Labor Day is coming up this weekend. Most use Labor Day as a last 'hurrah' to summer as kids are back in school, or going back to school afterwards. I've never been a huge fan of going to any destination for more than a few days. I guess I'm too much of a home body and it's hard on my credit card, but my kids deserve to get out of Yakima every once in a while, if nothing more than to appreciate Yakima that much more when we get back.

If you're thinking about taking a quick road trip, here are the places we like to go. If time is an issue, you can accomplish any of these in one day so you don't even have to stay overnight, saving you the hotel room fee.


We used to live in Tri-Cites for about 2 years. They have a fun park with water elements to splash in, a nearby snow cone shack and it's right by the Columbia River. Whenever we hit up Tri-Cities to go to some of our favorite places we miss, this park in Kennewick is a must-stop place. There's also some fun stores in the Uptown Plaza in Richland that are worth looking at.

Darigold Cheese Factory in Sunnyside

Sure, it's not the Tillamook cheese factory in Tillamook, OR, but it's not bad. Get a quick tour, eat at the cafe they have and grab some supplies to go. They have plenty of cheese and other things on their shelf that are hard to find in most stores.

Thorp, WA

Seriously? Seriously! Whenever we're on our way to Seattle we try to stop by Thorp for their fruit stand. You drive by it all the time, but have you ever actually stopped there? Never mind the antiques, they have a TON of candy, sauces, syrups, mixes and several other things that make you say, "How cool!" Hard to find and old fashioned candy, free samples galore and even some unique fruit that may be hard to find or new fruit you may not have ever heard of. I think it's totally acceptable to drive just to Thorp, go shopping, and drive back. My kids love this place because they always get to choose something for themselves.

China Town in Seattle

May be best to leave a little early in the morning for this one, but it's one we do pretty regularly. Sure, we love the pier and we love Pike's Place Market, but one of the things we love to do the most is just to spend all day in China Town. Find a place to park and walk around, peek inside all of the fun stores. Many of them sell asian products and some have fun toys that you'd never find at Toys R Us. Uwajimaya's is a must-go to place. It's like an asian Albertsons with tons of products like all of the supplies you need to make your own sushi. I stock up whenever I go here.

Canyon Road

Not necessarily a destination, but it's certainly a scenic trip. It tells you a lot about the geology in our area, if you're familiar with geology. I'm not going to bore my kids with that story, yet, but it is fun to point out the layers and colors of the rock wall which tells our area's history. Taking the canyon road from Selah will dump you right into Ellensburg. Perfect for a quick drive, grab a bite to eat, turn around and head back.

What quick road trip destination do you like to go?