There are those around the world who may simply see the Pacific Northwest as a mountainous winter wonderland with frigid temperatures, but those who call this land home know that one of the best parts of living here is getting to experience the beauty of all four seasons without too much extreme weather. And while it is true that we do enjoy all things involving winter fun here in the Tri-Cities, when summer finally rolls around again, we’re immediately ditching the snow gear on the mountain and heading on down to any of this region’s backyard beaches along the Columbia and Snake River shorelines to cool off naturally in what we’ll always consider to be the perfect summertime weather! Here is where to cool off and swim in the Tri-Cities.

swim in the Tri-Cities
Windust Park in Pasco is a local favorite swimming hole that also offers camping and RV hookups. Photo courtesy: Roadtrippers

Windust Park

5262 Burr Canyon Road, Pasco

Opening every year, beginning Memorial Day weekend for day-use, camping and swimming, Windust Park in Pasco is a popular swimming hole offering plenty of recreational opportunities for boaters, campers, hikers, and anglers alike. Visitors here can enjoy relaxing in the shade under the mature trees scattered throughout the park, with the park’s remoteness further enhancing the ambiance thanks to its quiet remoteness.

Windust Park comes complete with a breathtaking view of the waterfront, with the campground being situated directly on it, making for pleasant night swims and hours spent watching the waves dance under the moonlight. The park remains open to the public during the warm summer months and closes Labor Day Weekend for day-use, camping and swimming, but the boat ramp access remains open all year round for boaters and fishermen.

swim in the Tri-Cities
Charbonneau Park in Burbank features sheltered swimming areas where you can cool off under. Photo courtesy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Charbonneau Park

642 Campground Road, Burbank

Named one of America’s Top 100 Family Campgrounds, Charbonneau Park is a picturesque 244-acre park just above Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on the lower Snake River. The park was named for Toussaint Charbonneau, the husband of Sacajawea and an interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Offering 52 family sites and two day-use group picnic shelters along with electric hookups, the park provides excellent recreational opportunities for boaters, campers, upland and waterfowl hunters and anglers. Charbonneau Park features a sheltered swimming area with buoy lines and sand, making this tranquil oasis the perfect place to spend one’s day alternating between swimming in the water and relaxing on the beach.

swim in the Tri-Cities
Fishhook Park is perfect for kids, complete with multiple playgrounds and a fun dragon friend to climb on. Photo courtesy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Walla Walla District)

Fishhook Park

4562 Fishhook Park Road, Prescott

Those with kiddos won’t want to miss a chance to visit Fishhook Park on the Snake River near Prescott. Besides the park’s covered shelters, picnic tables and grills, RV and tent sites, and a paved boat launch, the main attraction at this nearby watering hole is the numerous playgrounds, including one with a giant sea serpent for kids to enjoy climbing on.

The kid-friendly swimming beach also offers protected swimming areas and ample shade to ensure all children can comfortably enjoy a lakeside day under the summer sun. Whether it’s a day of splashing in the water or a week-long camping trip, this family-friendly lake has everything you need for a memorable summer getaway.

swim in the Tri-Cities
The Umatilla Marina Park is an idyllic spot for weary travelers to stop for the night and cool off or stay awhile for a fun summer vacation. Photo courtesy: City of Umatilla

Umatilla Marina Park

1st Street, Umatilla

Nestled just across the beautiful Columbia River from the Tri-Cities, Umatilla Marina Park, visitors here can relish peaceful days by the water, enjoying their favorite activities, including fishing, hunting, water skiing, river cruising, swimming, picnicking, and camping. The waterfront’s RV Park features 35 spacious RV and tent sites with incredible views of the mighty Columbia River, meaning stays here are filled with mesmerizing sunsets and illuminating sunrises.

Whether you plan on sticking around for a while or just stopping for the night while spending a summer traveling around, Umatilla Marina Park offers a refreshing escape from the heat, with cool waters ideal for swimming, lounging on the sandy beach, or trying your hand at water sports.

swim in the Tri-Cities
The Howard Amon Swim Dock in Richland is a great place for kids to cool off as they safely practice jumping in the water within the buoys. Photo courtesy: Richland Parks and Recreation

Howard Amon Swim Dock

650 Howard, Amon Park, Richland

There’s no better way to cool off in the summer than with an old-fashioned cannonball into the water, and Howard Amon Park’s new Howard Amon Swim Dock is a great place to practice making a splash. Exhilarated shrieks fill the air as children launch themselves from the dock, a launching pad for endless summer fun as they take turns plunging into the cool embrace of the Columbia River.

The park and dock are both named after W.R. Amon and his son Howard, who first settled in Washington’s lower Yakima Valley in 1904, quickly becoming prominent figures in the area as a result of their extensive philanthropy. Over the last century, the park has been transformed into a coastal paradise that offers a wide range of recreational activities for the community.

Levey Park

1701 Levey Road, Pasco

A day-use area and a small swimming area on the north side of the Snake River upstream of Ice Harbor Dam can be found in Levey Park in Pasco. The swimming area opens Memorial Day weekend and closes after Labor Day each summer. The park also features a boat ramp, boat docks, and picnic shelters, making it a popular weekend spot for families looking to spend sun-filled days on the water.

Of course, these aren’t the only backyard beaches in the Tri-Cities that are perfect for cooling off during the summer. Other local swimming holes like Leslie Groves Park, Chiawana Park, Two Rivers Park, and Sacajawea Historical State Park also provide a refreshing escape from the heat all season long.

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