Forming part of Washington’s Tri-Cities region, Kennewick sprawls along the banks of the Columbia River near its junction with the Yakima and Snake rivers. One of the world’s most complete ancient skeletons was uncovered here in 1996, indicating that the area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 9,000 years.
Things to do in Kennewick
Hugging the riverfront is Columbia Park, which is a popular recreational destination in Kennewick. It’s home to the castle-inspired equipment, bridges and pirate ship of the Playground of Dreams, as well as a family fishing pond. Traversing the park is the bicycle-friendly Sacagawea Heritage Trail, while the park’s Veterans Memorial centres around the largest freestanding granite structure in the United States.
At the western end of Columbia Park is the REACH Museum, which explores the human and natural history of the Tri-Cities region. There are exhibits dedicated to the local ecology and hops cultivation, as well as the Hanford Engineering Works and Manhattan Project. Learn how this post-World War II project lured workers to the city and its role in producing some of the world’s first nuclear weapons.
Located at the junction of the Snake and Columbia rivers is the McNary National Wildlife Refuge, which supports large populations of waterfowl. It encompasses delta mudflats, wetlands and irrigated farmlands, as well as bays that are used as nurseries by chinook salmon. In addition to attracting Canada geese and mallards migrating along the Pacific Flyway, the refuge provides habitat for green-winged teals, ring-necked ducks and bald eagles.
Getting around Kennewick
Tri-Cities Airport is a 10-minute drive from the centre of Kennewick and has flights to destinations across the United States. Amtrak trains connect from Portland and Chicago to the Pasco railway station and buses travel throughout Kennewick, accessing most of its attractions.