Of the three main towns in Tri-Cities, who reigns supreme?

I moved to Tri-Cities when I was 11 and I've been here for 18 years. I'm comfortable with saying this is my home and that I'm "from Tri-Cities."

I've also had the opportunity to live in each of the "big three" of the Tri-Cities. When we first moved here from Iowa, we lived with my uncle in College Place and commuted to Pasco where my dad worked and where I went to school. We then rented a place in Kennewick behind Yoke's Fresh Market. That's where I attended Horse Heaven Hills Middle School. A few years later, we moved to a house with easy access to the river in Pasco. I then attended a private school a few blocks away.

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When my family finally bought a home in Tri-Cities, we bought one just a few blocks from where we rented in Pasco. So I still had river access and could easily get to school on my own. A couple of years later, I attended Southridge High School and got reacquainted with Kennewick. When I moved out, I was living in a house in Kennewick not far from where I first moved to Tri-Cities. When I met my wife, we moved in together in an apartment complex right next to where the Duportail Bridge is in Richland. We wanted to have a family, so we started to rent one of the alphabet homes near the bypass highway.

When we wanted to buy our first home, we found a beautiful condo with a lovely view of the Columbia River in Kennewick. So, I've come full circle in Tri-Cities and I think I've got a decent understanding of the main towns. Here's how I would rank them with honest transparency.

Jazmine Haney
Jazmine Haney

THIRD - Kennewick

You're probably already furiously typing your rebuttal right now, but hear me out. In any list, someone has to be last, and in mine, it's Kennewick. There's a lot of square mileage in Kennewick and it's hard to definitively say where the good areas become the less than good areas. You've got Historic Downtown Kennewick but just a few blocks away is Gum Street which is known to have a few issues. I love Kennewick but it can be bland sometimes. To be fair, Kennewick does have Toyota Center, the mall, and the Southridge Sports Complex. However, the Southridge area is a ten to fifteen-minute drive away for me and I live in Kennewick. Kennewick also has Columbia Park, which you can argue is the best of all the Tri-Cities parks. I like Kennewick a lot but I think the other two are better.

Photo by Gabriel Sanchez on Unsplash
Photo by Gabriel Sanchez on Unsplash

SECOND - Pasco

I love Pasco. I lived there for around nine years and learned to love it. I've also worked in Pasco for a decade. Pasco has a lot of character and culture. You have downtown Pasco which has the Fiery Foods Festival, the Pasco Farmer's Market, and delicious restaurants like the Havana Cafe and Vinny's Bakery. Newer developments in Pasco are really nice and easy to get to from within Pasco or the highway. You always know which part of Pasco you're in as well. Road 68 while hectic, it's a nice area and great for a minor league baseball stadium. One major downside to Pasco is the lack of a real bonafide city park such as Columbia Park or Howard Amon. But, having the best riverfront trail in the whole area certainly makes up for it.

Maegan Murray
Maegan Murray

FIRST - Richland

Even though I sometimes claim to not miss living in Richland, I absolutely adore that town. It's quirky in all of the right ways. There's a lot of character to it. Maybe it's because it's the "youngest" of the big three. Maybe it's the rich WWII history you can see all over the town. I used to go to the Uptown for punk rock shows every weekend when I was younger. Now, I take my three-year-old girl to go buy some comic books and have some crepes. Richland used to be the undisputed local champ of the music scene (that's mostly gone now), but they still reign with Art in the Park and various events at the Uptown Theatre. The Hanford traffic is still a sore spot for me but with the Queensgate area still growing, Richland is sitting pretty at the top of my power ranking.

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