Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco make up the Tri-City area (pop. 160,000), near the confluence of the Snake, Yakima and Columbia Rivers in southeastern Washington. At one time the dry, arid climate of this area hosted the largest concentration of Concord grape vines in the world. Grapes are still big business here, though the city has most recently been in the spotlight for the mid-'90s discovery of a skeleton that challenged archaeological assumptions about early North Americans and nearby nuclear plant, Hanford.
Mostly a working town, Kennewick's convention facilities and numerous hotels have made it attractive for conferences and other events in this uncrowded and mostly rural part of the state. The city has a handful of tourist attractions like museums and galleries, an array of parks, a number of golf courses, and a selection of dining options to suit most palates.
In an earlier age the private community associated with Hanford, Richland is no longer just for nuclear types; this mostly residential city now boasts not bombs but pleasant parks and tree-lined streets.
Pasco is the less-developed of the three and the smallest. Far fewer travelers make their way to this settlement on the north bank of the Columbia River, though it does have proximity to the Tri-Cities Airport to its credit, a colorful Farmer's Market and a historic museum or two.
Outdoors enthusiasts can find recreational opportunities in both local parks and slightly farther afield, from lakes and state sites to the Hanford Reach National Monument, for many years closed to outsiders for its connection with Hanford Nuclear Plant, but now a protected ecosystem open to visitors.
For more information about Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco, please select a topic of interest from the links on the left side of the page.