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Benton County is located in the south-central portion of the state. The Columbia River makes up the north, south, and east boundaries of the county. The county seat is Prosser, and its largest city is Kennewick. The area of south-central Washington occupied by Benton County has been known primarily as an agricultural hub since its settlement by white Americans.
The rise of viticulture has had a profound impact on the agricultural and tourism industries over the past two decades, and has in many ways reshaped the reputation of the region. Prominent wineries and tasting rooms are located in the area. Over 20 wineries lie within a 15-minute drive from Richland, and more than 100 wineries within a 60 miles (97 km) radius.
Benton City is a small town of 3,000 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.