Kennewick, is a city located in Benton county along the Columbia River Plateau region of Washington State. Along with the cities of Pasco and Richland, Kennewick is known for being the largest and most populous city within the area known as the "Tri-Cities" of Washington. The "Tri-Cities" area is the fourth most populous metropolitan area within Washington State; behind Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma.

The Cable Bridge extending across the Columbia River and connecting Kennewick to Pasco.


Kennewick and the greater Tri-Cities region draws a great deal of their cultural influence from having a past that was heavily enriched by the Cold War. In nearby Richland, the Hanford Nuclear Site is the home to many historical landmarks, as well as the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor. The atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945 contained Hanford produced plutonium. Today, the nuclear site has changed its mission from plutonium enrichment to environmental clean up and restoration.

In modern times, agriculture has been a major factor in the area's economy. Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the region, as well as fruit such as apples, cherries, and grapes (the region is home to more than 160 wineries). This is due mainly to the high quality of the region's soil and the ease of irrigation made possible by three nearby rivers (Columbia, Snake and Yakima Rivers).

Kennewick is the commercial district for the Tri-Cities region. Residents from central and southeastern Washington state, as well as from northeastern Oregon, visit the city for its shopping resources and entertainment venues. There are 34 maintained public parks and facilities spread throughout the city with 855 total acres of which about 400 is green space, including Columbia Park, which is a 400-acre recreational area with nearly 5 miles of Columbia River shoreline.

The wine industry is prevalent in the Kennewick and Tri-Cities region, with over 160 wineries within an hour's drive. Due to the region's climate of long, warm summer days (an average of 300 days of sunshine per year), and crisp cool nights; combined with rich volcanic soils and controlled irrigation, make it a nearly perfect location to grow premium grapes. A wide variety are grown throughout the region including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Pinot Noir and others.

There has been significant population growth in Kennewick and the greater Tri-Cities region over the last decade as the region also harbors a large technological industry. A major employer of many residents in Kennewick is Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's major national laboratories. In the past, Forbes has named Kennewick the #2 area in the country for job growth. For over 12 years, Kennewick has been listed in Forbes Top 100 Best Places For Business & Career. Forbes listed Tri-Cities as "Top 10 Cities For Engineers."

More recently, Kiplinger has rated the Tri-Cities region as one of the top 10 places to live and raise a family. CNN/Money has ranked the Tri-Cities region as one of the top 10 best bets for gains in housing value, due to its relatively stable economic conditions since the early 2000s.

Get in

By air

Tri-Cities Airport is located 2 miles northwest of Pasco and is the third largest commercial airport in the state of Washington. It operates flights daily to and from Seattle, Tacoma, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver and Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

By train

  • Amtrak Empire Builder makes a once daily trip in each direction between Portland and Spokane via Vancouver, WA; Bingen, Wishram and Pasco. The train joins (or splits going westbound) with the other branch coming from (or going to) Seattle in Spokane. Eastbound trains continue to Chicago from Spokane. The Amtrak intermodal station, which is shared with Greyhound and Grape Line buses, is a new facility located in Pasco, close to major hotels and attractions

By bus

By car

Highway 395 is one of Kennewick's busiest roads, running right through the center of the city north and south. Oregonians can easily travel to Kennewick, as it is less than an hour's drive from the Washington-Oregon border.

For information pertaining to the driving conditions around Kennewick and in the greater Tri-Cities region, check the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website .

Get around

By bus

By car

Car rentals are available through Avis, Enterprise and Hertz at the Tri-Cities air terminal.

By taxi

A-1 Tri-Cities Taxi provides personalized service throughout the Tri-Cities area for affordable rates and operate 24/7.





Wine Tasting

Kennewick has a plethora of local wines because there are over 160 hundred nearby wineries. Many of these wineries offer wine tasting and tours.






Stay healthy

During the summer months, the temperature in Kennewick and the greater Tri-Cities region often exceeds 100 °F. If you plan on being outside for long periods of time, be sure to drink plenty of WATER and limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.

Stay safe

Kennewick and the greater Tri-Cities region are extremely safe areas for travelers. The city enjoys a crime rate that is well below the national average; violent crime is almost none existent. The most widely reported crime in the city is theft. As with any travel destination, if you take the proper precautions to keep your possessions safe, you should have no problems at all during your stay.

Go next

Routes through Kennewick

Yakima Richland  W  E  Hermiston END
Spokane Pasco  N  S  Hermiston Burns

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 04, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.