If you love your wine, you have got to visit Kennewick. With over 160 wineries, this city is located at the heart of the Washington Wine Country.
It is also a popular place for sailing, fishing, waterskiing, boating, windsurfing, swimming, and other water recreations because of its proximity to the rivers Columbia, Yakima, and Snake.
Kennewick is the largest city of Washington’s Tri-Cities and is wildly popular for its lush green spaces.
This city has too many fun things to offer than choosing between them can be a real challenge. I have put together some of the best things you need to do when visiting Kennewick, WA.
You can’t not go to Kennewick and not visit the wineries and vineyards.
This city has reinvented itself as one of the fastest growing travel hubs for wine lovers. The city with its wide expanse of vineyard land share the same latitudes as the world-famous regions of France, namely Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Visit any of the 200 wineries in the Tri-City and enjoy a day of premium wine tasting in the uniquely beautiful scenery. With over 80 wine tourism activities, there are no shortages of fun ways to experience this.
Explore the scenic wine trails that runs along the beautiful landscape of camelback, beige hills flush with picturesque vineyards. Sip your wine at rustic and stylish tasting rooms that are set off charming dirt roads for a heightened experience.
Here are our favorite wineries:
• Goose Ridge Vineyards
• Sun River Vintners
• J Bookwalter Winery
• Longship Cellars
• Monarcha Winery, and more
Visit the Farmers’ Market
There is no better way to spend your mornings or afternoons in Kennewick than a trip to the local farmers’ market.
This is a chance for you to sample, sip, purchase, or simply witness the fresh produce of the city. Vegetables and fruits piled high on flatbeds, freshly picked corn, fresh preserves and jellies, the toasty aroma of home-made bread, handcrafted treasures, and friendly neighbors and friends greeting each other!
Here are our favorite farmers’ markets that you must visit:
• Richland’s Farmers Market
• Highlands Organic Market
• Southridge Farmers Market
• Goose Ridge Vineyards
• Pasco Farmers Market, and more
Ride the Gesa Carousel of Dreams
This is a fun place to go for people of all ages. Make memories and allow yourself to experience a world-class piece of art at the famous Gesa Carousel of Dreams.
It’s a presentation of a 108-year-old restored Charles Carmel. The vintage wooden carousel is hand-carved, and each antique horse was restored individually over a period of 10 years with so much love, care, and attention.
This multi-million dollar facility is open to the public, and you can enjoy rides and make fun memories with loved ones or alone. While there, don’t forget to try their tasty hotdogs, burgers, pretzels, candy, nachos, and beverages.
If you get the time, don’t forget to visit the water park, which is free and is a great place to enjoy your food.
Stroll Along the Sacagawea Heritage Trail
One of the biggest advantages of visiting Kennewick is that you get to see not one but three cities!
Experience the natural beauty of the Tri-City by going on a stroll along the Sacagawea Heritage Trail. This 23-mile trail unites Kennewick, Richardland, and Pasco. The trail starts at the Sacajawea State Park and meanders along the River Columbia.
As you stroll and take in the beautiful sights, stop by the interpretive signs that detail the historical events, cultural topics, and natural history of the area.
This trail provides a non-motorized loop route for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. It includes sidewalks, Class-I multi purpose trails, Class-II striped bike lanes, and Class-III signed bake routes.
Spend a Day at the Columbia Park
This 400 acre park is located between the Columbia River and Highway 240. It is one of the largest parks in the area. This park has so many fun places that you need an entire day or more to be able to enjoy everything it has to offer.
Upon entry, you will find the famous Blue Bridge with boats sailing up and down the river. It is also home to the wildly popular Playground of Dreams which is a wooden castle-like playground.
Remember to take bags of old bread to feed the geese and ducks in the fishing pond inside the area.
Next to the playground is the Aquatic Playground where you can enjoy J&S Express train rides, barbeque facilities, picnic shelters, and boat launches. If you happen to visit during the 4th of July, you mustn’t miss the special event at the Bandshell where it draws huge crowds from all three cities and displays extensive fireworks.
Take a Trip to the McNary National Wildlife Refuge
Extending along the bank of the River Columbia, McNary NWR is situated in the rural Burbank, yet it is close to the developed Tri-Cities. Here you will find a wide variety of migratory birds and native plants.
This wildlife refuge was developed in order to provide an alternate home to wildlife habitat that was lost to the McNary Dam construction.
This is a massive 15,000 acres of property that includes streams, ponds, sloughs, islands – wetland and riparian habitat – as well as cliff-talus and shrub-steppe habitats that are home to songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowls.
This wildlife refuge is one of the few areas in North America that supports such dense population of waterfowls.
Beat the Heat with Splash Pads
If you are on a family vacation with your kids, your trip is not complete without a visit to the splash pads. Kennewick has four splash pads, namely Columbia Park, Underwood Park, Southridge Sports & Events Complex, and Grange Park.
These are zero depth waters that you and your kids can play in during summer months to beat the heat. You can also reserve private events at the nearby picnic shelters at the Grange Park, Southridge Sports, and Columbia Park.
These splash pads are safer than regular pools as it does not have any standing water. And though the risk of drowning is almost zero in splash pads, parents must still be cautious and keep a close eye on their little ones.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
What better way to explore this city than to go on a scavenger hunt!
You don’t need a tour guide or a reservation. All you need is an app on your smartphone and experience the city like a local as you solve riddles and complete photo challenges.
Try the Operation City Quest where your goal is to find over hundreds of objects and document your experience along the way. Finding each object differ in difficulty level and in points.
You can check off items on your list as you find them and send photos to earn more points. You can also perform silly challenges in the street or answer fun trivia in order to move your way up the leader board.
The goal here is to have fun with the experience and concentrate less on the amount of points.
Whether it’s a romantic trip with your significant other, a family trip with the kids, or a solo weekend getaway, this city has something for everyone. Sip fine wine in style by the scenic vineyards, bring out the child in you at the Carousel of Dreams and splash pads, or taste produce straight from the growers at the farmers’ market. If you’re planning for a holiday getaway, Kennewick WA should definitely be at the top of your list.