Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Richland, WA

  • Published 2022/03/08

The city of Richland lies in Benton County, Washington.

It is situated at the Yakima and Columbia river junctions in southeastern Washington.

Along with Pasco and Kennewick, Richland is one of the Tri-Cities.

It also houses the historic Hanford Nuclear Site.

Between 1904 and 1905, W.R. Amon and his son Howard bought 2,300 acres of land on the north bank of the Yakima River and suggested a townsite.

It was renamed Richland in 1905 by postal officials after Nelson Rich, a state lawmaker and property developer.

When it comes to water-lovers, Richland is a haven of tranquility.

Many outdoor activities are available in and around the city, such as fishing, power and pleasure boating, swimming, and sailing.

Bowling, mountain biking, hiking, sports games, and demanding golf courses are just some of the activities available to landlubbers in the area.

Wineries and vineyards abound in this region, renowned as “the Heart of Washington’s Wine Country” for its abundance of world-class wines.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Richland, WA:

Learn the Natural History of the Area with REACH Museum

REACH Museum with the American flag flying high

Tada Images /

Learning about the history and geology of the area and science and technology is the primary goal of the REACH Museum in New Jersey.

Witness and understand the Ice Age Floods and basalt lava flows in two principal exhibit halls in this 14,000-square-foot complex.

REACH Museum with the view of the landscape around it

Tada Images /

Outdoor performances and activities are also offered on the site, including an exhibit on the Manhattan Project’s impact on Richland.

There are several educational programs and activities for children of all ages and tours of the site.

Closer view of the REACH Museum

J.D.S /

Discover Astronomy at LIGO Hanford Observatory

Gravitational waves predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity can be directly detected by LIGO’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

There are two enormous laser interferometers in this gravitational wave observatory, making it the biggest of its kind in the world.

They use light and space to identify and study gravitational wave sources.

You may find the observatory’s interferometers in Hanford and Livingston in Louisiana and its primary research centers at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Pasadena, California.

Every second Saturday of the month, LIGO Hanford conducts free tours of the observatory, including a public discussion by a member of the LIGO team.

Hike through Sacagawea Heritage Trail

A milepost at Sacagawea Heritage Trail

DJ Cane, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The city of Richland is part of this 23-mile paved trail.

The route was designed and created to be a tourist destination as an amenity for locals.

The course, named for the lady who helped Lewis and Clark accomplish their journey, showcases the austere shrub-steppe landscape and the breathtaking Columbia River in a delightful trip accessible to anyone.

A big lollipop is formed by the Columbia River as it travels through all three Tri-Cities before rejoining the main track at mile four, beginning in Sacajawea State Park.

Many historical, cultural, and natural phenomena are discussed along the walk.

Note that “mile 0” isn’t at the State Park as you might think because the route is well-marked with distance and interpretive signage.

The REACH interpretive center is a popular alternative starting point for some visitors.

This is a great way to spend your post-hike time since the center is packed with even more intriguing displays and interpretative histories.

Water is sparse, despite its close proximity to the Columbia River.

You’ll see plenty of drinking fountains throughout the 23-mile paved track, so bring a few extra bottles of water to fill up.

There is an abundance of birds along the Columbia River, Lake Wallula, and a handful of Wildlife Preserves.

Enjoy Columbia River with Northwest Paddleboarding

Established in 2015, Northwest Paddleboarding delivers several classes along the Columbia River.

It officially opened its store in 2018.

If you’re thinking of fun activities that involve water, try signing up for its paddleboarding classes.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a low-impact activity that is a great way to spend time on the water and get some exercise.

Its intro to Paddle Boarding training can make you a pro in no time.

It also offers a range of trips and yoga classes.

This is a lot of fun, and it is surprisingly simple once you get the feel of it.

Chase the Sunset with Water2Wine Cruises

On the Columbia River, Water2Wine Cruises’ MV Chrysalis and MV West Star provide the perfect setting for memorable dining experiences and private gatherings.

Columbia Point Marina in Richland, Washington, serves as the departure point for all its cruises.

Its 96-foot United States Coast Guard-certified M/Y Chrysalis luxury yacht offers a spectacular Tri-Cities sunset, Northwest wines, and superb food.

In addition to two large interior salons and two open-air decks, its big picture windows provide panoramic views.

The yacht features flat-screen televisions, an overhead sound system, and an upper-deck bar with full bar service.

Whether you’re a vegan or a meat-eater, its onboard chef provides delectable options for everyone.

Bring Your Fur-Baby to Leslie Groves Park

Stone marker of Leslie Groves Park

Kirk Bagley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traveling with your fur-friends?

Stop over at Leslie Groves Park, a dog park where your dogs can stretch their legs and run free.

The park honors General Leslie Groves, the military chief in charge of the Manhattan Project.

Groves had to relocate frequently in his military family since his father constantly changed missions.

After graduating from the US Military Academy, Groves was commissioned into the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Before he was chosen to oversee the Manhattan Project, he led the construction of the Pentagon.

The Manhattan Project could not have been achieved without Groves’ tireless efforts, organizational prowess, and unwavering commitment to secret.

Take Photographs with the Historic Submarine at USS Triton Submarine Memorial Park

Memorial Park for USS Triton Nuclear Submarine USS Triton Submarine Memorial Park is located at the end of Port of Benton Boulevard, which is on the banks of the Columbia River.

Sail, or the top section of Triton, is preserved at this park.

The sail acts as a command center and observation platform for submarines above the water’s surface.

The sail acts as a vertical stabilizer while submerged.

When the USS Triton was launched in 1959, it was the most extensive and most costly submarine ever constructed.

In 1960, the legendary ship became the first to accomplish a world underwater circumnavigation.

Her sail superstructure is now exhibited in the park, with information about the submarine and its colorful past.

The park is included on the Richland Riverfront Trail, which connects to the Sacagawea Heritage Trail and focuses on nuclear history in the state.

Have a Picnic at Howard Amon Park

Name of Howard Amon Park on a stone archway

Kirk Bagley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone is welcome to Howard Amon Park, located on the Columbia River.

Howard Amon Park was named after one of Richland’s early pioneers.

It has several recreational amenities, including playgrounds for children of all ages, a river for fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, and a pavilion for gatherings.

Water being splashed from a boat during the Boat race at Howard Amon Park

Indigoiris /

It has a paved cycling route known as the Riverfront Trail that traverses the park’s length and ends at the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.

Rock climbing, a short zip line, tennis courts, a half-court basketball court, and a tiny wading pool for young children are all available, as are aquatic sports like boating and swimming in the river.

A kids playground in Howard Amon Park

Kirk Bagley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Exhibits at the Gallery at the Park

Allied Arts’ annual Art in the Park event was first held in 1948 and features the work of local artists while also promoting art education and inspiring a lifelong love of the arts in the local community.

Water Follies hydroplane races take place on the Columbia River, and the show is hosted at the Gallery in the park, established in 1909.

There are more than 250 local and regional artists whose work you may see here, and it changes every month.

You’ll discover something fresh each time you visit!

Thousands of visitors go to the yearly event to peruse the works of hundreds of Northwest artists, listen to live music, eat delicious cuisine, and enjoy the colorful environment.

Catch a Play at Richland Players

Exterior of Richland Players theater

Melindaa91, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Richland Players theater has presented live theatrical dance, music, drama, and comedy since it opened its doors in 1944.

Each year, an entire season of live performances is offered, with five plays, each with eight plays, ranging from classics by established writers to current ones by young playwrights.

The theater’s repertory and vision for new arrangements have developed as the community’s demographics have changed.

With the help of a free system that supplies specialized receivers, those who are hard of hearing may enjoy shows.

Aside from hosting the Washington State Community Theatre Association Kaleidoscope Competition, the Richland Players Theater also delivers educational seminars and community outreach programs for all ages throughout the year and hosts several other special events.

See Various Quilt Exhibits at White Bluff Quilt Museum

White Bluffs Quilt Museum is a textile arts center and museum that promotes and supports textile arts guilds and their members.

For this area to have a textile arts center, the White Bluffs Center actively seeks to buy or construct a structure to suit that purpose.

There are four different guilds in Eastern Washington State supported by the White Bluffs Center (WBC), a museum, and a resource center in one.

An increasing number of the Eastern Washington region’s more than 1,000 textile artists are represented by our agency.

Visitors to the museum may see rotating displays of stunning quilts and participate in educational courses for adults and children.

Throughout the year, the White Bluffs Quilt Museum hosts a variety of activities and exhibitions to honor the art and craft of quilting and textile arts and provide a gathering place for those who share a passion for these hobbies.

Go Winetasting at J. Bookwalter Winery

Thanks to its world-class vineyard sources and meticulous winemaking, J. Bookwalter is one of Washington state’s oldest and best-known boutique wineries.

There is a flagship tasting facility in Richland, where guests may experience some of the world-class wines made by J. Bookwalter.

There is also a full-service restaurant called Fiction at the Richland location, which offers modern food coupled with estate wines and other international vintages.

At Fiction, diners may enjoy a farm-to-table meal made with fresh, seasonal vegetables and microgreens produced on-site.

Additionally, J. Bookwalter maintains an up-to-date tasting room in Woodinville, Washington.

Have a Retail Therapy at Uptown Shopping Center

Neon sign of Uptown Shopping Center shinning in the dark night sky

J.D.S /

Richland’s first retail center was built in 1949 during GE’s tenure as Richland’s manager, representing the postwar suburbia dream for many Americans.

During the Cold War, the American atomic energy program promised riches to nuclear industry employees.

This retail mall, one of the first in the country to be car-oriented, embodies that promise.

There is so much to see and do at the Uptown Shopping Center that it is difficult to put into words just how unique and exciting it is.

As soon as you arrive, spend some time driving around and admiring its splendor.

There are neon signs, paintings, and a slew of other art pieces throughout.

Although there is an air of fading grandeur, this feature makes it appealing.

Richland’s oldest coffee business, The Spudnut Shop, is a neighborhood hangout, so you may get some to go or stay and enjoy the coffee shop.

Have a Dinner Date at Monterosso’s Italian Restaurant

If you’re visiting with your significant other and planning to stay the night in Richland, bring them to Monterosso’s Italian Restaurant for a memorable dinner date.

Italian meals and wine are served at Monterosso’s Italian Restaurant in a private, family-owned, and run establishment.

Located in a classic Pullman dining car from 1947, the restaurant offers a peaceful, intimate setting suited for a romantic supper or celebration.

Traditional Italian cuisine prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and served with an array of wines, craft beers, and creative cocktails is on the menu at this former elegant railroad cafe.

It is open for lunch and supper from Tuesday through Friday, but just for Monday and Saturday.

Indulge in the Sweet Treats of Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Bistro

Visit Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Bistro if you’re looking for a surprise dinner location.

In addition to being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, this is a delightful establishment with various exciting dishes on the menu.

A dessert is mandatory if you want to leave the restaurant.

A cupcake is what they’re renowned for, and there are more than 250 varieties to select from, making it difficult to choose.

A six-inch cake with six flavors is also available.

A different assortment of gluten-free and vegan cupcakes and other treats are available every day.

Cinnamon buns, biscuits, and macarons are examples of bakeries’ sweets.

Final Thoughts

Weekends in Richland are a blast.

Visit a neighborhood that provides a variety of fishing, boating, and water-skiing, as well as antique stores and vineyards, for a relaxing vacation experience.

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