Snuggled in Benton County, the city of Richland Washington is surrounded by natural beauty like the Columbia and Yakima Rivers, plus Badger Mountain. Residents enjoy a laid-back, friendly lifestyle that includes staying active with the nearby outdoor activities. If you’re in search of new things to do in the community, try any of the following.
LIGO Hanford Observatory
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was created as a tool to detect gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. This facility gets funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, while Caltech and MIT collaborate to run it. You can go on a free tour of the observatory, which is a fascinating place for any fan of the sciences, students, or just curious individuals.
Bernard Griffin Winery
If you’re in the mood for something a little more relaxing and lighthearted, this winery is a favorite in Richland. It’s been in existence since 1983 and has earned numerous accolades. When you visit the winery, not only do you get to tour the production facility, you can visit the tasting room, enjoy a meal at the onsite full-service restaurant, and even check out the fused glass art studio.
Hanford Reach Interpretive Center
This museum is located on Columbia Park Trail not far from Highway 240, right where Richland touches Kennewick. It’s been open since 2014, helping visitors to better understand scientific concepts like how the Ice Age Floods and basalt lava flows affected the local geology, the role White Bluffs played in the Manhattan Project, and more. With four galleries that are permanent and one that rotates, you have plenty to explore during your visit.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation
See firsthand the facility that helped the United States beat the Axis is WWII by creating enough plutonium to make both atom bombs dropped in the war. You can tour the facility, learning about its history and seeing how it was back in the 1940s. You’ll also learn the role this site played in the Cold War, when 100,000 tons of fuel from the reactors was used to produce nuclear arms. That effort ended in the late 1980s, and since the Department of Energy has been overseeing cleanup efforts.
Howard Amon Park
Enjoying natural beauty is a great way to recreate and relax on any day. This park is one of the favorite in the area, thanks to the numerous paths for walking and cycling, plenty of shade to sit in, large picnic tables, and renovated playgrounds for the kids. There’s also a boat launch if you want to take a canoe, etc. out on the water for even more adventure.