializes in organic viticulture, and its Powers Winery tasting room, which is open daily.

Golfing

With a total of 10 golf courses and sunny weather year round, Tri-Cities is a great place to practice your swing. The par 72 Canyon Lakes Golf Course is the most popular, and was rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest magazine. Other popular courses include Columbia Park Golf Course— notable for its beautiful position next to the Columbia River, which divides Washington and Oregon. Those new to golfing or in search of professional guidance will appreciate the 28-acre Pasco Golfland, with a driving range, and chipping and putting greens.

For More Information

Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau

800-254-5824

www.visittri-cities.com

 

Washington State Tourism

800-544-1800

www.experiencewa.com