The remains of a prehistoric man dubbed Kennewick Man were found on the banks of the Columbia River here in Kennewick, WA in 1996, but there's nothing prehistoric about this lively community.
Not far from the Oregon border, on the banks of the beautiful and broad Columbia River, Kennewick, WA is a bustling city of just over 76,000, located near the Hanford nuclear site. The city is part of a Tri City area including the towns of Pasco and Richland. Dubbed by Forbes magazine as the number two area in the U.S. for job growth, major industries here include the scientific arena of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the agricultural growth of area farmland. Okay, so it's a bit of a farm town, but who says farm towns can't be exciting? Kennewick is the largest of the Tri-City communities in south eastern Washington. With a relatively low cost of living and over 300 days of sunshine yearly, this attractive community draws an eclectic mix of both blue collar and white collar residents and industries to the banks of the Columbia River on which it is built. No whining allowed - nearby you'll find over 160 wineries within 50 miles of town. Pick up a bottle of pinot and picnic along the river bank, or indulge in biking, hiking, fishing or boating.
Moving to Kennewick
"Kennewick" is a Native American word meaning "grassy place." And the name is apt. Mild winters keep the area green and grassy year round. You can truly say the grass is greener over in Kennewick. Lewis and Clark made their trail through the area, and saw that the fertile banks of the Columbia River were a natural place to establish a town, and in the late 1800's, steamboats plied the river and railroads crossed the land, connecting Kennewick to Pasco and other towns. And speaking of connections, through the Dalles-Celilo Canal, Kennwick is connected to the Pacific Ocean.
You'll find Kennewick supports a workforce in service, management, manufacturing, and administrative support. Overall middle income and ethnically diverse, Kennewick has a good mix of Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian residents, some with ancestry traceable to Germany, Ireland, and Norway.
Badger: This Kennewick neighborhood classifies as rural - plenty of land between residences, many of which are single family three bedroom homes and larger homes, or mobile home properties. Many are new, built after 1970 to present. With a scarce vacancy rate, you'll want to start your apartment search early if this open, tree lined community is the one for you. This is a community with high real estate values and an educated, executive lifestyle among the residents.Commuting time to those executive positions? 15 to 30 minutes.
Finley: Suburban in nature, Finley offers apartment homes in all sizes, including studio and one bedroom apartments. There are also single family homes and mobile homes. Properties skew somewhat older, with units built anywhere from 1940 to 1999. Many residents are employed in fishing or agricultural industries. There are a substantial number of pleasant mobile home parks in this middle income section of Kennewick.
City Center: More urban than other Kennwick communities, properties here range from apartment complexes and high rises to single family homes. Many renters in the middle income and lower income categories occupy this part of town, with dwellings running the age gamut from 1940 to 1999. Small boutique shops, wine bars, local brew pubs, and ethnic cafes dot the area. Singles and families alike are comfortable here.
Port of Kennewick: Like City Center, this is also an urban area, with a mix of small to medium single family homes and mobile homes as well as smaller apartment complexes. Many residences are older, and there is a higher vacancy rate here than in other parts of town - you'll find it easier to find apartment rentals. Many employed by the fishing industry reside here. With a strong Danish and Finnish ancestry shared among residents, this is the place to find great Danish pastries with your morning coffee.
Highland: A suburban community with many modern single family homes, this upper middle income community has a quiet feel, and supports a mix of families and married couples.
Living in Kennewick
Kennewick's downtown area is its historic core. And that history is getting a new lease on life as new businesses spring up including art galleries, boutique shops, local brew pubs, and local sourced dining. Pedestrians are reaping the benefit of a newly walkable destination downtown, and public artwork has sprung up creating and arty and interesting environment.From massive outdoor bronze sculptures to wine bars and cafes, downtown Kennewick is a destination desired by many in the tri-city area.
A 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial Monument is also located in Kennewick. Featuring one of the salvaged World Trade Center vertical support columns weighing in at over 6000 pounds, this memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 2001 tragedy. The memorial houses an area for quiet contemplation.
The entire Tri-City area features wineries throughout the Columbia Valley. Outlying areas of Kennewick has over 20 wineries, 6 wine bars, and several annual wine tasting events. Less than 20 minutes to the west, you'll find more wineries at Red Mountain. Both a draw for tourists and locals, wine festivals come Harvest time are exceedingly popular. Red wine and chocolate pairing events always draw a crowd. Cabernet and cacao anyone? Jazz nights, spring and fall barrel tastings, and holiday wine walks are scattered throughout the year. Don't forget, pinkies up!
Kennewick is a sporting town. Grab a local brewski instead of a glass of wine and head out to the ball - or puck - game. If you like hockey or football, both the Western Hockey League and the Indoor Football League play in Kennewick's Toyota Center, which hosts many regional teams, year round. Outdoors, get your thrill on with hydroplane racing on the Columbia. Or join the Titanium or Plutonium Man triathalons. Yes, even Marvel Comics Iron Man super hero would have his competition cut out for him at this yearly event. The race follows an Olympic distance format, with a 1.5 km swim, 10km run, and a 40 km bike event, sanctions by the USA Triathlon.
Prefer a less daunting sport? Try your skill with a dart and a balloon at the yearly Benton-Franklin County Fair. Or watch skilled cowboys wrangle "extreme bulls," or drivers on edge plough through the Demolition Derby. National touring talent performs, theres a midway, kids rides, and of course a wine garden at this annual event. What more could you ask for?