Welcome to Benton City
“A Tuscany Sort of Place”
Benton City is a small town of 2,800 people. It is located in the Eastern Washington sage “desert” area, but is in a fertile, green bend of the Yakima River. The climate boasts long Indian summers and moderate winters, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year.
Privately-owned large and small irrigated orchards, vineyards, hayfields, pastures, and acreages are abundant in and around Benton City. The City is in somewhat of a “little Tuscany” appearing valley bowl. It overlooks the Red Mountain vineyards and wineries to the west, a world-renowned, high-quality appellation and viticulture area. To the south is Horse Heaven Hills with its 1,800 foot ridge gracefully sloping down to the river and orchards of apple, cherry, pear, apricot, and walnut. Rattlesnake Mountain, the highest North American treeless mountain, with a large herd of elk, and deer, is to the north.
Water sports and fishing are available starting in town, on the Yakima River (bass, steelhead, salmon, otters, great blue herons, and migratory sandhill cranes and pelicans), and the Columbia and Snake Rivers converge with the Yakima only a few miles from Benton City. There are over 30 horse-roping arenas, public fishing, a boat ramp, wildlife/fishing/bicycle trails, a rodeo grounds, a horseback riding group, a mud bog race area, a native plants nursery. a shooting range, a miniature aircraft flying area, and the Horn Rapids campground near Native American fish platforms.
Benton City has a new library, a medical clinic under the Prosser Memorial Hospital, well-groomed schools (with full sports, performing arts, and FFA programs), many churches, a volunteer fire department, and an industrial park. A business park and aquatic park are in the planning stages. Senior and migratory farm-workers housing is available. Benton City has a number of small and some large businesses, but is “Open for Business” with expedited processes through City Hall.
Activities include Benton City Daze, Winter Fest with lighted Christmas parade, Lion’s Club Fourth of July activities with extensive fireworks, an annual city-wide yard sale, car and motorcycle shows, mud bog races, craft shows in the park, Hispanic food events, Easter egg hunts, and other events.
Approximately 28,000 cars per day go by on Interstate 82, and approximately 9,000 per day go over the river bridge and through Benton City, some on their back-way to Hanford Nuclear facilities, yet there is not a single stop light in town. The 57,000 acre national wildlife and Monument area are within 5 miles of Benton City. A beautiful scenic alternative river route is available on the Old Inland Empire Road to Prosser.
There are also many recreational and cultural activities and business availabilities in the nearby metropolitan Tri-Cities. West Richland begins about 8 miles east of Benton City, and joins Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco) which have a combined population of about 150,000, with 3 freeways entering the area with a choice of two river bridges over the huge Columbia River. There are many shopping centers, two multiple screen movie theatres, baseball and hockey teams, golf courses, three regional newspapers, and many TV and radio stations, etc.. The airport is in Pasco, Franklin county, approximately 20 miles to the east of Benton City. The County Courthouse is in Prosser, 17 miles to the west of Benton City. Yakima is about an hour to the west, Hermiston, Oregon is about 45 minutes to the south. Spokane is about 2 &1/2 hours to the north, Seattle is about 3 & 1/2 hours away west through Ellensburg and over the Cascade Range, and Portland is about 3 & 1/2 hours away south and west along the scenic Columbia Gorge.