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Spokane, Washington

Local Details

Learn more about Spokane, Washington using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Spokane, Washington so great!

Current Temperature

  • 6:06 PM PST Jan. 23

City Guide

Spokane in the Pacific Northwest. It is the largest city in eastern Washington, and the third largest city in the United States' Pacific Northwest. It is the largest city in the Inland Northwest. The city's nickname is "The Lilac City".

Understand

Spokane is the economic hub of a surrounding agricultural area that serves roughly 1.5 million people. Its immediate metropolitan area is home to roughly 500,000 citizens and the city proper is home to 200,000. It is a rather conservative area, with a rather liberal city proper, and has a fairly small racial minority population (around 10%).

Get in

By plane

Spokane International Airport is a few miles to the west of Downtown. It operates flights regularly to Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Boise, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland, and Kalispell. Although Spokane has an international airport, there are no direct international flights: most flights go through hubs such as Seattle and Los Angeles.

By train

Spokane is located on Amtrak's Empire Builder route, which operates between Seattle/Portland and Chicago. Spokane is located at the point where westbound trains are split in half, one half going to Seattle through the Cascades and the other half to Portland along the Columbia River Gorge, and where eastbound trains from those cities are joined together to continue eastward. The Empire Builder connects with Amtrak's Coast Starlight in Seattle and Portland and with many other trains in Chicago. The Amtrak intermodal station, which is shared with Greyhound buses, is a new facility located downtown, close to major hotels and attractions.

By bus

Same goes for Greyhound. You can get to Spokane on Greyhound from just about anywhere in the U.S. Its station is the intermodal one previously mentioned.

Get around

By Bus

The STA (Spokane Transit Authority) is an excellent way to get around to the North, South, and West sides as well as to the Valley and Liberty Lake in the east. Public Transit is a great way to get to meet the people of a city. Bus route maps can be found in a few stores and and gas stations. The drivers are very friendly and helpful so ask any questions you may have.

Beginning December 4, 2006 STA will be moving to a new farebox and adding 2 hour and all day passes. With the new fare boxes you must ask the driver for a pass before you put your fare in the fare box.

By Car

Car rentals are available in many locations, mainly near the Spokane International Airport.

Interstate 90 is an excellent way to cross town East-West, but beware the construction all throughout the freeway areas.

Check with Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for current driving conditions.

By Bike

Spokane is located in a valley, bicycling around can be difficult due to the hills. This can be complicated by weather, which can be cold and snowy in winter and hot and dry in the summer.

The Centennial Trail runs along the Spokane River from downtown Coeur d'Alene on through the Spokane Valley and downtown Spokane ending in Riverside State Park. It is good for bicycling, roller blading, or walking.

See

  • Downtown Spokane is the hub of the region dubed "The Inland Northwest." It is the center for all of your shopping centers, medical centers, main attractions and hotels.
  • Riverfront Park was the host of the 1974 World's Fair. All the pavilions still exist, and the park itself is beautifully maintained. Maps of downtown Spokane (which include a park map) can be found in most hotels and stores and gas stations nearby.
  • Manito Park located between 18th Ave and 25nd Ave, West of Grand Blvd. East of Bernard Street. It's steep hills make it a popular wintertime sledding spot. Manito is a year-round home to a friendly flock of geese and ducks. Visit the park's Rose Garden in the Summer, or the free Japanese Gardens on the Bernard Street side of the park.
  • Monroe Street Bridge newly opened after 2 years of reconstruction. This bridge was built in 1911 and is the largest arch bridge in the United States of America. Take a beautiful walk across the falls of the Spokane River. On the outskirts of Downtown (Locals know it well, just ask one).
  • Riverside State Park Bowl and Pitcher is basalt rock formations in the middle of the fast flowing Spokane River. Overlook and suspension bridge on east side is a great way to experience Spokane's motto: Near Nature Near Perfect.

Do

There are 33 golf courses within a short drive of the city center. The city of Spokane runs 4 Public golf courses including the award winning Indian Canyon, Spokane County runs 6 other public courses. The Coeur d'Alene resort golf course features a green floating in the lake.

Events

  • Bloomsday, This 12 kilometer run/walk is perfect for anyone of any age. Bloomsday is the worlds largest timed road race with over 50,000 participants each year. The race is always the first Sunday in May.
  • Hoopfest, The worlds largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament, with courts spread out all over downtown. Hoopfest takes place over the last weekend in June.
  • Spokane Pride Festival, Eastern Washington's largest Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered festival. Held annually every June.
  • Spokane Gay/Lesbian Film Festival, Held annually on the first weekend of November, the festival presents a weekend of independent film.

Buy

  • Huckleberry's Natural Market 926 South Monroe Street (509) 624-1349 7am-10pm The 9th Street Bistro inside this grocery store is a bustling cafe that serves $4.00 breakfast specials. Vegetarian friendly deli. Enjoy a toasted bagel with lox from the meat counter, or some freshly rolled sushi. Huckleberry's is the only natural grocery store of it's kind in Eastern Washington. Large wine and bulk foods selection.
  • River Park Square Recently renovated shopping center located in the center of downtown, just across from Riverfront Park. River Park Square is home to a 20 screen movie theater. Upscale stores such as Nordstroms, Williams Sonoma, Macy's and Restoration Hardware. A diverse collection of specialty stores selling items ranging from walking sticks to chocolates. Satisfy your hunger at the fast food court or at one of its many sit down restuarants. River Park Square is also a great place for kids with a childrens museum, bookstore and toy store. Skywalks connect River Park Square with the rest of downtown.

Eat

Budget

  • Dick's Hamburgers, 10 East 3rd Avenue, 509-747-2481. A Spokane institution, serving up the quickest and most efficient cholesterol-delivery systems in the state.

Mid-range

  • Longhorn Barbecue, 2315 N Argonne, 509-924-9600.
  • Chicken-N-More, 414 1/2 W Sprague Ave, 509-838-5071. "Soul Food", Catfish, Ribs, etc. Located in Downtown.
  • The Elk Public House,1931 W Pacific Ave; 509-363-1973. Eclectic to Standard food, large selection of microbrews on tap. Outdoor seating in the historic Brownes Addition.

Other

  • The Rockwood Bakery, 315 East 18th Avenue Located less than a block from Manito Park, The Rockwood Bakery is great for a mid-day coffee or pastry after a day in the park.

Drink

Being a Western city in the U.S., it has it's fair share of bars and taverns. Washington state law says Bars can sell alcoholic beverages of their choice, while Taverns are restricted to Beer and wines and such. Along Sprague in Downtown, there are a fair number of Bars and Taverns.

Sleep

Budget

  • Microtel Spokane/Airway Heights, 1215 South Garfield Road, +1 509 242-1200. Microtel is pleased to be the first economy/budget hotel brand to offer guests free local and free long distance calls in the continental United States, and free wireless high-speed Internet access in every room of our hotels, as well as advance online check-in and check-out with unlimited access to online folio information. These new amenities compliment our other standard amenities including remote TV with ESPN, CNN and one movie channel and complimentary continental breakfast.
  • Motel 6 Spokane East, 1919 N Hutchinson Road, +1 509 926-5399, Fax: +1 509 928-5974.
  • Motel 6 Spokane West-Airport, 1508 S Rustle Street, +1 509 459-6120, Fax: +1 509 747-1857.

Mid-Range

  • Best Western Peppertree Airport Inn, 3711 S Geiger Boulevard, +1 509 624-4655, Toll-free: +1 800 799-3933, Fax: +1 509 838-6416.
  • Best Western Pheasant Hill, 12415 E Mission Avenue, +1 509 926-7432, Fax: +1 509 892-1914.
  • Courtyard Spokane, 401 North Riverpoint Boulevard, +1 509 456-7600, Fax: +1 509 456-0969.
  • Fairfield Inn Spokane Downtown, 311 N Riverpoint Boulevard, +1 509 747-9131, Fax: +1 509 747-0501.
  • Holiday Inn, 1616 S. Windsor Drive, +1 509 838-1170.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 9220 E. Mission, +1 509 927-7100.
  • Holiday Inn Express, N. 801 Division Street, +1 509 328-8505.
  • Residence Inn Spokane East Valley, 15915 E. Indiana Avenue, +1 509 892-9300, Toll-free: +1 509 892-9300, Fax: +1 509 892-9400.
  • The Ridpath Hotel, 515 W. Sprague Avenue. Located in downtown The 12 story Ridpath is much like any major midrange hotel.

Splurge

  • The Davenport Hotel, 10 South Post St. Spokane's only four diamond hotel. Rated in the top ten best hotels in America by Expedia. Located in the heart of Downtown and the Davenport District (Art District).
  • Hotel Lusso, 1 North Post St., +1 509 747-9750. Small Mediterranean style hotel located in the heart of downtown.

Contact

Spokane is one of a few cities nationwide that has Wi-Fi access just about everywhere Downtown. The entire Downtown area is a Wi-Fi hotspot or an area where wireless Internet is provided free of charge (2 hours per day) if your computer is equipped for Wi-Fi.

Stay safe

All-in-all people in Spokane are very kind and hospitable. It is a very safe city at most times of the day and there are no really bad neighborhoods to be advised of. Hillyard and the west side area north of downtown are not great places to be alone at night. Spokane is not particularly gay-friendly; gay people may experience discrimination, though usually not violent.

Get out

Being in the foothills of the Rockies, Spokane has excellent skiing in the wintertime. An hour's drive north of city takes you to it's most cherished ski resort; Mt. Spokane Ski Resort.

Also, 40 minutes east of downtown is the tourist town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It's known for its quaint downtown and lakefront location.

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