Kayaking, Paddleboarding and Gourmet Food and Wine in Washington's Tri-Cities

May 6, 2021

Our adventure started early from Redmond, Washington, and we hit the road to Richland to purchase our new Aquaglide Chelan 140 inflatable kayak.  We were very tempted to stop partway on our trip to enjoy beverages in Yakima, a popular wine destination in the Eastern part of the state (to plan your trip, check out Yakima Valley Wineries and the Yakima Valley Craft Beer Trail). However, we were on a mission to kayak the Columbia River.  We made a stop to fuel up for our river trip at Jean’s Cottage Inn in Union Gap, just a few miles from Yakima.  Whatever your breakfast order is you must get their homemade hash browns; believe it or not, they are very light, not greasy, and very tasty.  

Krista Patterson and Kathy Hobson

We were now adequately fueled for the kayak trip, so we drove east and an hour later arrived at Northwest Paddleboarding.  When we emailed them last winter that we were interested in buying a kayak, Krista talked us through all the cold water gear needed for the spring trips and the different choices on accessories.  Once we arrived, she spent over an hour with us, taking us through the kayak care and how to quickly inflate and deflate the boat.

While we inflated the kayak, we learned that Krista Patterson owns the business with her mom, Kathy Hobson.  They opened their business in 2015 after taking a Paddleboarding Yoga class and falling in love with the sport.  They found the perfect location right beside Howard Amon Park in downtown Richland and sales have been booming.  They rent and sell kayaks and paddleboards. They also offer paddleboard classes and have tours. LULU’s Paddleboard Tour is one of the favorites.

We enjoyed our first tour on the Columbia River and were blessed with a warm sunny day with light winds and current.  We were hungry again after our workout, so we put our kayak to bed and checked in to our favorite place in Richland, the Lodge at Columbia Point. The perfect place;  river views, a great restaurant, luxurious rooms, and adjacent to the Richland Riverfront Trail

We quickly changed clothes then took the short stroll on the Riverfront trail to arrive at LULU Craft Bar and Kitchen.  The menu has a wide selection of burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. We especially enjoyed their special Thai Peanut Cole Slaw – a unique twist on traditional coleslaw. The burger and Rueben sandwich were also great choices. 

Our short, two-day, one-night trip to Richland was a wonderful mini-vacation with the added benefit of bringing home a new kayak. Even if you aren’t in the market for watercraft – the area is well worth the trip to enjoy the water, and don’t forget the great Red Mountain AVA wine.