Kennewick is a city 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.
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 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 magazine once named Kennewick the #2 area in the country for job growth. For over 12 years, Kennewick was listed in Forbes Top 100 Best Places For Business & Career. Forbes listed Tri-Cities as "Top 10 Cities For Engineers."
In 2013, Kiplinger rated the Tri-Cities region as one of the top 10 places to live and raise a family. CNN/Money once 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.
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.
- 1 Amtrak, 535 N 1st Ave, Pasco (N 1st Ave & Sylvester on the east side of Pasco by the railroad yard.), toll-free: . The following are the Amtrak route serving Pasco:
- 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 facility in Pasco, close to major hotels and attractions
- 2 Greyhound, (bus depot) Intermodal Station @ 535 N 1st Ave, Pasco WA 99301, ☏ , toll-free: . Travels on Interstate 90/82 (Seattle, Ellensburg, Sunnyside, Pasco and Stanford OR at I-84) and I-84/US 395/I-90 (Portland, Hood River, The Dalles, Pasco and Spokane). Greyhound no longer goes to Walla Walla but they do sell ownward tickets on the Grapeline bus to Walla Walla.
- 3 Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (CTUIR), (bus stops) 22nd Ave Transit Center (Pasco), Three Rivers Transit Center (Kennewick), Huntington Transfer (Kennewick) and 27th St P&R (Kennewick). They make an extra flag stop to the Amtrak/Greyhound station on request for drop off only., ☏ . Goes down to Hermiston and Irrigon, Oregon on the "Tri Cities Trolley" route. Transfer to the "Hermiston Hopper" in Hermiston to continue to Pendleton, Oregon.
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.
- From Spokane: Take I-90/US 395 West to Ritzville. At Ritzville, US-395 continues South from I-90, stay on US-395 until you get to Kennewick.
- From Seattle and Tacoma: Take I-90 across the Casgade Mountains until I-82 in Ellensburg. Just past Ellensburg, take I-82 South (signed as East), passing through Yakima and Prosser, until you reach I-182 East, then take Hwy 240 to reach Kennewick. You can also reach Kennewick by continuing on I-82 SE until you reach either Badger Rd. or US-395.
- From Walla Walla: Take US-12 into Pasco. In Pasco, US-12 is also I-182, exit at US-395 South (Exit 12A) and cross the Columbia River.
- From Portland, Oregon: Take I-84 through the Gorge to I-82 West, signs for Hermiston. See below. Highway 14 on the Washington side is more scenic, but longer.
- From Oregon: Take I-82 across the OR/WA border. After about 20 miles, exit off of I-82 onto US-395.
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 .
- 4 Ben Franklin Transit, Three Rivers Transit Center (along W Okanogan Dr across the street from the Benton County District Court, jail and health dept and next to the Toyota Arena), ☏ . M-F 6AM-6PM; Sa 8AM-6PM. Operates fixed route buses within the Tri Cities area and to Benton City, West Richland and Prosser. They also offer a taxi feeder service [dead link] to/through areas not served by regular buses from designated bus stops. $1.50 cash fare.
- [dead link] Trans+Plus, (door to door shuttle, evenings and Sundays), ☏ (to arrange a ride). M-Sa 6:30PM-2AM; Su 7:30AM-6PM. Trans+Plus provides a unique, demand response, curb-to-curb service within Ben Franklin Transit’s boundary area, except for the Hanford area north of Battelle Blvd and the Prosser and Benton City areas. $3 per trip.
Streets are wide and logically laid out. Kennewick is more Spread out than other cities its size, so there is almost no traffic.
Main east/west thoroughfares are 10th ave. on the South end, Clearwater in the Center which connects with Kennwick ave. to serve the Downtown, and Canal Drive at the north. You can also utilize Highway 240 Eastbound if you wish to quickly get from one side of Kennewick to the other.
Main north/south thoroughfares are also conveniently laid out. Steptoe runs from Clearwater to 240 on the west end, Columbia Center Blvd. traverses the width of the city from Col. Park Trail to the southern limit, intersecting 240 along the way. Kellogg runs straight through the center of town, intersecting Canal and 10th. Finally, 395 serves the East end and is known as Ely Street on some maps and signs.
There are only 3 places where you can cross the river into Pasco: I-182, 395/240, and 397/Chemical Drive
A-1 Tri-Cities Taxi provides personalized service throughout the Tri-Cities area for affordable rates and operate 24/7.
- Benton County Fairgrounds and Sundowns Horse Race Track.
- East Benton County Historical Museum, 205 Keewaydin Dr, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Sa noon-4PM. Not to be confused with Benton County Historical Museum in Prosser. Has a cast of the skull of the famous Kennewick Man. $4/adult, $3/senior, $1/child.
- Highlands Grange Demonstration Garden.
- 1 Three Rivers Convention Center (Tri-Cities Convention Center), 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd. Free parking.
- Audubon Nature Trail, Columbia Park (along the Columbia River).
- The Playpen, 213 W Kennewick Ave, ☏ . A night club featuring dance and music.
- The Rock Reactor, 117 W Kennewick Ave, ☏ . A nightclub and restaurant featuring live music from local, regional and low key national bands. It features a 300 square foot stage and main floor with two bars and seating in the restaurant.
- 1 Tri-Cities Toyota Center, 7000 W. Grandridge Blvd, ☏ . A multi-purpose arena which has an approximate seating capacity of 7,715 event goers. It hosts nationally renowned shows such as Riverdance, Cats, and The Producers, as well as performances from acclaimed musicians ranging from B.B. King to Slipknot. In February 2016, the Harlem Globetrotters performed basketball tricks and theatrical physical comedy for Kennewick's cheering audience. Sports tickets to watch hockey teams, such as the Tri-City Americans, or football teams, such as the Tri-City Fever, are sometimes available. Pizza and drinks are available from vendors such as Papa John's Pizza. There are many single-user bathrooms for families with children and handicap accommodations. Tickets for events are available through Ticketmaster.
- 2 The Chamna Natural Preserve. A park near the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers. It offers hiking through a multitude of habitats ranging from grasslands to riparian wooded areas.
- The Sacagawea Heritage Trail. A recreational and educational trail along 23 miles of beautiful Columbia River shoreline in Tri-Cities. It is a bi-modal trail and all trail amenities enable all outdoor enthusiasts to experience an environmentally sound and unique shrub-steppe habitat.
- Twin Sisters Rock. Consists of two basalt pillars that extend from the cliffs along Wallula Gap, overlooking the Columbia River.
Kennewick has a plethora of local wines because there are over 160 nearby wineries. Many of these wineries offer wine tasting and tours.
- Anelare Winery. A private and limited bottling winery that offers premium wines to club members and selected varietals to the public. It is open to the public for tasting or you may reserve private tasting rooms for personal or business functions.
- Badger Mountain Vineyard. Organic vineyard with a solar-powered tasting room. Powers Cabernet Sauvignon is their bestselling wine and was featured on CNN. Some bottles are sealed with screw lids with an inner coating to prevent the wine reduction that often occurs with corked bottles.
- Canyon's Edge Winery. It is open daily and offer informative wine tasting and purchase of wine by the glass, bottle or case.
- Pacific Rim Winery. It specializes in Rieslings. It is in West Richland.
- Thomas O'Neil Cellars. Opened in the spring of 2011 in Richland.
- The Country Gentleman, 9221 W Clearwater Ave #A, ☏ .
- El Fat Cat Grill, 539 N Edison St, ☏ . M - F 9AM - 5PM. Down-home Mexican food & all-day lunch specials served from a family-owned food truck. An often-overlooked culinary gem.
- Sterling's Restaurant, 3200 West Clearwater Ave. This is the local branch of a 3-restaurant chain that started in Richland. There is an all-you-can-eat or single trip salad bar, several soups prepared daily, and a wide and impressive menu featuring appetizers, fresh omelets (breakfast and dinner), steak, seafood, chicken, pasta, salads, burgers, and a kid's menu with shrimp, chicken fingers, french fries and fruit. Beer, wine, and spirits are on the drink menu.
- Dutch Brothers Coffee, 4305 W. Clearwater Ave, ☏ . Wonderful double chocolate mochas
- Atomic Ale Brew Pub, 1015 Lee Blvd, Richland, ☏ . A microbrewery and eatery featuring such locally famous brews as Half-Life Hefeweizen, Atomic Amber and Plutonium Porter. The eatery features gourmet wood-fired pizzas.
- Ice Harbor Brewing Co, 206 N Benton St, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-8PM. The only brewery in Kennewick, they have a second location at the marina.
- Best Western Kennewick, 4001 W 27th Ave, ☏ , fax: .
- Comfort Inn Kennewick, 7801 W. Quinault Ave, ☏ , fax: .
- Fairfield Inn Kennewick, 7809 West Quinault Ave, ☏ , fax: .
- Fairfield Inn Kennewick, 7809 West Quinault Ave, ☏ , fax: .
- Guesthouse Suites, 5616 W Clearwater Ave (From I-395 southbound from Pasco into Kennewick, turn right on Clearwater Ave. Go straight 1.84 miles and your destination will be on the left just past North Grant street. You will pass Winco Foods on the right, Albertson's grocery store, Francisco's Bakery, Just Roses, and Mi Linda Sierra Mexican Restaurant. It is directly across from N. Irving Pl. and Headie's Tobacco and Accessories. Across the street in the building with the green roof (within a minute's walking distance) is Green Papaya, an authentic Thai restaurant with a lunch buffet and a menu.), ☏ .
- Quality Inn, 7901 West Quinault Ave (From HWY 240: Take Columbia Center Blvd exit. Turn right on to W Quinault Ave.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Red Lion Hotel Columbia Center, N. 1101 Columbia Center Blvd., ☏ , fax: .
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.
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 non-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.
- Idaho - the state line is a little over 2 hours away.
- Oregon - the state line is only about a 1/2 hour away.
- Spokane - about 2 hours away.
- Seattle - about 3½ hours away.
- Portland - slightly closer than Seattle.
|Routes through Kennewick|
|Yakima ← Richland ←||W E||→ Hermiston → END|
|Spokane ← Pasco ←||N S||→ Hermiston → Burns|