Spokane, Washington may not be on your radar for this summer, but it is worth looking into for a future trip. I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few days there on two occasions, including this weekend. Spokane boasts clean streets, quaint brick buildings, friendly locals, lots of green, and an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Below are some tips and treasures for you to keep in mind when you plan your trip. Why not start now?
Skyway Café is a little out of the way, but worth the short drive to experience eating breakfast or lunch in a historic airport side building while watching small prop planes take off. They have pancakes, Belgium waffles, and an array of three egg omelets. I went for the two pancakes with one egg and bacon. The pancakes were fluffy and browned to the right color, just the way pancakes should be. Although the server
wasn’t the friendliest person I’ve met, I enjoyed the atmosphere, creative plane decorations (check out the ceiling fans), and liked the casual atmosphere. OH, and the bathroom sink was totally cool even though it took me a few seconds to figure out how it worked.
Boots Bakery & Lounge just opened on June 18th. It was a few blocks outside the main downtown area, but I needed to walk off the pancakes from breakfast so I was up for the excursion. Hanging out there was a total delight. The atmosphere is artistic yet comfortable. I enjoyed sitting on an old door while staring up at the light fixtures made of blenders, cake tins, and other kitchenware items. Gluten free and vegan
are big on the menu. I had a vegan carrot cake cupcake that was sprinkled with toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds. Tasty and moist.
As you may have figured out, there are generally two common threads to my U.S. travel stories: desserts and historical hotels. I blame the dessert part on being six months pregnant. The hotel part has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I’m drawn to the stories, architecture, and timelessness of these buildings. Words and photos can’t possible do justice to the breathtaking beauty and detail of their workmanship. The Davenport Hotel is a must see in Spokane. Go to the Concierge desk and ask for the historical walking tour pamphlet, then meander through the hotel, savoring the richness it has to offer. The hotel has some attractive looking restaurants, a Starbucks coffee counter, and offers a champagne Sunday brunch for $35. The one thing lacking, though, is afternoon tea. The lobby area screams for this, but they haven’t offered tea either of the times I’ve visited in the past three years.
Hotel Ruby is in downtown Spokane within easy walking distance of the main attractions. I stayed at the hotel three years ago, but it had different owners and was rather run-down. It has since been completely remodeled. The rooms have a mini-fridge, microwave, hairdryer, cool light fixtures (doesn’t that make a room?), a down comforter, and two sinks. The best part, though, is that they added a bar and restaurant that has happy hour every day from five to seven. I enjoyed a chicken basil flatbread for only $4 and could only eat half of it. The owners chose a comfy modern style for the hotel and bar/restaurant, which I used to think was an oxymoron. And did I mention the hotel price? So reasonable you’ll be able to spend the money you save on a fancy dinner.
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars is a true delight. It is on the grounds of an 86-year-old Italianate/Mission-style mansion where the wealthy came to play in its early days. A tram used to be the only way to reach the grounds, but now you can get there the easy way – drive. The views from the clifftop winery are spectacular. The rambling gardens that dot the estate will make you sigh from pure relaxation. I suggest allowing enough time to play a life-size game of checkers while sipping on a glass of wine. The board is next to a nice grassy area that begs to have a blanket and picnic basket spread out on it.
This is just a tiny sampling of all Spokane has to offer. There’s also an attractive mall, Riverfront Park, biking and hiking trails, and numerous wineries. You’ll have no problem filling a few days’ time. In fact, you’ll likely wish you could linger longer.