Moving to Kennewick

Welcome to the doorway of your new journey - moving to Kennewick, WA! With its captivating landscapes, rich history and a vibrant culture that promises to add a pop of excitement to your everyday life, Kennewick is indeed a place that dares you not to fall in love with it. From the stellar education system to an arsenal of adventurous activities, this comprehensive Kennewick relocation guide takes you on a tour de force so that transitioning into this inviting city is as smooth and enjoyable as a fine glass of local, Washington State wine.

Moving to Kennewick, WA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Kennewick

1. Welcome to the Land of Sunshine

While most people think of Washington State as a rainy and cloudy neighboorhood, Kennewick bursts that bubble in style. It is part of the Tri-Cities along with Pasco and Richland and basks in a whopping 300 days of sunshine - a stark contrast to the drizzly reputation other parts of the state hold. That makes it a perfect residence for sun worshippers and outdoor enthusiasts.

2. Get your Taste-Buds Ready

Kennewick will impress you with its fabulous culinary scene. The city's burgeoning and diverse food culture offers options from classic American, exotic Mexican and Asian, to delectable Mediterranean cuisines. Moreover, as a part of the Washington wine country, Kennewick is surrounded by more than 160 wineries, making wine tasting a local hobby. So get ready to treat your taste buds and say cheers to the new life ahead.

3. It's All About the Mighty Columbia River

The heart of Kennewick's outdoor activities thrives around the mighty Columbia River. From boating and fishing to hiking along the riverbank, you are never short of options here. Alternatively, you can relax amidst the stunning scenery at Columbia Park, a 400-acre waterfront park that houses the Playground of Dreams, a vintage carousel, an aquatic park, and much more.

4. The City That Loves to Celebrate

Kennewick is famous for its community spirit and year-round celebrations. The city hosts numerous popular events annually, such as the hydroplane races during the Tri-City Water Follies, the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo, and the Art in the Park summer series. The highlight, though, is the Annual Lighted Boat Parade held every December, where the Columbia River lights up with boats decorated for Christmas - a sight not to be missed.

5. Get an Education Boost

Kennewick is not just a city of beauty and celebrations; it takes education seriously. The Kennewick School District is one of the top school districts in Washington State. The district includes several high-ranking schools and is known for its innovative education system and extra-curricular opportunities. Apart from public schools, there are also multiple private and charter school options.

6. Little Known Facts: The Ice Age Flings and The Sweet Surprise

Now to the lesser-known facts about Kennewick. Did you know about the ancient history it holds? Kennewick showcases its glacial history proudly through the Window of the Ice Age Floods where you can catch a glimpse of ancient geologic formations caused by massive ice age floods. Additionally, here's a sweet surprise - Kennewick ranks as the top city in Washington for buying candy. Yes, you read that right! The city loves its sweet treats with residents purchasing more than twice the national average amount of candy.

Moving to a new city presents an exciting chapter and Kennewick is no exception. Its sunny weather, delicious local food, high-quality education, rich history, love for celebration, and not to forget, the fondness for candy, makes it a delightful city to live in. So get ready to soak up the sunshine and the passion Kennewick has to offer. Welcome to your new home!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Kennewick

Pros of Living in Kennewick

Outdoor Recreation

With access to three different rivers -- the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima, Kennewick is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Residents enjoy a range of activities from fishing and boating, to cycling and walking along park trails, adding to the allure of the area.

Rich Cultural Scene

Kennewick is known for its cultural diversity, which is evident in the local food and arts scene. Attending the annual Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo and visiting the East Benton County History Museum are among the many cultural activities residents can enjoy.

Excellent Wine Country

The close proximity to the Tri-City wine country means that residents have easy access to high-quality wines. With over 160 wineries within an hour's drive, cruises on Columbia River, and the increasingly popular Tri-Cities Wine Festival, wine enthusiasts have plenty of options to explore.

Broad Range of Housing

When compared to other cities within Washington State, Kennewick provides a diverse housing market which includes apartments, condos, single-family houses and larger estates. Regardless of your preference, you're bound to find something that suits your lifestyle and budget.

Variety of Employment Opportunities

Kennewick offers a diverse economy with employment opportunities in healthcare, retail, education, and agriculture. The area is known for continuous economic growth and low unemployment rates.

Cons of Living in Kennewick

Limited Entertainment Options

Despite the outdoor recreational activities and cultural scenes, some residents feel that there aren't enough entertainment options like nightclubs and shopping centers. This can be a downside for those who crave a bustling city lifestyle.

Seasonal Weather

While Kennewick enjoys a dry and mild climate, the city experiences seasonal variations, with hot summers and cold winters. The extreme temperatures can sometimes be uncomfortable for residents, particularly those who are used to a more temperate climate.

Long Commute Times

Compared to other cities in Washington, Kennewick may have longer commute times. Depending on the location of your job, the travel may take a significant amount of daily time.

Higher than Average Cost of Living

While there is a wide range in housing options, the cost of living in Kennewick can be higher than the national average, particularly in relation to healthcare and housing costs. This could potentially be a deterrent for those on a limited income.

Air Quality

With the semi-arid climate, Kennewick is susceptible to dust storms which could impact the air quality. People with respiratory problems should keep this potential challenge in mind.

Modern day picture of Kennewick, WA highlighting pros and cons of living in Kennewick, WA

Is Kennewick a Good Place to Live?

Kennewick, WA is a great place to live because of its serene environment, affordable cost of living, and availability of recreational activities. The city has a lower crime rate compared to other cities and offers excellent educational opportunities, making it ideal for families. Moreover, the city's close-knit community and warm residents add to its charm, making Kennewick a particularly delightful place to call home.

What Is Kennewick Famous For?

Kennewick Man

Known as "The Ancient One," Kennewick Man was one of the most complete and oldest skeletons ever found in North America. The skeletal remains were discovered in 1996 near the banks of the Columbia River, which stirred a decade-long legal and scientific debate over his ancestry and final resting place.

Hydroplane Racing

Kennewick is famous for its annual hydroplane racing event, the Water Follies or "Boat Races." Held on the Columbia River since 1966, the event involves high-speed motorized watercraft that skim across the water at incredible speeds, generating tremendous excitement and drawing big crowds every summer.

The Toyota Center

The Toyota Center is a multi-purpose arena in Kennewick that hosts a variety of events, from concerts and sporting events to trade shows and family shows. The venue is also home to the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, making it a must-visit venue for hockey fans and live event enthusiasts alike.

Columbia Park

Columbia Park is a beautiful green space spanning more than 400 acres along the Columbia River. It's perfect for a picnic, a scenic walk, or sports activities. The park also features a golf course, play areas, a fishing pond, and it hosts the annual Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo, making it a beloved outdoor hub in Kennewick.

Capital building of Kennewick, WA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Kennewick, WA as of 2023, the average property tax rate is about 1.08%. This is lower than the national average property tax rate of 1.07%, making Kennewick's property tax slightly competitive.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, Kennewick, WA has a combined sales tax rate of 8.6%, which includes the Washington State sales tax rate of 6.5% and the Kennewick local sales tax rate of 2.1%. This rate is higher compared to the average US combined sales tax rate of about 7.12%.

Income Tax

Kennewick, WA residents enjoy a 0% income tax rate as of 2023, since Washington State does not levy a personal income tax. This is considerably more favorable compared to the average state income tax rate in the US, which stands at approximately 4.6%.

Housing Market

In Kennewick, WA, the housing market offers reasonable opportunities compared to larger US regions. As of 2021, the median home value is around $317k, lower than the national average of $375k. Home values have seen an 8.7% increase over the past year. Rent averages at about $1,200 monthly, again lower than the national average of $1,650. With lower cost of living and the increased home appreciation, Kennewick presents potential long-term financial benefits for homeowners and affordable rental options for tenants.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Kennewick, WA is lower than the national average, making it a more affordable option compared to other large cities in the United States. Yet, it offers a high quality of life with its amenities, wide-range of outdoors activities, and employment opportunities. Living expenses such as housing, groceries, and healthcare are all below the national average. Nevertheless, residents should know that certain areas within the city may have differing costs. Overall, Kennewick, WA presents a cost-effective choice for those seeking a balance between affordability and lifestyle.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Kennewick, WA is situated in a semi-arid region known for its mild, relatively dry climate. The area experiences four distinct seasons, from warm, sunny summers with temperatures often peaking in the 90s Fahrenheit, to cool, frosty winters that can hit lows in the 20s. This region is characterized by low rainfall levels, receiving less than 10 inches on average annually. Despite the generally calm weather, Kennewick is not entirely exempt from natural disasters. It is located near the Cascadia Subduction Zone, exposing the area to a significant risk of earthquakes. Additionally, wild fires can occur due to the dry, hot summers. While snowstorms are less common, they can still pose considerable challenges when they occur. This wide range of weather patterns and potential natural disasters contributes to the dynamic and diverse tapestry of life in Kennewick, WA.

Typical weather in Kennewick, WA

Economy & Job Market

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Retail Trade

Public Administration


Education Services

Kennewick, WA, draws its economic backbone from a rich tapestry of industries. From a historic perspective, the city cheered on agriculture and food processing as their major economic players. It witnessed acres of mountainous vineyards, alongside the rush of food processing plants, specifically rooted in the transportation of frozen foods. Skip to the present day, these industries still hold great significance. However, the local economy has diversified and stepped into new markets. Healthcare and social assistance are now celebrated as the top industry, followed by retail trade. Toasting to a bustling public sector, the city has also seen a rise in public administration alongside the rise in manufacturing and education services.

Planning to move to Kennewick, WA? Pack your job hunt kit because the city presents an impressive employment scene. With recent years observing low employment rates, the city offers a cup of job opportunities overflowing with potential. Your job-hunting journey may catch a sparkling start in the healthcare and social assistance sector, a domain commanding a sizeable share of the local economy. Retail can also be a promising direction, owing to its healthy contribution to the job market. Education and manufacturing sectors however have seen a steady rise and one might not want to overlook these blooming fields. In this city, the real trick lies in keeping your options open and tapping into the diversity of the job market!

Traffic and Transportation

Traveling around in Kennewick, WA can be quite an adventure! Buckle up for an average commute time of approximately 20 minutes, zipping past beautiful fields and vineyards. You're in for a sweet, short and scenic ride! Public transportation in Kennewick is top-notch with the Ben Franklin Transit at your fingertips! This nifty service offers buses, Dial-A-Ride, and even the fun and fantastic Vanpool. What a riot to carpool with fellow commuters in and around this splendid city. And that's not all, air travel buffs! Kennewick is serviced by the Tri-Cities Airport, making both business and pleasure trips a breeze. Up, up and away! Whether you're on wheels or wings, Kennewick has got you covered. So come, explore this charming city in the heart of Washington State and make delightful memories all the way!

What is the traffic like in Kennewick, WA?

Best Neighborhoods in Kennewick

1. Southridge

Oh, Southridge! A fun, friendly neighborhood that's absolutely perfect for those who love the outdoors. With its ample green spaces, walking trails, and fantastic views of the city and the Columbia River, Southridge is a great place to unwind and enjoy nature. Plus, it's home to the Southridge Sports and Events Complex, an impressive facility that provides both locals and visitors a spot for sports, concerts, and community events. In addition, you'll find a wide array of delectable dining options, and a variety of entertainment and shopping venues. Certainly, a neighborhood that offers a blend of leisure and adventurous lifestyle.

2. Canyon Lakes

Prized for its tranquil setting, Canyon Lakes is the neighborhood for those who appreciate peaceful living with a comforting sense of community. This neighborhood is home to the Canyon Lakes Golf Course, where you can tee off with a remarkable view! It has numerous parks and walking trails, making it perfect if you're a proponent of a healthy lifestyle. Canyon Lakes has a unique blend of quiet residential areas and convenient nearby amenities which creates a blend of serenity and convenience.

3. Creekstone

Creekstone is a vibrant and family-friendly neighborhood known for its well-planned communities. It offers a sense of tranquility without being too far from the action. Not far from your doorstep, you'll find parks and open spaces ideal for family outings, picnics, and morning jogs. Captivating landscapes and walking trails add to the charm of Creekstone. For those who value community, quality of life, and being close to nature, this neighborhood resonates.

4. Bridge To Bridge

Bridge to Bridge packs a punch with its historic charm and lively atmosphere! This part of Kennewick offers a unique urban vibe while being framed by stunning natural beauty. Just a short stroll will lead you to quirky shops, quaint cafes, fascinating art galleries, and the impressive waterfront. There's always something happening in this engaging area. If you're an urban soul who likes a splash of natural beauty, Bridge to Bridge is your best bet!

5. Westcliffe

Westcliffe is known for its breathtaking views and upscale neighborhoods. It's the go-to place if you love waking up to spectacular views of the sun rising over the hills or setting by the river. The neighborhood boasts beautifully maintained parks perfect for fun, family picnics. Westcliffe's atmosphere offers a blend of sophistication and tranquility. It's a neighborhood sure to generate a sense of awe.

There you go! Whether you're drawn to the golf green lifestyle of Canyon Lakes, the serene family vibes of Creekstone, the urban pulse of Bridge To Bridge, the scenic appeal of Westcliffe, or the outdoor-oriented Southridge, Kennewick has a neighborhood that's bound to feel like home. Remember, it's not just about the locale, it's about finding the rhythm of life that suits you best. So, take your pick and start your new adventure in Kennewick!

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Things to Do

Kennewick, located in Southeastern Washington, is a vibrant city known for its breathtaking landscape, stunning rivers, and welcoming community. For newcomers, Kennewick offers a wealth of experiences, adventures, and activities to engage in. From wandering through nature parks to discovering local treasures, let's dive into the top things to do in Kennewick, WA!

1. A Stroll Along Clover Island

Begin your Kennewick journey with a walk along Clover Island. This stunning island offers breathtaking views of the Columbia River, the Cable Bridge, and occasionally, a group of seals frolicking in the water. As you wind down your walk, visit Clover Island Lighthouse for a panoramic view of the city. Don't forget to sample delectable seafood at the local waterfront restaurants!

2. Visit the East Benton County Historical Society Museum

The East Benton County Historical Society Museum provides a perfect opportunity to dive into Kennewick's rich history and cultural heritage. The museum displays fascinating collections covering the region's early settlements, indigenous cultures, and agricultural development. It's a fun, educational experience suitable for all ages.

3. Explore the Columbia Park

Located on the banks of the Columbia River, Columbia Park is an oasis of lush greenery and serene waters. It hosts various amenities such as a family fishing pond, a playground, picnic facilities, and plenty of walking trails. Each summer, the park becomes even more alive as it hosts the annual Water Follies hydroplane event and outdoor concerts.

4. Step into the Past at the B Reactor Museum

This lesser-known gem invites you on a journey to the past as you explore the world's first large-scale nuclear reactor. Part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, it plays a substantial role in showcasing the history of nuclear energy. This unique museum offers guided tours, providing a fascinating insight into the world of atomic science.

5. Take A Trip to Red Mountain

Thanks to its ideal soil composition and microclimate, Red Mountain is home to some of the most highly lauded wineries in the state. Take a trip to the mountain and indulge in a wine-tasting tour. With vast vineyards set against impressive mountain views, sipping wine here becomes an experience in itself. Remember to drop by the Hedges Family Estate for a truly refined winemaking experience.

6. Discover Sacajawea State Park

Nestled at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers, Sacajawea State Park is an outdoor paradise perfect for hiking, kayaking, and bird watching. Unbeknownst to many, the park also features an interpretive center detailing the story of Sacajawea and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It's a beautiful, tranquil place that's often overlooked!

7. Experience the Gesa Carousel of Dreams

As a final surprise, head over to the brightly-lit Gesa Carousel of Dreams. This beautifully restored, 1910-vintage carousel offers a dose of nostalgia, enchanting both kids and adults with its classic charm. Along with the carousel, the facility also features an ice cream parlor and a gift shop. It's truly an experience out of a storybook!

Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, or just longing for a simple stroll, Kennewick has something to offer everyone. In a city abounding with breathtaking sceneries, fascinating history, and a vibrant community, exploring Kennewick's treasures will truly be an exciting experience. So, welcome to Kennewick, and let the adventures begin!

Things to do in Kennewick, WA?

Find Movers for Your Kennewick Relocation

Kennewick, with its rich history, flourishing local economy, and diverse recreational opportunities, offers a promising new chapter for you and your loved ones. To make this exciting transition as smooth and worry-free as possible, turn to Great Guys Moving. Their trusted network of reputable, licensed, and insured movers will make light work of your big move. They offer quality service and affordable pricing to ease your shift to this vibrant city. So why wait? Transform your Kennewick relocation dream into a reality today, and start by requesting a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving.

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