Spokane, near the Idaho border, is the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest. Look for I-90 to start your four hour drive east over Snoqualmie Pass and down the east slope of the Cascades, through the agricultural heart of Washington State. I’m always ready to stop for a bit to eat along the way in Roslyn, Cle Elum or Ellensburg.
At Vantage, I-90 crosses the Columbia River. See the Wild Horses Monument as you drive up the hill. At the top of the ridge stop for a view west of the magnificent river.
Now you are driving by Moses Lake and through miles of rolling fields of crops being irrigated by water from the Columbia River. Back on the coast the sun that is often hidden by the clouds but in Eastern Washington the sun shines more than 300 days a year. I believe this tourism slogan! You know it’s always sunny when I’ve been in Spokane.
The City has a river at its heart. Spokane Falls is a highlight of any visit to the city’s Riverfront Park. I love walking through this lovely area, the site of Expo ’74. Be sure you see the sculpture ‘Joy of Running’ honoring the city’s annual Bloomsday Race.
Downtown shoppers will find a number of department stores, bookshops, and unique boutiques inside renovated historic buildings connected by overhead walkways to keep you out of the weather. Northwest dining locations, cafes and coffee shops dot the area.
You’ll find the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture or MAC as the locals call it, has an outstanding exhibit of northern plateau Indian history and culture. The ‘people of the river’ gallery features voices, photographs and example of Spokane and Colville tribal beadwork, basketry and clothing.
Manito Park on South Hill is one of my favorite locations. The classic formal botanical gardens, the Gaiser Conservatory, Lilac Garden, Rose Hill and the Japanese Garden are all lovely in season. I think a stop at the South Hill Overlook has a great view of this City.