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'''Spokane''' [] is a city in eastern [[Washington (state)|Washington]]. It is the second largest city in Washington State in the [[Pacific Northwest]] region, the largest city in the Inland Northwest(a.k.a. "The Inland Empire", pre-dating by nearly a century the use of the same title by a region in Southern California), and it is the largest city in eastern Eastern Washington. The city's nickname is "The Lilac City".
[[Image:Spokane 3.jpg|thumb|300px|Downtown Spokane from Riverfront Park]]
=== Understand ===
The city is pronounced as "spo-CAN," but often mispronounced as "spo-CAIN." It's nickname is "The Lilac City".
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%).
===By Car===
Car rentals are available in many locations, mainly near the Spokane International Airport. All the major companies are located there. Returning cars at the airport can be a little confusing. The main entrance to the rental return is an entire mile before the airport terminal (left at Flint Rd.) You can also drop off passengers and turn right at Flint Rd. just past the terminal. Note there are no directional signs for rental cars between these two places.
'''Interstate 90''' is an excellent way to cross town East-West. A north-south freeway is under construction, and won't be finished for years. Allow more time if you have to go very far in this direction, as there's no express route yet. (The construction itself is unlikely to cause you any delays, as it's not on the main roadways.)
[[Image:Spokane's_Riverfront_Park.jpg|thumb|Downtown Oasis - Riverfront Park]]
*'''Manito Park '''located between 18th Ave and 25nd Ave, West of Grand Blvd. East of Bernard Street. Its steep hills make it a popular wintertime sledding spot. A zoo until 1933, Manito is now 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. It is one of the finest examples and also one of the last remaining bridges among the several dozen bridges that once crisscrossed the falls and made Spokane world-famous as the "City of Bridges" during the latter half of the 19th century (i.e, Spokane had the largest number of bridges of any city in the world at the time). Take a beautiful an inspiring walk across the falls of the Spokane Riverwhile admiring the buffalo head sculptures adorning the covered observation decks across the span. On The Monroe St Bridge is located in the outskirts heart of Downtown immediately west of Riverfront Park, the former site of the old train station and rail yards (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. []
*'''The Knitting Factory''' is one of the Northwest's premier concert houses. It is a 1,500-capacity concert venue, and features top performers from around the world as well as dance club nights hosted weekly. It is easily found in the heart of Downtown Spokane, on the corner of Sprague and Monroe. []
* One of a Kind in the World Museum
* Spokane Falls
==Tour Guides==
[ '''ROW Adventure Center''']- Rated as one of the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" by National Geographic this company offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, bike tours, hiking tours and fly fishing in and around Spokane, WA. You can book most trips online and they are very affordable. They have a Adventuer Center right downtown in Spokane, WA. You can also call: Toll Free: (800) 451-6034.
'''Golf'''- 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.
'''Spokane Rafting'''- The Spokane River offers great whitewater rafting. Some parts of the year, rafters can experience up to class IV rapids. The [ ROW Adventure Center]runs rafting trips on the Upper Spokane (gentle float trips) and the Lower Spokane which starts just under the Spokane Falls Downtown Spokane and ends near 5 mile at the end of Riverside State Park. It's a beautiful trip with great rapids.
'''Kayak Spokane'''- Spokane has a great kayaking club and it's a good way to experience the outdoors and the city. There are [ guided kayak tours] available too.
'''Spokane Bike Tours'''- During the summer months, Spokane is a beautiful city to explore on a bike. A trip through Riverside State Park is a must. Centennial Trail bike rides and tours are another way to go through the city, learn about the history of the area and enjoy the outdoors. The ROW Adventure Center offers an inexpensive option called the [ Pedal and Paddle] series that combines rafting or kayaking with bike tours.
*'''Lilac Festival'''[] The country's largest Armed Forces Day celebration including the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade. Held annually on the third Saturday in May.
*'''Hoopfest'''[] The worlds world's largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament, with courts spread out all over downtown. Hoopfest takes place over the last weekend in June.
*'''OutSpokane Pride Parade & Rainbow Festival''' [] Eastern Washington's largest Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered festival. Held annually every June.
*'''Didier's Yogurt & More''', 10410 N Division St, ''+1 509'' 466-8434. Quality fast food from a family owned business. Great burgers and frozen yogurt. Located on the north side near Whitworth College.
*'''Mary Lou's Milk Bottle''', 802 W Garland Ave @ N. Post St., ''+1 509'' 325-1772. Originally built for the long defunct Benewah Dairy Company in mid-1930's, this small restaurant serves burgers and shakes. The building consists of a stuccoed milk bottle several stories high. A similar structure (not open to the public) is visible from the I-90 westbound off ramp to Maple St. (#280A), and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cash only.
*'''Ferguson’s Cafe''' 804 W Garland Ave, ''+1 509'' 328-1950. Located next to the Milk Bottle (above), this restaurant was featured in three Hollywood movies, “Benny & Joon” “Vision Quest,” and “Why Would I Lie?” Opens early for breakfast, and well known for its "blue plate specials."
*'''Coffee Social''' [] 3113 W Indiana, ''+1 509'' 327-7127. Coffee Social is a locally owned organic coffee house located on Indiana, 1.5 blocks west of Division. They serve Doma coffee and yummy food made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. Tuesday nights are game night, and Thursday nights might have music. Hours are 7 AM to 10 PM every day, and they offer a 10% discount on the drink of your choice if you arrive by foot, bike or bus. The free wi-fi and laid back atmosphere make this a great place to spend some time. Mondays: open mic/jam night, Tuesdays: game night, Thursdays: acoustic music night. Appears to be closed permanently as of December, 2010.
*'''Saunders Cheese Market''' [] 210 S Washington, ''+1 509'' 455-9400. Located in the east central part of downtown, this shop offers many cheeses from the United States, including the Pacific Northwest, and abroad. Cheese plates are also offered, and there is wine by the glass, or you can bring in wine from the conveniently neighboring Vino! Wine Shop.
*'''Your City Bites''' [] ''888-982-4837''. A food tour of downtown Spokane that features local reastaurants.
*<sleep name="Stratford Suites" alt="Stratford Suites Luxury Hotel" address="11808 W. Center Ln. Airway Heights, WA 99001" directions="" phone="509-321-1600" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Stratford Suites features brand new, fully furnished, one and two bedroom serviced apartments with kitchens for the vacationer, extended stay or corporate traveler in the Spokane, Washington area. Each suite is tastefully appointed, secure, meticulously maintained and available for daily, weekly or month to month stays.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel Lusso" alt="" address="808 W Sprague Ave" directions="" phone="+1 509 747-9750" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="47.658552" long="-117.423935">A boutique hotel located downtown, Hotel Lusso is a great choice for every type of traveler because of its location and class of service. The hotel has a very charming European ambiance to it. With 48 rooms, the hotel has an intimate feel, but doesn't lack in luxury. There is also a new popular bar located adjacent to the lobby called The Post St. Ale House serving 20 beers on tap and traditional pub food. Hotel Lusso was also recently named to the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Gold List.</sleep>
*'''Microtel Spokane/Airway Heights''', 1215 S Garfield Rd, ''+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.
*<sleep name="Red Lion Hotel at the Park Spokane Hotel" alt="" address="303 W North River Dr" directions="" phone="+1 509 326-8000" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Situated at the edge of Riverfront Park, on the banks of the cascading Spokane River, the Red Lion Hotel at the Park is a beautifully renovated hotel that delivers a new level of hospitality to business and vacation travelers in Spokane, Washington.</sleep>
* '''Courtyard Spokane''', 401 N Riverpoint Blvd, ''+1 509'' 456-7600, Fax: ''+1 509'' 456-0969, [].
* '''Fairfield Inn Spokane Downtown''', 311 N Riverpoint Blvd, ''+1 509'' 747-9131, Fax: ''+1 509'' 747-0501, [].
* '''Holiday Inn(Airport)''', 1616 S Windsor Dr, ''+1 509'' 838-1170, [].
* '''Holiday Inn Express''', 9220 E Mission, ''+1 509'' 927-7100, [].
* '''Holiday Inn Express''', N 801 Division St, ''+1 509'' 328-8505, [].
* '''Residence Inn Spokane East Valley''', 15915 E Indiana Ave, ''+1 509'' 892-9300, Fax: ''+1 509'' 892-9400, [].
* '''Stratford Suites(Airport)''', 11808 W Center Ln, Airway Heights, ''+1 509'' 321-1600, Toll-free: ''+1'' 888-705-8877, Fax: ''+1 509'' 321-1599, []. Extended stay rates available.*<sleep name="Wingateby Wyndham (Airport)" alt="" address="2726 S. Flint Road" directions="" phone="+1 509 838-3226" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">All-new hotel. Courtesy Spokane Airport shuttle, free breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi.</sleep>
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. Unfortunately, there's no free Wi-Fi at the airport yet, though the Boingo network (daily feeafter 20 mins.) is available.
==Get out==
Although the destinations of [[Seattle]], [[Portland]], [[Glacier National Park]], [[Mount Rainier]], and [[Mt. St. Helens]] are popular with locals, these are ''not'' day trips, and even a two-day excursion will seem rushed. The distance to Mt. St. Helens is easily underestimated, as the only access is from I-5 between Seattle and Portland (with substantial backtracking).
The area to the west and south can be considerably hotter in summertime than it is in Spokane. Bring plenty of drinking water.
* Being in the foothills of the Rockies, Spokane has excellent '''skiing''' in the wintertime. An hour's drive north of city takes you to its most cherished ski resort; '''Mt. Spokane Ski Resort'''. []. 15 miles from the intersection of US Highway 2 and Highway 206 to the northwest of Spokane
* '''Mt. Spokane State Park''' [], a camping park in the Selkirk Mountains. At the top of the 5,883' summit there are great views, as far as [[Canada]]. Camping in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter. 25 miles northeast of Spokane.
* '''[[Grand Coulee|Grand Coulee Dam]]''' [] About 88 miles from Spokane, the largest electric power-producing facility in the U.S., and one of the largest concrete structures in the world. A laser light show is sometimes held after dark on summer nights (check schedule).
* '''[[Walla Walla]]''' Originally known for its funny name and famous sweet onions, traditional crops have been replaced by the vineyards of over 100 area wineries. Due to the distance (157 mi/256 km) and large number (for its size) of hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, many visitors stay overnight. If too pricey, [[Pendleton]], [[Oregon]] is much cheaper.
| minorl2=[[Coulee City]]
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| majorr2=[[Kalispell]], Montana| minorr2=[[SandpointNewport (Washington)|Newport]], Idaho
{{isInisPartOf|Palouse_Palouse (Washington)}}
[[WikiPedia:Spokane, Washington]]

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