Beyond Summer: Year-Round Adventures Along the Columbia River

This blog is proudly brought to you by Bechtel, the Tri-Cities Rivershore Enhancement Council (TREC) Sponsor.

It might seem more convenient to enjoy the river during its peak season, however, we believe it's equally important to make the most of this landscape throughout the year. Need some inspiration for riverside activities? We've got you covered! Below, we've compiled a list to encourage everyone to get out and appreciate our waters at any time of the year.

Pictured Pompey's Lessons

January: Cold temperatures shouldn’t keep you from jumping in! It might sound wild, but that's what the Polar Plunge is all about. Take a plunge into the chilly Columbia River to help raise money for the Special Olympics of Washington!

Take a leisurely sunset stroll along the 23-mile-long riverside paved trail at Sacajawea State Park. Along the way, keep an eye out for the 64 markers called "Pompey's Lessons," named after Sacajawea's son, which offer insights into local wildlife, landmarks, historical figures, and more.

March: Celebrate the coming of springtime. The sun is shining more, providing the landscape and surrounding wildlife with the energy of the season. A great way to tap into this is by bird watching along the Columbia. A spot we recommend is Bateman Island, classified as an Urban Watchable Wildlife Area.

April: The month of April brings a dedicated day to embrace the beauty of nature around us. This Earth Day, try celebrating with a picnic on the dock. Lay out a blanket, grab some of your favorite takeout, and watch the sunset meet the river as the night falls.

Pictured Cedar's Lounge

May: With temperatures reaching the high 70s, May brings the perfect opportunity for a riverside patio lunch with friends and family. A great patio offering is Cedar’s Lounge on Clover Island. Clover Island also has Ice Harbor Brewery at the Marina, with a patio adjacent to the boat dock, and Crow’s Nest Restaurant located at the top of Clover Island Inn.

If you find yourself on Clover Island, check out the riverside walk offering breathtaking views of the lighthouse and much more. Explore the 16 public art installations located on the Island, including the artistic renditions of sapáx0ikas, meaning "willow fish traps."

June: Ahhh, and summer is here! This June, experience the river in an unexpected way - by renting a pedal boat, a pontoon boat, or a giant paddleboard! has these options and much more. A fantastic way to kick off summer with family, friends, or solo.

Pictured Water Follies Columbia Cup

July: The Tri-Cities comes alive in the month of July with some of our largest annual events. In the smack middle of summer, there is the Water Follies Columbia Cup & STCU Over the River Air Show. Watch the hydroplane races, enjoy an air show, meet hydroplane drivers, explore vendor booths, and a whole lot more!

This same month, enjoy the riverside event Art in the Park, bringing together over 70k people each year! Stroll through the art, chat with the hundreds of artists, listen to the live music, and dip your toes in the river in between.

August: Temperatures are still hot, so we suggest enjoying the river in all its capacity. Start your day off by renting a tandem bike at Greenies and bike the 7-mile riverfront trail that lines the Columbia River. Then as the day goes on, swap out the bike for twin paddle boards from OATIS Outdoor Adventure Rentals for a fun afternoon.

Pictured IRONMAN Athlete

September: Partake or spectate in the IRONMAN 70.3 Washington Tri-Cities Triathlon! Hundreds of athletes will be swimming the Columbia River, biking through town, and running the riverfront trail. What better combo of river recreation is there?

This September, Tri-Cities will also be hosting IRONKIDS along the Columbia River. This event includes a diaper crawl, toddler trot, 1 mile, and 2 mile race. If you are not a triathlon athlete, who knows, maybe your kid is! Cheer them along at Columbia Pt.

October: Temperatures are cooling as Fall rolls around, but the river opportunities stay. This month offers two events to enjoy the river. The first being the Water Lantern Festival at Columbia Park. Experience the magic of thousands of lanterns as the soft lights reflect on the water.

The next event you can’t miss is Riverfest. An annual celebration and education opportunity of the Federal Columbia River Power System. This free event is a way to appreciate the river from various perspectives.

Pictured Water2Wine Cruise

November: November can seem like a transitional time period, water may be a bit frigid, as well as the air. However, explore the idea of dinner on a Water2Wine Cruise. Allowing you to cruise under the cable bridge and blue bridge offering a perspective harder to come by in the colder seasons.

December: Holiday season is upon us, and we partially have the river to thank for making it grand. Don't miss out on the Lighted Boat Parade viewable from Kennewick, Pasco, or Richland. An evening spectacle amazing for the whole family. Another option in the month of December is the Lampson Cable Bridge Run. Bundle up and run a mile, a 5k, or a 10k over the Columbia River.

While it may seem easier to fill your summer days with river activities, the truth is, the river can be enjoyed year-round. Whether it is your source for group gatherings, entertainment, or recreation, we suggest you keep that excitement all year to feel more in touch with the beautiful waterways the Tri-Cities has.

This blog is proudly brought to you by Bechtel, the Tri-Cities Rivershore Enhancement Council (TREC) Sponsor. Are you familiar with TREC? The Council, a program of Visit Tri-Cities, is composed of the local jurisdictions and the driving force behind helping communities rediscover the beauty of their rivershores, emphasizing ongoing efforts in restoration, development, and enhancement activities. It's evident that their continuous involvement plays a significant part in shaping our riverside community.


Thank you Bechtel for your sponsorship of the Tri-Cities Rivershore Enhancement Council (TREC)!