Columbia Park

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 Highway 240, W. Columbia Drive
Kennewick, WA

Columbia Park is located in Washington’s Tri-Cities, just off Highway 395 (from I-84 from Portland, OR or I-90 form Spokane). It’s a great place to stop to stretch legs and have a quick picnic. Situated along the Columbia River, the park is over five miles long, but the section you want is at the west end where a large fort-style climbing structure awaits.

The park is free, and there are half a dozen fast food restaurants nearby if you need to grab something to go. Dig swimsuits out of the car, because a great splash park, with fountains, squirt nozzles, and cascading buckets of water is adjacent to the play structure. Picnic tables under shade canopies are available, but fill up fast in the summer. The park is year round, although the splash park shuts off for the winter months.

The only downside: Unless you’re route is taking you northwest on 240, you do have to go several miles out of your way in that direction to get back onto 395 East or West to resume your trip.

Date last visited: June 2008

Distance off the interstate: Only a few miles, but it takes approx. 5-10 minutes.

Bathrooms: Adjacent to play structure, and typical of city parks and recreational departments. There are showers for rinsing off sandy feet, however.

Food: Lots of fast food nearby (see above).

Directions: From 395 going East:

Exit onto WA-240 W toward Richland (2.6 mi).
Take the Edison St exit (0.3 mi), then turn right at N Edison St (0.1 mi).
Turn right at SE Columbia Dr (2.0 mi).
At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Columbia Park Trail (0.2 mi).

Going west, Take the exit on the left onto WA-240 W toward Pasco/Kennewick , then follow above directions.
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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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