First Stop: Beverly Dunes - 2 hrs 43 mins
Second Stop: Hamilton Cellars - 1 hr 10 mins
Total Distance: 451 miles
Advance Prep: Discovery Pass for Beverly Dunes. Reservations for Hamilton Cellars - (509) 628-8227.
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Tacoma/Seattle - Columbia Loop is a fantastic long weekend trip.
Day 1: Head out of Tacoma or Seattle after lunch on Friday and arrive at the dunes for some fun by 4 pm. Plenty of time to get stuck, dig yourself out, set up camp, and pour yourself a drink before 6 pm.
Day 2: Spend the morning testing your sand dune driving skills, exploring, and hiking the area, then have lunch. After lunch, break camp and head to Hamilton Cellars. Take your time, the drive along the Columbia River is breathtaking. Upon arrival head into the tasting room and check in. Once checked in, treat yourself to a wine tasting package and relax in beautiful wine country. They had no problem with our kids hanging out in the tasting room, and outside on the patio. For a special treat, visit on the first Friday of the month for entertainment, food, and a farmer's market.
Watch Video: https://youtu.be/MOixt0N_0yY
Note on etiquette: This is definitely a “leave no trace” kind of place if we want it to remain available to us. No loud music, parties, open flames, etc. And … Be sure to purchase a bottle or case of wine. After all, that's why they make this beautiful opportunity to stay the night available. If you love the wine as we do, join their wine club and have it shipped to your door!
Day 3: Have breakfast, break camp, and get ready to enjoy a leisurely Sunday drive through the wine country and the Yakima River Valley. The first stop is lunch at Neighbors BBQ in Prosser. This is the best BBQ I have ever had West of Houston Texas. And … It’s totally authentic, the Owner/Pitmaster is from Texas!
After filling up on BBQ, head North West toward the Yakima River Valley with a short stop at the Precision Fruit Stand to grab some coffees, get your kids an ice cream cone, grab fresh produce for dinner, and maybe even treat yourself to some antiques. This place is a cute stop to stretch your legs even if you don’t buy anything.
Now that you have some caffeine, roll your windows down, head toward the Yakima River Valley waypoint, and enjoy the beautiful winding byway of the Yakima River Valley on your way toward historic Ellensburg. Last stop, Owens Meats in Cle Ellum. The Owens Meats slogan is “The candy store for the carnivore.” Giving credit where credit is due … I totally agree! Their meats melt in your mouth. Stop in to have a chat and grab something to pair with the fresh produce you picked up at the Precision Fruit Stand.
Have you ever returned home from a camping or road trip to scramble to figure out what to feed your family for dinner? Personally, I hate having to hit the local grocery store after getting home and unloading the rig. This itinerary will introduce you to some cool stops and have you provisioned for a gourmet Sunday evening meal. If you purchase a case of wine at Hamilton's, you are set!! Who needs Maestros Steak House, when you have a good “Jump Itinerary!”
Enjoy the trip, then drop us a line and let us know how it went!