Kennewick was the shooting location for a professional wakesurfer and prominent social media influencer.

It's always interesting to see how people that aren't from Tri-Cities view our area. Sure, it's a tourism destination renowned for its wine but most of us are looking to get away from Tri-Cities for vacation. I visit the Oregon coast just about every year and enjoy myself, but I'm sure those living in Seaside and Astoria can't wait to leave.

I often find myself watching videos or reading articles about Tri-Cities from the perspective of an outsider. What is it about Tri-Cities that gets people to board an American Cruise Lines cruise ship for a tour of the Columbia River? What I find is that I end up taking a lot of things for granted. The river specifically is a draw for people that look for adventure in the outdoors. Boating is a given, as is fishing and waterskiing. Apparently, the river is a great spot for athletes both amateur and professional to get some fresh "river breeze" while they kick up the waves.

Who is Austin Keen?

Austin Keen is a professional athlete, specializing in watersports. Austin won the United Skim Tour championship in 2013 and is also an acclaimed wakesurfer. Aside from his merits in sport, Keen is also a very popular social media influencer. He has nearly 800,000 followers on his Instagram page, including Tony Hawk. He's been featured on The Ellen Show and Tosh.0In other words, he's a big deal.

97.1 KXRX logo
Get our free mobile app

Back in 2016, Austin visited Kennewick to do some wakesurfing on the Columbia River for a video on his YouTube channel. While he was in town, he taught some Tri-Citians how to wakesurf for the first time. The video crew did an awesome job of capturing the natural and industrial beauty of Kennewick.

How awesome is that? I should have made my way to the dock because that video makes me want to go wakesurfing.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

More From 97.1 KXRX