Living Columns & Blogs

Around and about the Tri-Cities

On my recent post referencing when my friend was visiting the area, I commented that there was a lot to do in the area, but only mentioned a few things.

And then I listed even fewer things that we actually did since our time was so limited. A commenter suggested that I list some more. I never got around to e-mailing them back, but I did figure that would be a good topic to blog about. Especially this time of year where we have summer ahead of us.

Summer truly is a great season in the Tri-Cities. I have even come to accept the extreme heat we have here and the fact that I will forever be explaining to anyone not from Eastern Washington that there are two climates in Washington and that no I am not sick of the rain. Except for the past month and yes, I am sick of the rain.

Things to do in the summer within the Tri-Cities:

— The Pasco Farmer’s Market. This should go without saying. I have never lived in an area with a farmer’s market that compares. One request though — anyone seen one of those big roasters that rotate and roast whatever seasonal veggies? (Anaheim peppers, corn on the cob…) We could use one of those.

— Wine tastings. Wherever you turn there are wineries. Visiting wineries is frequently a must-do when we have visitors. And occasionally, we make it to Bookwalter on one of its music evenings on the patio where I don’t feel so bad about dragging my kids along.

— Howard Amon and Leslie Groves Park and the trail by the river. Our dogs love it, our kids love it, there is playground equipment, spots to dip your toes in and plenty of wildlife to observe.

— Badger Mountain. If my 4-year-old can do it (and he did it), then you can, too. I huffed and puffed some, but we made it (my husband with our daughter in a pack on his back). And we will be doing it this weekend when my family visits. The best area views are from up there.

— Badger Hill. I don’t know what it is called actually. The little (compared to its Southern neighbor) hill in Badger Mountain Park — where the dog park is. We can make it up and down the little hill starting behind the baseball fields in about 45 minutes. Good area views and great for if you don’t have the time for Badger Mountain or feel that you need to practice first.

— Columbia Park. My kids love the Playground of Dreams and the neighboring sprinkler park. And there is a fish pond and take a ride on the train sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

— CREHST museum. Really, I need to get here and spend some time. I never cared for history growing up, now I find it fascinating.

— Columbia River Cruises. This is one of those things that is always on our list, but we haven’t yet gone out and done.

— Country Mercantile. When my grandmother visits we head here in the summers. She loves to browse the local made goods. In the fall of course, we end up making at least two trips out for the pumpkin patch and the fall festival activities.

Specific weekends in the Tri-Cities:

— Art in the Park. I went to this the first time when my son was in utero — and I was hugely pregnant, a week overdue and took some humor in answering whenever anyone would ask when I was due, “a week ago.” Since then, the Art in the Park has been a must do for our family.

— Ye Merry Greenwood Festival. This one is a new addition to our list. We attended with our kids last summer and had a great time.

— I suppose I will also mention "Boat Race Weekend." Do I dare admit that we have never been down to see the hydroplane races? We will someday, but since it is also my son’s birthday weekend, it is a busy weekend for us.

Outside the Tri-Cities:

— Palouse Falls. Don’t worry, you don’t need to ride a kayak over them to prove anything. Just take the drive and marvel in the amazingly tall falls that appear to come out of nowhere.

— Downtown Walla Walla. Wineries, funky little shops, yummy restaurants, all in about 45 minutes.

— Leavenworth. Have a little more time on your hands? Drive to Leavenworth and enjoy some camping, or the Bavarian town, or both!

— Pendelton Water Park because we don’t have one here. AHEM!!!

— Hood River. I really enjoy Hood River, Ore. It reminds me of the mountain towns near where I grew up in Colorado. Lots of fun shops, a scenic railroad, wineries. I can’t wait to go back.

Now it’s your turn.

What have I missed? Add to my list in the comments section.