Around Wine Country

Perfect Day Trips from Walla Walla: Tri-Cities & Red Mountain AVA

December 21, 2018

Just an hour north of Walla Walla at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers lies the Tri-Cities – Richland, Pasco and Kennewick to be specific. Water adventures, wine tasting and exploring the region’s science-centric history make the Tri-Cities a perfect day trip from Walla Walla.

The region is also home to Red Mountain AVA. At 4,400 acres it’s Washington’s smallest and warmest wine grape growing region. After sampling the wine, here are some other things to do:

Columbia River Activities:

The possibilities are endless on this expansive river. Take a scenic walk along the trails at Columbia Park or take in a round of golf at their riverside links. (Tri-Cities has seven other golf courses.) Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board from Greenies. Take a wine cruise with Water2Wine. Enjoy Sacajawea State Park’s picnic and beach area.

Science:

Visit Bechtel National Planetarium. Tour LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), where gravitational waves were first detected in conjunction with similar sites around the country, proving Einstein’s Theory of Relativity correct. Check out events at Washington State University’s Wine Science Center.

Prehistory:

Tour the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site and find out what they’re currently digging up. Visit the Reach Museum and learn about the region’s unique geology, prehistory, Native American tribes, early settlers and hydro and nuclear power.

Manhattan Project:

Take a tour of the Manhattan Project and Hanford’s B Reactor, created as part of the top-secret nuclear project during World War II. Hanford Reach National Monument is also nearby, with abundant hiking, fishing and birding opportunities.

Break for Wine, Spirits and Beer:

For great views of and wines from Red Mountain, try Col Solare Winery or Terra Blanca Winery and Estates Vineyard, where you can walk along their scenic grounds or get lunch at their onsite restaurant. Visit out-of-the-way Anelare Winery for more views after a hike at Horse Heaven Hills Recreation Area from the trailhead just behind the winery. For literary lovers J. Bookwalters Winery is the place to be. Don’t miss their nonfiction happy hour at Fiction. Visit solar-powered Solar Spirits or Blue Heron Distillery. Beer lovers will appreciate Atomic Brewing, Ice Harbor Brewing, both their downtown Kennewick and marina side pubs, and Sage Steppe Smokehouse Brewery pairs great barbecue with its brews.